Founder Interview: Lawctopus.com
Legal Education in India has gained wide popularity, thanks to the doors it opens for diverse and multiple career options after graduation. And, among the many legal entrepreneurs out there, Mr. Tanuj Kalia has been a trendsetter, in that, he started out while at college, and in no time, his organization Lawctopus became the talk of the town amongst the law students in India. Lawctopus is a website exclusively for law students, giving them all they want in one legal platter, be it information about various career opportunities, or be it a platform to voice their opinions, dissenting or otherwise.
Here are a few excerpts from an interview with him:
You started up Lawctopus when you were at college. How did you conceive the idea?
I was freelancing for Legally India (a legal news website) in college and my blog avatar “Legal Poet” too had got fair success.
In my 3rd year at the National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata, I was stricken with chicken pox which left me bed-ridden for around 10-12 days. I had nothing to do, and an idle mind is a funny thing. It was during this period that I thought about creating a ‘website for law students’.
Most of my ‘studenty’ ideas were rejected by Legally India. So that was one ‘push’.
Also, there was this wonderful Orkut community managed by one Prateek Garg of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU), Gandhinagar, on ‘Legal Internships’. I felt collating internship experiences at one place with all the relevant details will be of great use for law students.
In a very short span of time, the website has become a rage amongst the law student community in India. In your opinion, what features & initiatives propelled this growth?
It was the first in its category so we got lucky with that.
Also, we post regular content and have been able to build trust with the law students.
Thirdly, it’s a complete law student website: from internship experiences to opportunities to career advice section. Though a lot still remains to be done!
From where did you get the manpower? How do you generate the revenue?
I convinced four of my friends in NUJS to become the co-founders of the website. Though they are no longer an active part of Lawctopus, Lawctopus wouldn’t have been successful but for their wonderful efforts!
Revenues come through ads and through course subscriptions that we get for law courses providers.
What is your team constitution?
I handle a lot of content, marketing, business development, launching new features and social media.
Neeati Narayan, currently a law student at Symbiosis Law School, Pune, handles a lot of content too and remains busy in keeping the college managers busy.
We are also helped by a team of 80 college managers spread across 50 law colleges in India who help us crowd-source the content.
You have maintained a clean monopoly in this sector, and competitors are only managing to come up with look-alikes. What’s the reason behind this versatility and sustainability of the website?
As I said earlier:
- 1st mover advantage (pure luck)
- Regularity (hard work and passion)
- Completeness (from A to Z)
- Focus (we are for law students only)
The look-alikes amuse me. There are at least 10-12 now. What is surprising and worrying (we’d love to have some good healthy competition) is that they do only what Lawctopus does whereas there is so much else to do!
What are your future plans with regards to the website?
Firstly, we’d like more quality content to be published. Law school news is an area which deserves attention.
Secondly, I’ve been mulling over taking Lawctopus to other countries; but that’s just an idea and not a plan.
There are a few other things which I can’t disclose for now 🙂
One tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Have a basic plan ready. And then START. Don’t wait. After you start, you and your start-up will evolve. I’d never have imagined that Lawctopus would be in this form and shape as it is now.