She is dynamic, she’s a support to some of the leading B-schools and secondary schools in the country, she is Vineeta Singh, co-founder of Quetzal Online Pvt Ltd. The company, named after a South American bird, which according to Mayan legend represents freedom and wealth, was established in 2007 at Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, (IIM-A) by four alumni of the graduating batch, Devashish Chakravarty, Bhushan Dabir, Vishal Prabhulhanolkar and Vineeta Singh. Quetzal, an education company that provides academic content to B-schools and secondary schools also runs a website, TenADay.in, which is now India’s largest MBA testprep portal catering to more than 49,000 users.
This apart, the company also provides recruitment and background verification services to leading corporate clients such as FedEx, ICICI Prudential, Reliance Industries, ITC, Marico, Equirus Capital, Mahindra Consulting, TD Ameritrade, Aegon Religare, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, ONGC and Suzlon, among others.
What differentiates Quetzal from other education companies is its expeditious team and the quality of content and curriculum it provides to the rapidly growing B-schools. Besides, on the recruitment front, the ability of Quetzal to recruit a large number of qualified candidates and provide related information to client companies stands unmatched. The company’s aim to bridge the gap between its clients and the educational institutes has set it apart from its competitors.
“We have been focusing on building a strong team from Day 1. Today, every employee of the company is capable of handling a business unit himself. And we are banking on this potential to scale up our business in the future,” said Singh.
When asked why she chose to become an entrepreneur and not take up a job Singh said, “A 9-5 job can never match the passion, personal growth and ability to make a difference that comes instinctively to an entrepreneur. I have in fact, convinced all my batch mates to give up their jobs and start their own enterprise. ”
Initially, the company faced numerous challenges, but the biggest so far has been to manage the cash flows through the growth phase. They realised that every individual in the organisation must be completely committed to serving the clients in the best possible ways. It was this focus and determination that helped them sustain growth and secure revenue. It even saw the company through the recession phase.
“In the first year, we did not concentrate too much on sales and client relationships since we were too preoccupied with improvising on our offerings. That was our biggest mistake. The consequence was a serious cash crunch, and it took us a complete realignment of our resources and focus to overcome the hurdle,” admitted Singh who also said that they did not receive any funding for starting the company and that the seed capital came from their own pockets. They, however, broke even within a couple of months. From a small website run by four people at the IIM-A incubation centre, the business has now grown to operating from two separate companies with an employee strength of 21 in Mumbai. This apart, Quetzal has over 50 associates in Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu and is expanding its base to cover Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, too. The fact that the company has been chosen by its clients over much larger players in the industry is no less than an achievement.
“We have a team and a set of clients who we feel accountable to. This is a challenge big enough for us to keep our adrenalin levels high,” quipped Singh
And to those thousands budding entrepreneurs, Singh says, “Unless you are in it for the long haul, don’t bother taking the entrepreneurial plunge! Entrepreneurship is not about overnight success – it is about nourishing big dreams with sustained efforts before they finally come true.”