It is fitting that the two founders of an Education related startup met in school and continued into college together. Learnyst established by Shankar Mahesh and Shiva Ranjan helps educators build their own branded school online in less than 10 min. Learnyst enables individuals and organistaions to teach, sell and generate course revenue for their own brand.
- What made you start your venture?
Both of us were school & college mates. We loved developing new apps since college. Eventually our passion for developing new apps made us quit our corporate jobs and start our first venture http://karaokegarage.com in 2012. To expand karaokegarage we started selling music learning app to music schools. This is when we realized how important it was for education institutes to get online in order to take their business to next level. From June 2014 we started working on Learnyst and we had our first five customers by Sep 2014.
- What has been the key to your business’s success?
Our focus to India market is helping us build targeted solution for Indian education market. This is continues to help us capture Indian market faster than our competitors. We also have first mover advantage when it comes to India market. From technology stand point we have developed some distinctive features like website builder, content security and offline apps. One of our key learning has been customers focus – We believe in customer growth first. This approach has helped us reach our initial success.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Biggest challenge in education segment is finding product-market fit and customer acquisition. Our focus towards India market has helped us find our product niche early in the game. Also, having a targeted solution to Indian education market is helping us acquire customers with a short sales cycle. Here are some distinguishing features that sets us apart from our competitors
- We have developed assessment templates for some of the popular competitive exams like CAT, BANK PO, GATE, IIT JEE, CLAT and more. These features are a great value-add for test prep institutes in India.
- Content security – With encrypted streaming educators content are safe from piracy. This again is a more desirable feature for educators in India.
- Adaptive video streaming technology which ensures continuous video streaming even at low internet connectivity
- Offline secure mobile apps where educators can distribute their encrypted course content on pen drive or SD Cards and students can access course content using Learnyst powered mobile apps. It is helpful to reach students in remote places where internet connectivity is bad or unavailable.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
To answer in short, our customers are our mentors. We engage with our customers very early, we value their inputs and understand their requirements very closely. In fact all our product features are derived from customer requirements. This has greatly helped us in providing a great value proposition to our customers.
- Have you benefitted from the use of any specific technology for your regular operations?
Asana and Slack have been very useful as collaboration tools within our team.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
We have kept customer satisfaction at the core of our business. Using Learnyst educators are able to generate 30X revenue and save at least 80% on their online maintenance cost. Learnyst provides following benefits to educators:
- Do-It-Yourself website builder for creating & customizing your beautiful school front
- Provide marketing support like SEO optimization & email marketing tools
- Admin interface to upload courses, create assessments, package courses & set course prices
- Technically advanced adaptive video streaming (for smooth video streaming in low internet speed) & content hosting service
- You get to keep 100% of course revenue without worrying about technology maintenance & hosting -http://learnyst.com/pricing
- LMS interface with Course Builder, Test Builder, Student Manager and analytics tools
- Integrated Payment gateway solution
- Content encryption service to prevent piracy
- Student authentication and learning interface
- Link online school to your branded domain (Your existing website)
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Customer focus
- Listening to market