The bigger the risk, the higher the rewards. This is very true, even more so in the case of startups. Startups don’t guarantee success. In fact, statistics say that more than 90% startups fail.
So, entrepreneurs who risk everything to pursue a startup idea are a rare breed. It helps to know about them and their startups. Regardless of their successes or failures, it is important we learn from such entrepreneurs.
There is no better education than learning from their experiences. After all, continuous learning is what helps one succeed.
“MBA“. It is perhaps one of the most sought-after credentials in higher education for those aspiring to learn all about business and leadership. In India, MBA hopefuls have to go through Common Admission Test (CAT) and the scores on this test determine the eligibility to MBA programs at most colleges. Naturally, there are a plethora of sites catering to their needs. These resources range from books, blogs to niche portals, all dedicated for MBA aspirants to successfully crack the exam and get into their dream college.
But for someone who wants to be a successful Master in Business Administration, the quest doesn’t end there. Thanks to Internet, online sites are turning out to be the most popular destinations for management students and professionals yearning for latest trends and analysis in the business world but there aren’t many platforms serving this segment. Savvy entrepreneurs who see an opportunity here are cashing in on this trend.
Two such savvy entrepreneurs are Divij Saharia (@divijsaharia) and Manmeet Singh of MBAskool.com who not only want to help the MBA graduates prepare themselves for real world but also equip professionals with solid business and leadership skills through continuous education.[hero heading=”Manmeet Singh & Divij Saharia, MBAskool.com”]Work towards fulfilling your own dreams, before someone hires you to fulfill their dreams[/hero]
Here’s an interview with the messiahs of business management.
1. The Pitch
MBASkool is an online knowledge portal for MBA students and business professionals alike. It’s a knowledge portal containing documents on business management, business articles, brand guides, business concepts, quizzes, popular lists and discussion forums to create a community to study, learn and share concepts of management and business, and B-School activities.
2. The Beginnings
The concept of MBASkool originated while pursuing our MBA. During our MBA, we realized that there was no dedicated website which can address the needs of MBA students and aspirants. All the existing websites were focusing on admissions and exams such as CAT, XAT etc., but none actually carried management content that mattered and business knowledge which would benefit the students, aspirants and professionals.
There was no unified platform for knowledge creation and sharing, so we came up with idea of creating it ourselves.
3. Value Proposition
MBASkool caters to varied needs of students and professionals as it is a comprehensive management knowledge portal. Other websites just focus on aspirants and how they should get into an MBA institute. We have a repository of latest business articles, over 3500 brands across various sectors analyzed by our Brand Research Team. Users can also upload/download management documents (ppt/doc/pdf/xls) in our Documents Section. Our readers can also benefit from over 5000 Business Concepts & Definitions along with several other unique features and not to mention our popular campus activities.
4. About Founders
MBASkool.com was started by Divij Saharia and Manmeet Singh. We did our MBA in 2010 from NMIMS, Mumbai. MBAskool is a result of our mission to empower MBA students and aspirants. We have work experience in companies like Tata Motors, IDEA, Oracle & Infosys. Besides startups, we love football, online gaming and photography.
5. Initial customers & Market validation
Reaching out to our target audience was a challenge. We did so by offering content which was of very high quality, unique and striking. We then reached out to the student fraternity through contests, internships & through campus coordinator initiatives. Our interactions with students through seminars also helped us understand their needs better. Apart from this, we also used traditional channels to promote; through banners, pamphlets, posters etc which are displayed on campuses across MBA colleges.
6. Growth & Metrics
We experienced a lot of growth in last two years owing to the growing acceptance of our concept and brand. Since our launch in 2011, we have had over 7 million users from 70 countries accessing MBASkool. We are already reaching out to more than 400,000 users on a monthly basis. MBASkool has over 60,000 registered members and even our social footprint is strong with approximately 60,000 Facebook fans.
7. Growth Pains & Lessons
We faced many challenges in the beginning but we learnt a lot from them. The main obstacles which we faced were on the technical front and taking the brand to students and also maintaining the content inflow. Running a content based knowledge website like MBASkool can bring in many challenges on a regular basis but finding solutions is what makes us real entrepreneurs.
8. Growth Plans
In the near future, we plan to increase our associations with B-schools in India as well as abroad for content submissions, events and internships. Our main aim is to raise the quality of management education by involving students and experts in creating and sharing knowledge.
We’ll focus on growing our team and reach out to newer audiences. We would leave no stone unturned in making MBASkool the one-stop management education destination.
9. Growth Funds
We are currently bootstrapped and our revenues are growing steadily. But we do want to scale and multiply our growth. If we do find some investors keen on supporting our vision of enhancing management education, we will be open for discussions.
10. Hiring Effectively as a startup
Hiring the right talent is extremely important for any venture. Candidates are required to not only have the right skill sets but should also be on the same page as far as the vision of the venture is concerned. For a start-up, multi-tasking in different areas is also an important asset in any candidate.
11. Trends in Online Education
Online media and education is constantly on the rise and turning out to be an extremely competitive space. Creative, eye-catching yet informative content is what the Internet users seek. Also, MBA students and business professionals are constantly on the look-out for highly informative portals.
12. Help from the Startup ecosystem
Besides finding technical help, we worked in tandem with other start-ups who helped us in marketing through merchandise products like MBASkool t-shirts, pens etc.
13. An ideal startup hub
Start-ups need to be in a positive environment where experiments are accepted and encouraged for growth. Even if the experiments fail, they teach you to discover ways and means to explore new untapped opportunities. In most cases, it ultimately leads to something good for a venture.
14. Areas needing help
For any growing startup, having a strong team is very important. We are looking for experienced web developers besides a dedicated marketing & content management team to create more user-focused content.
15. Advice to Entrepreneurs
Startups require a lot of dedication and relentless commitment. You have to nurture it step by step everyday, cherishing the successful moments and fighting the challenges that come your way. Never giving up despite all odds is the most important thing in a startup journey. Work towards fulfilling your own dreams, before someone hires you to fulfill their dreams.
As far as finances are concerned, one should thoroughly prioritize their needs and avoid unnecessary expenses.
16. MBAskool rocks because…
We have always focused on giving the best content to our users. Our commitment has been rewarded time and again by our users recognizing our efforts and nothing measures more than having delighted users.
16. For more info
Study, Learn & Share @ MBASkool.com
[Edited for clarity]
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(If you are an amazing Indian startup founder or enabler of startup eco-system in India and would like to be interviewed or featured on Startups.in then I’d be happy to talk to you. Contact me right away.)
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