Where were you born?
I was born in Los Angeles, California after my parents immigrated to the US from India. My parents always pushed me to be the best I could and as a result I got straight As in high school and then went to UCLA for undergrad and Loyola Law School. My father was an engineer turned business person and he built and still runs a very successful clothing business. I had a similar route. I started out as a lawyer and then turned to business, mainly because my dad, being entrepreneurial, gave me the idea of starting a legal outsourcing business as he saw that business process and IT outsourcing business had been very successful. I should have known from when I was a young child that I had running a business in my blood – I used to charge kids to play with video games my dad used to buy me from Japan!
What did you do before your current role?
I practiced as an attorney for 5 years at Nossaman and then Fulbright Jaworski (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in Los Angeles. I received a lot of practical experience as a young lawyer, doing trials and attending hearings. However, the passion to become a partner at a law firm 14 years ago wasn’t there, yet I wanted to stay in the legal industry. So, I started a company called LawScribe in 2004. It was a pioneer company in the legal process outsourcing space. I sold it and shortly thereafter became a co-founder in Elevate in 2012.
Describe your current job.
As Vice President of Legal Services at Elevate, I work with a team that designs the solutions we build for our customers. I love my job because I get to listen to what customers want and help them solve their challenges. I work closely with Fortune 500 law departments to help them improve efficiency, quality and outcomes through consulting, services and technology. I feel like an artist as I listen to their challenges and craft solutions, incorporating technology, global resources and optimized processes. We are fortunate to be able to do this at Elevate because we control our destiny (not owned by venture capital).
How did you get started doing this?
As a practicing lawyer I thought there had to be a better, more efficient and cost effective way for companies to obtain legal services and for law firms to operate their businesses. So, I created a model that, at that time, brought efficiencies through labor arbitrage. Of course, that was LPO 1.0 and now as a law company we are able to more effectively and holistically meet our customer’s evolving needs.
... there is nothing more motivating than to have a customer feel like you have helped them solve their challenges.
Why do you feel this work matters?
I get to work with people who value our teams and the partnership we bring to them. They see us as trusted advisors and there is nothing more motivating than to have a customer feel like you have helped them solve their challenges. Companies and law firms are looking at how to perform and manage legal services better and we help them do that.
Describe a moment you are proudest of in your career.
I am proud of the fact that I took a risk in 2004 to start a company in an industry which didn’t exist and to now see how I was instrumental in bringing the change we see in the legal industry. I am so proud of what we are building at Elevate and it is all the culmination of learnings and hard work over the last 14 years.