Alumni / April 4, 2024

Alumnus Creates Something He Hopes Stands the Test of Time

Krupesh Bhat, MBA ’05

Innovator Krupesh Bhat, MBA '05, turned license renewal woes into LegalDesk & SignDesk, revolutionizing legal and business documentation. Recognized SaaS leader and entrepreneurial trailblazer.

The lengthy process of renewing a driver’s license led Krupesh Bhat, MBA ’05, down the road to his breakthrough entrepreneurial idea.

“That is when it occurred to me that legal documentation is a messy area,” Bhat said.

His solution was LegalDesk, an online do-it-yourself platform for creating official legal documents quickly and affordably that he launched in 2014 in India. Bhat said developing products that solve problems was his motivation and what helped him conceptualize his first product. “I wanted to create something that didn’t exist before me, and I want to create something that would exist even after me.”

Today, he is also the founder and CEO of SignDesk, which helps businesses solve large-scale documentation challenges. It is the only RegTech service provider in India offering total document automation. It has also helped clients reduce turnaround time and costs while boosting operating capacity. SignDesk was recently recognized as the "Bootstrapped SaaS Startup of the Year" at the prestigious SaaSBoomi Awards, the largest SaaS community in India.

“I strongly believe that in the long term, one key differentiating factor is the people, the culture, and how you approach your customers.” The company has over 1500 clients and nearly 450 employees in India, the U.S., and the United Arab Emirates. Bhat is also presently a member of the CII and FICCI National Committees on FinTech and a founding member of the FORTAP Foundation.

The India-based entrepreneur says the Robert H. Smith School of Business gave him the confidence to start his own business someday. “It was very inspiring to see the professors’ passion for teaching, but they also really cared for the students. It inspired us to do better in life.”

Bhat grew up in a small town in India where the entire school had only one teacher. He later studied computers and became the first in his family to graduate with top honors and a university gold medal. Upon earning his degree, he worked as a software engineer in India and later in Washington, D.C. While in the DMV, he found his way to the Smith School, noting he was attracted to Smith’s reputation as a top program.

The Smith alumnus relies on three principles: knowing how to sell, how to work with people, and having aspirations. “I had to sell the idea to convince early employees to join because I couldn’t really offer top dollar or any brand experience.” He added that people skills are also essential to successfully building an organization, “If you want to achieve anything great in life, you definitely have to work with people. Some are driven by money, some are driven by passion or the challenges, so you need to understand human psychology.” Bhat said as a solo entrepreneur, it can be hard to make a big change but building a team you can lean on will help your venture make a greater impact.

“Entrepreneurship, in my view, is a transformative journey that empowers you to turn problems into products, products into platforms, and then platforms into profits,” Bhat said. “The journey is daunting but never boring.”

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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