This Goa-based, women-led startup aims to provide legal help to entrepreneursTanvi Dubey
LawMate, run by Gautami Raiker and Deepika Vasudeva provides business legal services to entrepreneurs and startups across all sectors and industries.
There is more to Goa than just sun, sand and the sea.
With increasing focus on startups, many women in the state are taking the entrepreneurial route.
The recent Goa IT Day, brought many of these women into the limelight. Once such women-led startup LawMate founded in 2016, and run by Gautami Raiker and Deepika Vasudeva, both women in their 20s, hopes to make legal services more accessible to customers.
Legal eagles take flight
Gautami (27) is the Director and CEO while Deepika (22) is the Director and Chief Marketing Officer of LawMate and the Legal Capsule, their latest market offering.
Gautami pursued a Master of Laws in Intellectual Property Rights and is also an Accredited Mediator at Indian Institute of Arbitration and Mediation. In 2013 she was appointed junior advocate to the chamber of senior advocate Prakash Prabhudesai in Goa and in 2014 she joined an LPO to offer legal services to clients in the UK.
“After gaining considerable experience, I joined as Project Coordinator at CIBA, a technology business incubator in Goa where my job was to help startups with financial and legal advice. Due to the exposure, G.R. Kare College of Law, a leading legal educational institute in Goa offered me a job to handle placements and entrepreneurship activities. This was my first step in understanding what entrepreneurship was all about.”
Deepika, on the other hand, is a commerce graduate, who is currently pursuing an MBA in marketing and also a certified course in Digital Marketing. Prior to LawMate, she worked with Chowgule Industries as a sales executive. “I started working at the age of 21 as it was always my vision to be independent and was always looking for practical exposure through work,” she says.
During her with stint with CIBA, Gautami discovered that there was a huge vacuum in the startup space in Goa, as many did not have access to legal help, as most lawyers are involved in civil or property litigations. She found an opportunity in this space and with extensive research, was soon raring to go.
“My focus was to help startups from Goa and neighbouring states through online as well as offline mode. When we say legal, LawMate provides every help that a business requires, right from registration, company secretarial services, IP registration, to legal documentation, and others,” she says.
LawMate is managed by a team of 10 including the duo. “It has been a great learning journey. We are growing rapidly with a rise in number of clients served as well laurels and achievements,” the duo shares.
It has till date addressed over 3,000 entrepreneurs and has 170 startups registered on its platform.
The Legal Capsule
Recently, when Gautami was at the notary office to execute an agreement, she witnessed that citizens faced a problem in getting a sample affidavit or agreement executed.
The duo found a niche requirement that prompted them to launch a new product. LawMate.in now an additional wing of services by way of Do it Yourself legal documents. Called The Legal Capsule, Gautami claims it is India’s first platform with features that include expert advice, stamp paper print, home delivery and Aadhaar based e-sign! This will help save time and also money.
Goa and startups
The State of the Startup Ecosystem Report published by YourStory revealed what makes Goa conducive for startups. Rapidly improving connectivity and physical infrastructure, a supportive state government that's cutting out the red tape and making Goa a startup paradise, clubbed with infrastructure support for startups, responsive policies and better quality of life, makes the state most sought-after. Also Goa was among the first four states in India to implement a Startup Policy.
The young entrepreneurs believe that the support they have received is phenomenal. “From the day we launched, there has been constant motivation to keep adding unique services and how best we can actually make legal affairs simple for people in the country. The Goa government has consistently been in the forefront to encourage young entrepreneurs to do well. The state’s startup policy is sure to attract more women into the ecosystem,” says Gautami.
Challenges in the ecoystem
Though the Goa startup ecosystem is in the nascent stage, the duo believes enough is been done to encourage women. Challenges, however, exist. “I don’t think we base a gender bias. But there are challenges, especially when people believe women must hold a 9 to 5 job or do household work, than opening a business. Considering entrepreneurship as a career option, is seen as not having futuristic value,” says Gautami.
The duo is cognisant of the fact that their primary goal is to not lose focus and consistently provide quality service and be the best.
Gautami believes in having a practical approach to life and career. “Even if there comes a time, when business slows down, we need to work on aspects, which will make it better. Sometimes, difficult times are actually a test of how strong you can hold to emerge successful.”