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Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya, an entrepreneur by profession but a philosopher by passion. He believes that businesses are the perfect playing ground to test the two. He is a first-generation lawyer and also a business school graduate.
However, he has clubbed his knowledge of law and finance to build up a successful start-up. Being a student at one of India’s premier B-Schools gave him the exposure he needed to meet new and exciting people and being an avid finance nerd, he strives to improve himself and make others aware of the need and urgency of financial literacy.
Interview: Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya
We recently got an opportunity to interview Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya and here’s the trancript of the Interview:
Legal Bites: Sir, what challenges did you face to penetrate into the legal sphere?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: Well, to be honest, I haven’t fully understood or penetrated the legal sphere, it is a vast domain and takes years of dedicated study and practice to reach anywhere. However, I can tell you this, it is extremely hard for any first-generation lawyer but through consistent endurance and a zeal to learn not only through academics but learning from working is of paramount importance for any up-and-coming legal aspirant.
Legal Bites: Sir, you are a member of the prestigious institute of Arbitrators, London. How did you get there and what is it like?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: Firstly, the reason I reached out to CIArb, London for membership was because of the immense scope in the field of arbitration and other ADRs. London specifically on account of it being host to some of the largest financial nodes in the global banking and finance system. Getting said membership for students includes an exam to gauge your interest in the subject matter followed by a fee for the maintenance of your membership.
The most important benefit of being a member of this prestigious institution happens to be the networking benefit and the possibility of actually learning a lot from those who have experiences longer than I am old!
Legal Bites: Sir, you have a successful start-up. Could you tell how your start-up influences law?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: No, I don’t really have a ‘successful’ start-up. So, what I mean by that is, a start-up always keeps improving and reacting to the market. The product and service you would be providing would be new, and in an industry which is as conservative as the legal one, it is nearly impossible to be successful. We are trying our best!
What we are working on is creating a system based on blockchain technology to create disruption in the field of corporate law, specifically transactions. We do this by creating self-executing smart contracts (do read Nick Szabo’s 1999 paper on the same). Apart from that we are also working on creating NFT solutions for custodianship of digital documents. Primarily, what we wanted to do is create a legal ecosystem that allows for seamless business transactions for better compliance, automation, and transparency in the legal sector.
Legal Bites: Sir, as someone who has been on both sides of the requirement table, what advice would you give young aspiring lawyers to Ace interviews for jobs?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: Honestly speaking, sitting as the candidate is much easier than being the recruiter. You need to understand one thing, just like how you need a job, the company also needs staff to carry out its regular operations. The majority of your work needs to happen before sitting on the recruitment table, you must be sure that this company is a good fit for you, that their practice area is of interest to you, and ultimately that the work-life balance (or lack thereof in corporate law) works for you or not. Go with the mentality that you are just a cog in this machine, no matter who you are you are an important piece of the puzzle. All the best!
Legal Bites: Sir, what difference is there between an employee at some company and being an employer at your own company?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: It’s two different worlds I will be honest, we glorify successful business owners so much that we just see their glamorous lives. The very mindset of an employer and an employee are fundamentally different. As a business owner, your work never really ends and the risk plus responsibility carried by you is always on the back of your head. However, as an employee your responsibilities and liabilities are always limited by the offer letter awarded to you. If you ask me honestly, being a business owner requires endless patience and energy and being an employee requires niche expertise and resilience.
Legal Bites: Sir, what skills are required for a student to become a successful entrepreneur?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: I don’t know what it takes to be a ‘successful’ entrepreneur, again, but in order to be an entrepreneur in the first place, it takes patience above everything else. You need to stay put no matter how rough it gets and you can only do that if you believe in yourself and you are in love with the work that you do. Keep learning, keep working and never ever give up, that’s the skills you need to even get started as an entrepreneur.
Legal Bites: Sir, what advice would you want to give to aspiring law students who want to start a law-based start-up?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: Well, the function of any start-up is to solve a problem or meet a market demand. For an aspiring law student who wants to start a law-based start-up it is important that they know what problem exists and whether you are uniquely situated to solve said problem. We worked on understanding our problem statement for over a year whilst we understood the technology and started working on the same.
Another mistake us law students make is not learning programming at all, even in the field of law it is important that we bring in technology to modernize the industry for an efficient legal sphere.
Legal Bites: Sir, Would you like to give some motivational tips?
Mr. Sayon Bhattacharya: Thank you for giving me the platform to share my thoughts, I hope I could inspire some to pick up the pen and get to work. I would also like to emphasize the importance of having the right people in your life, that will make or break you. Of course, you will cross paths with such people only if you work on being the best version of yourself. For me, my parents, my closest companions, and my mentors are the reason I am where I am today. And no matter what happens, always remember – “This too shall pass”.