At BrilliantRead Media, we always strive to bring to our community some of the finest stories from the entrepreneurship world. As part of this endeavour, we invited a passionate entrepreneur – Esha Sanas for an exclusive interview with us. She is an Entrepreneur, Leader, Corporate Lawyer and Legal Consultant. Esha is the Founder of Sanas and Associates. Let’s learn more about her inspiring journey, her background and her advice for our growing community!
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with Esha:
Talk us through your background and your journey as a women entrepreneur, please;
I did my schooling at St. Mary’s School, Pune, pursued law from Navmal Firodia Law College in Pune and further pursued my masters in International Commercial Law from the prestigious Cardiff University, United Kingdom.
I am one of those who enjoy changes and gets motivated by challenges. Changes and challenges have always been the driving force of my ambition and I always work hard to achieve my ambitions.”
I have been very passionate about establishing my own law practice. During my college days, I interned under Solicitor Saira Master and was truly inspired by her. She mentored me and encouraged me to utilize my full potential as early as the 2nd year of college.
Even when I started my own practice it was Saira Ma’am that objectively enlightened me on the pros and cons of establishing one’s own practice.
After completing my master’s I moved to Mumbai where I worked as a Real Estate and Corporate Lawyer in various firms including the Tier 1 firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas.
What attracts you towards entrepreneurship instead of a corporate career?
I chose to start my own practice because I always believed that I was more than just a Corporate Lawyer and I have the potential to be one of the success stories despite being a first-generation lawyer.
I also believe that there are 2 types of people in this world, one who works to build an Empire for others and one who works to build their own Empire. I am the latter one and I understood this early on.”
‘Sanas and Associates’ is such a unique name; talk us through more about it, please. Our audience would also love to know what kind of problem you are solving?
When it came to naming my practice I see a lot of young lawyers choosing names that include the word “law” or “legal” in a unique way to stand out.
So for me choosing a unique name for my practice was not difficult at all. I went with my Surname and after all, I am building my empire. It might as well be named after me.
What does your company specialize in?
‘Sanas and Associates’ is a full-service law firm. Our Vision is to provide exceptional services to our clients and we endeavour to strengthen relationships with our clients by providing uncomplicated and comprehensible advice.
We have been advising on a variety of Real Estate Law matters and the firm has represented clients in various conventional transactions involving lands, commercial, residential, industrial and retail properties.”
We also have an established Private Client Practice where we advise High Net worthy Individuals, Young Entrepreneurs, Family Offices and promoters on their private wealth, estate planning and family disputes.
We have vast experience in advising new businesses, start-up companies and new ventures in India on the corporate laws and regulations. We provide an array of services from the pre-start-up phase to raising finance and ongoing assistance.
During this COVID-19 crisis, what are the measures you have undertaken to continue your business without disruption?
Legal practice has had a variety of changes during these Covid times. Not only the advocates but also the clients have evolved. As my practice has been established during COVID, each measure is taken to ensure that the model aligns with the challenges of the pandemic.
My team has been working remotely, where we don’t need to do physical meetings. Not only the team but also our Clients from across India have encouraged us to hold meetings and discussions with them remotely.
Every aspect of the business is online and tech-enabled to ensure automation as much as possible while maintaining client confidentiality and satisfaction.
How do you manage to keep going despite the challenges? What drives you?
“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.” – Hector Garcia Puigcerver, Ikigai.
No matter what challenges and hurdles fall my way, I know my reason to live, grow and achieve.
So when the consequences and situations are not favourable I know I have to continue to do what I have to do even if at that moment it may not yield any result, all hard work eventually pays off.
Who do you believe has been the biggest source of motivation in your daily life?
My life changed around when my pillar my husband Alok Pandey walked into my life. Alok always motivated me and pushed me to do more, be more and live more. He always tells me “Believe. Become.” He strongly believes that I am meant for great things and ensures that I put in my hard work and I don’t slack.
Alok has always ensured that I stay focused on my career and has motivated me. When I told him that I want to leave my cushy job at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas to start my own practice, while I was 4 months pregnant, he was immediately on board, he told me that it was a very courageous decision and was a great time to exit the Corporate cause if I didn’t then I would end up becoming comfortable in the job and owning my practice would remain a dream.”
Alok is my strength, if he had not been there I would not have had the courage to take the leap to start my own practice. People called me a fool for having quit my job to start my own practice while I was pregnant, giving up a hefty compensation, paid maternity and an upcoming promotion. It was Alok who stood by my radical decision and believed that before the baby arrived, my practice would have a firm footing.
Now that my practice has been growing, our baby Daivi is here and we adopted a bullmastiff Gabbar, I understand how Alok foresaw me thriving under all changes. Also, both my family and my friends have also been very supportive.
What are some of the strategies that you believe have helped you grow as a person?
There are a few:
(1) My senior at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas always told me to be mindful. That has really stayed with me being mindful.
(2) RRR – Read, Research and Re-read. Smart people never think they know everything, they always are reading more and learning more. This especially applies to the law practice.
(3) Organization – One’s efficiency reduces drastically if they are not organized and are unable to manage their time. For me, I spend some time every day ensuring that my work, my files, my workspace and my schedule are all organized.
(4) Ability to take risks & venture into uncharted territories.
In your opinion, what are the keys to success?
I will say it straight that there are many factors but if you really have to have the key elements then to me these are the ones:
> Hard work – There is no other way to get ahead. The more you work hard the more luck you get.
> LifeLong learning and lots of reading
> Positive Attitude
> And having faith in yourself to achieve and grow.
What advice would you give students and young professionals who want to have a successful career?
Start early, from day 1 think of yourself as an advocate and divulge in the depths of the law. Read, research, learn, re-read and re-learn. The thing about law most students and young advocates forget is that it is forever changing. One needs to be updated and read the laws and the case laws and dig deeper for answers.
There is a reason that it’s called Law “Practice”, the more you practice it the more you move close to perfection. Most students and young advocates make up an opinion of certain fields of practice and may either choose a field of law or discard a field of law based on myths about compensation packages, trending laws, etc. One may, however, be a natural at a field of law she may have discarded.
In the initial years, it is best to practice in the fields of law of your interests and capabilities to see what is your calling and what is it that one is good at because confining yourself to a certain field will limit the growth curve.
There is so much to be shared, but this conversation limits how much I can communicate on this platform. Students and young professionals regularly reach out to me on LinkedIn with their specific queries.