Who is a lobbyist?
A professional lawyer or attorney or key official who is learned, trained and certified with testimonials in his or her major subject of study, and an activist, who has the best ability to persuade and convince the key decision making authorities of the admin or congress, is a lobbyist.
How lobbyists benefit any company and how are they paid?
Companies that are interested in expansion plans or companies that are interested in subsidies for their production units, and with many other key objectives, will like to get a grant from the government side. That can be to offer subsidy to all the companies in that particular industrial sector. That can be something like allowing certain companies with certain turn around capacity to be given with special permissions, keeping in consideration of the economic growth of the country. It can be something like making amendments in the legislature to protect the interests of the commons, and so on. The contexts would vary by far. The benefits can be for individuals, companies, groups, organizations and so on. When the decisions are pending and wanting a resolve soon, then the lobbyists are pushed by the companies to go ahead and do the needful to get the needful done through the key decision makers involved in the affair.
This cannot happen overnight. This to happen, there is a whole lot of ground work done to make sure that the time on either side is not wasted. When you are keeping a claim to someone, first, it becomes necessary to understand the situation well. It is necessary to analyze the pros and cons involved in the affair fairly. Then it is very important to see if there are enough points to substantially support the claims to be kept in front of the legislator or the deciding authority. When these groundwork are done and the key instrumental ideas, tips and suggestions are gathered, the hitting the legislators compound immediately is not the idea. One more step is pending even by then. It is to gather the support first. This support gathered and the key people who are supporting become the valid proof to show to the legislator and get his nod in your favor finally.
Lobbying is not legal outside USA?
In certain countries like India, experts are of the opinion that lobbying is not possible to be implemented to happen in the controlled environment. It is tough. Therefore, they are not considering granting any permission to lobbying just like USA or UK.
It does not mean in general lobbying is just one another form of graft. It can be done professionally and ethically too, and USA is the example for that.
When the key decision authorities are interested to offer any decision in favor of a particular group of industries, when they do not see enough evidential support, they decline the offer. It is the role of lobbyist to do the needful here and bridge the gap. Therefore, it is positive something that brings in value to the system as a whole when done with commitment in the ethical manner.