iPleaders is a Delhi based startup founded by Ramanuj Mukherjee. They have offices in Delhi, Kolkata and Goa.
We offer over 60 legal online courses online and serve over 4000 students per year. iPleaders blog gets over 70 lakh unique visitors per year. Through our youtube channel Lawshikho we reach a large number of people and make law accessible to them. We also have a forum where people can ask legal questions and get answers. We have worked with companies like Samsung and Microsoft for training their employees in the legal field and imparting knowledge of the law.
We got an opportunity to talk with Ramanuj, the founder of iPleaders. Read his story to know more about his journey as an entrepreneur.
Give a brief info about your startup?
iPleaders is an online legal courses and media platform. The core idea is making legal knowledge and insights accessible to every citizen. We offer over 60 legal online courses online and serve over 4000 students per year. iPleaders blog gets over 70 lakh unique visitors per year. Through our youtube channel Lawshikho we reach a large number of people and make law accessible to them. We also have a forum where people can ask legal questions and get answers. We have worked with companies like Samsung and Microsoft for training their employees in the legal field and imparting knowledge of the law.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
I wanted to simplify learning the law to the extent that even a high school student should be able to understand it. Somehow, that really appealed to me – that we are working on a project that will one day enable crores of Indians to understand the laws that govern their life without having to break their head to make sense of every sentence. This is what propelled me to create the iPleaders blog, and courses on subjects like RTI and FIR. The other inspiration is to create great lawyers for our country through practical training and coaching.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I started working with startups and businessmen when I was still in law school. I started a legal risk management consultancy back then. After graduation, I was working in a law firm, Trilegal in their Mumbai office. I quit Trilegal in 2012 along with my co-founder to start the online courses business and added some new platforms like superlawyer.in over the years.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
iPleaders operates out of 3 offices in Delhi, Kolkata and Goa. Our start up is headquartered in Delhi. I work out of Goa along with the marketing team. A large number of our team members are working from home – from remote locations like Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai. I believe we have reached a point of time when remote work is just as good as having people in the office for certain functions and we take full advantage of that.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Primarily, it is customer success. If somebody buys a course from us, it is our responsibility thereafter that they should succeed. Each and every student is important from that perspective. Doing this online can get hard. Sometimes students themselves don’t cooperate. As long as we can get this aspect right, everything else is cakewalk.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
We believe at this stage we are the only ones addressing the dire need for making legal education accessible to everyone.
While there are some companies that do provide canned legal education content, recorded videos but nobody actually offer proper training through online classes, mentorship, coaching etc. The other similar initiatives do not match us in terms of the quality of courses, or outreach.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
I really struggle with this according to my family. My approach is to be immersed in work. I am almost always thinking about work and working on anything that I can. If I am not working I am probably reading non-fiction. I have to make an effort to make some time for workout. My favorite is swimming in the sea. I also love yoga and karate. I try to make sure that I get some work out time in wherever I can. My wife makes sure that I block some time for her in my calendar 🙂
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We have bootstrapped iPleaders since 2011 and never raised external funding. We funded growth so far through internal accruals.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Many people think I am very serious. When they see me at a party letting my hair down or chilling or cracking silly jokes at every other person they are shocked.
What gets you excited about this company?
The power of the law is very huge. When legal knowledge will be equally accessible to all people that will be a game changer. That always excites me.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
After I wake up I try to spend some time working out. This is followed by checking mails and reading some articles relevant to my work. After this I head out to office after a breakfast. I have a beautiful drive to office, which takes me through hills and some breathtaking views of the sea. Rest of the day I work from my office, which overlooks a terrace and acres of green fields and mountains. My work involves a lot of phone calls, some writing and making sure that my team is on track.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
Abhyuday, my best friend from college and former colleague is the co-founder. We quit our law firm job at the same time to start iPleaders. We met in college and later decided to live this dream together. Our team has now grown to close to 25 people.
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