Wednesday, December 07, 2011


GAViSTA - In Sanskrit means " One who takes a dip in the Ocean of infinite knowledge and rises "

I was inspired by a company named "Payoda - rain bearing cloud(in Sanskrit)", its a start-up which provides cloud services. So I thought, why not do some research and come up with a good name for our start-up. We spoke to a few Sanskrit scholars and finally made a list of names in Sanskrit which has some relevance to the kind of work we do! Here are the list of names we shortlisted - Gavista, Gabhasti, Gambharam, Gadhita, Gambheera...
I personally liked GAViSTA, which is short, crisp and has a beautiful meaning!


  • I've been told by quite a few people that its difficult to pronounce EiNSTASOFT, some even went to the extent of asking me if it was a tongue twister!! 
  • There have been plans of late to register as a Private Ltd. Company and we heard from several people that its hard to get the name you want. 
  • Being an Indian Start-up, and Sanskrit being a integral part of our nation's cultural and spiritual heritage, we considered using a unique sanskrit name. 

To those who asked if something was wrong with the company or the team, well, whats with the pessimism guys? :D Thank you for the concern but things are going good and the change in name is just another step forward for us!

The start of yet another phase for our start-up - hope this change brings us good luck and fortune!!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

iMiss you Steve

 Every software company and every software employee survives because of Steve Jobs and wozniak's vision of building a home computer! if it wasn't for Steve, we would have lived in Stone age!
Steve jobs is the reason why I was able to get motivated and start a company on my own without anyones moral support!
Running a startup isn't a joke, if there were no folks like Steve, it would be highly difficult to get inspiration and inner drive to Think Different. The world has lost a brilliant thinker.
 I still remember when I was in college, where things around me were not so motivating to start a startup, Steve Jobs quotes taught me everything.It taught me how to start think different, How to develop a innovative product, How to sell/market it. That too in India where academic results matter a lot more than your LIFE ;), its hard to go against a system to start something on your own.                                                                                                              
“what really gets you is the way he talks — there's something about the rhythm of his speech and the incredible enthusiasm he conveys for whatever it is he's talking about that is just infectious.” - Alan (Journalist)
The biggest lesson is Steve's RDF - Reality Distortion Field. Jobs has mastered RDF.  I am still trying to get a pinch of RDF! I badly wanted to see Steve on stage in one of the Apple Dev Conferences, that was my dream! I even had saved money to goto USA just for Steve Jobs Keynote. As soon as I got up today, saw notifications on my iPhone! For a moment my brain was blank!
Well I can go on and on talking about Steve! He is and will be my SuperHero!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

iOS enrollment woes

We all know how Apple is hellbent on perfection in all aspects. Recently I wanted to register for iOS developer enrollment which costs $99 a year. I followed the instructions in and at the end of my enrollment, immediately I saw a screen which said, "Please download the purchase form, fill necessary details and fax it to Apple" WTF! I thought this was highly ridiculous..why couldnt they have any provision for online payment? Frustrated and reluctant to fax my bank account details, I  thought I would ask my friend in USA to register using his credit card. He was able to register and paid the amount using his US credit card and Apple even debited $102 with tax from his credit account.

I was relieved that it was finally done..Suddenly that night I recieved a mail from Apple saying "There is some problem with your identity, we are unable to match the credit card details with your iOS enrollment details so please FAX us identity verification form with Notary's Seal and Signature on it"
Aargh! I wanted to get the registration done at any cost, so I filled all the details in the identity verfication form, went to a notary , got it signed and sealed and even faxed it immediately.

Again that night, I received a mail from Apple saying, you will have to mail us photo identification (photocopy of your passport or Driver's license)! Without further ado, I dialed 1800-MY-APPLE from Skype. After a series of questions I was put on call to someone named Latisha from Apple Customer Support! I told her whatever had happened until then. She said it was against Apple policy to activate iOS Developer Program if the details of the credit card holder and iOS enrollment details dint match.

She also said, Please mail us your enrollment ID with Refund as subject  and our customer support will get back to you!

 A lesson learnt, I never bothered to see this before I registered for the program  - .  I just googled and found that in a few forums they mentioned that it was possible using someone else's credit card and was misguided!

So finally, I created a new Apple ID, filled in details which matched my billing and credit card details. I downloaded the purchase form and faxed it to Apple.
They mailed me with iOS activation code and a link within 4 days. Finally, I have access to iOS Developer Resources!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How Corruption affects Start-ups in India

I am re-surfacing on the blog scene after a really long time and mainly because I got some inspiration to write this post after the Anna Hazare anti corruption movement. We all know how corruption is the root cause of most problems in our society. From an Indian start-ups point of view here is the gist of how corruption can be a huge pain :

Consider a startup has to be incorporated as a Partnership Firm or Proprietorship Firm or Private Ltd. Company. It all starts with the NAME that you choose for your start-up. If you want your chosen name to be incorporated, the Govt. sometimes reject the name even if it is unique without providing any valid reason as to why it was rejected. There is no transparency right from the start!

To register as commercial entity, dont even bother entering the Govt. office without a bulging wallet if you are not willing to wait for long periods of time, nobody will listen to you unless you start slipping money into their hands , starting from the attender till the officer.

The worst part is probably selling your product to the Govt. If you are a Rich Dad's kid, then consider it done. They wont even look at the product, you can even by-pass the tender process. They wont even call other companies for tender. They will only form new companies which have no existence except on the letterhead that is signed by random people.

An Indian Start-up is almost expected to consider bribe as a part of their investment and then develop a business plan.
I am not just cribbing about our system, I am just happy that there is something happening in the country, A great movement that we all are a part of and actively participating in. I am dead against corruption after facing tricky situations in government offices and I am glad to see kids and adults alike getting involved in the anti corruption movement and eager to learn about the steps that can be taken to curb it.

I am sure there are a few non-corrupt Govt Officials, but they all are interconnected with people who are corrupt. With LokPal Bill being passed, we are atleast at the liberty to sue anyone directly with no intervention whatsoever and with a fair hearing and trial if they are found to be against the law.

Hoping for better times ahead -  communities,entities and individuals receiving funds and benefits which they are entitled to!

LokPal Bill

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Uncut" version of Bangalore Mirror Article - "The law on a screen near you"

Tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey. Is this your first start up? [What's the status on others, if any]

Yes, this is our first startup, but we have previously worked on several ideas as students. We have tried our hands on ideas related to Speech Recognition, Carpooling and then on developing a NLP Search Engine.

How did LegalCrystal come into existence? [People-founders (full names pls), Idea, when it was founded (month, year), the 'tipping point' that made you feel that this is something you had to get out and do, how long did it take to firm up the idea]

Bangalore Mirror - February 21st 2011 - Page 6
LegalCrystal – the idea sprouted when I noticed my mother, Smt. Rekha Prasad – Advocate, High Court of Karnataka who blogs about several legal issues, referring to humungous books which have listings of judgments.   In these books, Judgments are bifurcated into different subjects or based on different law points. That’s when I realized that a lot of time and effort was being wasted by numerous advocates and judges in the process of searching the precedents suitable to their requirements and in this process  the main issue in focus was sidelined. Being a technology enthusiast, I figured it would be interesting and challenging to develop a search engine as easy to use as Google for Indian Law.
We began our research in March 2008 and discovered several other players in this market. We had several discussions with their customers (law firms, individual advocates) on the pros and cons of the products they were using. Most of them were frustrated with the products and they pointed out some features which would be really useful for them.
After analyzing the information we received, my friend Phaneendra Kaddi (Co-Founder and the brain behind the coding) and I strategized on what we could build and chalked out the basic outline of our product. Soon after that we started working on it. We started by building the search engine, then we structured the data, and several beta versions later, the end product was what we had dreamt of.  We founded the company on February 28 2010 and launched the product on June 21st 2010 at High Court of Karnataka, Bangalore. 

What is LegalCrystal's 'elevator pitch'?

The highlight of our product is the simple and effective search feature. Its hassle free and an advocate/user does not require any training to use the software.  By keying in a phrase, our product retrieves judgments pertaining to Supreme and All High Courts related to that phrase in just one click. Any Advocate who is looking for a judgment supporting any "Point of Law" can search and research in one single window, and has access to the complete Library at the tip of his finger.

Who are the primary users for the service? There are similar services online, what is the differentiation? How have users responded to the service? How have you marketed the service? Any insights you'd like to share?

The primary users for this service are advocates/judges all over India. There are three segments to this Market – advocates/judges, Law Firms and Companies/Businesses. LegalCrystal serves the need of all these three segments. We will be releasing a Corporate Version sometime in April 2011 with additional features and tools, bound to make the job of the law fraternity easier.

We are a rapidly growing startup and at the moment, we have covered different parts of Karnataka. We have visited District Courts and the respective Taluk Courts. We usually fix a date, present our product and interested advocates or Judges contact us for subscriptions. We have covered High Court of Karnataka and bar associations in Kolar, Mysore, Mulbagal, Chintamani, Chickballapur, Hoskote and Malur. Our software is also being used by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Karnataka Judicial Academy which is currently the training academy for judges.

The Main Differentiator would be the efficient search and ease of navigation. We have a panel of advocates who write Case Analysis, Headnotes for every judgment (Headnote – Gist of a judgment, User can get a glimpse of what the judgment says by reading the Headnote). We also manually format the judgment to increase readability. So far, we have received a lot of good feedback from our clients and it has motivated us to enhance the product further and also to consider international judgments ahead.

Is there a business model to this service? If so, what is it?

LegalCrystal is based on a yearly subscription and an annual fee. At the end of each year, the user can subscribe for the latest updates (Latest Judgments, Acts, and Amendments). The online version is updated on a daily basis and the offline version, once every quarter.

What are the trade offs you've had to do for making this work'? [Personal/professional]

Phaneendra and I started working on this product when we were students, while we were focusing on this, we faced a huge challenge in convincing our parents and the people around us regarding starting a company of our own.
The biggest challenge we faced was to successfully execute our idea and reach out to potential customers, with no prior work experience! It took us almost 6 months to get LegalCrystal running properly and when we finally did that it spurred us to go further.
It requires tremendous amount of effort and articulation to convince lawyers and while pitching our idea to them we mainly focused on “differentiators”.

Do you have a mentor/ investor? (Names please and whether they're mentors or investors)

Chief Mentors – My revered Parents who are advocates themselves, D. L. Prasad & Smt. Rekha Prasad. I would also like to mention here the people who have come out of the way in order to help me to run the company and sell the product – Mr.V.K.Haridas Bhatt, chartered accountant Mr.Chakra Pani / Mr.Krishna Murthy.
Investors – my parents, my uncle – D.N. Badarinath and Phaneendra's uncle Mr. Subbanna.

What are your plans for the immediate future? [Service evolution, funding/revenue model, break even, marketing]

In the near future, we are looking to expand our reach to advocates in every other state in India. Of course, usage of the software is not limited to advocates; even laymen could use LegalCrystal to find solutions to their legal issues.
Our main focus is innovation, brainstorming on new projects is an ongoing process in our startup.

So what's the entrepreneurship end game for you - fame, money or the adrenaline rush?

Entrepreneurship is all about the adrenalin rush for us. Any radical person would disagree with the risk of starting a company without prior experience of any kind. Its pure passion to work on new things which drives us.