INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Sustainable Business Practices
Vinayak Burman, Managing Partner at Vertices Partners tells us how the Mumbai-based boutique law firm specializes in delivering with excellence.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vinayak Burman: All good, thanks. Personally, the pandemic has helped us to focus on things that mattered a lot but were usually overlooked in the journey of building an institution.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Vertices Partners.
Vinayak Burman: After leading the Private Equity and Venture Capital Practice at some of the leading law firms in the country, I co-founded Vertices Partners in 2016. Archana, Amit, and I wanted to create a workspace where lawyers could do what lawyers do but with the heart and honesty that many believe this industry lacks. We wanted to create a difference not only in the lives of our clients but also in our team members.
How does Vertices Partners innovate?
Vinayak Burman: With an unwavering focus on a holistic approach to our work, innovation is a part of our DNA at Vertices Partners. Today’s business environment, like everything else, is dynamic, and that is an understatement. A cookie-cutter or even an ‘ask and answer’ approach does not cut it. Given the field we operate in, we have to be proactive and ensure that our clients make the best business decisions on top of taking sound legal measures.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Vinayak Burman: We capitalized on the opportunistic growth pathways presented by the pandemic as the relevance of certain categories gained importance under the challenges posed by the restrictions on daily movement. These include Technology companies in various sectors, including EdTech. For instance, Byju’s Whitehat Jr transaction of US $ 300 mn. Other deals of prominence included Finova Capital fundraise of USD 35 million by Sequoia and Faering Capital, DeHaat Series C round of fundraising of USD 30 million from multiple investors, Teachmint Technologies deal of USD 3.5 mn, Pickrr Technologies’ deal of USD 4 million, and Sindhuja Microcredit deal of USD 8.9 million approx., SUGAR Cosmetics series C fundraising of USD 21 million approx., Acquisition of Fitternity by Curefit, ChrysCapital investment in Corona Remedies in deal size of INR 700 crore approx., to name a few.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Vinayak Burman: Conscientious decision-making is at the heart of our business at Vertices Partners. For instance, while we see almost every business investing in plush real estate, we just weren’t convinced about that kind of expenditure, and our decision sprung out of conscientious decision making. The pandemic attested to our policy for sustainability. Furthermore, it turned out to be a critical factor that allowed us to not only sustain the litigation team to the extent possible in the times of the pandemic but also focus on tangible and intangible investment in Human Capital and build on the happiness quotient for everyone at Vertices Partners. These include wellbeing sessions for our team members, customized retention strategies, and so on. We were also able to gear resources towards capitalizing on the opportunities related to the corporate practise as presented by the pandemic. We believe that this is one of the reasons our efforts paved the way when Vertices Partners was enlisted in the top firms in PE & VC and Corporate Commercial practices by Forbes Legal Powerlist 2020.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Vinayak Burman: At Vertices Partners, we have a client-centric approach. This is evidenced in our 3 core values, namely Proactive, Pedigree. and Performance. All of these values stem from my personal belief in nurturing a culture of quick turnaround time, nurturing a legacy of interesting work and roles, and producing high-quality work for clients at all times. On top of that, I also believe in a partners’ driven approach. Consequently, at Vertices Partners, we work with the team and beyond. Being sector-agnostic, we are always ready and equipped for interesting work across the board. This ensures experience, which also ensures sound, well-rounded advice to our clients. And that’s exactly what success means at the firm – our clients turning into our friends. This culture of work helps us inculcate a culture of holistic engagement for healthy solutions to our clients. My philosophy stems from the dream of ensuring a healthy ecosystem of businesses in India. This dictates Vertices Partners’ approach to the negotiation of arriving at the best solution for all. At Vertices, we operate with the desire to be a part of the solution rather than the problem, for the entrepreneur, and ultimately, for the larger ecosystem. Performing for optimum results, instead of being a numbers’ firm, we lead the firm to be a quality firm. Thus, at Vertices Partners, acquaintances become repeat clients and then friends.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Vinayak Burman: No
Your final thoughts?
Vinayak Burman: Entitlement is the death of the sustainable business. If each and every single part of an entity of a business were to ask oneself, “What value is it that I bring to the table?” the business world, and by its extension, the world at large, will be a better place.
Ever since Vertices Partners came into its inception, we have received top-notch awards and recognitions of national and international prestige. While we are very grateful for all the laurels, we truly believe that our guiding principle is to remain focused on being fundamentally value-driven to all our stakeholders. Stakeholders include our team members at the core. We know that any intangible investment we can make to strengthen the happiness quotient for the Vertices Family will provide a strong and resilient foundation for its long-term sustainability.
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