)

How this woman entrepreneur scaled her corporate training business into an AI-powered learning and development platform

By Rekha Balakrishnan
May 20, 2021, Updated on : Tue May 25 2021 01:43:55 GMT+0000
How this woman entrepreneur scaled her corporate training business into an AI-powered learning and development platform
Genius Inside, founded by Priya Kumar, is a scaled-up model of her existing services, Priya Kumar’s Training System (PKTS), that has helped many companies and individuals around the world.
Clap Icon0 claps
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Clap Icon0 claps
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close

Priya Kumar, the founder of Genius Inside, says she has always been an entrepreneur at heart.


“In my childhood, whatever I did, whether it was study or play or an extra-curricular activity, I played to win, I strategised, I improved, and I delivered more than what was expected. I don’t know where that drive came from, but I was wired that way and the circuit has only gotten stronger over the years. If I would enroll in something, I would win. It wasn’t co-incidental, it was an intentional journey all the way,” she says.

Priya Kumar

Priya started working very early, at the age of 13, teaching her classmates who lagged behind in their studies. Since she delivered results, her appointment as a teacher became a professional one and she taught 1,900 students over nine years, including starting a number of initiatives for under-privileged students and senior citizens.


She says there was always an urge to serve, to give more, to be useful, and to gather like-minded people in that journey. Despite not having a “normal” childhood because she was always hustling, she “grew up very fast”. What started as an initiative to help her friends grew into Priya Kumar’s Tuitions.

From training to AI-based training

Priya Kumar

After completing her graduation in Economics Honours from Bombay University, Priya had to choose between applying for jobs or go in for an MBA. At her very first interview, she realised she couldn’t fit into a typical corporate mould.

“I was too used to being the boss, having fun, earning great money, and leading projects. I had 9 years’ experience to show for. So, I decided to scale up my tuition business and invite other tutors on board. But that project didn’t take off, and instead I turned my eyes toward the corporate world and decided to become a motivational speaker. That would not just give me a larger scale and audience, it would also allow me to live my dream – travel the world. In the past 26 years, I have worked in 47 countries,” she explains.

In March this year, Priya teamed up with Tarun Katial, former CEO of ZEE 5, and Puneet Johar, who has a strong tech background, to start Genius Inside – an AI-powered platform behind the digital platform to provide a personalised and defined learning journey with clear tangible results in transformational leadership development leading to more value/wealth creation for employees and corporate organisations.


“We observed over the years that the Learning & Development industry as a whole, whether targeted at corporates or individuals, lacked personalisation, re-engagement and reinforcement and credible re-assessment. The content provided was generic in nature and may or may not be relevant for the audiences,” she explains.


Priya says the goal of Genius Inside is to help clients to build and enhance leadership skills, personalisation, and consistent assessment. And through digitalisation the aim is to create a far greater and tangible impact in making a difference in people’s life, by making the learning process on-demand, by personalising the journey to every individual, and also bringing to them timely support through coaches.

For businesses and students

Priya Kumar

The founders have launched two main products - Genius Inside for Businesses and Genius Inside for Students. The former helps the corporate professionals to overcome their barriers, inhibitions, fears, and shackles of resistance, so they can truly unleash their potential and turn it to performance. Genius Inside for Students is to build them into a personality who creates success, who is achievement-oriented, who can turn challenges and adversities into opportunities and stepping stones toward success.


Its revenue model is subscription-based with a one-year enrolment programme for Genius Inside for Professionals and Early Genius for Students. Plans are also on to launch shorter duration courses in Phase 2, ranging from one week to 12 weeks.


“Educational qualification being a constant – recruiters are looking for dynamic personalities, problem-solving abilities, leadership traits, self-confidence, self-assured mindset, ability to work with and get along with others, decision making, exceptional communication skills, creativity, innovation, and so much more. That is the deciding factor,” Priya says.


Genius Inside has a base of multinational corporate clients and colleges and universities that Priya has worked with in the past and these are its first customers.


Having worked with over 2,000 clients in the past 26 years, the founders decided that instead of diluting the equity right at the start, they could do a friends and family round to raise the immediate need for funds, and then use the sales income for further expansion and eventually open it up for VCs for scale. They have currently raised Rs 1.5 crore.


The pandemic situation has not been a deterrent owing to the digital nature of the business.


“Our plans on building the programs and also the technology with the teams are on track for a summer launch. We are in the hiring process and will fill in all the key positions by the second half of the year. The key talent is around the program content and technology. We are in advanced discussions on the clients, for longer-term partnerships,” Priya says.


Edited by Megha Reddy

Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close