“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,” he says. “I wanted to do something meaningful.”
After concluding that a political career was too expensive a proposition, Abhishek decided to start a law firm that would reflect his values and priorities. He called the firm Sarthak, which means “meaningful” in Hindi. The full-service firm focuses on corporate and commercial law in emerging sectors such as energy, roads and highways, technology, education, data protection, and arbitration.
In 2011, Mani joined her husband’s firm, first working on corporate transactional law before discovering her passion for litigation in 2014. She now heads up the firm’s litigation department. The division between litigation and transactional work has proved successful for the couple and management of the firm benefits from their different personalities and approaches to problem-solving.
“I’m like blue cheese. You’re either going to love me or you’re going to hate me unless you spend sufficient time with me,” explains Mani. “But with him, I feel that he is immediately likeable. He’s like chocolate.”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Egypt, a destination that raised many an eyebrow among friends and family. Who goes to Egypt for their honeymoon, people wondered. Other trips abroad have taken them to Jordan and South Africa where they have been able to engage their shared interest in history.
“Everyone keeps asking when we’re going to take a romantic trip,” says Mani, adding with a laugh, “I think the stereotypically most romantic place we’ve gone is Paris during the Primerus Global Conference.”
But for Mani and Abhishek, their travels are emblematic of the nature of their marriage, which is rooted in deep and abiding friendship.