We are publishing an interview of Himanshu Vasistha, Founder & CEO of MindVis India.
Please tell us about the founders
Ans: Er. Sonali Vasistha (Founder-Director) and myself (Er. Himanshu Vasistha, Founder-CEO) are the cofounders.
(MindVis is the brainchild of life partners Sonali and Himanshu Vasistha, who are also business partners, sharing the same enthusiasm for business. After being in the education industry for the last 9 years, they were not satisfied with the way centuries old way of delivering learning to their students. To make a difference in the life of their students, and theirs, they decided to start working on their own on-line education portal, www.mindvis.in.)
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: We are trying to change the way how India learns. Even after a large influx of e-learning companies, both with investor backing and without investor backing, the sector has not witnessed any big players. We are focusing on cost effective and creating measurable & effective methods in the learning curve of our students.
Tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: There are two products with which we are creating a difference in the lives of our students, (1) MindVis (mindvis.in) and (2) GeekVis (geekvis.com). With MindVis we are engaging students with a clearly defined learning pathway with strategic points of intervention to assess a student’s progress. With product 2, i.e. GeekVis, we are trying to foster the peer to peer learning within students. With GeekVis our mission is to foster strong learner-educator-instructor community by creating a platform to share your queries relating to academics, test prep, career advice etc.
From our experience, we know that students are always seeking better ways to learn and grow. There are no websites in the market that are helping the students.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learnings that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: Having our minds full of positive and negative anxieties before entering the market, we had an assumption that although online education is very popular, there are still many aspects of it that are being neglected. For us every student is different and equally important. In online course, although we are sharing the same content to all students, the difference arises due to varied learning capacities and capabilities in each student, like learning pace, grasping power, retention capacity are different for each student. We found out that this personalized aspect of delivering online education will be the key driver for our success.
Ideal customer: Our ideal customer or we can say ideal learner, in our case would be a sincere, disciplined and self motivated student who wants to learn and grow in his/her personal and professional life.
Yes, of course, we have over 1500 students till date, which have signed up with us in 1 year of operation.
How are you pricing the Product? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans: Our pricing is done in such a way that enables each and every student to afford quality learning. Our mission is to reach the masses through our high quality and disciplined way of delivering online education. Keeping this in mind, the prices are kept at a very economical, reasonable and genuine price.
How did you get your first customer?
Ans: Although it was not that simple and easy, but having a clarity in our motive helped us steer in that initial anxious period. We leveraged social media to connect with our target audience by helping them with really relevant and helpful information about their careers. This was the beginning of our sales operation, and we continue adding value in our students’ lives with meaningful and relevant engagements.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: We have started and developed all our course in house, without any external help of faculty or resources. This means, that the course quality and delivery is very streamlined and planned. This has also helped us in creating a process or work flow to create further courses and a scope to hire and train a large pool of instructors and still produce good courses.
Slowly, and gradually we aim to become India’s biggest and most preferred web destination for test preparation.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans: India is a big market for the e-learning industry, but given the growth projections of the sector, the most important driver of success in this industry will be to adapt and innovate to stay relevant. The meaning of staying relevant is to innovate on the type of content, teaching methods and the learning design.
Apart from the need to stay relevant, the next biggest challenge in the e-learning business is to retain students with consistent engagement. It is much easier in a traditional classroom where the physical presence of a teacher makes all the difference.
We, at MindVis have been focussing majorly on adopting better teaching methods combined with an efficient learning design which has given us good results, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skillsets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has a specific domain expertise.
- Er. Sonali Vasistha – Director, Founder. Sonali is responsible for all the sales activities of the company. She also takes of all student counselling, which is one of MindVis India’s strengths. Sonali specialises as an Electronics and Communication Engineer, and was involved in active teaching but found her calling in student interaction and student counselling.
- Er. Himanshu Vasistha – Director, CEO. Himanshu is responsible for academic research and marketing operations for the company. Himanshu is the brain behind designing the pedagogy for the online courses on www.mindvis.in . He specialises in Mechanical Engineering and has been actively involved in teaching since last 9 years.
- Er. Bharat Garg – Sr. IT Architect. Bharat is the main force behind creating the entire web infrastructure for MindVis India. He is an Electrical Engineer by qualification but has found his calling in coding and designing complex web programs.
- Samandeep Kaur – UI/UX specialist. She is the brain behind how will the web appearance be for www.mindvis.in and keeps a keen eye on the design improvements to improve UI and UX for a better student experience. She specialises with a MSc in Computer Science.
Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Ans: Our direct competitors are offline test prep providers.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans: We intend to expand our sales and academic research departments by hiring and training motivated individuals who can then work as a team with us, and provide greater value to the students across the country.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: The only message we have for our fellow entrepreneurs is that before starting out, make sure you have a vision and a deep understanding of the industry you will be working in. Do a thorough study, of how the industry works, read case studies of businesses in your target industry and learn about your competition before you launch. In short, identify your Value Proposition to the end consumer of your business.