Veratech was short-listed for the prestigious Agami Prize.
We interviewed him the founder Mohit Yadav over email. The goodness is below.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
I am Mohit Yadav, founder of Veratech, a data intelligence organization.
I have been gifted with many superpowers, with my favourite being the ability to gulp down a litre of buttermilk/milk in one go.
Why ‘Veratech’, what does it do, and how? Tell us a bit about your two projects ‘Semantic’ and ‘Explore’.
I had heard a lot about ‘Due Diligence’ in law school but had no ideas as to what an absolute drudgery it was.
Curiosity, thankfully, got the better part of me, and I took the fantastic course on Advanced Corporate Law by Prof. Arjya Majumdar. It was a clinical course and apart from the slogging that we had to go through, it was fun. It is in this course that I sought out to automate it.
I have had some experience of working with tech in the past and decided to loop in my co-founder, Mayank Sharma, and gave him the gist as to how we will become millionaires over the summer break. Two and half years forward, we are living the dream and the journey has been fun so far.
Semantic is our intelligent engine. It is the fastest solution that helps to better understand one’s clients, partners, alliances, and competitors.
In short, you give us the name of any (Indian) company and we can tell you everything about it, not just the things that are there, but also things that aren’t and should be. We can do all that before you reach the interval of your favourite movie. We help with the preliminary due diligence during any transactions and client on-boarding.
Explore is currently under development and in simpler terms is aimed at connecting businesses, seller to buyer, manufacturer to market etc.
Since many of our readers are college-going young people, tell us something about your school/college life.
College was an interesting phase in my life, in the sense that I had more free time than I ever had before and more importantly the liberty to spend it any way I would like to. Most of my first year at NLU Lucknow was spent on binge-watching TV series and building a CLAT prep site called BleedLaw.
After first year, I shifted to JGLS, where I got a bit more serious about academics and life in general. A stint at Akosha led to an active interest in document automation and Kagzaat.com was born.
I spent some time on building on android apps on law subjects which got an amazing response, they are still available online over here.
From my fourth year onwards, all my time and energy were spent on Veratech.
One thing that I really liked about college was the ability to pursue anything on a whim without having to worry about stuff like market size, return on investment and all that goes on in building a business. I have always loved building things and college, especially the supportive ecosystem at JGLS helped me do that.
How has Veratech’s journey been till now?
Whoever said starting up is like a roller coaster ride, couldn’t have been more correct. We have had our fair share of ups and downs. Puking and screaming, as we may be, it is the best.
Now, that we look at the first iteration, we are amazed that somebody actually paid for it.
From a half-baked idea to a product to a service being relied upon by the industry’s best has been our biggest success so far.
The biggest challenge is in terms of identifying what comes next, with innovation being our bread and butter, and with so many ideas to pursue it’s often a heated discussion when it comes to deciding what we should work on next.
How does India’s tech capabilities (manpower and infrastructure) compare with that say in the USA? How do you overcome the obvious limitations?
I don’t think we lag behind the USA in tech capabilities, manpower or infrastructure. The problem is the lack of the right kind of ecosystem and attitude. Innovation is not celebrated in India the same way it is done abroad especially in the legal sector.
In a precedent driven system, a fresh perspective is not always appreciated as the way it should be and that is the biggest problem that keeps us behind. Regulatory hurdle is another issue but things at least on that front are changing for the better.
Please tell us about your team.
Ours is a lean team consisting of myself and my co-founder, Mayank Sharma, a graduate of NIT Allahabad.
We do have a few satellite employees to take care of day to day operations.
Our operation is run entirely online and all of us operate virtually. We do usually have few interns but almost all of them are from tech.
How can law students and young lawyers contribute to your initiative?
We are always innovating alternate ways to do things, we actively seek a fresh perspective. We are coming up with interesting projects that focus on the private equity sector.
We promote research and if you think we can assist in any way possible, be it data collection, analytics or just tech advice, we are always happy to collaborate.
Anybody who has an interest in technology, startups, and either understands compliance or financial numbers can reach out to me at through the website or LinkedIn.
The work does entail a fair bit of slogging, so please don’t apply if you are not up to for it but I would guarantee that it would be one of the most rewarding exercise that you would take during law school.
What’s the future road-map for Veratech?
What we have built is a stack of technology that can add intelligence over a layer of data.
The next step is to improvise the intelligence and expand to more sectors.
Your advice/message for future entrepreneurs, innovators, and change makers.
Ideas are a dime a dozen, nobody will put in the effort to steal your idea. Whenever and wherever possible discuss your ideas with anyone and everyone, you would be surprised as to how some of the most valuable advice comes from where you least expect it.
Also, having a tech co-founder is great, but the relationship works only if you are willing to pull up your socks and meaningfully contribute to the project. Nobody would spend a good part of their life just because you think it can be a million dollar idea.
Which books, movies, and resources (courses/experiences/online tools) have informed or inspired you the most?
My time spent at ‘Learning Python the Hard Way’ and CodeAcademy’s intro course on Python has been the most useful time I have spent on picking up a skill.
I can’t code much but this gave me the ability to understand real life problems and translate them into a language a programmer can understand. I would recommend watching Silicon Valley, not only because it’s funny but also because it encapsulates the spirit of entrepreneurship perfectly.