CAREER INTERVIEW: Javed Rafi (from Jamia Millia Islamia) on Founding LetsComply, Starting-up Biztal, a Digital Marketing Co.

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Interview by Kanchan Yadav, our campus leader from South Calcutta Law College, Kolkata.

Please introduce yourself to our readers.

I belong to a very small town in Amethi distt. in UP. Born in a middle class family, I was always encouraged to do a respectable and permanent job. That often means climbing entrepreneurial ladder is NOT always acceptable in my culture.

However, my eventful entrepreneurial journey started after a month-long decision when I decided to quit a ‘respectable and permanent job’. Besides this, I am a passionate photographer, a writer and an IPR and Consumer lawyer.

Before graduating in 2014 from the Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia, I started my professional writing journey when my first article titled “The Untold Story of Hidden Victims” was published on a portal in 2013, and that went quite popular among the masses.

Soon, I took a charge of Project Manager of that portal. Since, then, I have published several articles on Human Rights issues, and even I got a chance to work as an intern at Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi, and attended several National and International Conferences on Human Rights in India.

In 2015, I joined Tapzo (formerly known as Akosha) as a Legal Associate. Due to lay off in the company, I started working at Juris NextGen Law Offices as a Legal Associate. Soon after the joining, I was offered to take up the position of Founding Member of LetsComply (a sister company of Juris NextGen).

In 2016, I left LetsComply and launched my first Digital Marketing Company, Biztal. We are currently working on some other business models, and soon we will roll out them in the market.

What motivated you to take up Law?

Believe it or not, I didn’t really know that I was going to opt for Law as my career option after I completed my school education. My Maternal aunt – Prof. Najma Amin, is my admirer. She advised me to pursue BA.LLB. (Hons), thinking that I would do better in the realm of law and I am very blessed that I followed her advice sincerely.

Even after her retirement, she is still engrossed in her academic work in the field of Psychology, and I often discuss things with her before taking any crucial decision of my life. She is not only a great Academician but, also, a constant learner.

There is a wide range of scope in the profession of law. With the reforms in our legal system, this scope is widened now. Not only this, a lawyer is being seen at the pinnacle of his or her career in the business field too.

According to me, a law graduate has knowledge of mostly all the fields that exists in our society. He or she requires to go through health laws, space laws, cyber laws and Human Rights laws, etc., that paves the way for some good career opportunities for him or her.

When I joined law, the scope for a Corporate lawyer was at boom. Hence, there were innumerable factors that helped me to take up law as a career.

 

You were the Founding Member of LetsComply. Tell us your job role at LetsComply.

While serving as a Founding Member of LetsComply, I worked with the Director of LetsComply (former CFO of Barista).

Apart from leading a team of IPR Associates, I was handling operations strategies for the Tech. & SEO/SMO team. Also, I was a manager of the Content Marketing team.

The best part was when I led a project for Fashion TV India’s “F – Bar & Lounge” (one of the clients of LetsComply). The project was based on the projection of “Bar and Lounge” trends in the F&B sector.

The research work sought to determine the factors for making investments by Fashion TV India on its several Bar & Lounge units across various Metropolitan cities in India. India’s Food and Beverages (F&B) Industry was predicted to expand at an average annual pace of 24% to reach Rs. 3.8 trillion in sales by the year ending 31st March, 2017.

An analysis was also, done in the market segment of Bar and Lounges in India, competitors in the PBCL market, purchasing power of the people of  different classes in India, liquor consumption in major states, and factors affecting why bar and lounges are trending in India, etc.

Moreover, other major projects included inward FDI trends in Hong Kong, and ESOPs in Startups, etc. I was a part of LetsComply for a period of 1 and a half year. Later, I quit LetsComply to start my own company, Biztal.

Please tell us about your company Biztal. What is the nature of work Biztal deals with?

Biztal is a Digital Marketing Company based in New Delhi. It has a wide range of expertise, and experience in digital marketing.

The company digitizes all forms of brands, providing them an interactive experience with their clients by creating marketing solutions that tailored to attract customers as well as helping customers connect more deeply with their brands. We have various operations in other States too.

Biztal ensures that its clients achieve exposure, have their visibility and is able to generate leads by providing services like Graphic Designing, Content Strategy, Brand Strategy Audit, Web Development, PPC Management, Video Marketing and Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media Optimization, etc.

Also, the company helps them to improve their Public Relations in a way that benefit them in their future projects.

No doubt, there are many digital marketing companies in the market, but, what makes Biztal a unique brand is that we have a strong and result-oriented process of work. We work to satisfy the client in the best possible manner.

Tell us about your influencer.

I am just following the footsteps of Eric Ries who is a famous American Entrepreneur and Blogger.

Ries’ philosophy is based on the Japanese concept of lean manufacturing, which seeks to increase value-creating practices and eliminate wasteful practices. Likewise, we, at Biztal, are trying to apply a methodology based on the same principles of Ries.

Also, Ries in his popular book, ‘The Lean Startup’, believes that “Startup success is not a consequence of good genes or being in the right place at the right time. Startup success can be engineered by following the right process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.

What do you think potential recruiters look for in law students?

Let’s start with the importance of Resume. It is your resume that makes the first impression in an interview. Make it concise, clear and in one page or maximum two pages (except academic CVs). Yes, you read it right. No employer is going to listen to a story of your career background.

Secondly, it is very important to keep it in mind that recruiters always read your internship experience thoroughly. You have to be ready for the questions which are related to your work during your internship programmes. Try avoiding a contrived situation by NOT exaggerating your statements.

Thirdly, your legal awareness, technical legal ability, good communication and presentation skills, etc. are very important factors that would really help you in getting a good job. There are some recruiters who look for creativity, enthusiasm and determination too.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career?

The biggest challenges I faced were in 2015 and 2016.

In October 2015, I had to choose between joining a US based company in Noida, which was offering me a smart package, and my previous company, in which I had an option to learn entrepreneurship. I took a period of 1 week to make a decision, and I opted for the latter.

Later, in 2016, I took a bold decision by leaving two integral job roles that is. as a Legal Associate and a Founding Member, but, I knew this decision would position me well in the market. It was a time of incredible stress and self-reflection.

After taking this difficult decision to move forward with Biztal, it turned out to be quite fruitful than I had predicted. An app-based Healthcare startup became our first client. Soon, several renowned Doctors in Delhi NCR availed our digital marketing services and helped us to move forward in the social arena. 

What advice would you provide for budding lawyers?

Simply, I would like to advise you – “Practice your skills, experiment with your ideas, and execute them into action”.

Don’t let your dream slip away from your hand. It is only you who is the “Master of your fate”. Set your aim, and nail it by doing hardwork. A good lawyer never retires, no matter he or she is an entrepreneur, writer, activist or a politician. So, keep reading and writing good stuff.

 

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