by Vedant Podar
I always had a dream to start my own business, to run my own company and create a positive difference in people’s lives through a product/service, but I always thought it was an eventual, not an instant. By that I mean I had envisioned it happening after having worked a corporate role for a few years post college before starting on my own entrepreneurial journey.
In summer of 2018, with free time I decided to intern in the family business. It is a privilege to have a place to work and grow something that is part of my family and I’m so grateful to my parents for creating such a platform for me. I worked on a research project about the education landscape in India and we were brainstorming what form of online course we can launch to fit the needs of the market.
One of the ideas was to create a short course which would focus on upskilling young professionals in India, by teaching them a combination of hard and soft skills which would make them more employable and provide them the skills to differentiate themselves in India’s incredibly competitive employment landscape. We were looking to tie up with a prestigious university and offer the courses a lucrative price point so that we could roll it out to the masses as an equal opportunity course to boost one’s employability and attractiveness as an employee or student or both. It was a very enriching experience, where I gained my first inside into the education and edtech industry, after which I resumed university.
Co-incidentally, during the next semester, I became friends with exchange students who were marketing and finance majors. We bonded over shared interests and in a short span of four to six created an underlying trust for both the friendship and each other’s skill sets.
I approached these two friends with the business idea that had stayed with me from the internship. Over the next year, in our free time we brainstormed the idea, researched about its feasibility, spoked to potential consumer audiences, and worked on creating the perfect product. The pandemic hitting in 2020, gave us a new boost in terms of time and energy to focus more on our goals.
The pandemic changed a lot for us. One of our main difficulties with our business idea was people being averse to the concept of studying online. However, due to the pandemic, there was a rising trend in online education, and the sudden acceptance of online learning created the optimal environment to launch our start-up – Podar Eduspace Tech. With online education we also had more time available to really invest in Podar Eduspace – be it branding, financing, or launching.
Every business idea needs funding, and we did take out a loan that we had to manage alongside launch expenses. It was a risky decision just like any business launch. But being an entrepreneur means taking a chance in the idea you believe in.
This is the simple story of how Podar Eduspace Tech came to be, just being in the right place at the right time with the right people. The initial launch has now progressed to a mature business requiring adaptation to ongoing challenges. With education and offices returning to physical locations, people have reduced leisure time and we need to pivot to a new strategy and adapt to new threats and create an opportunity. We have seen that the Edtech industry is slowing down in terms of growth, with some large names having to lay off people to cut costs. Every industry has its up and downs, and we still believe online education is the future to provide affordable, impactful learning across locations worldwide.
Time will tell of how Podar Eduspace progresses, but we remain committed to our creation of a knowledge system of students, professionals & industry-leaders to share, create, and mentor experiences and upskill and empower Indians to reinvent.