If you’re a litigant in a commercial case in India, you could spend over 1,445 days, or almost 4 years in-and-out of courtrooms and end up spending 31 per cent of the claim value on out-of-pocket expenses such as legal fees and court fees. For certain dispute categories, the statistics are worse – the average pendency of a lad acquisition case, from its creation to its resolution by the Supreme Court, is 20 years.
The negative impact of inefficient courts on Indians is undeniable: over 67 per cent of India’s prison population are under-trials, more than $20B in infrastructure projects are stalled due to pending litigation, and despite the strong progress India has made on the ease of doing business rankings in recent years, it is ranked 163 out of 190 countries when it comes to contract enforcement.
Moreover, the high cost of dispute resolution effectively discourages citizens from pursuing even legitimate legal claims and ensures that India’s most disadvantaged don’t have access to fair and affordable grievance redressal mechanisms. In fact, research shows that of the respondents that did not approach the courts, 26.8 per cent did not file a case because of the high cost of litigation.
As outlined in “On The Cusp”, our LegalTech thesis, we at Omidyar Network India are firm believers in harnessing the power of technology to enable citizens to better access dispute resolution services. If we are to build a dispute resolution system that serves India’s Next Half Billion (NHB) or those in the bottom 60% of India’s economic distribution, we need to nurture an ecosystem of startups that leverage emerging technology and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration to drive down the cost of grievance redressal.
Founded by Bhaven Shah, Namita Shah, and Aman Sanghavi, Presolv360 aims to address this mammoth challenge and make dispute resolution accessible and affordable to all citizens and businesses. It uses technology, data, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to resolve disputes at scale and in an efficient manner.
This is powered through a suite of features on their platform, including:
- Select Neutrals: The platform has a panel of neutrals (i.e., dispute resolution professionals) who are selected through a rigorous selection process. These professionals use alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and the platform to help disputing parties resolve disputes at scale.
- Automated Administration: The platform has pre-defined templates, automated workflows, bulk upload features, integrated e-signing, e-stamping, and payment services, and blockchain-based audit trails of proceedings, all of which enable enterprises and neutrals to minimize their administrative tasks.
- Seamless Communication: The platform is integrated with WhatsApp and E-Mail enabling the disputing parties to share details, negotiate disputes and get regular updates at their convenience.
- e-Settlements: Presolv360 uses historical dispute resolution and settlement data to design customized settlement offers for the counterparty. This enables large volumes of disputes to be resolved in their early stages and without the help of human neutrals.
At a micro-level, these features result in reduced costs, time and efforts by up to 65%. At a macro level, this translates into unburdening of the justice delivery system, greater governance, and ease of doing business. Presolv360 is trusted by 35+ enterprises comprising some of the largest banks, NBFCs, business enterprises, e-commerce players and startups.
We are thrilled to partner with Bhaven, Namita, Aman and the entire Presolv360 team as they pursue their vision of leveraging technology to enable access to affordable and fair dispute resolution for the Next Half Billion (NHB). We believe that the founding team’s deep customer focus will enable it to play a pivotal role in India’s LegalTech story.
Image credit: Business Today