Success Story Of LegalWiz.in, Co-Founder & CEO - Shrijay Sheth
Please introduce your Startup and give a brief about yourself.
LegalWiz.in was founded in April 2016, to resolve compliance issues that small businesses and startups face. They are vulnerable to the risk of being non-compliant or become victims of legal consequences. It is because they fail to adhere to core business norms required to operate. We are focussed on creating value for our clients - making compliance simple, affordable, and transparent.
We are currently a portal attracting about 1 Lac sessions on the site every month, with over 5,000 total paying clients and 30,000+ registrations on the site. We have doubled the growth every year since our inception in 2015. Last year, we had a consistent growth of 20% every quarter, which indicates that we are doing things right. Our incredible referral score of 9.6/10 is a testament to how we are confident of sustaining and increasing our growth.
I am an eCommerce and Digital Commerce veteran with over 10 years of experience and three ventures to my name. With an MBA (Corporate Finance) from San Diego, I started my career in corporate Finance and Accounting, then moved to Analytics and Strategy. I now focus on LegalTech and Digital Commerce. My extensive experience includes working with hyper-growing tech companies in California, like Qualcomm, LegalZoom.com, Bouqs.com, and MeUndies.com. My expertise lies in building subscription based businesses. Currently I run the StartUp I founded - Legalwiz.in. I also contribute to the Startup ecosystem initiatives by speaking at various Startup events hosted by Headstart, PayU, eChai, CIIE at IIM-Ahmedabad.
How can you describe your Startup?
Legalwiz.in is the top legaltech startup in Gujarat, catering to over 5000+ clients across India. Our USP is the amazing customer experience we offer. Our core services include offering business registration solutions to startups and SMEs, along with other mandatory compliance services. It includes obtaining tax and government registrations like GST, etc. and ensure their regular filings. We also have specialists who advise on intellectual property rights that enable businesses to secure their trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Besides, we extend our services to providing customized legal document drafting, online bookkeeping and fulfilling yearly compliance needs for LLPs and Private Limited Companies. Recently, we have added a couple of other services like ISO certification for quality assurance and FSSAI registration for running a food business.
We offer a full refund if the customer is not satisfied with our services. The entire cycle from the 1st contact to task completion is incredibly smooth with regular updates and continuous service. This is borne out by our customers giving us a referral rating of 9.6/10. Over 60% of our business comes from repeat customers – they are our best ambassadors.
What were you doing before?
After my MBA (San Diego) I have an extensive background in eCommerce, with over 10 years of experience working with some of the finest digital commerce stories in the US. A large part of that, about 5 years, was with LegalZoom, a global leader in LegalTech. I have also extensive experience in working with hyper-growing tech companies in California, like Qualcomm, LegalZoom.com, Bouqs.com, and MeUndies.com.
What is your inspiration behind your Startup?
Hailing from a business background, I always dreamt of building a business. But I chose to get qualified first and gain some substantial experience before starting up. Watching my father run his business, I have witnessed 1st hand the impact an entrepreneur can have on society and people at large. There was a strong inner desire to create something on my own.
My stint of 5+ years at LegalTech giant - LegalZoom laid the base. Once I returned to India, I went through the process of registering my business and realized that many first-generation entrepreneurs in India lack quality service providers within their immediate network. Even the industry itself was fragmented, with most of the legal service providers focussing on a particular niche.
Namann and I met at a business professional networking event in 2014. Back then, he ran a conventional CA firm along with his family. It struck us immediately - my background in Legal eCommerce and his expertise as a CA could create a strong base for offering better services, and that is how we created a comprehensive business professional solution.
Describe Your Startup Name, Why you are using this Name?
Our name is Legalwiz.in - We wanted to create a services platform that rises above conventional ways of rendering professional services. Given this industry is operated mainly by traditional setups, this, we felt to be almost magical. Hence, we took “Legal” as a description of services and “Wiz” to be a wizard for what we are trying to do.
What was the idea behind starting Startup?
At Legalwiz.in, our core idea was to help start-ups and SMEs with professional services like company registration, taxation and legal compliance. The revenue model is simple and transparent with no hidden costs involved. No unpleasant surprises and a 100 per cent satisfaction or money-back guarantee, Legalwiz.in’s core mission, besides enabling compliance, is - saving resources of entrepreneurs, which can be diverted to their core business requirements. .
Our services are aimed at early-stage startups and small businesses to help them stay compliant and maintain legal hygiene while maintaining the highest transparency on deliverables. Businesses should be doing what they are good at and leave the back office and compliance work to a team of business service professionals at LegalWiz.in.
What are the services you offer to your clients?
Our core services include offering business registration solutions to startups and SMEs, along with other mandatory compliance services. It includes obtaining tax and government registrations like GST, etc. and ensure their regular filings. We also have specialists who advise on intellectual property rights that enable businesses to secure their trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Besides, we extend our services to providing customized legal document drafting, online bookkeeping and fulfilling yearly compliance needs for LLPs and Private Limited Companies. Recently, we have added a couple of other services like ISO certification for quality assurance and FSSAI registration for running a food business. There are no hidden charges, and every service mentioned on the website includes professional fees, GST and government charges. Most of these services have different packages to choose from – to create better flexibility for the kind of businesses that we serve. Users will have the opportunity at the checkout page to check the bifurcation of charges under each package.
What are the factors which influenced you to start the ‘Startup’?
Becoming an entrepreneur was always destined, I feel. Belonging to a family of entrepreneurs, I wanted to do something that impacted small businesses and make them sustainable. Leveraging my experience and background seemed the apt thing to do – and it’s been 4 years and counting!
How did your journey start towards your startup from planning to funding?
Deep inside, I had always known I would be an entrepreneur. But I wanted to gain the requisite experience 1st. After my experiences abroad in legaltech and ecommerce, I returned to India and subsequently met Naman, the co-founder. He ran a conventional CA firm and my experience was in legal ecommerce. Hence we hit upon the idea of starting Legalwiz.in. As we become more inclusive as a business model and target to hyper-grow as a full service + software provider, we will be looking for funding options in the near term future, with a vision of becoming the most trusted professional service platform in India.
LegalWiz.in was founded in Ahmedabad. Entrepreneurship is in Gujarat’s DNA - the spirit of entrepreneurship is vibrant here. That said, it has a thriving ecosystem as do other cities and states who boast a growing startup culture. Gujarat is also quite up there with good quality and accessible talent pool, especially professional talent like CS and CAs – a crucial component in a startup’s growth story. A thriving startup culture and SME segment – our core target market – was also a deciding factor for being in Ahmedabad.
What your stack on the competition? who are your competitors? How you are overcoming them?
Some of the major players in the market are Vakilsearch, Indiafilings, Cleartax, etc. Several players are working on disrupting the LegalTech market – some of the major sectors are service providers, software providers to enable legal professional offices, tech platforms for do-it-yourself tools, AI/ML-enabled contract drafting, and case research tools, etc. VakilSearch, ClearTax, IndiaFilings are some of the noticed names in our segment. The market is large and holds space for multiple players. In recent years, due to a fair share of efforts by all large players,
Our USP is our team of professionals who strive to provide the highest quality services and answer customer queries personally. Unlike others who have sales-driven call centers as an extender service, we have Company Secretaries, Chartered Accountants and Lawyers addressing customer queries. So even those who are not our customers yet are given the right information to help them do better. We have a much higher percentage of customer satisfaction, and thanks to that, our word-of-mouth branding is strong. It helps us to lower our acquisition costs and enables us to pass on the advantage of reduced operational costs to our clients.
Is the Startup growing at good phase according to your plans? What are the upcoming plans from your end?
Though Covid 19 has definitely has had an impact, we moved to WFH mode quite early on. Technology has helped shape our deliveries so that we offer a best-in-class CX. We are invested in technologies that help us build our business and deliver a superior customer experience. Since the basic requirement of our business is delivering services online, technology becomes a core component for us. After analyzing the market in LegalTech, Technology has helped us to plug loopholes and bridge gaps in the delivery process and serve our customers better. As we scale, we will continue to invest in technologies that help us shape deliveries better.
I think everyone has some inspiring person in their life and some taglines? who are they, what is their role in your Startup life?
Watching my father run his business, I have witnessed 1st hand the impact an entrepreneur can have on society and people at large. There was a strong inner desire to create something on my own. Having roots to family that has generational legacy of running small businesses, being an entrepreneur was almost a default choice. However, the journey has also been inspired by many - starting from previous employers and co-workers, my encounter with best-in-class eCommerce businesses in California where I spent most of my professional career yet, and in particular all the great and lasting business groups on this planet like Tata and Virgin who cared more about the customer satisfaction over just making money.
What is your experience as an Entrepreneur?
My experience has an entrepreneur has been Phenomenal! You learn about user behavior daily. Initially when you found a start-up, you enthusiastically aspire to serve the biggest businesses, but then you quickly realize that you need to be more realistic in your target clientele, aligned with the problem that the firm is trying to solve. My lifetime lesson is that ‘it’s not bad to be profits driven, as long as you are responsible with the profit’ and since then I always run my enterprise with the vision of making money.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am confident in my vision of being 1 of the leading legaltech companies in India, offering the best-in-class customer experience to clients and developing synergistic partnerships with businesses globally to offer an entire bouquet of services to clients at affordable rates in a fully transparent manner.
What do you suggest people who are interested in starting their own business??
These are exciting times to dream, envision and build – I strongly believe that the Younger generation should aspire to be entrepreneurs for the right reason. Not only to earn money, but to be change-agents, to create lasting impact, to spur employment and grow as persons…thereby resulting in a solid contribution to the national economy. My message to aspiring entrepreneurs is – work very hard, be patient and invest in relationships.