About Classpro: Headquartered in Mumbai, founded in 2011, Classpro is a Coaching Class Software. The software aims to ease the process of handling coaching classes in India. The company was founded by three friends – Deepak Dargade, Jayesh Gopalan, and Vijay Suryavanshi. Here we got connected with Mr. Jayesh Gopalan who focuses on Business Development, sales and marketing of Classpro. Enjoy the interview!
- What inspired you to start your company?
First and foremost we wanted to do something different than our peers. After completing our graduation, we started with a training institute to provide practical training on improving the programming skills of the students. While running our institute, we faced many challenges. Being from a programming background, we tried to automate our tasks. Later on, we felt these problems must be faced by other coaching center owners too. From there we thought of creating a simple online tool which can help a Coaching center to manage their classes efficiently.
- We know it is tough to find the right employees in a startup. What challenges did you face in finding the right employees?
Finding right team members have always been a challenge, and it still is. For us, we have always kept the benchmark high, and over a period of time, we have created the right process to find good team members. However, our initial set of team members came from referral and later many team members came via job posting on various job portals.
- What is your way of handling tough situations or failures?
For me, it has been easier, as I have 2 co-founders, and in all tough situations, we have worked together on handling the problems.
Also getting a good mentor on board has helped us a lot. Thankfully, we have Sameer Guglani and Nandini Hirianniah on board.
- Can you mention three tools /software that are helping your business to run smoothly?
Below tools have helped us tremendously:
1) Google Apps
- How do you see technology impacting on coaching industry in the next five years?
Smartphone and cheap data plan availability are causing technology disruption even in the education sector. Today a student has access to course content via online videos for learning and for test preparation various online solutions are available. Coaching industry will have to adapt and introduce such offering to their students and we believe using tech as an enabler it can help students to improve their skills and to learn faster.
- What do you appreciate about your direct competitors?
We believe competition always helps. As still, around 60% of coaching class owners are managing their coaching class via the traditional method of pen and paper. Competitors have helped in educating and creating the market.
- What are your experiences of highs and lows with Classpro?
When we became profitable in the year 2016, it was a turning point and crossing 500+ paid customers was an awesome moment for us. Now talking about lows, the starting year of 2011 was the lowest point in my life, as Classpro was going nowhere, we had few customers, revenue was negative and growth was stagnant. But we held on with the product idea as we believed potential was there.
- If someone wants to create a Coaching Class System as a fresh entrepreneur, what would you suggest him?
Understand the market and the problems faced by a coaching class owner. Based on that, you will be able to create solutions. Another point will be differentiation. As the market is already cluttered with many products.
- What is your strategy to balance professional and personal life?
Since running a startup has been my dream and passion, I have been able to balance it. However taking out some time on weekends to read books has helped me a lot.
- What is your take on the decisions made by ego?
Whenever I have made any decision by ego I have regretted it. One of the steps I am taking is, not to take decisions too fast, and think over it for some time.
- What is your take on the Intuitions? Do you make business decisions driven by intuition?
I believe when we started Classpro, it was purely on basis of intuitions as we were not having any idea on how big the market is and whether they will pay or not. Having intuition is one thing and acting on it and executing, and course correcting based on the learning is also important. In my case, I have been lucky to have good mentors who always believed in our decisions. And that has helped us.