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Making Succession Planning Easy for Everyone with AI and Blockchain

Vishnu Chundi (Pilani, ‘03) is the Founder and CEO of AasaanWill, an AssetVault product that provides estate planning services for residents in the UK and India. He has an MPhil in Nanotechnology from Cambridge University and an MBA from the London Business School. Prior to founding AasaanWill, Vishnu worked as a Product Manager for Bain and Wonga. He is also the founder of AssetVault, which leverages AI and Blockchain to address an age-old concern. Vishnu's vision is to make succession planning easy for everyone, and AasaanWill is a testament to his commitment to this goal. Through his work, Vishnu is helping people protect their assets today and tomorrow.

What inspired you to start AasaanWill, and how did you come up with the idea?

I started off with building an estate planning product for the UK market a couple of years ago during my time at London Business School. However, when I came back to India, I realized that the problem of estate planning and succession was much more prominent here. The audience was largely unaware of the concept and the need for it. During my research, I discovered that more than 95% of Indians do not have a Will or a robust succession plan in place. What was worse, was the estate planning was largely inaccessible to the average citizen owing to significant cost – and the control of the estate by rightful heirs took roughly a year upwards of INR 75,000 on average.

Perhaps one of the biggest motivations for me was a personal tragedy. I was working at Wonga when my uncle passed away without a Will and Testament, and I witnessed an ugly dispute our family had to go through.

It was a perfect blend of cause and opportunity for me to bring a paradigm shift in the way we plan to safeguard our loved ones after us. Thus, AasaanWill was born.

Can you tell us about your experience working for corporate and private equity clients, and how it has helped you in your role as CEO of AasaanWill?

My experience working for corporate and private equity clients has been immensely valuable in shaping my role as the CEO of AasaanWill. I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, ranging from strategy development and operational improvements to financial analysis and due diligence. These experiences have provided me with a well-rounded skill set that has been crucial in building and growing AasaanWill.

Strategic thinking: I learned the importance of clear strategies for achieving business objectives and applied this to create a roadmap for AasaanWill.

Operational efficiency: I gained insights into optimizing business processes and operations, which helped me streamline AasaanWill's services for efficient and effective delivery.

Understanding the market: My diverse experiences provided a deep understanding of market dynamics and competitive landscapes, enabling me to identify growth opportunities and differentiate AasaanWill's offerings from competitors.

How has your education at BITS Pilani influenced your career path and entrepreneurial journey?

My education at BITS Pilani played a significant role in shaping my career path and my entrepreneurial journey. The rigorous curriculum, exposure to diverse subjects, and emphasis on problem-solving and critical thinking at BITS Pilani helped me develop a strong foundation that has been vital to my success in various professional and entrepreneurial endeavors.

My time at BITS Pilani helped me develop a technical foundation and the interdisciplinary learning opportunities help me think outside the box, and changing my lens to look at problems from various perspectives.

Can you share any challenges you faced while building AasaanWill, and how you overcame them?

We faced three key challenges while building AasaanWill:

Market awareness and education: One of the major challenges we faced was raising awareness about the importance of estate planning and Will-writing in India. We addressed this challenge by launching targeted marketing campaigns, organizing educational workshops, strategic partnerships with corporates, and leveraging social media platforms to spread the message about the necessity of having a Will.

Simplifying the Will-writing process: Traditional Will-writing processes are often complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. We aimed to make it more accessible and straightforward for our users. To overcome this challenge, we built an intuitive online platform that simplifies the process by providing guided questionnaires, customized solutions, and expert support, making it easy for anyone to create a legally valid Will.

Building trust with customers: As a new entrant in a sensitive market, gaining the trust of our customers was vital. To establish credibility, we ensured data privacy and security on our platform, partnered with legal experts to guarantee the validity of our Wills, and focused on providing exceptional customer service.

In what ways does AasaanWill use technology to make succession planning and Will writing easier for its users?

AasaanWill leverages technology to simplify succession planning and Will writing for its users in several ways. Our goal is to make the process more accessible, user-friendly, and cost-effective. Here are some ways we use technology to achieve this:

Online platform: AasaanWill offers an intuitive online platform that allows users to create, edit, and store their Wills from the comfort of their homes. This eliminates the need for physical appointments with lawyers and significantly reduces the time and effort required for Will writing.

Guided questionnaires: Our platform features interactive, guided questionnaires that help users navigate the Will-writing process step by step. These questionnaires ensure that users provide all the necessary information, making it easier for them to create a comprehensive and legally valid Will.

Customization: AasaanWill offers a range of customizations tailored to different situations and user preferences. This helps simplify the process by providing users with a clear structure and relevant legal language to create their Wills.

Secure storage and access: AasaanWill uses advanced encryption and security measures to protect users' data and documents. This ensures that users' Wills are stored securely and can be accessed only by authorized individuals. Additionally, our platform allows users to update and revise their Wills easily, ensuring that their estate plans remain up-to-date.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those with a background in engineering or technology?

To aspiring entrepreneurs with engineering or technology backgrounds: harness your creativity and technical prowess to bring innovative solutions to life. Embrace challenges, and let your passion drive you to make a lasting impact. Believe in your potential to transform industries and improve lives, and always remember that your journey is a testament to the power of determination and innovation.