Career Conversations - Manoj Thomas, SpineLegal
Career Conversations - Manoj Thomas, SpineLegal
We caught up with Manoj Thomas, founder of SpineLegal, to discuss his career, entrepreneurship and advice he'd give his younger self. Manoj will be presenting a seminar on 7 ways to increase profits in legal firms at LegalEx's upcoming Spotlight on the 31st March.
Manoj is an established expert in process automation with 20 years of experience helping organisations. An engineer by trade and with MBA from Cranfield University, he is a lean six sigma practitioner who has built and developed several software applications. He founded SpineLegal in 2016 to help his friend’s legal firm and made it available commercially worldwide since 2018. SpineLegal brings the best of the world technologies and functionalities, giving the legal firms a superior edge in their operations. Manoj’s key focus on systems are innovations and new technology, which is easy for businesses to adopt.
Hi Manoj, can you introduce yourself and your current job role?
I am Manoj Thomas and founder of SpineLegal. SpineLegal is a legal automation software developed to help legal firms automate legal processes, workflows and generate efficiency, through which they could generate more profits, business and customer satisfaction. Spine automation covers matter management, practice management, and accounting.
How did you find yourself in this position? Did you always aim to pursue a career in law?
I am a management consultant and an engineer by trade. SpineLegal was the outcome of me volunteering to help my friend, who owns a law firm in London and built the initial concept system using the latest technologies back in 2016 to automate the business processes. We were amazed at how much value it could bring into his business, which inspired the commercialisation of SpineLegal in 2017.
What role does your current position play in the functioning of the rest of your business and why is so crucial?
My role as the founder is as a mentor to the team. All I want to ensure is to keep up the core values and remind everyone why we started SpineLegal in the first place. We want our customers to have a technology partner who provides the best value for their investment. Also, we are the only firm that will tailor/customise SpineLegal to their unique work preferences and requirements.
Can you give us some insight into the tasks that make up a regular working day for you, and what legal considerations need to go into these tasks?
SpineLegal has two main streams of work, which are innovation and sales. Innovation requires continuous learning and understanding of the technology space, new ways of doing things and launching them into the market. Sales is all about communicating to the customers through various channels and constructively contributing to their success.
Can you fill us in on any challenges you’ve faced in your career and how you overcame these?
SpineLegal is a start-up, and it is the challenges that made the business better and better over the years. The way we deal with challenges is to address them, i.e. take action. For example, we take feedback seriously and address them in SpineLegal in record time, so we are always moving forward.
If you had to give some advice to your younger self or a mentee looking to enter your career, what would you say?
Entrepreneurship is where real learning begins. I would encourage every aspiring entrepreneur to start as early as possible, so it is easy to recover, as mistakes are inevitable. The sooner you learn the fundamentals of business and hold onto the core values of why you started, the easier it is to jump the next hurdle.
In your opinion, what are the most exciting developments within your role or the law sector at present?
Technology is advancing rapidly, and bringing the latest technology into the law sector has its challenges. The exciting part of my role is to be the evangelist for change and the person who could give modern and powerful tools to the law sector.
What do you see the future of the law sector being like? Does this excite or scare you?
With the COVID-19, we all learned to adapt and offer legal solutions remotely using cloud technologies. With the innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, the way we look at the law sector will change significantly in the next decade or two, which I am super excited about.
What should the audience expect at your upcoming talk with us at LegalEx?
LegalEx is a fantastic platform to bring innovations in front of legal practitioners. LegalEx definitely brings a positive vibe. I can see this as an excellent opportunity for SpineLegal to showcase how it will significantly improve the law sector.
Why do you think legal exhibitions and conferences are important for the development of individuals and the industry?
Conferences are essential, and they act as the pre market place, where experts can exchange knowledge, findings, academia and new viewpoints. These help constructive debates, learning and insights into new developments, regulations, legal landscapes, technologies and products.