The thing that sets Abhisekh apart from several other people in the counseling and training industry is the astounding success rate of his students. His incredible energy in the classroom, his ability to connect at a personal level with his students and his quirky yet elegant approach to Logical Reasoning have made him one of the most sought after mentors in the country. An SRCC graduate and an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Andy is passionate about dance, trekking, photography and the next student in whose life he is going to make a difference.
He along with Anand Venkatesan, Head of Operations started Eptitude with an aim to redefine education sector. Anand often wonders whether numbers, logic and the complex world of Quantitative Aptitude are his passions or professional indulgences. In a world filled with men torn between their work and their passions, Anand, an Electrical Engineer from one of the most coveted institutes in entire Southern India (Vellore Institute of Technology) and an alumnus of India’s top B-School (IIM Bangalore), lives his passion for numbers every single day as a Quantitative Aptitude instructor. He now creates breakthrough results for the students in the field of mathematics and English grammar.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
EPTITUDE’s engagement with a student begins with mentoring on career choices and personality development. For school students, we currently offer classroom/online modules to tackle CLAT, AILET IPM, BBA & HM aptitude entrances. Our offerings include study material, online & offline mock-tests with detailed analyses and GD/Interview preparation. The XYLEM module addresses the skill-gap that even students of the most prestigious colleges in Delhi University face, in the transition from academics to the job-market. These include basic business understanding, communication & negotiation skills and analytical/modeling skills. The module is administered through the case-study based approach and includes role-plays and assessments for continuous evaluation & feedback.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
EPTITUDE is a culmination of our journey in the education sector since 2010. Our vision is to be the most trusted choice for career advisory services, which includes career guidance and mentor-ship, Aptitude test preparation and employ-ability skills. The education sector today stands at the cusp of a digital revolution – the rules of the game have changed and technology can streamline and accelerate the process of learning and continuous improvement. We strive to provide superior customer service, engagement, mentor-ship and impact careers positively.
What is your life mantra?
To continuously explore unchartered areas & seek to innovate– both in personal and professional life.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
The most challenging part of our journey has been the creation of Xylem – the business proficiency enhancer module. It’s unchartered territory for us – we see an unmet need that deserves to be addressed and yet the challenge lies in differentiating it in form, scope and utility from everything the industry currently offers.
How did you overcome those challenges?
Our mindset here was to assemble a module that addresses multiple aspects that affect his performance on the job – cognitive skills, business know-how, analytics and modeling, case-study based approaches to problem solving and the softer aspects of communication & negotiations. In addressing this unmet need of graduates, we make use of case-studies, role-plays and interactive assessments. This way our module makes use of theory when applied in practice in real business situations.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
EPTITUDE started operating with promoter’s capital in Jan 2015. Since then we have opened centers in Gurgaon (which is profitable now) and North Campus. Our mission for the 2015-16 is to hit a turnover of ₹1.5 Crore, and we are well on the way to achieve that. The way ahead is to build online products and get a proof of concept for Xylem – both of which are in the pipeline currently. Since we are on track in achieving our milestones, we have approached a couple of VCs and things are looking really positive.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
We are a tightly knit team – more like a family really. What keeps us together is the shared vision of changing the paradigm in the education industry by offering innovative and effective products. This constant push for improvement motivates each of us and the organization as a whole.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Passion, Self-improvement and a strong Value system
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
- News Apps such as The Mint, Al-Jazeera, The Hindu
- Flipboard to tracking my interest areas around the world
- Youtube for music for info-tainment
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
A daily to-do list helps me keep track of multiple activities I need to manage, and also in goal-setting and the related habit of meeting deadlines.
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
I have evolved into a nocturnal person who enjoys getting things done at night – both personal and professional. In the long-run I am aware that this would affect both my health and productivity and hence I want to change this.
Answer in less than 50 words
One tip to success:
Dream and dream big. Only the grandest of aspirations can fuel your passion and motivate you constantly even in moments of doubt.
One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Complacency. Never underestimate your challenges, whether it be from competition, or your own capabilities. Question yourself first when the sailing is smooth and ask yourself whether you are aiming high enough.
One most important lesson that you have learnt till now:
Customer is king. Understanding that different customers have different needs that constantly evolve with time will keep you on your toes. Customer orientation will also ensure that value becomes the basis of your business offerings.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
EPTITUDE is poised to grow exponentially in the medium term. We intend to be present in at least 5 new locations in this period. At the same time, we also aim to expand the scope of our operations by adding newer products and by the smart use of technology. We aim to use technology to create apps and innovative modules that will make the process of learning more involved, interactive and adaptive.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
I come from a middle class family and had never imagined myself as part of a start-up business venture. While I consider myself lucky to have studied in the best places, made the best of friends and experienced the vibrancy of the business world, if given the chance to do it again I would have started thinking about entrepreneurship much earlier in life. I believe that this would only strengthen my mindset and self-confidence and boost the chances of success
What are your top three getaway destinations?
- Trekking in the majestic Himalayas in J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
- The pristine beaches and tranquility of Goa.
- Exploring the north-east: Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Losers are people who are afraid of losing.” – Robert Kiyosaki