“4 Things We Learned From Edustars”: Unni Koroth, CEO, ForadianTechnologies
Foradian Technologies was the winner for the first month of the Edustars initiative by YourStory.in and Accel Partners. Their product, Fedena, won from a list of amazing education startups across India.“After articles about Foradian were published on Edustars and YourStory.in we received excellent traction and got very good leads and partners, which would not have been possible otherwise,” said Unni Koroth, CEO, Foradian Technologies.
“The best part of the program was the quality of mentorship we received after we were selected as the winner,” said Unni. Initially, they were mentored by Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners over phone. Later, over two days Shekhar Khirani, Ravi Gururaj (VP of Citrix), Meena Ganesh (MD & CEO of Pearson India) and Srikanth B Iyer (COO of Pearson India) mentored them face to face. “Every step of the mentor interaction process was correctly planned and nicely executed by Anand Daniel of Accel Partners. I was suprised when Anand collected our feedback and review of the mentor program and our suggestions to improve it,” added Unni.
Foradian Technologies were also named one of the top 20 innovators by MIT Technology Review India as part of their ‘India TR35 2012 list of young technology innovators’.
Unni shared with YourStory.in 4 things Foradian learned from the EduStars initiatives and these lesson will be useful other startups as well.
The Myth of Perfect Product
Shekhar welcomed us with the question "Do you think your product solves the problem in the market perfectly?" I replied "Yes". "Don't fool yourself" was the answer from Shekhar. No product is perfect. Even Apple won't say their products are perfect. The myth of a perfect product is a false belief which should be corrected in a strategic way.
Luck is not scalable
We were able to win a million dollar deal internationally for our product. But this deal was not part of the primary discussion. The discussion and mentorship were focused on the repeat sales that come through our website. The million dollar deal might have happened by luck, which is not a scalable business model.
Track everything and Automate tracking
We track the key matrices of our business. We get 200+ downloads of Fedena every day but don't force our visitors to share their identity details with us. Our mentors suggested that we track almost everything and don't waste time on this process. Instead of doing it manually, they suggested us to buy a hosted CRM solution. Don't worry about the cost. It is worth the expense.
Importance of on feet sales team
We know that it is difficult to sell to schools and colleges. The sales cycle is usually very long, sometimes going up to 6 months. The school/college owners are also internet shy. We asked our mentors how to tackle this situation. We also asked whether advertising in a newspaper or TV will solve the problem. We got the input that TV/Media ads are meant to generate curiosity, not to generate sales. For sales you will need on-feet sales team spread in different locations across your target market.
For further information about Foradian Technologies, visit http://www.foradian.com/