1. Can you introduce yourself, your background, native, educational qualifications?
This is Mukeshkanna Nagarajan from Edu2020 (www.edu2020.in). I am 2013 BE Computer Science passed out from Coimbatore Institute of Technology. My native is Madurai and I am a first generation entrepreneur. I am Engineer by Education and Entrepreneur by passion.
2. After completion of education where did you start your career? How many years of experience and what’s the nature of your job if you have worked?
FORD in campus placement offered me of 4.75LPA, but I decided to start working on "Edu2020". I was working for a travels company in part time during my college days and invested that money in Stock Exchange. I took this money from stock exchange and it was the initial investment for Edu2020.
3. What motivated you to Start-up? Is it a dream from the beginning or which was the point you decided to start-up?
I was the industrial visit organizer during my college days for the four years and also helped our juniors with industrial visit. The major problem for the students during college is to get to visit World Class Companies involves large number of process by getting confirmation from the company, Bonafide from the college etc. Even though if it’s possible, there is no learning in the company as they simply roam in the company.
If the college Management takes students for the industrial visit,its in large number like 50 or 100 students within the Industry. It would be really hard for the student to learn from the company and interact with them.
Once i came out of college, I started working on this and interacted with my friends who already joined the company after placement. I found out my friends facing a major issue in coping up with Companies by not knowing the workflow of Industries, Current technologies used within the company. I found opportunity for Edu2020 with vision of building better students to Indian society with real time learning and practical education.
4. What is the story behind the startup, that is, how did it come to be? Do you have co-founders?
We proposed our concept to IIT Kharagpur's Entrepreneurship Event Empressio 2014.We were shortlisted as one of the Top 40 Start-up companies Out of 2500 Companies. This was place where our idea was structured into business. I along with our college mate Deepika started working on Edu2020.Deepika took responsibility of Website Development and Design where I took care of Sales and Marketing. In this stage so many people around us helped. Most predominant people was my college seniors Anandaraman and Rajasekar who was also running a startup called Policytray.We shared our office space with Policytray.Nativelead foundation's Mr Sivarajah Ramanathan in Madurai was a constant support to us by mentoring us in each stage.
5. What are were the problems you faced while starting up? Based on investment, family friends support?
I totally started against my family’s decision.They wanted me to take the offer from MNC or to do MBA in US.I was always a Entreprenuer from heart.I did not ask any money from home, I took all my savings which I saved by doing part time jobs during college days. I was continuing travel related works and earned and again reinvested in edu2020. Those days were really hard. I was working from Home with government lap and there was no office. My friends were working from their home. The only way to prove our family is to be successful in business and make them appreciate us.This is what I did that fighting with family to support us financially.
Our first initial aim was to crack big players in the market as that would ease our marketing. We went and knocked each doors of company and explained about our educational initiative Edu2020.We explained industry people how difficult it’s for a student to visit industry and learn from the industry. Students who have relatives or known persons in the industry will get the opportunity to visit the Industry. We are unique in India providing students with real time learning and practical education in their curriculum.
I still remember I was so young to propose edu2020 to people like Managing Directors, Senior Vice President, Plant Heads of Multinational Companies who had experience of my age. They loved hearing me and supported me. We don't explore our boundaries by thinking we wouldn’t make it. Dont think too much, just do and see. It’s the best way for first generation entrepreneurs.
Our first success is when Mr Ranganath,MD of Grundfos Pumps (World Leaders in Pumps manufacturing) accepted our proposal and gave permission to facilitate intellectual industrial visit.
I would recommend each student who aims to become an entrepreneur should participate in national level business plan competitions; it’s the only place to validate your idea and structure into business. The second one is not to run for money from venture capitalist, if do good business you will be profitable. Third one is look for the opportunities and resources available that is with you right now and go forward. As I entrepreneur for past three years, I strongly believe if you stay true to your heart and work, you would get what you want in the appropriate time. If we don't get what we want, then it means we have not worked enough.
6. A brief overview of the sector that your startup is working in. How it has evolved, size and predictions and who it caters to?
Edu2020 is working on Educational Technology. Educational Techonlogy is a billion dollar international market, which is being noticed after large money invested right now. Lots of entrepreneurs are afraid to enter due to the Gate Keepers in colleges. This is slowly changing now as whole India’s Educational system is changing right now. The gatekeepers are removed and there is transparency. There is great potential in Skill Development and Skill Matching where edu2020 is focused on.
7. What problem does your startup solve? What is the solution? Mention your pricing of the products?
Academic and Educational institutions, many a time face problems in furnishing real world exposure to students and guide them pragmatically to achieve their dreams and goals. A tertiary grade student doesn’t really know how the Software/IT industry works, car is being built in Automobile Industry, a thermal power plant operates and how a dam is built. According to Nasscom’s Perspective 2020 study, industry is already facing a shortage of employable talent and companies are hiring people who lack skills, but are trainable. Others will take jobs well below their technical qualifications in a market. Edu2020 along with these educational institutions aims to work towards imparting the factual professional values, providing relevant exposure to face challenges to today’s energetic youth through experts in Industries.
We charge 1500 INR per student for one day program as a average which takes care of transportation, food, tshirt and a safety personal from edu2020 who is accommodating them.They get to learn from the companies process, workflow, current technologies used, interactive sessions and certificates.
Edu2020 is an Online Platform helping students to register themselves in simple four clicks for Intellectual Industrial Visit.Edu2020 is first of its kind start-up Educational Travel firm that divulges realistic exposure on the challenges in Industries through ‘travelling’ to the student community. We act as the BRIDGE between Institutions and Industries. Intellectual industrial visit is not the normal industrial visit which students go in batch size of 50 or 100.In these visits; the maximum size is 25 students in each batch. Once the slot is confirmed it would be opened online. So any student from any where of India could visit the company by registering in our website. The only mandatory requirement is College Id card. We would take care of their transportation and food of the students within the city based on the trip.
8. Background of the founders. Team size (No of members started with and now working currently) and bifurcation from starting to now.
No of members started : 2
Now currently : 7
Mukeshkanna Nagarajan(Founder and CEO)
Deepika Maduranthaki D (Cofounder)
Andy - Creative Design Head
Nathiya - Growth Specialist
Akhilkrishnan - Growth Specialist
Silambarasan – Admin
Vinoth – UI Designer
9. Any powerful story in your personal journey? Do you have idols, mentors and whose words to follow? If any pls give some quotes?
I started working in home in the first year, then to shared working space, then to 100 sq office in Taramani with the support from friends and family in the second year. Now we are in 1000 sq office in Velacherry.
10. Is it bootstrapped or funded? Who are the investors and mentors? Funding details if received?
We are bootstrapped.
11. Any major struggles or Challenges faced during the journey?
Financial Stability and Scaling up are the two major problems.Financial Stability is an art. Its the major problem for any startup. Learning the art of Financial stability and growing was the major struggle.The only way to learn is through trial and error method in entrepreneurship journey.
Now Edu2020 is associated with big players in the market such as Ford-Maraimalainagar Plant,L&T Construction,Royal Enfield,Ashok Leyland - Enoore Plant and Uttarakhand Plant,Grundfos,Volkswagen-Pune Plant,Nippon Paints-Sriperumbudur Plant,Bajaj Auto-Pune Plant,Titan-Hosur Plant,Freshdesk etc.We are proud to say that we have made impact to 10000+ students in 100 + colleges in India. We operate in four cities Chennai, Bangalore, Pune and Coimbatore.
Edu2020 was awarded as the Best Educational Startup 2016 by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with a cash award of 1 Lakh.Please find the photo attached.
We are planning to expand our International operations with 2017 impacting global educational travel market.
12. Pls get the startups website link, fb, twitter links if you have and also blogs, address of the co and contact person and no.
Fb : https://www.facebook.com/edu2020.in
No 7 Bharathiyar Street,
Inner Ring Road,Vanuvampet,
Contact Person : Mukeshkanna Nagarajan
Phone no : 9445552020