Top Indian Law School gives legal training to Indian entrepreneurs to face the challenges
of running new age companies
The National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (NUJS), a new age law university exclusively
dedicated to legal studies and research, has started a new diploma course on “Entrepreneurship
Administration and Business Laws” – for entrepreneurs and students interested in starting their own
ventures. Keeping in mind that a large number of college students have been taking up entrepreneurship,
the course has been kept open to anyone who has passed 10+2, is reasonably proficient in English and
usage of computer and the internet. There is no age limit to join the course since there is no minimum or
maximum age for starting a business.
As entrepreneurs are not expected to attend regular classes, the course will be entirely online with some
optional live classes, and can be accessed with internet from anywhere.
The course is recommended for early stage entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, those who are planning
to start their own business or startup company at some point in their career, or work in a decision making
capacity and managers who want to add legal skills to their profile. Lawyers who want to work with a
startup clientele or would like to develop practical business law skills will also find this course beneficial.
NUJS was founded in the year 1999 by Professor N. R. Madhava Menon, who is known as the father
of modernisation of Indian legal education, to create social engineers. Since its inception, in pursuit of
this vision, NUJS has been recognized nationally and at an international level for the achievements of
its students and faculty, excellent publications, quality of research, social initiatives and the quality of
lawyers that it produces. The present course, which seeks to create easier access to practical business laws
in India, especially for non-lawyers who could benefit from learning law but can not afford to undertake a
full-fledged law course is in furtherance of this vision.
Students who walk the less trodden path require necessary support from society. The vision is that the
course will enable a legion of entrepreneurs to take on the challenge of starting a new ventures and
will help to create a new generation of professionally managed startup companies and entrepreneurial
businesses in India. The course will cover how to start non-profit and social entrepreneurship ventures as
well, which are now gaining in momentum.
With technological advancement, starting up has become much quicker and cheaper than it was before.
The internet has made connecting and networking with the right people much easier. India is now
witnessing a boom in startups. As per the annual report of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, more
than 65,000 companies register per year. Several bright students from the best universities are leaving
attractive salary packages to start their own ventures. Similarly, many young professionals are leaving
their jobs in order to build new age companies. Many such ventures have attained stellar success -
one such celebrated story is of Sachin Bansal who left his job with Amazon.com to build Flipkart, or
Abhishek Nayak and Arpit Mohan who started Gharpay after finishing their studies at BITS Pilani, which
was funded by Sequoia Capital - the same venture capitalist that venture funded Google. Accordingly,
investment in start-ups and early-stage companies has increased fourfold, from USD 300 million in 2010
to USD 1.2 billion last year. (See Economic Times story: “Venture capital beats private equity as Indian
start-ups attract millions of dollars in funding”, 8 February 2012)
Startups are expected to play a major role in shaping India’s economic future. A study on
entrepreneurship by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies released in December 2011
stated that “India’s high rate of economic growth can only be sustained if approximately 1 million jobs
are created per month. If India can, in the next decade, provide its next generation with the education
and training for entrepreneurial ventures, it will not only create the jobs necessary to stay on a growth
trajectory, it will foster more start-ups, accelerate growth, and spawn creative industries for the benefit of
millions.” (See Centre for Strategic and International Studies article on Entrepreneurship in India: The
Next Wave, Vol 1, Issue 9, 14 December 2011)
Entrepreneurs also face many challenges. Administering a company professionally and legally,
negotiating contracts and investment terms, protecting valuable intellectual property, or even figuring out
processes of import-export or setting up tax-paying processes can be a major challenge for a first time
entrepreneur. The complex Indian legal system is often frustrating - there are multiple regulations and
policies, which are often inaccessible to non-lawyers or worded in complicated language, it often makes it
impossible for those with limited resources to operate. Startups almost always have very limited resources
when they begin. Hence, the necessity to teach entrepreneurship administration and business laws in a
systematic way - to empower the entrepreneurs so that they can use law as an ally, a tool to achieve their
ends as opposed to a barrier to overcome. The vision behind starting the course was to make the job of
young entrepreneurs easier.
“Given that the eco system for entrepreneurship is just beginning to bloom in India, this well structured
and easily accessible course could not have been more timely. It should form part of the tool kit of every
entrepreneur that seeks to establish their imprint on our society through a creative venture of their own!
” says Professor Shamnad Basheer, who heads the Ministry of HRD chair on Intellectual Property Rights
at the university, and is the founder of one of the most widely read blogs on Intellectual Property Laws in
the world (called “Spicy IP”) .
Why are entrepreneurs (who may not have a law background) being imparted legal training?
Although India produces more than 90,000 lawyers every year, less than 2 percent opt for corporate law.
Existing corporate law firms mostly cater to the top-end corporate and foreign clients. Startups find it
difficult to access affordable and quality business lawyers for legal compliance, contract drafting and
negotiation during their early stages. Accordingly, there is high demand for individuals with practical
knowledge of business law in the world of entrepreneurship. Informal training and mentorship programs
for entrepreneurs cater to this demand to some extent. NUJS designed the course keeping these necessities
"It is a very positive development that legal education will now be available to non-lawyers who can
benefit from knowledge of law. The course focuses on developing useful practical skills, and aims to
maintain high academic standards. It would be a valuable resource for anyone willing to learn business
laws," says Professor Dr. Mahendra Pal Singh, an authority on constitutional law, who is Chairperson
of Delhi Judicial Academy, and is also a former Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Juridical
I am quite impressed with the breadth and depth of the course content that is to be covered here.This is a
must attend for any CXO at a startup or growing organization, says Raghav Aggarwal, Founder-Director,
Trutech Webs Private Limited.
Keeping in mind that the learners will be entrepreneurs, the course is completely online and will be
greatly flexible. It can be taken up by students enrolled in any full-time course or even working. However,
a minimum commitment of 20 hours a month will be expected. Duration of the course to get the diploma
is one year. “I believe this course will help not only new entrepreneurs but settled ones also. It will add to
their experience. The syllabus is comprehensive and well planned,” says Umesh Sharma, Registrar of the
Rajasthan High Court (Jodhpur Bench).
Call to action
The first batch of the diploma course starts on 15 July. Enrolments are now open. Early-bird registrations,
i.e. those who pay before 15th June will get special freebies. The syllabus for the course is put up on this
link for public view. Comments and suggestions are invited on the same.