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“GenNext lawyers break away from large firms to take start-up route, banking on niche expertise”

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Mani, who was general counsel of Infosys, said his options were to either play a typecast role for the rest of his working life or to venture out. “I became head legal at Infosys at the age of 33. By 37, I was questioning, ‘What next?'” he said.

However, unlike lawyers leaving law firms, Mani and his partners had no captive clients. “Initially it was quite hard to get business,” said Mani.

It was the brand stamp of Infosys that helped open doors. During their tenure, Infosys’ revenues grew nearly 100-fold, and the team had significant local and international experience in deals that had been forged, clauses that were added over the years and typical pitfalls in contracts. More than anyone else they were aware of the need to forge tight outsourcing agreements, keeping in mind privacy and data protection, intellectual property commercialisation and licensing, and dispute resolution.

That is precisely what MCM — or, Mani Chengappa Mathur — does. It has annual revenues short of Rs 5 crore, and spends about 60 per cent of that on operations.