How I started my first startup in education domain
As a kid I went through the pain of study pressure. Reading piles of books, homework, tutions, assignments, projects — I did everything to get more marks in exams.
So scoring marks in exam is the only purpose for a student?
I started thinking on these lines but could not find satisfying answer for myself.
Seed of education startup
Long time back, I volunteered for teaching in primary school (for very small period) where I learnt how to make students happy without teaching them yet imparting conceptual knowledge.
I got opportunities for teaching many times in my life; coaching classes, computer courses, exam prep, private tutions for math, teaching slum kids through AID NGO project Prerna. I never thought of making teaching my profession but I always enjoyed the process of sharing knowledge and spending time with kids.
I felt connected with education which brought me closer to my first startup, SchoolGennie
Although I had burning desire for starting business yet it was difficult for me without a partner. Luckily I met with Amit Gupta, a serial entrepreneur and wonderful human being. He was working as head of HR in corporate but looking for opportunity to exit from job and start new venture.
I shared my interests with him and he quickly agreed to work on some business. I wondered at that time, how can someone be multi skilled in operations, admin, finance, business, people relationships, marketing & sales.
It’s dream of every entrepreneur to have multi skilled co-founder, I was glad I found one.
There was so much to learn from him throughout the rough journey of startup. He was the person I could bet my savings and job, a perfect co-founder with complementary skill set.
Although we were team of two people working together yet we were clueless about the business we have to build. We were having regular conversation on business ideas, policies, finances, hiring and company incorporation.
Our first idea was to build a Zomato like platform for parents where everyone can review schools and get in depth information about schools. But it was useful only during admission season so we buried this idea in planning papers.
Then we thought we should help schools in building strong relationships with parents. Teachers and Parent need to understand children better to nurture their lives. Traditional ways like Diaries, Notices, PTM and Phone calls are no more efficient ways of sharing information.
Students need more attention than ever before, they are more burdened with study, frustrated, depressed and lonely.
Otherwise why students are committing suicides? Why they are killing their friends with guns in schools? Why they need psychiatrists in young age?
Birth of Startup
We started developing cloud based software which can bring school management, teachers and parents on common platform to foster better connectivity.
Our aim was to build strong school-parent relationship
To make it sellable product we started adding features like online attendance, e-notices, e-assignments, sms-notices, i-facebook, i-whatsapp, teacher feedback, intelligent timetable, fees management, customer management and exam & progress reports.
SchoolGennie started taking shape of complete School Management Software, an ERP & CRM for schools.
Our purpose was not to become ERP company. We wanted to decode student’s behavior and help our next generation with solutions to fight with behavioral issues.
We needed a lot hell of data to build auto intelligence with help of big data analytics. ERP solution was our key to enter into schools so that we could collect large set of data from teachers & parents.
Our plans were to stay in field, collecting student behavior data for years without making big profits.
SchoolGennie was planned to become big data company in education domain, providing behavioral reports to students, predictive analysis of school results, best matched career choices to students.
With expansion in colleges and universities, same data could have been used to generate reports for job-market. Making corporate HR life easy so that no person fall into wrong job profile.
We launched product in market, we got appreciation from customers, we enjoyed the pain and pleasure of running a startup. Once again we were students learning new things in our own way.
This is experiential knowledge that is making us strong day by day.