In January 2014, Vesto was founded by Sumanth Prabhu and Nikhil Shetty with the intention to develop activity based learning products and services to make learning fun and experiential for the students and enable them to innovate while in school. They primarily create products for K12 segments in different concepts of Basic Science, Electronics, Mathematics, Automation and Robotics. More than 5000 students across Karnataka are benefited from with programs, we chat with the founders about the venture. An excerpt from the interview:
- What made you start your venture, Vesto?
It was during our engineering, we began to feel there is something terribly wrong with the way we learn. There was no fun in learning, no real time approach, no relevance and no productivity. That is when we started looking at the root cause for all these problems and we found the utmost need to bring transformation in the school level learning. Come on! Even now, during science exhibitions at schools, we saw the same old experiments and models that used to be exhibited way back in 2000. If students are not creating their own stuff even in this technologically advanced era, then something is really wrong with the learning done at schools. That is when we along with some of our friends formed a group and started conducting basic science workshops at schools during engineering semester holidays, to bring in awareness about science and technology. The education that students are undergoing is not inspiring them to innovate and create new things. It’s training them how to remember rather than how to apply. This is resulting in creating a huge human force with fewer or no skills.
- What has been the key to Vesto’s success?
- Quality consciousness
“We Invest Trust” is one of our quality statement. We take utmost care of the customers and deliver what they really need. No matter whether the school is big or small, we satisfy them with promised quality.
- Having market presence
As a start-up we didn’t wait till the product is perfect. We created products, built content and started partnering with schools. We learnt from our mistakes to create better products and contents.
- Customer relations
We keep a healthy relationship with customers and all the stake holders of our offerings.
- What are the major challenges in your line of business and how did/do you overcome them?
Our end customers are schools. Generally schools have a lot of options to spend their money. Initially it became hard to convince schools why they wanted our program. Later with right pitch and persistent approach we started scaling up.
- Understanding the market
The school market in India is very heterogeneous. The needs, wants, affordability and anxiety of every parent is different. It takes great time and effort to understand how the market works.
- Do you have a mentor who guides/advices you on matters of the business?
Of course! Ever since we had the idea of Vesto, Mr. Mahesh Hegde has been a friend, supporter and mentor. He is a serial entrepreneur who has ventured mainly into media. Also we have Mr. R.M Srivatsa, who is an entrepreneur and also runs schools as our mentor.
- What strategy do you follow for Customer Satisfaction & Expansion?
- We treat every customer with utmost care
Our marketing head and L&D head frequently visit schools and get feedback from Principals and teachers about our program. This builds a very cordial relation between schools and us and also helps in delivering better quality. This enables us to sell more to the same customer.
- Introducing new technologies
We are using Tablets and Online portals to reduce the human resource requirements thus reducing the operational burdens.
- What, according to you, are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Daring to take new risks