1. Tell us about yourself
I am Nitin Sudhakar, Founder of ExpertEvidence.Org and a student at National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi. Being in law school, mentored and worked with startups. I started working with Elizabeth-Zion Asia Pacific, a Singapore based company in the aviation sector as their business development associate and was serving as their Chief Operating Officer - India before starting the current legal-tech venture.
2. Can you tell us about your venture ExpertEvidence.Org?
ExpertEvidence.Org has made a tool which helps capture content from the internet including web, social media, chats etc. in evidentiary quality by complying with the local laws and international standards.
People often take screenshots which are at high risk of not being accepted as evidence due to non-compliance with the law and there also exists a probability of tampering through a broken chain of custody.
The Legal Web Archiving tool of ExpertEvidence.Org is the first of its kind from India. We are very focused on Indian laws and standards to give a custom-tailored solution rather than giving a generic solution. The tool is currently being used by the police, lawyers and forensic experts. Since cyber activities are increasing and our work directly helps in the process of availing justice, we get good support from the likes of IIT Mandi.
3. How did the idea for your business come about?
The story of ExpertEvidence.Org started with a fun conversation between my friend who was an engineering student and me. I was counting off the many ways through which screenshots could be made inadmissible in the courts and he was trying to prove me wrong. We came to the conclusion that there was no solution at hand to produce uncontestable content from the internet at a later point in time. Often, it’s deleted or edited by the time the matter reaches court.
This started the investigation for a solution where it was understood that although it’s a matter revolving around laws it could be solved using technology only. Hence, ended up making the Legal Web Archiving tool.
4. What are the challenges you faced till date and presently facing?
There are a lot of challenges you face; it is part of the game you are in. I can understand now why it’s said entrepreneurship is not easy. Overcoming these challenges shows the spirit which you possess.
The interviewer himself, Dr Kalpeshkumar Gupta, is a law teacher working passionately for promoting entrepreneurship in law schools. He would know full well that showing affinity towards such activity is not encouraged even today in some law schools. ExpertEvidence.Org is no stranger to this problem, it too is subject to similar aversions from time to time.
5. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
I think the key force should be my desperation to make my life better than how it is both financially and in terms of the worth that comes with affecting lives so substantially. I got lost in exploring my taste to know what I am passionate about. With every experience, it became more clear and focused.
6. How did you raise funding for your venture?
We are still bootstrapping. My experience with startups made me see startups putting lot of effort to get funded in the initial stages. I set having active users as a prerequisite to try for fundings. It is this that I invested my efforts in. Having done so, I think now is the right time to seek funding for growing exponentially.
7. How do you build a successful customer base?
Companies try to solve someone's problem and if the users are ready to pay for the solution it becomes viable. In our case, it’s the law enforcement which has the highest usage as the number of uses is very high in a single day. So we focused on the police initially to build a customer base.
8. How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
Currently, we are in the initial stages where we directly talk with the concerned authority in the police. Some lawyers and forensic experts call me when they get to know about us either from the media or by word of mouth.
I will have to discover efficient ways for marketing as well as the venture is growing. There is a lot to learn. ExpertEvidence.Org was shortlisted for the Agami Prize when we were in the prototype stage. Sachin, co-founder of Agami after getting to know my experience said: “Now you are turning from an innovator to entrepreneur”. It’s a journey which probably never ends.
9. How do you generate new ideas?
Woah, this is a question which is very similar in nature to “How to become Successful”. I think there is no right, wrong or single line answer. And whatever the answer is it has to be largely filtered and revised when it comes to personal application.
For me, most of the new ideas or thoughts come while I am taking a shower. Maybe it’s because I am relaxed at that time and also not trying anything to generate ideas.
10. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
I am more fascinated by simple tech solving complicated problems and I love those who do this. My liking ranges from Joshua Browder founder of DoNotPay, who made a document drafter to save millions worth of parking tickets to Mustafa, Chief foodie at iD who made vada maker and said people call it innovation but I call it common sense.
We are learning more and more of less and less which makes it harder to solve simple things.
11. What are your ideals?
Do or do not; there is no try.
12. How do you define success?
Success is achieving self-determined goals. When we achieve one goal another comes up, thus this becomes a journey. We often tag someone successful because they have achieved what we set as our goal.
13. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Of course, there are proven principles which could be followed in this journey. If there was a straightforward pattern or formula things would have been much easier. Maybe such formula might come in the future, who knows!
14. What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Uncertainties and challenges. Making, breaking and creating things are quite exciting.
15. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There were moments which reflected the trust and confidence people who are close resides in me and the work I am doing like when my developer decided to drop out of college to work full time on this or a mentor considering to resign the high paying job to grow ExpertEvidence.Org
16. What entrepreneurial tricks have you discovered to keep you focused and productive in your day-to-day busy schedule?
Getting surrounded by creative minds or people you look up to is a simple yet effective hack.
17. Any message for the future entrepreneur
Necessity is the mother of all inventions!
18. Has studying in a prestigious institution helped you in your venture?
Although I have faced many institutional difficulties while working on ExpertEvidence.Org in parallel with my studies, during networking when people get to know I am from a NLU, there is a higher acceptance.
19. What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?
We are quite a young organisation where the culture is still taking shape. The shaping up happens a lot from my previous work experience which taught me not to be a boss but to be a leader.
For more details visit https://www.expertevidence.org/