Chart Your Roadmap



ARCHANA KHOSLA MOTIVATES YOU TO CHART YOUR ROADMAP

Archana Khosla has journeyed from nurturing a dream to realizing a career. Her triumphant brushes with entrepreneurship, offer insights and solutions on taking the plunge, making for an exciting and motivational read.

 

Discovering a career path:

Belonging to a family, which has been a part of the armed forces and given the peripatetic nature of military life, my life while growing up felt nothing short of nomadic, always in a constant flow of events.

Our heroes were not the Marvel comics and DC universe characters but rather the real-life soldiers. In our schools the names of our houses reflected the names of various Generals and Field Marshals. This itself, set out my mind-set of pragmatism over theory, which today has become my motto in my professional journey, as well.

I was always a fan of analyzing and interpreting issues, I also started realizing that being a lawyer means a great amount of power- the power to help people, using nothing but your mind. However, I was aware that choosing a career in a traditional male bastion would be seen as a violation of stereotypical expectations of women. Yet, my passion for the profession with the encouragement from family made me take the plunge.

 

Switching gears to entrepreneur:

As a first-generation lawyer, the journey of starting off in the genre of litigation, in the High Court of Delhi and Supreme Court of India, to moving on to leadership roles in corporate law was rather interesting. Specializing in the field of private equity and venture capital practice, provided me with the opportunity to advise several entrepreneurs.

During the course of my professional journey there were several times I felt the burning desire of starting my own law firm but it always seemed like a distant, unachievable dream. But somewhere down the line, this desire became stronger. Be it the infectious energy of my entrepreneur clients, the monotony of a routine job or the enthusiasm to create my own corporate culture. I realized that I possessed the skills and desires that may suit me better to be self-employed, which is how I will make a difference, create jobs and feel best about myself.

In 2016, I decided to give in to my entrepreneurial dream and founded VERTICES PARTNERS, a boutique law firm, along with my husband and other co-founding partners.

 

Chin-Ups and challenges:

Growing to a thirty-member team in a span of less than two and a half years has been an ever-fulfilling journey. We were fortunate to be ranked by leading league tables such as Venture Intelligence, VC Circle, IBLJ, and RSG in the Top Law Firms of India for PE and VC Practice and were also awarded the Debutant Law Firm of the year.

Building everything from scratch has been grappling. Attracting the right talent and retaining it was another challenge. Be it the constant concentration on the cash flow, the handling of routine administration, the pressure of servicing your clients or the pressure of hitting your milestones, it can all be quite daunting at times.
There are many moving parts and you can get burnt out very quickly, so it is important to pace yourself. Belief in yourself, your aims and your abilities, only strengthens.

 

On being a woman entrepreneur:

While I never let gender be a defining factor in whatever I do, we cannot take away the fact that while it is believed that gender discrimination or sexism is a thing of the past, I feel that it still subsists. As a female entrepreneur in a male dominated industry, earning respect is a constant struggle. But it is important to stay positive as I believe you are only limited by what you think you are.  

In fact, during my close association and interaction with fellow women entrepreneurs, I realize that the scalability proportion of some of them, is restricted, as more often than not they let their insecurities keep them from dreaming big, often go through moments of self doubt, but unlike a man, women wait for perfection before starting or scaling up.

 

On work-life balance:
In this ruthless unrelenting pace of corporate life, balancing family with work commitments is a struggle for both men and women.

My life, during pregnancy and now with a two-month old child has been overwhelming-an emotional roller coaster ride. In spite of arranging for a well-planned ecosystem in place, between the constant juggling between diapers and documents, the feeling of not being able to meet expectations, at both fronts, is what I have to fight on an everyday basis. 

Being an entrepreneur and a mother are the two most rewarding and satisfying experiences. Working to achieve success, while also growing my family is something I cherish. Seeing my two-month old son come to me when I get back from work is exhilarating. The intangibles are incomparable to anything so beautiful.

As they say - “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once”.

 

 

Author Profile
Archana is a Founder Partner of VERTICES PARTNERS, a boutique Law Firm based out of Mumbai, India which specialises in PE, VC, Start-Up Advisory, Corporate Finance, Disputes and White-Collar Practice. She has been a mentor to several start-ups across various and also takes a keen interest in supporting women entrepreneurs.

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