Mr. Rahul Manchanda is an experienced lawyer with decades of experience in legal practice. He is the founder and CEO of Manchanda Law firm, which offers legal services for criminal cases, immigration, and family law. He is well educated and holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology, and distinguished himself in the chemical and biological sciences. Throughout his career, he has worked for one of the largest law firms in Manhattan, where is he focused on asbestos litigation. In addition, Mr. Manchanda also has experience in international trade law, arbitration, alternative dispute resolution and comparisons of the American common law with European civil law. In the course of his journey, Manchanda also worked for one of the largest multinational law firms in Paris, France, Coudert Frères, where he focused on international arbitration, arbitration agreements, and the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards against multinational parent corporations.
Mr. Manchanda is also a patent lawyer with over two decades of experience in the field. He has worked extensively on Federal Patent Prosecution and Intellectual Property issues for major players in the industry such as Milde Hoffberg & Macklin LLP and Moses & Singer LLP. During this time, he contributed to the issuing of patents in a wide range of sectors including biotechnology, organic chemistry, biopharmaceuticals, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer software and technology, and internet business methods.
As an acknowledged expert in his field, he was recently the Keynote Address Speaker for Hamline University School of International Law on the 60th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, as well as a Chief Speaker for the Civil Rights Litigation Update Seminar on Balancing Inalienable Civil Rights and National Security in the Post-911 Era. Mr. Machanda is a firm believer in giving back to the community and proudly served on the New York State Bar Association Empire State Counsel Program. He served the poor without charge, among other attorneys, helping people who otherwise could not afford legal counsel achieve justice.
How did you get started in this business?
My passion for law fired me up. I didn’t overthink it. Before pursuing law, I knew I wanted to own my law firm. So, when I was ready to set up, I got assistance from friends and family. They supported me financially and emotionally. More often than not, offering words of encouragement.
I also sought advice from people who had been in the industry. They gave me advice on what to do and what not to. I got help from scouting an excellent location to filing the necessary paperwork.
How do you make money?
It all depends on the clients. Each month is different when it comes to client acquisition. Clients pay in various forms. This will vary from contingency fees, retainers, hourly rates, flats rates, and consultation fees. At the end of every month, I deduct all the expenses, and whatever remains is what I pocket. Also, payment varies from month to month.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
When starting, things were slow. The business started picking up at around six months. I didn’t know what to expect during the first year. I didn’t expect things to move fast, but I also didn’t expect them to be slow as they were.
What people say about the first few months of the beginning being tough is an understatement. You put in the work and see no returns, to the extent of almost giving up. But resilience helps a lot.
When you were starting, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I doubted myself several times when starting. I even lost count of the number of times I wanted to close the venture. I would constantly ask myself if I was doing the right thing or if this was the right business. Dealing with rude and demanding clients escalated the doubts even more.
However, I became comfortable in the space, especially when the business started picking up. I learned the ropes of the business. I learned how to deal with different types of clients and not to take anything personally. I also realized that doubt is a huge part of the business. But that doesn’t mean you are incapable.
Eventually, people trusted me to deliver, and I had no option but to trust in myself.
How did you get your first customer?
My first customer was a recommendation from a friend. They vouched for me and how good I am with what I do. Since we were new in the business, the customer doubted our ability. I’m glad that they agreed to settle with us and were satisfied with our results.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Use of social media. There is magic in social media, and I’ve won several customers there. What matters here is consistency and authenticity.
Posting things that are relevant to my business has contributed to inquiries. Most of these inquiries have turned into clients. Social media has also increased my market reach. I’ve also gotten feedback on the areas to improve, and, in the process, I’ve improved client loyalty. I’ve developed my brand and formed an excellent network with more people in the industry.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
It has to do with my finances. I take my finances seriously, and before making a decision requiring substantial financial involvement. I need to be sure. Recently, I’ve been torn between opening up a new branch or investing in a new venture outside the law. At the moment, nothing is clear yet. I’m still pondering these thoughts since I’m still undecided.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Hard work and dedication. There is no shortcut to entrepreneurship. You have to put in the work and the hours to reap the best. Also, I believe I constantly deliver the best to my clients, making them develop trust and even recommend me to their friends. Working with a good team helps a lot. You need a good support system to succeed.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
That would be when my law firm got named among the top law firms by Newsweek. I’ve been ranked among the top attorneys in the United States by Newsweek magazine in 2012 and 2013, but the first time was the most memorable. Since then, I have been given the Martindale Hubbel client Champion Silver 2017 award, 2020 Gold Award winner, and 2020 platinum award winner. Each of these awards has been memorable and satisfying in its way.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
The future is always a mystery, and I love the randomness that comes with it. Most times, it surprises me. At the moment, I’m taking one day at a time. I don’t know where this will go, but I hope we expand to other regions and serve as many people as possible. I hope to impact more people in the industry and probably win more awards.
What business books have inspired you?
Zero to One by Peter Thiel is one of the best business books I’ve read. It has fresh and new ideas on how you can add value to the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginning entrepreneur or a guru in the industry. There is no formula for being successful. What works for another person may not necessarily work for you. The nuggets here are mind-blowing.
The other book that has been an inspiration is the hard things about hard things by Ben Horowitz. It talks about building a business where there are no easy answers. The book advises on how to build and run a startup. He gives tips on succeeding in business. Some of his valuable tips include firing friends, poaching competitors, and adopting the CEO mentality. The more exciting thing about the book is how Horowitz amplifies his business lessons with lyrics from his favorite songs.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
To believe in yourself more and understand that good things take time. I would tell myself not to rush when making decisions. You shouldn’t stress about how things unfold, and whatever happens in my life is supposed to happen. Also, it would help if you took failures as lessons and, most notably, always be yourself.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?
Yes, I am. Someone believed in my abilities and mentored me when starting. It only feels right to extend my knowledge to other people and guide them. Also, a candle doesn’t get dim by lighting the other. If someone needs me to mentor them, they can always visit our offices. Our address is Manchanda Law Office PLLC 30 Wall Street, 8th Floor Suite 8207 New York, NY 10005.