AMA with Co-founder of NAVGURUKUL

A little bit about me :

-Computer Science from IIT Delhi 2013, worked extensively on virtualization projects
- Co-founded Zumbl which got acquired.
- Co-founded FranklyMe raised $2.6 Million from Matrix Partners
- He then worked under Manish Sisodia to understand education sector
- Co-founded NavGurukul to fix higher-education in Bharat for people who can’t afford BTech.

1 -Starting with, why did I started Navgurukul after doing for-profit startups?

While I was doing for-profit startups, I was able to make money but always felt that I lacked a purpose. It was a continuous journey which finally culminated by me having to answer via the no-regrets theory that I have. I do what I believe will give me least regrets when I am old. Usually, that involves listening to a lot to your heart. So when I really knew it, I had to take the plunge. The good part is, when you are young, you can take more risks as you have fewer responsibilities.

2-If one has the complete schema for the startup like having the idea, investment, group, risk assessment factors than what is the very first step to initiate the work? 
Is it to start your work on the small group of customers or what are the other ways?

Idea is to move lean and test the hypothesis which you think is most likely to go wrong. This approach has been detailed well in a book called “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries, which is a must-read for anyone who wants to start up. 
As an alternate — Practically, as an Entrepreneur you are always selling yourself to investors, product to consumers, etc. etc. Sometimes, you can start micro-selling and see if it is giving you a good response.

3- One wants to work as an intern in companies like Oracle and IBM? What should he\she do? 
The internship should be paid.

I wish I had an easy answer to this. Sadly, getting an internship is a mixture of various things. 
1 — Knowing how to code well 
2 — Knowing data structures to clear interviews 
3 — Having the right inroads in the companies 
4 — Some soft skills such as communication 
What you need to see is where do you lack most, and build upon it. C-Club is a great initiative to enable of all these, but how much advantage you can derive from it — is up to you!

4- I want to make better use of my free time as well as my vacations. So could you please guide me how to pursue that love for coding and how to make my resume stronger??

First of all, identify if you want to do competitive programming or application programming. While both of these aren’t exclusive but can be quite different 
Accordingly, you have to identify resources. Eg.. as far as I know C-Club shares a lot of Hackathon challenges to learn competitive programming that you can participate in. Healthy competition can vastly boost your performance. 
For web programming, you will find a lot of online courses which help you do projects. Please ensure you do full projects, and put them in your “portfolio”. This directly helps you to build your CV as well.

5- Not being a technical person, it’s becoming difficult to come up in college due to a pressure of placement. The faculty creates pressure and tells that it’s important to be technically strong to clear for a company. What topic should I cover so that I can clear at least an interview?

An interesting question. You would need to really see if you are even interested in tech. Chasing a career you don’t want to pursue all your life can be really hard on you. I would advise you to see a career counselor if you can’t decide for yourself. I have seen plenty of cases where someone wanted to be a good designer but was under pressure to learn technology. I have never seen this ending well until the person truly follows what he or she wants.

6- What to do when one has an idea for the startup but don’t have enough knowledge about branding, investment and how to initiate the process. From where can they learn about these things?

Learn as much as you can to do yourself when you have just started. More dependent you are on others, more capital intensive it will become. When I started my first startup, I learnt designing, community management, fundraising, etc. to do things myself. Getting things done is the basic mantra for startups.

7- Should join a startup (already working on an idea similar to yours) or start our own?

If you are confident, startup. Else join an existing one. I would usually advise getting some experience before you start something. But there are exceptions to it. I myself started without much experience, and I can’t say I have any regrets.

8- How to transform through a learning experience to become a job provider. As we know only theoretical concepts and little bit practicals, how to build oneself to actually make a change in society?

Great question. There are two questions here:

1. How to be job provider
Start up an SME( which employs a lot of people, or *Train more people in the higher education. Contrary to the general opinion, the number of jobs that a tech company creates is minuscule. Still better than joining a company though.

2. How to identify and work for your purpose:
Have a strong belief in yourself, find good mentors, and take the plunge. i can tell you it is worth listening to your heart.