Financial Planning Workshop with SABA, Inflection Point with Archit Shah, and Your First M&A with Vivek Jayaram
24 min read

Financial Planning Workshop with SABA, Inflection Point with Archit Shah, and Your First M&A with Vivek Jayaram

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Financial Planning Workshop

I'm excited about this - this is a great collaboration with SABA to build a better understanding and conversation around personal finance as it affects us. So much of how we view ourselves and our options flows from it. Anyone can join us for this two-part series.

Join SABA-DC's Junior Lawyers' Division and SABA-Connecticut on April 27th at 6 pm ET for the first of a two-part series on personal finance for lawyers, led by Khurram Naik and Amisha Patel. This first session will focus on how our values - particularly as South Asians and in the context of familial and societal expectations - can shape our financial outlook and decisions, and how we can think more consciously about our relationship with money. The second session, to be held later this year, will focus on developing financial goals and strategies.

When: April 27, 2021, 6:00 pm ET

Where: Zoom (link to be emailed to registrants)

RSVP here. Once you register, we also request that you please take a minute to fill out this one-question form, to help the presenters prepare for the session.

Inflection Point with Archit Shah

We last caught up with Archit Shah after leaving Robinhood as its first lawyer and General Counsel. In our interview (as covered by Bloomberg Law), we discussed what fascinated him in fintech and speculated about his next role. Archit has now joined Airbase as General Counsel.

Here's Archit on why he joined Airbase and the opportunity he sees:

What were the criteria for the company you were looking to join, and how did Airbase meet it?

I was looking to find a company facing interesting challenges in the fintech space. Fintech is great because the successful products and businesses require an understanding of the legal landscape, the applicable regulatory and compliance frameworks, and the capabilities of technology platforms. I really wanted to find a team that was not afraid to innovate on all of those fronts. Airbase is tackling the problem of helping businesses manage non-payroll spend which implicates a lot of those types of issues. To deliver a strong product, you have to look at how businesses manage cash and the various payment infrastructures that businesses use to pay vendors. In short, Airbase has no shortage of interesting challenges at the intersection of finance and technology.

I also realized I was looking for a team that really valued looking at things from the customer's perspective. It's easy to get carried away with what technology can do or with the idea of modernizing financial systems. But I think the most successful companies, and the most interesting products, come from teams that keep their focus on solving customer problems. Everyone I talked to at Airbase had that mindset.

Of course, there is a human element too. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with different people at Airbase and I'm enjoying working with them after a short time on the job.

What's the mission of Airbase, and what do you think is the biggest challenge it faces in the coming year?

Part of what drew me to Airbase is the clarity of the vision. Airbase is a reimagining, from first principles, how spend management should work in any business. We are building a unified platform to control spending before it happens, to pay vendors once approved, and to account for every dollar spent. I believe in this vision, but a few weeks in I can see that a lot of the challenge will come from the fact that there are a lot of companies competing in this general space. I think Airbase differentiates itself with its focus on being a software platform, with financial services deployed as needed to enable software features. I see a lot of competitors that are more focused on the financial services being offered.

What part of the playbook you developed at Robinhood are you most looking forward to using at Airbase?

I'm looking forward to building a legal team that can be strong and hopefully beloved partners of the product and go-to-market teams at Airbase. Of course, I look to my experience at Robinhood to help achieve that goal, but to be successful you have to continue growing and learning. In many ways, Airbase, as a B2B business, is on a different playing field than Robinhood. So it is less about reusing playbooks and more about adapting to the unique circumstances before you.

How will Airbase change legal spend?

This is a great question that I can't say I know the answer too yet. I'm still learning the product and understanding the different directions we can take it.

If you have a move that you'd like covered for Inflection Point or want to nominate someone else's move, use this form.

Student Insights

We have tremendous legal talent among the students in this community. I've advocated elsewhere for law students to take control of their career by building a brand early by publishing and building an audience.

If you are a law student interested in sharing your insights and boost your profile with a thousand South Asian lawyers, you can have your insights published in Pani Cooler. You can apply here.

Invest with Pani Cooler: Your First M&A

For our first meeting for the investment mastermind (date TBA), Vivek Jayaram will be walking us through the basics of an acquisition, and how you can prepare for your first M&A. We'll cover things like due diligence, employees, reps and warranties, and what you should expect during your deal.

To maintain the quality of discussion, the initial round had 10 slots available. But since have reached capacity, we're accepting 5 additional applications. Submit your application here. Applications close this Sunday.

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