S13E36: Is your work interesting, or impactful? with Chintan Panchal (Founding Partner, RPCK Rastegar Panchal)

An episode of The Impact Multiplier CEO Podcast

S13E36: Is your work interesting, or impactful? with Chintan Panchal (Founding Partner, RPCK Rastegar Panchal)

We're continuing our season on "business as a force for good", Richard speaks with Chintan Panchal, Founding Partner of RPCK Rastegar Panchal, a law firm that has developed a dedicated impact investing practice, advising both mission-aligned investors and social enterprises.

Chintan has become a trusted advisor to leaders in the impact field because of his "purpose-driven" approach to corporate law.

In this conversation, you’ll learn:

  • Why "interesting" is a trap that can keep you stuck in unfulfilling work.
  • What innovations occur when you intersect law with an impact mindset.
  • The overlooked reasons why venture capital is often not the perfect funding option for impact entrepreneurs.
  • How new legal frameworks can enable a new wave of impact.
  • How to scale your results by moving from a project mindset to a paradigm mindset.

"Law school doesn't teach you how to be a lawyer."

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Transcript

Chintan Panchal
In my day job as opposed to on the nights and weekends, which is when most traditional lawyers get to do the pro bono work, the work that they care about. So the idea was, well, what if we could just do the work we care about as part of the main purpose of the firm, and the firm was built around that. Now, you know, every firm is a business. It’s a business first. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be impact first in terms of how we go about conducting that business.

Richard Medcalf
Welcome to the Impact Multiplier CEO podcast. I’m Richard Metcalfe, founder of Xquadrant, and my mission is to help the world’s top CEOs and entrepreneurs shift from incremental to exponential progress and create a huge positive impact on our world. Now that requires you to reinvent yourself and transform your business. So if you’re ready to play a bigger game than ever before, I I invite you to join us and become an Impact multiplier CEO. Is your work interesting or impactful? Today, I speak with Chintan Panchao, who found himself trapped in interesting work that that wasn’t really fulfilling him, wasn’t really creating the impact that he wanted. And so he started to think, well, what would happen if I intersected my field of expertise, which is law, with what really excites me, Impact. As a result, he has developed a dedicating impact investing practice within his business, RPCK Rastigar Panchal. Actually, that firm has now become synonymous with law and impact.

Really interesting conversation because this is an area of impact we don’t often consider. But there are innovations that happen when you bring the 2 together. New things become possible for entrepreneurs and for investors. And Jin is on a mission to build new legal frameworks and new structures that allow new things to emerge in this space. And, we talk about various various aspects of this in this interview, especially around moving from a project mindset to a paradigm mindset. And to make this shift from just doing interesting work to really making an impact. So enjoy this conversation with Chintan Panchow. Hi, Chintan, and welcome to the show.

Chintan Panchal
Great to be here, Rajit.

Richard Medcalf
So, Chintan, it’s, a real pleasure to speak to you today. You and I, we’ve we’ve had several conversations over the last few months. You’re now part of my CEO, program, Rivendell, which is an exciting bunch of world changing leaders. And I do consider you to be a world changing leader. As we were starting The, this show, I was kind of thinking, is there a good lawyer joke I could use, right? We’ve probably had too many lawyer jokes, over your life. But actually, you are a hard person to put into a box because you’re this intersection between corporate law, corporate finance and and law on one hand, and a real, desire for impact and mission on the other. And probably most people when they think of a lawyer, that’s not the kind of person that they imagine. And I know The, your company which you founded or co founded RPCK, Vastika Panchal, you have really traded an impact first, impact focused law firm.

So I guess my first question is, like how can you marry those 2 together? It sounds like law is a very traditional sector, sector, very bound by rules. How do you kinda reimagine it to be impact first?

Chintan Panchal
Yeah. No. I I I love the question. I I would add The more kind of box I don’t fit into deeply, which is that of a traditional lawyer. And I think that’s a key part of the answer to to this question of kind of how we’ve been able to to be, you know, to become what we are. Right? This idea that, you know, I guess in some ways The say, right, if you’re you graduate from university and you, are entrepreneurial, are you good at math? You go to business school. And if you’re not, and you’re more into philosophy and history, you go to law school. But I am entrepreneurial, and I really like philosophy and history, and I went to law school.

But I I do have a different relationship with risk and risk taking The I think a lot of, you know, kind of my colleagues in the profession do, which is something that led me to become an entrepreneur. And being an entrepreneur and having an independent firm has allowed me to also have a clear vision and a clean slate, for how, you know, the firm would be envisioned and would develop and grow into what it is today. Right? So what does all that mean? I would say kind of very Impact, the the founding idea, purpose of RPCK is to is to, as a firm, make a dent, make a serious dent in the most important or persistent challenges that we face, as a society today. The that that’s the purpose of the firm. Why is that the purpose of the firm? Because that’s what I’ve always wanted to do. That’s where I find meaning. That’s where I find purpose, or that’s kind of what I think I’m here for. And the firm started out as as a solo practice.

Right? This was just an idea at, you know, about 14 almost coming to the day 14 years ago. And it was born out of a desire to be able to just do the impactful, meaningful, purposeful work in my day job as opposed to on the nights and weekends when which is when most traditional lawyers get to do the pro bono work, the work that they care about. And so the idea was, well, what if we could just do the work we care about as part of the main purpose of the firm? And the firm was built around that. Now, you know, every firm, it’s it is a business. It’s a business first. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be impact first in terms of how we go about conducting that business.

Richard Medcalf
Well, let let me yeah. Let me jump in on this because, I’m kinda curious. How did you I mean, obviously, you’ve said, well, you know, well, you wanna change, Make a big dent in the most persistent issues facing, you know, our our world, and and that’s a huge, huge thing. So what do you think is the unique contribution of law to that process? Right? So how do you believe as a law firm that you can kinda move the needle?

Chintan Panchal
So I think of the law as this kind of invisible webbing, this connective fiber that exists between all of us. Right? And so what do I mean by that? Right? So well, there is there is the baseline. Right? There are the laws that govern us. And those are the constraints around what we can do. Right? You can’t steal and rob and, you know, harm people, etcetera. Right? You can, you know, you have your various different levels of freedoms, but then there are these constraints within which we operate. That becomes more and more complex. Right? We engage in economic activity and there’s regulatory, laws and regulations that that that died and constrained us.

Right? And then there’s the interpersonal. Right? You and I decide that we wanna build something together. I wanna finance you or you wanna, you know, we’re gonna bring new enterprise or or or enter into a contract, you know, for services or whatever. Right? All of those, instances I just described, I think of as this connective webbing. Right? This this this fiber that that The between us. And so lawyers are are effectively the the weavers of that that fiber. And sometimes those lawyers, you know, work in government and our legislators, or many times The lawyers that most of us interact with are in private practice, and they see and understand and study and sometimes work The craft.

Richard Medcalf
So so, Chinta, let me kind of summarize what I’m hearing. What I’m hearing is that what you see the opportunity is really in terms of building, let’s say, contractual frameworks, or ecosystem relationships that allow people to operate in different ways, perhaps from how traditional law might.

Chintan Panchal
That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. Right? And and so in this space, right, in the impact space, these are there are different dimensions to these relationships that people are building. Right? There’s, you know, an Impact investor and a social entrepreneur get together, and it’s not the exact same thing as a regular investor and a regular entrepreneur. Right? There’s there’s another dimension to what they’re talking about, what they’re expecting, what they’re looking to do, and how they view success, and how they’re gonna measure it, and how they’re gonna reward it. Right? All of those dynamics have a financial bottom line or a financial dimension to them, and then they have the various different impact dimensions to them as well. Right? So now, all of a sudden, that fiber that exists between those two individuals is, you know, 3, 4, 5 different, you know, kind of strands to it. And so The question then becomes, what does that relationship look like? Right? And law, I think, is in many ways, The practice of helping build and construct and reinforce relationships between people and institutions and organizations.

Richard Medcalf
So can you give me example of, like, an innovation that perhaps or, also, has become possible because of the way that you approach approach The.

Chintan Panchal
Absolutely. So The couple that come to mind. The that I’d love to, you know, kinda dive into, which which I think is super relevant and and kind of, you know, a little bit more cutting edge, is the is just the advent of new types of financing structures for social enterprises, social entrepreneurs, or impact businesses. Yeah. So historically, and in the impact investing space, people you know, investors would look at new businesses, young businesses, businesses or investment opportunities that exist in emerging or otherwise challenging markets, and look at them with a with a with a lens of a venture capitalist. Why? Because a venture capitalist does something similar. The venture capitalist looks at a nascent company that has unlimited upside potential and also unlimited downside potential and a and a high like likelihood of failure just given kind of statistics. And it’s also very asset light.

Right? So, you know, if you’re a if you’re a a new company startup founder, it’s highly unlikely that you can go to the bank and have a bank finance anything that you’ve done because you’re just getting started. Right? And so that dynamic, that that unlimited upside and significant downside dynamic exists in in a lot of, areas and corners of the impact space. And so as a result, venture capital has been a dominant mode of financing. But that’s only The dimension of venture capital. Right? Venture capital also depends on stratospheric multiple kind of upon multiple growth in order for the business model to work. It requires an exit opportunity within 7, maybe 10 years. If you stretch it a bit, it it requires a change of control. Right? Like an IPO or a sale of the business.

Right? And so those are two dimensions that not make any sense, may not be desirable, or may not even be possible for the vast majority or a significant number of impact business because they’re brick and mortar businesses, because there is no IPO market in in in that space, or because The, because the entrepreneur doesn’t intend to sell the business, or because it doesn’t that that type of business or that market doesn’t support multiple level growth kinda year over year. Right? So there is these disconnects. Right? So there’s a reason that people have been kinda using Venture, The there’s all these reasons why Venture maybe doesn’t work. And so what what folks have done, and and we’ve been able to be a part of this, is to look at to really dive into these these business relationships and look at the elements of them and sometimes think about other financing models that have been used in other parts of the market historically, or actually just develop new, structures kind of from whole cloth to to help document and support these these types of relationships. And so what am I talking about? Right? So so revenue linked finance is a good example of of this. Right? So the idea that in an an investor can’t take a security interest and needs a multiple kind of, Richard, but at the same time, needs you need to be able to manufacture an exit opportunity for The investor because it’s not forever capital. Right? And so we developed a a self redeeming equity instrument. Right? So, basically, half venture capital style investment, half redeemable equity or loan style kind of repayment.

Right? But it allows the investor to get a multiple. It allows the investor and the entrepreneur to have conversation upfront as to what a reasonable multiple is, right, as opposed to just a question mark, and hopefully, it’s 10 x or more. Right? Maybe it’s 4 x, maybe it’s 5 x, maybe it’s 2, 3, whatever the number is for that particular business. So it’s customizable to that opportunity. And it’s flexible. It’s based on what the actual success of that enterprise is and how it goes about. Right? So the idea that you can develop a new mode of documenting, structuring, reinforcing, and rewarding a relationship between 2 parties who are looking to come together to make an investment and get a return, but also make an investment and generate impact is the driver behind developing something like this.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. Perfect. Thank you. Yeah. So we went into some detail there, but actually start to see, The there are ways of setting up financing, for example, in a way that actually works in the impact space and perhaps creates new options. You’re right, VC can give you a whole bunch of advantages in terms of access to that risk, risky capital, but is it actually aligned with what the founder is trying to do when they set up their business in the first place, right, to make the difference. Right.

Chintan Panchal
And and you mentioned 2 two really important concepts The. I just wanna kind of echo. 1 is options. Right? There’s nothing inherently good, bad, or otherwise about VC. It’s just a question of, is it the right fit for the opportunity? And then the other is intentions. Right? Kind of what are we trying to achieve? And that is the thing that I think sometimes missing from from the analysis and from the conversation and from you know and and a lot of relationships are trying to achieve something over here, but are built on a framework that’s maybe over here that’s not it’s not quite the right fit for that framework. Right? So the idea is really to to do that. Right? To kinda say, alright.

There are lots of tools available in the workshop. And which one should we use? What are we trying to achieve? Alright. Well, let’s make sure the tool or the structure is purpose built and and actually fits for the relationship we’re trying to build.

Richard Mecalf
Sajita, let’s, dive into the the story of how you built the business because obviously you started by yourself, and, you know, you’re now able to compete with businesses that are 50 times your size. So how have you managed to kind of establish establish yourself in this space with with such a high level?

Chintan Panchal
It’s a good question. I can take a stab at it. You know, I think part of it starts with just your intentions. Right? What are you trying to achieve? Right? For me, I think that my intentions are maybe more in line with the the ultimate intentions and the goals of the people that we work with or the people that reach out to us. And and that’s a key difference. Right? It’s also part of the reason why I think that a firm like ours is just inherently different from a lot of the firms that are out there. You know, I I came myself, I came from a a brilliant, you know, a firm that’s, you know, exceptionally successful, in its particular model. But I don’t think that this this business and this philosophy can fit or live within a model like that.

Right? The the reason being that The way I think about kind of purpose, right, I talked about, right, kind of purpose of the firm is to is to have an impact in the world. It’s different. Right? It’s different from most of the traditional legacy businesses out there. The? The the purpose of those businesses, those firms, right, the purpose is to maximize profits for the owners of that business. And that’s a very normal thing. Right? It’s a very, you know, that that’s kind of Milton Friedman, you know, 101. But at that fundamental level, the purpose is is just different. And so the way I think about it is, right, so my purpose is to is to really have an impact on the things that I care about and to and to build a a home, a a a place where people, professionals who who have, like minded philosophy and and and goals can can come and practice their trade as well.

Right? To to really be a place that supports that in furtherance of our goal. And if we’re successful, if we’re good at what we do and we’re consistently good at what we do, then, yeah, then we’ll be we’ll be financially rewarded. We’ll be, you know, we’ll be able to build a sustaining business, and we’ll be able to get paid and live our lives and do what we do what we do. But I just I never thought I needed, like, 6 houses and 2 boats and a helicopter And, like, I The none of those things, like, man, I’m you know, I have a nice house and our families, you know, lives comfortably. And we’re we’re we’re perfectly happy in the life that we have, and we’re fortunate to have it. But, what I’m trying to articulate is kind of this difference of focus.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. So what I’m, yeah, what I’m hearing, Chantal, is yeah. It’s simply the, you resonate with your people. Right? You have a same, yeah, you have a set of common sense of purpose. I mean, probably why the reason that we resonate, why we’re working together now is because, same for, I think you have a same story in the sense that I know we set up your business. You know, I’m correct me if I’m wrong, but I think you kinda hedged your bets a bit. You’re like, okay. I’m gonna just be a lawyer, and, like, we’ll see where it goes, At some point.

Chintan Panchal
Yeah. When I started, I was like, alright. I’ll just let’s see if this thing can work. And, I was like, I will just do whatever comes in the door.

Richard Medcalf
Right. There you go. Yeah. So, yeah, most of us, when we start a business, it’s like, if they have a pulse and they have a wallet, it’s my target customer.

Chintan Panchal
Right. I can provide some I can provide value. Right?

Richard Medcalf
But in my own story, I got to a point where I was like, you know what? I don’t wanna just help somebody get a promotion up the corporate ladder or just, you know, maximize this quarter’s EBITDA so that, you know, their board’s okay. I don’t mind helping people with those things, but for me, it’s like in order to do what? And so that’s when I got clear, if I’m going to do this, I might as well have people change the world. Right? That’s what I wanna do. That’s what I believe in. It’s what sets me on fire. But there is The moment where you have to kinda go, okay. I’m all in in this direction. So when was that moment for you? How when did you get to the point to go, you know what? This is it. This is what I’m all about.

Chintan Panchal
You know, I came kind of, simultaneously when, you know, I got to the point where I I felt like, okay. I’ve learned I’ve learned the trade. I know kind of, you know, I I know what what it is to do this job and to do it well. Right? So for lawyers and for for for folks that may not know, kind of, law law school doesn’t teach you how to be a lawyer. Right? Doesn’t actually teach you the first thing about how to be a lawyer. Right? It teaches you how to think and blah blah blah. It’s basically a philosophy degree. And and then you have to get out and you actually have to spend a chunk of your, you know, your early career, right, 5, 7, 10 years learning the trade.

Right? Kind of learning the the the the The structures and the documents and the negotiation and the nuances and The how it all fits, and tax and regulatory, you know, whatever your whatever your discipline is within the law. Right? And so for me, I got to a point where I was starting to feel pretty comfortable and was leading, you know, I was giving I was, I was being given, you know, lots of opportunities to lead matters and to really run, you know, run deals and transactions and all this kind of stuff. And then you get an opportunity to kind of just rise above the clouds for a moment and just kind of see the horizon, and you can kind of just you get a sense to you get an opportunity to kind of get out of the the micro detail of of learning and doing. Right? And you need to think. And for me, that moment coincided with, you know, a realization that I had I had achieved a goal that I had set out to achieve when I was a young kid. I was probably 12, 13, 14. And, yeah, everyone asked me, what are you gonna be when you grow up? And I didn’t have a great answer. And my parents are, you know, kind of traditional, you know, professions for immigrants from India.

Yeah, kind of doctor and and engineer, and, I neither one of those was was was fit for me. And so I thought being in becoming an international lawyer would be cool. And And so I just stuck with that, and that’s what, you know, many years later, you know, kind of fast forward to this moment, I kind of realized, okay. I know what I’m doing, and holy cow. I think I’ve achieved that thing that I set out to do. And then you look around and you see, okay. Well, what’s the point? Like, is this the life that I wanna live? Is this what I’m gonna be doing for the rest of my career? Am I gonna just become one of the people that I work with and and one of these colleagues? Right? Is that what’s set up for me? And for some people, that’s really what they’re excited about, and that’s what they wanna do. And for me, it wasn’t.

And it kinda felt empty. Right? I said, well, what’s the point? I’m just helping really, really successful kind of like the historical winners of every kind of competitive economic, system, continue to win. And moving large piles of money from here to The, and there to there, and there to The. And people are squeezing out a couple bucks, you know, in in the process. And the law firm is getting paid exceptionally well-to-do these really complicated cross border, multidimensional things. Right? So intellectually, it’s super interesting.

Richard Medcalf
I hope you’re enjoying this conversation. This is just a quick interlude to remind you that my book, Making Time For Strategy, is now available. If you want to be less busy and more successful, I highly recommend that you check it out. Why not head over to making time for strategy.com to find out the details? Now back to the conversation. I think that’s a great point The, just a point. When I work with chief executives or entrepreneurs who are not quite clear on, like, the impact they really wanna make and not really on flyer, I think, that question about intellectual stimulation is a trap. In other words, they enjoy what they’re doing because it gets the brain cells firing. But in The heart, they know it’s kind of a bit pointless and that they’re a bit bored.

Chintan Panchal
Good point. Yeah. It’s such a good point. Right? So many of us, we kind of conflate those 2. Right? Something that’s interesting and challenging. Right? It’s a challenge. It’s a present challenge. You can apply your mind to it and kind of, you know, and and and meet that challenge and and accomplish it.

Right? So there’s that there’s that near term or or micro kind of accomplishments that that are important. But I think what you’re kind of drawing a distinction around is, okay, that’s cool. But also, what’s the big picture? And what does it all mean? And how does it all fit together? And where is taking you? You know, The way of thinking about it, right, that a lot of times people kinda think about is, like, alright. Well, you’re 90 years old, and you’re, like, looking back on your life. And are you gonna remember, like, all those little deals that were really interesting and challenging and, you know or are you gonna say, well, what was the grand arc of my life?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. I think the distinction is, you know, is it interesting or is it impactful? Right? I think that’s that’s that’s exactly it. And I it can be I’ve been The. You know? Like, what could be interesting you know, you were down a little rabbit hole doing something quite interesting. It’s following the plain cells. But then when you step back and you said, well, what’s the legacy I’m creating with this? You realize it’s like, man, did I do all that education and all The? I’ve got acquired all that ex experience just for this. And again, for some people that’s the game they want to play. But I think probably people listening to this podcast or for people who, want to play that game, very exponential impact.

That’s not enough. But what I find, firstly, the same for you is actually when you get clear on a big mission, it actually becomes way more interesting because it’s such a huge mission that you you wanna go on. It’s like, wow, that’s completely The next level compared with what I was thinking about before and this particular one deal. And now I’m thinking about how to change the world in some dimension. So, actually, what’s funny is that the interests can kinda keep us stuck in almost like a local maximum, you know, where it’s kind of interesting enough to kind of distract us. There’s a whole The

Chintan Panchal
Yeah. That’s a great way of putting it. Right? It’s interesting enough to distract us. You know, the other thing I’m thinking about is, right, that Impact doesn’t mean the same thing for all of us. Right? You know, kind of you and I happen to be aligned in terms of a lot of ways that we think about this concept of impact. Right? And we have a a broad based kind of, you know, world focused, you know, and change driven kind of, definition maybe. And I think so some people can think about impact in their local community or their their group or their tribe or, you know, their family, etcetera. And that I think also gets confused sometimes.

Right? Because sometimes people a lot of us I was one of those people. Right? And so that you just kind of assume, alright. Well, what I’m doing in the day to day and the grind is some is is helpful to my family. I’m providing for my family. I create jobs for my employees. Right? You know, whatever. Right? These kinds of things are are are a lot of this is the way that a lot of us think. Right? A lot of a lot of folks think.

And and there’s you know, I wanna I wanna kinda draw out this point a little bit because on the one hand, right, the impact is not prescriptive. Right? It’s not like for me to say, alright. Well, you should have this Impact. You should care about that thing, or you should wanna achieve this goal or that. Right? That’s we set that for ourselves. But then what does impact even mean? Because if everything impact is impactful, then kinda nothing is. Right? And I think that it’s actually really, you know, going back to the point that you made. It’s being clear about what that what that truly means.

Right? Like, having an impact. Right? Like, okay. Do I actually wanna change or build or grow something that is bigger than me? And do I care about something that’s more than just what I have to do to survive?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. For me, it’s kind of, an impact radius cycle it. Right? So clearly, you know, first level of radius is like your own personal survival. Often, we tend to over index that. I was talking with somebody the other day, actually, a group a bunch of CEO, and they were kinda talking about basically all the things they had to get in place before they did the thing they really wanted to do as if they hadn’t got a big enough stash of money right now. And so that can kinda keep us back. Right? But obviously, if literally our own survival is a state, we’re probably gonna focus on that. The after ourselves, we’ve already got our family.

Right? Providing for your family, right? Important, of course, right? You don’t want to be going on a mission and see your family falling apart and not feeling good food on the table, of course. Otherwise your mission becomes a millstone, but you’ve got the second radius, which is your family. And then you start to get, you know, to your, you know, to your company, right? You know, you keep your company afloat. You know, allow it to actually have the oxygen to do what it does. Right. But then you start to go beyond that, right? Like change your industry, change your country, change the world, change, change the way people think or whatever it is. And as you said, it’s not specifically a right or wrong, but the question is you’ve got one wild and wonderful life. What game do you want to play? Simple as that.

Right? What game do you wanna play? And go and play the game that you want to play rather than The game that you feel you need to play or, you know, situations mean that you have to play. As you

Chintan Panchal
Absolutely. And in and I also think it’s a privilege to be able to play the game. Right? There’s so many folks in the world who are just perpetually stuck in kind of radius level 1. Right? Kind of provide, you know, kind of personal security. Right? That’s that’s actually something that I think is a worthy impact goal in and of itself. Right? Kind of development and the opportunity for, you know, there’s a there’s a there’s a saying out there. 1 of the CEOs that I that I work with, you know, uses this a lot. Right? Which is that brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity isn’t.

Right? So there’s so many folks out there that that given given the time and space and the chance can do so much. But oftentimes, they aren’t given that chance. Right? And I think that’s in terms of impact objectives. Right? From just creating opportunity for, you know, folks who never had it, or wouldn’t otherwise have had it. The, you know, it’s it’s super compelling, but it is it is, you know and I think with that privilege comes a bit of a responsibility. Again, not being prescriptive, but understanding that there’s a responsibility to take that seriously and to think about that and say, well, what can my contribution be in this world? You know?

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. For sure. Heather, the hey. Because I’m realizing there’s so much we could talk about here. We could go a long way. I’m seeing time ticking ticking away. I do have a couple of key questions I really wanna ask you, my favorite questions on the show, actually, which is, first of all, like, what does multiplying your impact look like over the coming years? So if we’re coming back, you know, if you come back in 2 or 3 years and you say, you know, wow, you know, can’t believe it. This is where we are now.

What would that look like for you?

Chintan Panchal
I love it. I think there are two dimensions to that that that I think about a lot. And the first one is in this in this, realm of innovation. Right? It’s a big part of our ethos and kind of what we do and how we go about doing it and and and who we are as a firm. Innovation. Right? And so if we are able to develop through innovation, through kind of trial and error, through, you know, academic work that we do, through kind of practical work that we do, we’re able to develop some of the structures that prove to be actually quite useful to driving and leveraging and growing Impact, and they become adopted and and utilized because they are inherently helpful and useful, then I think we’ve actually created something that is that in and of itself, it is a impact multiplier because people can use it. And and and when we think about when, like, what we’re creating and and and how we’re going about building something new, we’re thinking about that. Right? Like, can this unlock? Can this magnify? Can this turbocharge? Can this accelerate impactful outcomes? Right? So The, you know, so that’s kind of the one piece of it. Right? So it’s like..

Richard Medcalf
What you tell let me actually just just give you a framework coming to my mind as you talk about that. It sounds like it’s possibly a 2 or even 3 stage shift for you. So it sounds like there’s projects, right, which is doing the deals 1 by 1, classic lawyer behavior, right, doing the deals, doing working with clients, classic consulting behavior as well. Right? That’s what we do. But projects to then either products, right, more standardized, but possibly what I’m hearing is even beyond that and more to paradigms. Right? So so the the the the product might be that you can scale certain ways of doing things and be a go to firm in certain financing structures. Right? Fantastic. That’s product type.

And then the final one is the paradigm, which has actually changed the way that people think more globally. You might not always be involved in that, but you’ve fundamentally changed the way people look at opportunities. And I think So you need The write that down because yeah.

Chintan Panchal
I think that’s exactly spot on. Yeah. Love it. Okay. So so some of the projects, so maybe put it this way. Right? So if some subset of the projects that we work can can become paradigm shifters, can can paradigm changers in and of themselves. Right? Not we don’t expect all of them will.

But if some of them can, then I think we’ve we’ve achieved a dimension of what what you’re talking. Right? Something we care. The other kind of the other side of it is people. Right? Kind of if we can if we can inspire other professionals who are at the top of their game to look at and understand that this this way of practicing your trade exists. And this opportunity to kind of manifest your own kind of purpose and what’s meaningful to you exists. Right? You can do this in your work. You can do it right here, right now. You don’t have to wait until, you know, you’ve bought your 3rd house and where you’ve achieved x, y, z in your bank account or whatever.

You don’t have to wait. You do this now in your work. Right? You can take what you’re great at and actually apply it to something you care about. Right? The that idea, if we can help inspire through our example, just saying we’re doing it, and it’s successful, and it’s great, and it’s re actually, really fun and wonderful. And other people are able to kind of take that and do it in their own way. Some of those people, you know, can find a home here. Right? But we we can’t be home to everyone. Right? But the idea is that this philosophy, this idea is much bigger than than us or any, you know, any of the people in the space.

Right? So that’s 1. And then 2, it is kind of there is actually a a different style and mode and philosophy and technical approach to the work itself. Right? The work, as we talked about at the top of this conversation, it’s not just saying, alright. I’m gonna take this thing that already exists off shelf and just apply it to this group of people because they’re kinda like that group of people. And, you know, it’s not just throwing products at people. Right? And so if we and this is something that is an ambition of of mine that I haven’t yet been able to kind of, realize, is for us to become a teaching institution ourselves, and and actually help really kind of contribute to the body of knowledge, in the space of how you do this and how you do it well. And I think that that’s it’s critical for this for this philosophy to to thrive and flourish for for, you know, the the the all of the people that are required to to take these ideas. And and then..

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. And perhaps that is back to the the paradigm thing. Right? Perhaps that teaching institution is the way in which you start to scale your thinking beyond, beyond the individual clients that you work with. So Chinta, it’s a great conversation. I know we could spend a lot longer. The good news is at least the 2 of us, we get to, we get to talk on a much more regular basis, so we’ll be able to explore more of this. But, the purposes of this conversation, tell me what’s it going to take for you to multiply your Impact? Right. So for the firm to do these things, right, to to create these new paradigms, to perhaps create this teaching institution, You’re gonna need to change your own success formula, right, and reinvent yourself in some way.

So what’s gonna be the edge, would you say, for you as you look at being the kind of person that can deliver on that level?

Chintan Panchal
Well, that’s a tough one. That’s kind of the question, isn’t it? Kind of like, who do I need to become in order to achieve the things that I’m dreaming about? There’s a there’s many different, you know, dimensions to it. Right? And and I don’t know if any one of them is the one thing, but I’ll I’ll kind of just talk.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. What comes to mind now in this moment? I mean, that with could be different things, but my goal is to help your thinking on this. Right? What’s what’s an area?

Chintan Panchal
Yeah. So one of the things that that I think I’ve been successful at so far in my journey is getting out of kind of the day to day of working in the business and I can work on the business. Right? But I need to be able to become the best leader of this business that I can. And I I don’t think anywhere by by any means of anywhere near that yet. I need to become a more effective leader. Right? And that kind of starts with vision all the way down through execution and reinforcement of the vision, and and kind of integrating these ideas into a a flow and a process and right. And and there’s a lot of that that I still I still am learning, you know, how to do and how to do well. I think that I have to be able to to communicate well, kind of who we are and what we do to the world, very very clearly.

Both from The, from the perspective of, you know, helping us get in front of people who we can actually help. And so that we can partner with them to actually create amazing amazing things that we may not have even thought of yet. And the other is to get in front of folks who can help us do this work. Right? Kind of the the the the universe of of brilliant, you know, professionals, out there. And so that’s, you know, I think in a nutshell, if I can if I can lead my organization of exceptionally talented, very, very, smart and it translate to difficult to lead professionals. Right? You you you you know, the the leading isn’t like, okay, you must do The. That’s not how it does. It just doesn’t work.

Right? And if I’m able to, you know, it it kinda goes back to something earlier. Right? This isn’t in a vacuum. Right? It’s a highly competitive environment. Right? There’s no barrier to entry for every other, you know, firm and, you know, kind of big, small, solo, etcetera to dive into The space. And in fact, that’s something that I’m hoping will happen from The big picture perspective. Right? But that has to be in balance with something that sometimes is Impact odds with The. Right? Which is the the ability to compete and compete well, compete effectively. Right? Like, I wanna have a lot of competition, but then I wanna be able to compete effectively within all The competition.

Right? The easier thing to really be like, alright. We’re the only people in the space that can do this and, you know, but that’s that doesn’t achieve anything other than kind of a very nearsighted small, goal of, you know, kind of financial success in the short term. Right? There is a bigger vision and and perspective on this that that I think is achievable.

Richard Medcalf
Yeah. So, well, thank you for kinda sharing some of those edges. Right? As you kind of think about how you manage your team and offer them that bigger vision of what’s possible, because you’re right, like you are, you’re somebody who is on a big mission, and that is going to require reinventing yourself in different ways, as, as you go for this. My suspicion actually is The, yes, rising up your leadership skills in your business would be one thing, but probably at some point you will actually do what you wanna do, possibly even have to decouple your own impact from that of your business to change the world at the level that you you’re interested in. So So it’d be interesting to to kinda see how that emerges.

Chintan Panchal
I don’t I don’t expect that I’ll be I’ll always necessarily be the right leader for this firm at every stage of our growth. Right? We’re here where we are right now. This is my role and this this is kinda what I do. But just like I’ve been able to get out of a lot of the day to day of The work and really kinda focus on kind of the innovative dimensions to a lot of the things that we do, I think that maybe the day will come where the firm is bigger than is is much bigger than me, and and The I it’s it’s Impact and my impact are 2 different things.

Richard Medcalf
Well, hey, Chitung. It’s pretty great to to chat. If people wanna get in touch with you or find out about, about the business, where do they do that?

Chintan Panhal
So the website is www.rpck.com, and I’m atchinthan, CEO h I n t a n, at r p c k dot com. I’m also on LinkedIn, Chintan Pancho. And, those are probably the best ways to to get in touch. And, I’m always interested in interacting with brilliant and and like minded people.

Richard Medcalf
Perfect, Tidabar. Thank you. I love this dive we’ve done today on on this intersection, right, between law and impact and the way that you’re innovating to make contractual frameworks, financing, more aligned with what people are trying to do when they when they are on a mission, when they have a purpose. I think we’ve we’ve that’s been really interesting looking at that, about the games we wanna be playing, about, yeah, how wide our input radius is. This I think this idea of how you move from or starting to move from projects all the way to paradigms and, you know, your ambitions around teaching people, mobilizing people around a movement, which is, I think, is fascinating. So it’s been a fun conversation. I look forward to following along in the future. Thank you.

Chintan Panchal
Thanks so much, Richard. It’s been fun.

Richard Medcalf
Well, that’s a wrap. If you received value from this conversation, please do leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. We’d deeply appreciate it. And if you’d like to check out the show notes from this episode, head to x quadrant.com/podcast, where you’ll find all the details. Now finally, when you’re in top leadership, who supports and challenges you at a deep level to help you multiply your impact? Discover more about the different ways we can support you at xquadrant.com.

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