Ion Education is an Interactive Training institute for Financial Markets. Making students industry ready, it has done away with the theoretical methods of teaching and kept aside all the definitions by giving birth to a new form of interactive pedagogy for learning Financial Markets. Akhil Aryan, Director of Ion Education in a conversation with YourStory.in tells us his story.
Tell us about Ion Education
Ion Education is an interactive training institutes for skill development, where students are taught in a practical manner. It is a youth-centric company, focusing on industry-ready coaching and mentoring. According to us, Ion Education is an incubator to winning personalities.
What is Ion Education’s market differentiator?
Our Industry ready practical teaching is what makes us different from the others. We focus on ‘Non-textbook Interactive Courses’ that include hands-on learning experience for students in the industry of their interest.
What was the story behind Ion Education?
Well, Ion Education had a very unique start. When I started interning in a financial company, I realized that my conventional learning had taught me theoretical concepts which were completely different from how it was functioning in the real world. Working there for a bit, I found my friends facing the same dilemma in other companies. This gave us reason to start something new to change this situation for the youth. Trust me it feels pathetic walking into a company thinking you know quite a lot just because you topped your class, but when you sit on your desk, you have no idea of what is happening!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Honestly speaking, I have no flabbergasting background to boast about. I am just a young, dynamic student who saw some dips in the current education system and decided to do something about it. I am still studying and trying to make it as interesting a journey for me as possible.
Let us know about the partnerships that you have.
There is a great level of acceptance for our concept, since it helps transcend the education system to the next level. To illustrate this, nothing better than having Dr. Mrs Indu Shahani, Principal of H.R College & Sheriff of Mumbai, as one of our Mentors. She has helped set up H.R College and is now helping extend this to other education Institutions. In the past we have tied up with E-Zone, a Future Group company. Currently we have tie-ups with – H.R College of Commerce & Economics, St. Xaviers College, St. Andrews College, Rizvi group of Colleges and five such other colleges in the cities of Mumbai and Pune.
Where do you see Ion Education five years from now?
Ion education is here to change the lives of young individuals and help them excel in their careers. That is what it will do 5 years from now. However we do see our operations going international in the coming 2-3 years. The ultimate target for the upcoming five years to be a publicly traded company listed on a stock exchange.
What is your revenue model? Have you been funded?
Our revenue model is very simple, just like any other educational institution. Students pay a nominal fee to get exposure to global standards of learning in a particular industry. However we add a practical touch to the learning by including hands on experience in the industry as a part of their courses. We have been offered funding, however we are not looking at diluting equity or unlocking value as of now, so the talks are on hold.
As an entrepreneur, what are your joys? What are the challenges?
For a young entrepreneur like myself, there are more challenges than joys. But the most satisfying joy is when you overcome these challenges and come out successful. Challenges that we face include managing human resources while making the company process driven. What keeps us going in the hard times is something that my friend and colleague, Bharat Advani once told me “Magic Happens to those who believe in it.”
How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?
Being a youth centric company, most of our team consists of young people under 25 yrs of age. Our current team strength is 10 members with some others working part-time. They have mixed backgrounds sharing one single objective of revolutionizing the Education system in the most innovative means as possible. Yes, we are looking at hiring full time employees, also passionate interns for positions in Business Development & Marketing.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
Having completed our dipstick into the industry and consolidating our business model, the expansion plans are ambitious and are already being executed. We are expanding operations to new locations and should be in 5 new cities by the end of this calendar year. We are looking at creating a wave of new industry ready employable students by 2013.
Anything else that you want to tell us?
Ion Education in the past year has worked with more than 1200 students from different spheres of learning. Most of which has come from the “Introduction to Capital Markets: Beginners Module”, a 6-day learning experience for beginners in the Capital Markets. However the “Dipstick Internship Programme” that Ion has launched only 2 months back has changed the complete scenario for the company when it comes to volumes. It is an innovative channel helping students get real industry exposure.