Kanchan Gupta, She Glorifying Businesses, Nari Shakti

Kanchan Gupta: The ODR Trailblazer

Magazine Women

“CADRE has pioneered the ODR space in India.”

Kanchan Gupta
(Co-Founder, CADRE ODR)

With a mission to increase access to justice by creating well-thought & jargon-free dispute resolution solutions, Kanchan Gupta is successfully running CADRE ODR. With her razor-sharp focus, Kanchan has built CADRE ODR as India’s simplest online dispute resolution platform. 

Kanchan hails from Bangalore and studied Electronics Engineering at PESIT, Bengaluru. She spent nearly two decades in IT giants like Cognizant, Sapient, and Max Life Insurance and specialised in areas of Process Management, Program Management and Digital Transformation. 

“I always had the desire to create something impactful from scratch. After my last corporate role in 2018, I decided to work for myself and started exploring areas to solve problems. Legal is an area which is nearly untouched by technology and that got me thinking on why and how. We often associate the legal domain with rules, procedures, formalities, years in court, high fees, and stress. That’s when the idea of CADRE ODR took shape. My vision for CADRE ODR is to make dispute resolution easy, transparent, fast, and cost-effective, bringing it right to everyone’s doorstep,” states Kanchan.

CADRE stands for Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution Excellence and operates in the newly emerging Online Dispute Resolution space. ODR is a form of dispute resolution which uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties via tech-enabled negotiation, mediation or arbitration.

As the famous saying goes, Life is not always a bed of roses. The entrepreneurial journey brought with it many roadblocks. Kanchan faced new challenges every day, whether it was recruiting skilled talent for the company in a lesser-known area or closing potential clients who doubted the viability of CADRE ODR early on. Kanchan has the unique distinction of being a non-lawyer trying to change how legal processes are run. Overcoming these challenges required a substantial amount of conviction in the idea and persistence to bring about meaningful change in our society and legal system. And Kanchan tackled each hurdle with grit. 

A Notable Leader In The ODR Industry

Disputes are an inherent aspect of business, yet the existing legal systems often fall short of addressing them effectively and economically. Traditional litigation, while robust, often becomes a lengthy and costly affair leading to social and economic blockages. That’s where CADRE ODR enters the room to offer well-designed and inclusive digital dispute resolution solutions for individuals and businesses by reimagining the process. CADRE ODR combines a tech-enabled platform, simplified arbitration/mediation rules, and trained professionals to deliver legally binding, cost-efficient, and timely resolutions to legal disputes, typically within 45 days.

“ODR covers various dispute types like debt recovery, employment issues, confidentiality breaches, service delivery problems, and consumer grievances. It’s rapidly gaining recognition in India, and CADRE ODR is a leading player in this field. In the public sector, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has already adopted ODR for investor disputes. Many fintechs and NBFCs are using it for debt recovery,” explains Kanchan. She also adds, “The Government of India, through E-Courts Phase III in 2023, has included ODR to address and reduce the backlog and delays in the Indian legal system.”

Achievements In The Last Five Years

Kanchan co-incepted CADRE ODR in 2019 and has been an anchor for the company and the idea. Under Kanchan’s leadership, the platform has celebrated significant milestones. These include being a contributor to the 2021 Niti Aayog ODR Policy Plan for India, achieving runner-up status in Startup Karnataka Elevate 2021, and becoming the ODR provider for the two largest stock exchanges in India, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) & National Stock Exchange (NSE). 

“We have processed more than 2500 cases with a combined value of greater than INR 150 crores. Our platform has disbursed over INR 1 crore worth of fees, including during the pandemic, thereby providing earning opportunities to legal professionals in Tier 2 cities. A majority of our arbitrators as well as our team members are women and not many businesses have been able to achieve these milestones,” mentions Kanchan with pride.

Additionally, CADRE has become an ecosystem partner for Digital Dispute Resolution in privacy, loan disbursement, and open network commerce disputes (ONDC, & Sahamati Account Aggregator). 

CADRE ODR process can be used in money as well as non-money disputes. Its typical use cases include loan recovery and finance disputes, contractual payment disputes (such as housing rentals or commercial agreements), service and delivery disputes, employer-employee disputes, disputes between marketplace or platform participants, family matters, and issues where individual consumers assert their rights against banking, insurance, telecom, and other service providers.

The Vision Ahead

Kanchan Gupta The ODR Trailblazer

CADRE ODR was launched when the ODR sector did not even exist in India. It stays proactive and at the forefront by recognising the vast potential for innovation in addressing the limitations of traditional legal systems. Since its inception, CADRE has expanded into debt recovery to disputes in employment, confidentiality breaches, service delivery, consumer grievances, securities markets, and more. 

It primarily serves customers who need a low-cost dispute resolution system, including individuals as well as corporates like NBFCs, Banks, e-commerce companies, MSMEs and SMEs. It also intends to address government and civic disputes that can be resolved by online means. 

While highlighting the company’s long-term vision, the Founder states, “CADRE will evolve into a premier Legal Tech provider of AI-fueled automated dispute resolution and grievance redressal services with little or no human intervention to make dispute resolution accessible to one and all.” 

Sherly Sandberg’s words – Done is better than perfect, motivate Kanchan to keep moving forward, while exploring different avenues of growth and impact.

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