Learn how ideas can help the society, the importance of adapting business strategy based on market demand and why it is not such a good idea for businesses to under price their products or services, as Startups talks to Vijay Kumar of i-winip.com, an Intellectual Property Services firm.
1. What is i-winip.com? Can you explain is the significance of its name?
At Ideas – WIN Intellectual Property Services firm, we believe that Ideas are source of Intellectual Property. A small great Idea can change the way the world is currently working. Ideas are very powerful and so we feel that Ideas should not be ending up in trash bins but rather they should be nurtured and channelized to reach the society and develop the society.
By protecting ideas, Governments not only provide the owner with limited monopoly rights (Negative rights to exclude others from dealing with his protected IP) but also takes the idea into the society. Even during protection period where the owner of IP is given limited monopoly, the Governments are regulating those limited monopoly rights with compulsory licenses and other measures.
As for the name — since, we work in the process of Ideas generation, protection and enforcement, we felt Ideas WIN in short (I-WIN) would be an appropriate name for our firm.
2. We believe that there is a story behind the origin of every startup. Could you please share with us the motivation and the story behind your startup?
Prior to starting I-WIN IP services, I along with Dr. Kalyan Chakravarthy and Arun Kishore started a firm called Brain League IP Services Private Limited.
Kalyan was my Super senior at Law School. During our college days we felt there is a requirement for specialized firms for IPR protection and enforcement and planned to start one once we graduate. With this motive, Kalyan upon his graduation went to FPLC (Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord) located in New Hampshire, US to pursue his higher education in the field of Intellectual Property Rights. In 2004, he returned to India with a degree in IPR and by then I had completed my law college as well. Kalyan enrolled for Ph.D at National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
During one of our encounters, we realized that there are more Biotech Companies in Bangalore which are R&D focused and in need of IPR services — a niche we could fill. So, we started our firm (Brain League) in Bangalore with the thought of providing high level consulting services on IPR issues.
However, we soon realized that Indian industry was not ready for those services during that period. So, we shifted our focus on providing awareness and training in IPR along with protection and Management for IP Rights. We worked hard to give a better shape to Brain League IP Services Private Limited. Today, Brain League works with big Multinational Corporations and Government organizations.
Now that Brain League is established and I have this fire of starting new ventures and taking it to next level, I have started another new firm in Hyderabad — a city where IP culture in the industry has just begun.
3. Are there any others offering similar services? Any unique features of your start-up we should know?
There are several companies which offer services similar to what we offer.
However, there is no firm which offers entire gamut of IPR Services under one roof which makes us unique. Most of the firms are limited to any of the following services – Patent Analytic Reporting, IPR Trainings, IPR Protection Services or IPR Management Services.
We on the other hand offer all the above services and in addition the listed services we provide litigation support services, licensing & technology transfer services.
4. Who are your major competitors?
We don’t have competitor for entire gamut of services. However, the following companies can be considered as competitors in few segments.
1. Brain League IP Services
2. Evalue Serve
4. Anand and Anand
5. Remfry and Sagar
5. How is i-winip.com doing do so far? Who are some of your clients?
It has been good so far at I-WIN IP services. We are just 5 months old but we have already garnered 35 clients and counting. We are also consulting for another big law firm and supporting them with IPR Services.
We have clients in the area of Electronics and Telecommunications, Biotech, Chemical and Automobiles industry.
6. Could you tell us more about yourself, your position & other key players, if any?
I am working as a Business Development Manager, IP portfolio Manager and IP Analyst at I-WIN IP Services. I have about 5 ½ (five and half) year experience in IP Consulting.
As a founding member at I-WIN IP Services, I take care of all procedures like registration of copyrights and trademarks, filing patent applications, help processing them in India, coordinating filing and prosecution at USPTO, European Patent office etc. I also coordinate Patent Searching and Drafting as well as reviewing the application before they are delivered to the clients.
I am also instrumental in organizing internal and externals seminars and training sessions for I-WIN IP SERVICES. As mentioned earlier, I was also a founding member for Brain League IP Services Private Limited and worked with Brain League as an IP Consultant for about 5 years. I have attended several conferences organized by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
I am a Professional member of Bar Council of Karnataka and also a Registered Trademark Agent. I have a degree in commerce and law from Osmania University and P.G. Diploma in Intellectual Property Rights from National Law School of India University, Bangalore.
7. How large is the team behind your start-up? Are you all based in India?
We are team of six currently and we are all based in Hyderabad, India.
8. How is your startup being funded so far? Did you receive any other external funding?
Self funded and took support from the family; no external source of funding till date.
9. Did you encounter any initial hiccups while pitching the idea? Could you please explain the process you followed that might help other future entrepreneurs planning to startup?
Thankfully, none for I-WIN as I have experienced them at Brain League.
When we have started Brain League, we didn’t know the kind of service Industry expected and also didn’t know the processes adopted in the industry. However, even while at Brain League, it was our luck to have been incubated at NSRCEL, IIMB which took care of all our initial hiccups.
10. What would be your USP?
We have complete awareness of Intellectual Property rights. We also have strong and proven Processes in place for implementing our services. Finally, we have the most experienced team.
11. In your experience, what has been the most effective way to market a business?
1. Word of mouth
2. Internet (Sending informative newsletters and organizing seminars)
12. What is your take on increasing number of startups in India? Do you have any personal advice/suggestions for current/future entrepreneurs?
It is good to have more number of startups. India does require lot more new start-ups to provide many more innovative services.
However, my one suggestion to new Indian startups would be not to dilute market by providing high cost services for a lower price to grab the market share. It does not with stand in the long run.
13. What is the best advice you’ve ever received.
There are many. I cannot rank just one as the best. I have received many and they all helped me a lot in taking wise decisions.
14. On a personal front, who is your role model? Also, do you follow any other websites religiously?
Role Model – I set examples for each activity I pursue from people around me. For example for managing business, Kalyan and Arun are my role models.
15. How did being an entrepreneur affect your lifestyle? Do you get enough time for yourself/family?
I love to undertake challenging tasks. The downside to it is that it affects our lifestyle as we might not spend much time with family or even cannot take time for personal work.
So, I am thankful to my family and friends who understand me properly and support me. Since, I am still single, I really don’t have way too many responsibilities.
16. One thing that you love the most?
Hardwork. It does pays off; though might not be immediate.
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