“Our first board meeting took place inside our hostel room.” – TechBuddy Consulting: From Student Startup to Nurturing College Students
TechBuddy Consulting is a venture by IIT Alumni & Harvard Fellow which is poised to improve the skills of students with its initiative Skill India Programs – ‘Making Learning Relevant’ . It is aimed at stressing the importance of inculcating the self learning approach in students focusing on individual’s strengths and interests. In essence, TechBuddy Consulting help students find out their strengths (via workshops etc).
1. Tell us more about TechBuddy Consulting and its operations.
Techbuddy is a socially responsible company of dedicated people which is aimed at stressing the importance of inculcating the Self Learning approach in students focusing on individual’s strengths and interests, delivering quality learning for an educated world. We envisage along with our team, a vision to build a robust education environment, where the creation, exchange and sharing of all forms of knowledge is highly effective & meaningful, & is easily accessible to everyone.
We believe that education is a great segment to build a successful business in,but only if done ethically with high social responsibility. Thou who would believe in learning by sharing, will be regarded as pioneering educationist.
2. Where did you meet your cofounders? When did you guys actually decided on starting up with this idea?
My initial cofounders are two of my best buddies from my college IIT Roorkee where we graduated from in 2009. Together,we had been part of some great success stories at campus and always aspired for better and bigger in our lives. We sincerely believed that an awesome company can only be built by an awesome team, which was already our strength.Spark was there since long,planning had been underway for months,before it actually began on the November 30,2008 with our first board meeting that took place inside our hostel room. TechBuddy was born with the punchline ‘Don’t Just Create,Innovate’ and has been constantly innovating education & learning since then.
Though we initially started with 5 of us as cofounders & while two of them left few months down,few of them from the present team joined us later. As everything that begins has to evolve with time,we also did & that too with the right pace. The idea with which we originally started no longer forms the core of our business today.
3. Some of your cofounders wanted to go for higher studies. Tell us about this part of your journey.
I was a devil & had worked very hard to ensure that none of us prepares for the CAT and is engaged in much more interesting stuff,planning our to be venture.Catching us early,TIME coaching did make a good business out of us and scored A+ on customer Care when their guys kept ringing us requesting us to attend classes,till we stopped picking up their calls. In the end, being from middle class families, we did take the CAT only to ditch our families’ ambitions and fail the prestigious entrance examination with honour. As they say,its all written and everything thereafter has been history and counting the dots backward now,it all seems so easy,so simple and so glorious not just to us,but also to our family & friends.
Sad part, one of our cofounders did give in to his family’s aspirations & opted for higher studies in US over TechBuddy,and another followed a few months later to separate. But the good part is that we all are still the best of friends and laugh over all the good and bad experiences we shared together as the founding partners of TechBuddy. Defining the norms of exit apart from everything else very clearly on papers in the very beginning is utmost important to prevent all such complications and we were lucky to have done them at the right time.
4. Post college, how did you guys bagged consulting projects? What were the challenges faced?
We were lucky to get our first project within the first month and so the numerous business problems which followed.The transition from students to teachers,from boys to men,from clients to a service provider,from innocent college going kids to shrewd businessmen was sudden. It did not come upon us easily to accept the fact that there is something known as the Legal Contract that would from now keep a strict watch on all our actions and the scope of committing errors had shrunk to amazingly low,while any mistakes would only take us from a protected campus of IIT to an overprotected Tihar Jail.
As mentioned,challenges had just begun. From figuring out the scope of work to getting the work done,from motivating ourselves to hiring motivated enthusiastic student employees,from struggling with the burden of semester load at college for non-dropout entrepreneurs to getting almost succumbed under the aspirations of an overpromised client,all of it had just begun and had begun too well. The ball kept rolling,we kept moving,TechBuddy started growing,is still growing and confidence speaks that would keep growing for decades to come with just one belief,
‘Opportunities are ample,we just have to prepare ourselves with time.’
5. What’s your first reaction when you see your college batchmates going to US (for job/higher studies)?
If you will let me speak my heart out,I would waste a lot of time into coining something extraordinarily diplomatic for the couplet ‘educated fools’ and might hurt a lot of genuine dreams. But as I speak from a businessman’s perspective,while India is the place where the world wants to be,I don’t know why some of us are still aspiring to escape. I wish to quote it from somewhere I am not able to recall at this moment,”If India can beat the corruption fast and develop its basic infrastructure soon enough,21st century will be written in India.”
Everything said,its actually a free world. We all are responsible for our own actions and thus the choice has been solely left on each one of us to decide and plan for a much better future not just for himself,but also for the generations to come.So be wise,let your heart speak for yourself and keep dreaming.
6. What’s the current strength of TechBuddy consulting?
For us at TechBuddy,our strength can be summed up in 3 words,’Team,Team & Team’ which are the only constants,rest everything is adaptive with situations.
7. Your recommendation to students who want to startup?
Idea is a myth,team is a blessing.
Valuations are virtual,revenue is real.
Law is common sense,documentation is religion.
Great businesses are created by man,not God.
& While character is strength, passion drives entrepreneur.
[If you are you a student working on a startup idea, we would like to talk to you. Fill in the form at http://www.NextBigWhat.com/students/ and we will get in touch with you.]