Ep #5 | EdTech What’s Broken, What’s Next? With Nikhil, Ronnie Screwvala , Gaurav Munjal & Jay Kotak

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top three percent of kids get into these good colleges what about the 97 if education was online can that compete or compare with real life education I think I've been blessed by not being uh spoiled with a lot of fundraising [Applause] do you think balance is an important part of being a successful entrepreneur no I hate balance I think balance is very important part of anything the opportunity and the way this country is changing is a Once In A Century Century or more Bill Gates has started this windows that has made him a billionaire and I want to start doors kind of cool [Music]

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so thank you guys for coming I think most of you here do not need an introduction but maybe a good way to start this is a how do we all know each other and B maybe talk about ourselves for a minute or two so we just get to know each other a bit more would you like to go first um I'm the only non-billionaire on this panel um um I know Ronnie because he runs upgrad and uh I run this company called an academy and uh I I don't know how how do I know you

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how do we ended up Bangalore I think you have this uh yeah you were doing a party one day I got a message and uh yeah I'm meeting for the first time maybe you can tell us a more creative version of introducing yourself so don't say what you would say in a job interview in a college interview or a TV interview but tell us what you would tell your friends who is gaurav let me phrase my have you had a job interview yeah once oh okay well that's a good start so all of you are like Mega brains okay which college did you go to so I'll

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I'll start from the beginning so um I I was one bikaner and then father's a doctor grew up in Jaipur middle class family um but uh I think at the age of 12 I went to my dad and said you know I saw in dainik Bhaskar newspaper Bill Gates has started this windows that has made him a billionaire and I want to start doors and I was coding at that point so kind of cool at some way I was I could have been the poster boy white hat Junior because I was uh but but we'll get to white high Junior at some point um when I was 11 or 12 I was

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aggressively coding um you know like like you were interested in elocution Etc I never um was into sports I was into computers gaming um are you a Bright Child good marks in school uh like I would study just before the exam and I would get 80 85 and some of the teachers but every parent's teacher meeting I would get reprimanded at home because I would I was I I think I had this rebellious nature which I still do where I just had to take my teachers to a breaking point like I had to say something in the class or something like that but

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uh but then this coding thing I was 15 years old when I started ex-res so we had a school magazine called x-rays and I could not get selected in it so I went to the principal who was father Joe's Jacob and I told him I'll start this ex race and I got to build a new team and you know it was launched in school Etc so I think that was the first test where I realized that maybe I'm I mean I I could study Physics chemistry maths when I could but I was never excited about it I always loved Building Products um I remember uh

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you know I built this bot in college called Pingu you know it was it was like a much basic version of what what's we are seeing today but you could you could say that I'm getting bored and it would give you that so I think and at some point the coding and the tech part got merged with content so um I used to run these blogs in college and ended up making two three thousand dollars a month which used to be a lot because and Mims Mumbai and what were you studying computer energy uh but more than that would spend a lot of time creating these blogs they used

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to get a million likes quora I started writing a lot after college Roman my co-founder and I are in at some point became the top 20 most followed people on quora just because we were writing so at some point we found this an unacademy in fact started as a YouTube channel you should say a bit about your co-founder he's like some academically like a anomaly of sorts yeah I'm getting there so we started creating videos um I started creating computer science videos but they didn't get a lot of views but they got like 50 000 60 000 views and then um I met Roman and I know each other from school where we used to go to

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chemistry tuitions together and at some point he was a names he had just become a doctor he was the youngest doctor and then somehow he ended up cracking he was just about to crack the UPS exam but the results were not out and the day he cracked I called him up I thought this is a great opportunity I mean he has cracked the examination he has three months before he has to go to labasna why not I should get some free videos out of him so it was done as a Content project but those videos what were these videos about what did you do upsc preparation because I was making computer science

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videos but when his video came we got a million views the channel became one of the biggest channels Etc YouTube channel yeah um YouTube channel and Academy and then next one one and a half years uh himesh and my other co-founder we had started this company called Flat chat it was like Tinder but for finding roommates this I had started when I was in college and nmimus I'd raised my first Angel investment I in fact got a first Angel investment offer when I was in fourth year of college but then I got this software engineering job which was the first job

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um pretty good job so for me to come from a middle class background and say no to that kind of offer I think it was 16 lakhs per annum back in 2012. um I mean it was too good to refuse and then one year I stayed there I paid off my educational loans I had taken an education loan to study in college and then at some point like you said that I realized I cannot work for somebody else's vision I mean I was too much of a rebel to work for somebody else so then flat chart was started which common floor bought in 2014 that's how I came to Bangalore and then I was with common

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flow for one one and a half years uh learned how to scale a company flat chat was small it was sold in 10 months so did an academy start like that was it a video channel which became a business yes so you started monetizing this channel yes we started monetizing it but when Roman went to labasna he was not um I mean he was not allowed to make money so he stopped monetization the educational anomaly I was talking about is he became a doctor and then uh is Officer yeah yeah that's and then it's lovely and then you know there was this one one and a half years of

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convincing we would talk every night it was clear that both of us would talk figure out a way to convince his parents on how uh he should leave is ETC and when did an academy become all that it is in terms of scale the same question I asked him when did you realize an academy is big no so we had that intrinsic optimism that we have to make this big I mean one guy is he was the assistant collector of jabalpur I mean he's leaving that uh and then um you know we we knew that this is we are going all in like working 16 hours a day seven days a week we we had to go

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all in and we had to make it big the question wasn't so see people don't realize a lot of times we went through at least 10 pivots before we realized our business model in 2019. so 2015 is when we started the company when Roman quit when himesh quit when I quit both of emission I quit common flow Roman quettias four years it took us 10 plus pivots to realize what's our business model but once we cracked the business model this is I remember 2019 uh we were on a Founders Retreat and we we start seeing Revenue numbers that we are doing 30 lakhs a day 40 lakhs a day and this is the first time we had seen Revenue pmf

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we had seen views pmf we were creating content so we we had seen that Journey that our videos were doing 100 million views a month so that Journey we had already seen but when we started seeing Revenue p and pmf that's when we knew we had hit something but it took us at least four years plus 10 pivots to get there would you like to go next yeah sure uh proud of having a very low middle class upbringing uh keeps your feet on the ground and I think I'm around because I've kept my feet on the ground most of my life that's why I'm I'm still walking around the place I think it's very important

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um I had a great first Innings and a lot of fun um by seeking or being an entrepreneur but in a way we don't know how you started off where did you grow up grew up in Mumbai in graduate school sorry where did you go to school I went to school in a place called Dunn's Institute okay okay what did your parents do my dad has been a professional he worked with the tala group for a long time and I think before he retired he spent about 10 years with a UK company called GL Morrison that made me a cream and my dad's and my brothers

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the PHD in HR and then I don't know at my young age figured out that I may not be that good implementing somebody else's vision so felt I need to start off and do something of my own and that was when I had to decide whether I wanted to do an MBA I will 19 20. and I think at that stage good question future exactly it's about 78 1978. okay so I don't know whether that's got a validity stamp today in relevance to everyone since everyone had a lot of

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raised eyebrows here but um yeah I was an excellent Crossroad to very clear learning lessons for me at that early stage one is when my dad said okay I don't really figure out what you want to do but why don't you do your MBA do your child accountancy and then if you want to still run something on your own start that way and I was quite clear that if I had a plan B in my life then plan a wouldn't work out because I think that's half the situation right when you want to start something and you feel you have an optionality you're going to run aground definitely 10 times and I think the

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other thing that both my parents told me is look if you're going to do that we don't have the way with all to bail you out so we'll have a lot of love and a lot of affection but we're not going to bail you out so I think that's a good good segue to start off at a time when there was no angel or VC funding so what did you start first um I started a cable TV company that started wiring up all of Mumbai and most the five-star hotels there was a time when the TV sets didn't have a remote control

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so not only did we have to start selling the concept to people we also had to sell Concepts to the TV manufacturers to start making multi-channel TV sets that particular point in time so that was why I think first so Jordan to starting something and then when was the big moment where there's never been a big moment I think big moments are overplayed in life okay when did Ronnie screwwala become Ronnie's Cruella to people who don't know you who didn't know you personally when did you become a figure per se yeah so I don't know about that criteria because beauty is in the eye of the

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beholder so I don't think any one person defines where the other one is but media is a profile that gets you somewhere so I think early media days then later media days and then I think when we morph to be you started cable yeah did very well in cable five years then sold it how much do you sell it for literally nothing I think that's the stage where it was getting quite messy there were a lot of copyright issues and I just felt that was not my DNA to build a business that would have so many challenges at that very early stage in life okay so it was a chance when my the the CEO that

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are appointed came in and resigned and said I'm gonna go to a South Indian party who wants to start cable TV so I said well would you check with them whether they want to buy this because then you can buy it run it and go forward that's pretty much out so did you use the Corpus from selling the Cable business to start the media stuff so media I think again is Serendipity in many ways right because um as coming from the lower middle class home I think I since I hadn't studied for me learning soft skills was an important element so instead of doing boxing and football in school I did elocution debates

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Dramatics theater and front of camera hosting at that particular Point what did you do in media first so literally that it was pretty much that and I think the first thing that happened is there was an advertising agency called linta's law and Alec padamsi who used to do a lot of theater with Eisler theater with so he came in one fine day and said you know Hindustan levers wants to do India's first sponsor program and that's pretty much how the company was born and he said we're going to make 13 episodes of a TV show or do you want to make it

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and I said well why are you coming to me he says you just look like the guy who's going to be able to put it all together and I think that's how the media path started and that led to movies and UTV movies much later I think didn't have funding for almost six seven years so when you don't have funding you build a B2B model so we were a Cost Plus model for everything else we started making TV content right and doing lots of stuff and that's when I realized for the first time to get in private Equity get external investors and then media started getting defined almost 10 years later into the business so I'd say it was good fun being in the formative part

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of it and I think that's what I thrive on right how did media lead to movies lead to upgrad startup Investments and all the other things that you do so media state is Media I think the day I realized that if I want to build something at scale and build a brand then you need to be in the b2c part of the business so I think over a period of two years I remember one investor call because we've just gone public and predictability and margins came into the picture and I said actually I'm not so much in control of what I'm doing because I'm a B2B model so we morphed

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when we started being a broadcaster about 10 channels and then started a movie studio the first five movies we made were disasters in every sense of the world and most people would say why are you ever in that business kind of situation why are you in that business because I needed to build a b2c brand and you can't build a b2c brand in Media if you're not in the big screen part of it and what is the need to build the brand uh like just for me I think I was starting to get obsessed with scale okay and I think value like if you see there are 30 40 companies in media that have got listed since the time we did that

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right and I think if you look at their market cap for the last 20 25 years they haven't moved more than 10 cumulatively in the last 25 years so my realization to unlock and create value was to build a integrated model versus being a pure play and at that stage I think for six seven years I got slaughtered by everyone saying where's your focus why are you not only into one single aspect then you get competitor reviews from different people but I think normally when you're going against the grain and you know it means when a lot of people think they're not understood your model I've found that that's normally where 10x 10x or

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20x value gets created so do you think these still hold true like b2c is where value can really be created even today a b2c business today using an in media specifically not not in media and anything yeah it's a tougher one so I think when one got into education and one got into learning the first Crossroad was whether we should start B2B because it's a tricky business right in a sense it's education is a very formatted formal World in every sense of the world everyone's very predictable uh it's calendar event in your life so to speak and to break that

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up and say I want to build something you're going to easily started the B2B way but I was quite clear we should start b2c and that was a tougher tougher model to go but I think no regrets in the last six years and the second thing do you often make more money by being counter trend I think I'll answer that maybe two ways I think um my ratio of eight failures to two successes is something that I've hold on to quite well it's not that I go out to do it in that it's not a formula but I think when you're when you fail as often as you do that's a minus 1X every

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time it could be a big minus 1X it could be a minus one x 10 million dollars 100 million dollars a bad higher a bad decision pulling the plug on a business sticking with a business whatever else but it's a minus One X but because you've done that when you do get a success it's 30X party X and I think that if you don't have that law of averages working the chances of you having success will be 2x 3x 4X which is still fantastic but that 30x40x doesn't come about unless there's a lot that you've done which is by your mind has allowed your instinct and your gut to really get a little bit

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more polished to just feel confirmed because at the end of the day it's not about gut right it's a lot to do with your own self-conviction when everything else fails self confliction being self-conviction conviction being yeah I think that at the end of the day if I have to say what do I have as the reservoir it's a self-conviction right because how do you get out of failure self-confliction is that conviction in yourself or conviction in the cyclical nature of a sector that you're betting has to be in yourself has to be in yourself yeah I don't think anyone can have such

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conviction or a cyclical part of a business or even in a sector yeah and how does Ronnie spend time today like how much time does Which business take up so I'm not a I'm not very big at breaking up yeah time I think the elasticity I think I've been blessed with uh keeping my feet on the ground most of the time I think I've been blessed by not being uh spoiled with a lot of fundraising from time to time which I think really corrupts people and corrupts minds and corrupts businesses and corrupts many other things but I've also been Most Blessed that I enjoy everything that I've done so I think my

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media part to do that uh and the level at which you do it and I think what I'm doing right now whether it's our not-for-profit foundation or whether it's going back and doing a little bit of Storytelling in the movies mostly with the Skilling and Workforce Development and learning platform that we're trying to build globally and a little bit having fun with sports teams like recovery one we both have a sports team right in the same league we both have two uh sports teams technically yeah table tennis table tennis it's a small it's a smaller property but still fun yeah yeah do you guys ever like I mean I

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know you don't play kabaddi I'm hoping the answer is that like but table tennis you must enjoy it yeah yeah have you tried kabaddi kabaddi for me would go back a long time right I mean unfortunately not young enough I've played a little bit right but that's more just after the team happened and then trying to you know see what it is are they are they nice to you and don't really go hard on you because you're their boss yeah thankfully yes because uh it is a rough sport yeah and I don't think I appreciate how rough it is yeah till you know till you get out there out there and you realize it's it's an incredible game yeah I think we

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both have really bonded and spent lots of time together but that's a good example of what you just asked of how do you take and build a brand on something right because if you take that game it's it's always been a great game especially from an Indian spot point of view but to take it out of the sort of mutty and put it on a mat right and put some lights on them and then just one or two tweaks to the rules of the game where every third time you have to score versus you can just come in and go out and not score as change the entire perception just those two factors have taken popularity of a spot from X to 10x 20x no I'm intrigued the last time Jay was in town he had

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come for a kabaddi game so we were talking about it and it seems like the learning curve or or the amount of money you need to set up a kabaddi game is not as high as many other sports yeah you don't need a stadium like cricket and football and if you're close to the action it it does I I see the appeal at some level yeah I mean in India Sports is quite different there if you in the US you need to own a stadium you need to own the infrastructure here you don't need necessarily even in cricket to necessarily own the venue and they're normally quite segregated but yeah I think everybody teams become

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profit making now but it depends on how you account for it in terms of allocated cost and how much non-discretionary spend you are doing in terms of are you building a youth program are you doing scouting are you investing in building any physical infrastructure so maybe also Ronnie is in Mumbai I'm in Pune his fixed cost tends to be a little higher yeah yeah but right now I think we're all having more fun than the monetary gate from it I would say I agree would you like to go next Jay tell us about yourself yeah sure so first uh fun to learn Ronnie about

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you before I knew you because I only knew you from 2014 I only know the later stage of Irani and I Echo a lot of the things that he said like resonate with me uh middle class values feeling older uh now I'm meeting and interviewing people born in 2001 and how old are you now I'm 89 so I'm 33. so you're the youngest one how old you are uh I'm 90 born wow I'm older than both of you then yeah come on [Music] um I'll have to just act yeah but but we both were born on the same date but considering you went to MBA or whatever around 78 you don't look your age

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right no I didn't do my MBA but yeah yeah no I agree I would I thought you were younger yeah um yeah I grew up in Mumbai middle class values uh quite sheltered and dad uh founded kotak and I've been you know privileged to watch him and uh the business grow and that's been a great learning experience for me I went to the US for my studies and I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with my life professionally whereas become big in your own Journey uh were you in school I

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I it depends on big in terms of the size of the business or our perception of it from not your perception of it but our perception of it I think we became a large Capital markets and non-bank franchise in the early 2000s it's about 20 years ago yes I would say and the bank came later kotak was founded in the late 80s and the bank uh happened in the early 2000s around 2001 2002 so the capital markets business the Securities business Investment Banking was much more mature but we only became a big b2c brand where people normal people had debit cards credit cards bank accounts uh in the late 2000s but

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I did not perceive or understand how large the business had become really till I came back from undergrad in the US in 2012 2011 2012. even then I never actually worked at gotak till I came back from my MBA and I wasn't really sure that you know this was my calling but um when I was taking that decision you know three weeks before I was going to graduate I was evaluating hey do I want to stay in the U.S it's a pretty comfortable life work at a private Equity Fund or an investment bank or a tech company there or do I want to come back and my father

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actually called me and rare that he would do something like this and he said I really do think you should come back for India not as much necessarily for kotak because the opportunity and the way this country is changing is a once in a Century Century or more if you think over the last five or six centuries this has only happened six or seven times and that I kind of took that plunge and I'm I'm glad I did where did you go to college I went to undergrad at like him like tell us where you went to school when you went out I went to school at uh cathedral in John Con in school in Mumbai and then went to college to

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Colombia in New York came back worked for a few years mostly uh Consulting Investment Banking not at kotak and then went to business school I did my MBA at Harvard in Boston I graduated 2017. and since then I've been in India and I actually after MBA joined kotak spent couple of years doing Capital markets which was the original kind of uh strength and you know original business of the quota group and then I moved into consumer and b2c ever since I remember meeting him meeting up with you in Boston your last two three months of Howard this thing and I remember

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having that breakfast conversation with you and you were still debating on India or not India yeah and yeah glad you're dad convinced you or you were on the same page yeah you were on the same I'm glad it's best best decision not just for me but for anybody my generation and I'm seeing a lot of people coming back lot of people coming back it's a very interesting train of thought right like go back in time is patriotism defined by arbitrary boundaries drawn at one point of time I would I would also like you know put a caveat in here and say some countries are more patriotic than us like I feel like America does an amazing

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job of selling patriotism so that's a soft power approach we should not mix that up and I'm glad you brought that up there right because obviously that's a soft power approach where it's only the view from one particular side and point of view so yeah they've done a remarkable one-sided job on soft power okay where you can make a movie about an assassin that shot 123 so uh people in a country they went and occupied but the other person had done it from the other side you're not going to see a Hollywood movie on that right so whether you can call it sniper or you can call it XYZ uh but they've done a great job is there is there a correlation between

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how many patriotic movies are made to the underlying patriotism in the country soft power for America in every sense of the world I mean there's your Silicon Valley and there's your technology and then there's Hollywood and yeah I think I think I would say cricket and Bollywood for India are very internal insulated soft Powers the problem is the soft power is how you get perceived from the outside right and here now everyone stop playing Cricket 90 of the revenues come from cricket in India because nobody else is playing Cricket all the commonwealth countries are playing more football they do play cricket but not to that level

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and I think the same applies to storytelling I think we missed that bus on being a global ambassador from storytelling yeah do you think because you both have a bird's eye view on kabaddi do you see Cricket losing the kind of viewership with the newer Generations than it did in maybe for maybe people in their 30s and 40s what about the youngsters I don't think so I think there is enough space in India for multiple Sports to coexist and I think Cricket is around to stay you can never say forever if you look at a spot like baseball for example in the US

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it is on a steady kind of declining Trend but the U.S still has four major sports and they are for me it's more about the fact that they emphasize different elements of human skill you think about a baseball that's a little more like Cricket a basketball that is about a height reflexes you know uh endurance intensity American football you'll often see some of those footballers are fat you know and there's a whole host of uh different skill sets on uh football field the act of going to a football game is like an all-day event two hours from the city as opposed to a basketball game which is like going to a movie

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I see the same kind of thing manifesting itself uh in India same thing in the UK with the rugby Cricket football kabaddi is very different from cricket in the kind of elements of human skill that it emphasizes and it's a very different viewership proposition it's a shorter game it's a 40 minute game it's a very high intensity 30 second uh piece and I think that's what makes it exciting and you can go for a kabaddi game as a family like you would for a movie in the evening see it and come back right can I ask you guys a very interesting question digress a little bit like when all three of you spoke about

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your life your Journeys uh you brought up the middle class upbringing the middle class values I'm also from a middle class family right uh do you think we do this subconsciously to Signal the perception of us we want to be known we want others to know us for because we have a little bit of imposter complex it's important yeah we do I I would say yes but it's important part of the narrative right because is it a truly important part of The Narrative of why the three of you are successful

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or is it an important part of justifying The Narrative well two parts to that one is it's important to be part of the narrative because you ask the question because we're sitting here having a conversation which we're assuming other people who want to gleam out of and therefore the context is important and second yes I do genuinely believe that the grounding that one got and I think when I've listened to what Jay said that there's a there's a grounding that you get so I think it's important to refer to that and you're not saying it so that you can say look once upon a time I was here and now I'm here I don't think that's the context can I also ask you a

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question who does not want to imbibe middle class values on their kids like I would think most wealthy people in the world are trying to teach their kids middle class values in one way or another so how are we unique or how is that unique in each of your own Journeys was that I pivot it out the other way because who doesn't is a very small minority of who doesn't because you're talking about the top angle view I think we're all looking in from the bottom line and in the bottom angle of you it's aspirational right the top angle view of who doesn't there's a thing what is aspirational though having middle class values or being successful

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note of the journey the journey is the success and more than the perception I think it's also about the fact that I think a lot of initial Drive comes from the fact that like like from the fact that you see other people having so much and you want that now I was reading this book called hard drive which is Bill Gates biography and now he he was born into money not like the kind of money he eventually got but he still had that passion for one thing but you know it is you know I used to see let's say uh my father's friends who were other doctors and the kind of cars they would have or the kind of you know parties they would

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have Etc and see it's not perception like so is that the innate emotion which made you as hungry and ambitious in life initially two innate emotions one this and second all my friends that is a very raw true emotion right somebody else has more than you you guys were never altruistic I mean my father had a maruti 800 and my chachu had a Zen and in following that Journey where are you now like you have x what do you compare yourself to it no now I don't see at some point it's a now see drive is not black or white it's not like because I wanted a better car I I work 16 hours a day I could have if I wanted to make money I could have chosen another

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profession where I would work eight hours a day and have a much more work-life balance but I don't have that so I think I think initial drive or for example when I was in school all of my friends I went to Xavier's Jaipur which is one of the best schools in Jaipur but all of my friends got into iits I didn't so then during college that was the second part of the dry that I had was that you know there was this hunger to prove that you know and every time at that time it was this Gmail group and you know you had G talk or something like that and you would describe g chat sorry um

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it's very surprising they should have been the one to break out and done yeah do you think balance is an important part of being a successful entrepreneur no I hate balance I think you have to be I think balance is very important part of anything balance tolerance little bit you know balance tolerance completely different balance of course it's different I was adding to that this thing but yeah do you mean balance in temperament do you mean balance and skill set no neither I mean balance in the repetitive nature of life let's say he has a family let's say you have a family do you allocate 10 hours to work

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one day a weekend do you do do you have a hobby do you go to the gym do you take care of your health I mean balance in that way so I'll go first I I have always lived a life to a point now I'm focusing on health but I have been a fan of this notion that if you have to be truly truly big and if you have to create something that impacts creates a huge impact I hate balance um I mean I believe that you do enough so that it's utility you you figure out a way to balance Family Health Etc but you have to go all in if if you have to create something

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truly truly truly big uh if you have to create something very good it's fine I think balance is fine see right that's the generation gap I wouldn't miss I I feel here and I might you agree with it I I I I I think if I look at 80 years of life I want balance in that at your journey and I very much agree with you on on that piece I agree with you gaurav that say for a two three five year period it may not be consecutive here and there if you feel something about a certain way if you feel like you're creating something having an exciting time whether it be professionally personal anything then go

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all in on that but the sine curve has to kind of which phase which cycle are you in right now I'm right now in the actually I'm in the middle of Cycles I would say the last three years has been a lot of uh drill down work and all work related but now uh I'm getting married this year so I think that is going to necessitate some okay let me do like half of it and you can do the finishing part of it nikhil's been waiting to set this up no I'm happy it worked out the way it did so one day me and Jay go out for a meal in Bombay we go for dinner where'd we go uh I met you at Mekong

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at Lands End yeah we were sitting on that Lobby place but but I saw you at me at the there's a there's a Chinese restaurant Chinese and then we had coffee yeah uh at the yeah uh like cafeteria Bistro ironic by the way the food place a very important part in all our lives like really good food yeah so we went from there we met one or two other friends of mine we went to some place nearby you know near kamla Mills it was a lot we went to a couple of places then we went you tell the story we went to a couple of places we were basically going from one place to another randomly

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moving from food now to love so yeah yes it's a random weekend in Bombay the last place we went to is a friend of mine his house and uh so me and Jay Jay went there and we were sitting and we were chatting and stuff like that we were playing chess we were playing chess we were playing chess and there happened to be a girl in my friend's house yeah okay they talk for five minutes in front of me they don't even exchange numbers yeah uh cut to like a few months later Jay is in Bangalore and we're having dinner at home and he's like bro I started dating that girl yeah and that is the girl he's

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getting married to now in November yeah so I feel like you know they should name but it's phenomenal I love it her name is super story and it was a butterfly effect in you know I was tired that day I had finished a very close friend of mine got married so he had his Bharat his wedding it was an early wedding and we finished by around 6 37 and nikhil was in town that day and somewhere or the other I said you know okay I'll spend half an hour with nikhil and then go home and sleep because I'm tired and we had fun and it just became five hours and as you rightly said at the end of that night I must have spent two minutes with Aditi and the only

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thing we got out of that conversation was hey I did my MBA in the U.S and she was saying I'm applying right now for my MBA in the US so I will for you know I really thank my Harvard MBA but I will uh do it do it in this case because that was something that uh is always a good thing to say yeah uh and then we just kept in touch on Instagram really yeah who messaged who first uh she's gonna watch this in our life so I know I'm sure she's going to kill me uh I follow requested her she accepted my follow request and followed me back and she has many more followers than me so

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uh I will I felt like okay you know she probably gets hundreds or not thousands of uh you were still on the MBA wavelength uh how long has it been now it's been uh January 2000 and 21. it's a little over two years and uh it just went from chatting on Instagram to hey when are you in Mumbai next you know let's meet interesting congratulations on the wedding in November so thank you I thought this group would be very interesting uh we have one very Savvy investor come entrepreneur come has done everything in life from producing movies to Media uh and how do you define

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savviness because I think saviness is a it's a nomenclature that you get into sometimes in the world that we live in today my Benchmark my metric is capitalism and through those lens historically looking at your track record you're very savvy Fair uh Beauties so I'll accept it from that point of view capitalism kind of removes the beauty in the eye of the beholder argument because we're all viewing from similar lens yeah but just to complete that often to what maybe gaurav said earlier I can't visualize everywhere I was getting turned off of who drove what car yeah I think for me are you bad at

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taking compliments generally in life I just sorry like are you bad at taking compliments in life generally a trigger to something else why do you think that is my own self-conviction maybe yeah I mean I don't know self-conviction would help you take a compliment I was trying to I think my I think you're very right and very intuitive on that maybe I'll I'll take it one level forward that I was trying to fine tune it even more further by actually going to the fact that to me enjoying myself has been has been one of the higher parts of it because actually I'm quite a loner in many ways I I work most of the

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work of the companies that one has built has been very interactive with people but still in that sense but I think for me The Benchmark of really just enjoying what you do has been very very critical and important and I think my journey has been a little bit of that okay when you do that you feel blessed when you feel blessed you get recharged when you get recharged you do a lot more so in a way you think contradiction in your mind is lesser because you have found something you love yeah I mean contradiction on a day-to-day basis and balance I understand we're always talking about where you need to I think what he's

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saying is you need to be rebellious you need to be out of your boxing you know what I also feel is it feels like he is so ambitious like he thinks it's good to be capitalistic but somewhere he also feels it's a good thing to be poor no but that's a good thing to me oh why because that's your gut you know like see when you're talking about a smaller unit right we grow up in families with four people five people six people families are always socialistic in nature where everything is shared when you go out in the world and Things become capitalism and inequality increases disproportionately some part

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of our subconscious I believe because so much of what we are today is a is a factor of our upbringing our influences I think some part of each of us believe not directly but subconsciously that it is good to be poor and I think the more you win in capitalism the more you feel like that it is subconscious no no I might be wrong no no that was see that was at the end of the day one of the initial drives that has not been my drive in a long time I don't today I wouldn't compare that he has this or she has this or something like that that was just an initial part of the drive eventually you know whether it's product or content I found that thing which

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motivates me and I think um I think you're addicted to being rebellious maybe I know you fight every like whatever 30 minutes and I definitely see some spunk which is a good thing yeah yeah I mean a nice manner but it you're addicted to that I mean you know half the times I would say oh I mean and now maybe a little bit I follow you because we've met couple of times I'm saying now why does he have to shoot his mouth off again but I think you enjoy it and that's that defines the character so for us I mean for us it was the fact that who has made it big in the Venture

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Capital game and and to be tagged as a unicorn I mean when we were 25 years old me Roman and himesh one of the goals was that you know if we can make a unicorn before 30 that would be awesome and it did happen meaning convince four or five people to give you a lot of money at a higher value but that was that's what it would mean right but unlike some other companies our company has also created value so yeah but essentially that yeah I'm just I'm just I'm just curious about that I'm I'm not I'm not I'm I'm very happy with my announcing but I'm trying to because I think it's the messaging that we all do in a conversation is very important so I get it I mean if I were

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to look and I'm half Charming you so don't get it if if I were to look back should I have changed valuation the way I did probably not but it did teach me a lot of things and at some point you know an academy in the last 12 months the way we have focused on a better I think very few Venture funded companies have and this month will be the first month where we are cash flow positive so I think that Journey wasn't easy but uh That's a hardcore capitalistic talk now but one thing I have to add in gaurav's defense is what he's saying that valuation game he was not the only one playing it you know like millions of people

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who wanted to achieve what he achieved so regardless of Market cycles and when money drains out and interest rates go up I think a lot of credit goes to him for having been able to get that money scale an academy in the manner that he did and I think he should take pride in that and always yeah no I would I would be a little humblier and say that there was only one feedback that shailendra and dependra and bhaven these three people are have been good mentors and they've built companies they have helped build companies they kept saying that don't let your ego come in between so I just I was just I accepted the reality but there were 10

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people who told me what to do so I just didn't let it get into my head that or just because I like I could convince five people to Value me at a certain valuation doesn't and and by the way this happens with a lot of other Founders um rest how to execute or you know how to do that Etc I think that was the easy part but listening and having that acceptance that you up or you over hired people and the journey of letting go of people would be a tough one so I think doing that acceptance was the major part once you accept that hey I did there are 10 people who will tell you

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you have to reduce your fixed cost you have to reduce your SNM you have to reduce your GNA and then uh and and then we promulgated but that's all that matters bro as long as you guys have course corrected in a direction that will make you bigger better stronger in the future I mean see at the end of the day we all wish each other the best rate yeah yeah so where I was at before this conversation is we have one very very Savvy person because he has done so many things we have a very articulate friend of mine Jay who has gone to the best colleges in the world and gotten great marks and not really how much do you get I was always

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how did you how did you get into Harvard I was a good student yeah uh I was a very good student but I was not uh I wasn't always in the top 10 not in the top one percent in all of my classes that's the Benchmark because you come up and not in the top ten percent no but in typically you know there is this kind of culture in India that like you have to have 99 or 98. I was always 89 90. uh kind of which is good and then we have another engineer who has done so well and you have me who has not gone to college is fairly illiterate from the traditional lens

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so putting four people like us together right like one who doesn't have any education one hour one like so much experience and so many other things also with very little education but you went to college you said I did my bcom and that was it yeah so you're saying that's that qualifies your four years more than I did and 30 we all come together and we talk about education overall not just for everybody looking to build a product a company in education any kind of a business ancillary to education I thought four diverse views like this should help an entrepreneur starting off today so that's the intent

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of today and it's not about our individual companies it's not about how well anak Academy is doing or upgrad is doing or kotak bank is doing codec bank is is in another level where I don't really I don't think we should not be commenting about it yeah is not so I can't take a remote credit for that I'll only take credit for a little bit of kotak 811 inside Bank kotak bank is could not will you elaborate on that a little bit because we'd like to know what Jay is doing at 811 uh 811 stands for interestingly given the news that happened yesterday 8th of November uh

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which was the date of demonetization where we as a traditional slash Legacy Bank started a immediate online account opening which is never allowed before that along with demonetization a set of new interesting and very Progressive regulation came that allowed bank accounts to be open for the first time without a wet signature so kotak started a product called Kota k811 that basically allowed that to happen and it saw extremely high uptake because it turns out that a lot of India was and to a lesser extent still is not banked or

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underbanked and that has been a journey and recently we've seen the scale of that opportunity we've uh in a management segregation not a legal entity segregation very important because regulatory businesses have to be uh carved it out as a bank and Bank management segregation and we think of ourselves a little more as a digital Bank slash fintech but you know fully regulated business that's nice and it took that eight I mean it's eight eleven but you call it eight one we call it so it's one and 911 they couldn't have called it 911 otherwise would have been the emergency

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example in America right so not that most people in India have no no concept of 9-1-1 tell us what 811 does broadly like if you had to categorize it in a bucket you can open a bank account in three minutes sitting in your living room on your phone it's a partial kyc account and you get a virtual debit card you can start transacting immediately so element one of the proposition is that it's uh fully you know straight through we do around uh six lakh accounts a month so they will take 20 000 or a day which is considerably so 811 now contributes seventy seventy to seventy five percent

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of the total accounts that quota Gobles uh and that's just the power of digital and why I'm in Bangalore so much the second element of the value proposition is that we are an unbundled offering think of it like how Indigo disrupted Jet Airways we have zero balance we are the only large Bank in India to offer a bank account with zero minimum balance which is very compelling for most of India that does not have ten thousand so would you like summarize and say it is banking focused on the young in a fast efficient near zero cost manner yes I guess that's a good way to summarize it the one thing I have to add

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like you know especially for a very underbanked Nation yeah the one thing I have to add about Jay is before the story about him meeting is now to be wife and all of that the very first time I met Jay is when I had gone to the kotak bank office where Jay was sitting and pitched their family a product which would a product of ours which would manage a part of their money and this was a few years before that and uh I will say this about Jay right a lot of people look at people who are popular personalities kids and make up preconceived notions in their

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mind but Jeff was refreshingly different he is not somebody's son alone but Jay on his own is extremely impressive uh like for the for the first I don't know how many times we met he would never even like mention his dad once or you know that he's the son of this person he owns this bank and all of that and I hope personally because we have a relationship and you know whatever I hope that one day when that opportunity comes uh I hope that opportunity comes to Lead kotak Bank but I can't think of somebody who has more

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you know natural ability he so calm stable uh has so many facets which would serve well in leading a institution of that size yep couldn't agree with you Mom yeah so I appreciate that but yeah um it's not just about regulation it's it's a large business we are 26 shareholder yeah there are 74 other and uh leadership and future has to be decided in the context of what is best for all I am committed in what I'm doing right now and of course by virtue of being uh the largest shareholder we are aligned with the future of the business but for me I don't see that as a

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necessary do you think he's not taking compliments well either like you asked me no I I think this is he's taking it better than you I must say because you have like this aversion where you rejected blanket but he's trying to like you know incorporate another facet he's adding to it I don't agree with a lot of your compliments because I do think that uh this is the best compliment of them all no not that you're not agreeing with my compliment it's having a head start from being born in what was when I was much younger I was you know we were not very affluent but still you know privileged uh parents that value your education being able to

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send you to an American school and not have to worry about scholarship uh you know not having to worry about paying Education Loans and that kind of sets off a positive cycle right that definitely kind of uh is a is an unfair Advantage so to speak that I've had that's a good way to come back to this they say that what was the number of somebody was telling me 40 to 50 percent of school going children in India go to private schools if Government schools in their form today don't function do you think that is a testament to how they don't function

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as to how they have to change the very fact that 50 of India and we are talking about India where you know like maybe three four percent of our country pays tax so that 50 is not affluent which is taking the additional hassle of paying school fees and the expenses and all of that sending their children to private schools does that talk about public schools in a I wouldn't say that okay is that number true I'm not sure about the number but I'll just say it in two parts firstly I think the U.S by the way the school the schooling is not so great I was going to say exactly yeah there's enough people to come back from the US in the fifth standard yeah and here

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we'll have to go in the third standard right so that should give you a pretty quick Benchmark on that and look we worked with about 1200 schools in rural India and I can tell you since you're bringing that when this is what you would call the the schools but I think there is a sense of infrastructure that also pulls it down it's not just that it's the faculties the teaching and whatever else you go there but I can tell you when we started opening a library in each of the rural schools magic happened the attendance went from 60 to 95 that's yes but that's one single situation of opening a library because for most people the

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library was a locked cupboard behind the principal's door was a key which nobody had access to and you couldn't take away a book home right so if you look at the singular paths what are the triggers of what people do because at the end of the day it's about aspiration right I mean education is about growing aspiration what do you think is tomorrow going to be brighter and better than yesterday and I think we spoke a little bit earlier about uh patriotism in India I mean I can best say that today people are thinking very genuinely that tomorrow is better than yesterday and I think the soft part that America went through was exactly that that softball

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gave you the sense that tomorrow is going to be better than yesterday I think today the United States is reviewing um they may not want to admit it but they're reviewing whether tomorrow is better than yesterday for them right and if you just look at that as one and I know I'm straying from your specific question on that but I think you have to look at education now or anything to do with learning with that little bit broader perspective than just attendance just learning just grading private versus public and I think it's all about teachers right in many sense of the word right is

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that the opportunity the two of you saw the quality of Education in government or private in or some private institutions as far as upgrad was concerned I think we are in higher education so I didn't think we didn't look at the K-12 market for for a multiple of reasons you also gave us like 30 seconds on what upgrad does and I'll come to you next yeah so I've ever sort of Define it I think education is a very calendar event and it's a very preconceived notion where you go through a certain portion of your life and it's over and I think we want to disrupt that space in today's for us the definition

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of what we want to build is a sort of a book called learning Skilling and a Workforce Development company and do you also skill people who are already working yes in fact most of the people we skill have to be in some sense of a job in working and the earliest we do as College Learners or the last year of college people so you take people in when they're 18 19 that kind of age groups we don't take but they come to us but yeah no see the beauty about technology and online is it's amazing because you don't do a pull you don't do marketing advertising as much no for two reasons one is it's an option at that stage you

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know that's why the calendar event it's not an option it's programmed in your life you have to go to school you have to go to college or you're going to be called a Dropout or you're less privileged but here the optionality of Life Starts and therefore I think it was more we're talking about the fact that optionality starts there right because that's the time when you need to carry on and take it Forward right how is an academy different so an academy is I don't internally also we don't think we are in the education business we think we are in this tournament business so what happens is today whether it's 60

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million people give these competitive examinations you have your UPS you have your need you have J and for a huge like for almost everyone who comes to 11 standard or 10 standard the only way to change their socio-economic status is by getting selected into these examinations because I I like to think that uh and and this is what similar to um but upgrad also does is it helps people get better jobs makes them better skilled so I think that's are you both at the same price point in a way no but we are in different markets very

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different very different similar price points uh no no no which would be higher and lower no no so so you know be it cater for SSC examination where uh annual subscription would cost 5000 rupees but we have a j examination where an annual subscription would cost 1.2 lakhs so we are sort of in that tournament business where let's say if people get selected and they go into an IIT their life will change IIT is like a lottery you say tournament because so if you get in yes it's fair to call it a lottery though no I'm not calling it a lottery I'm calling it a tournament yeah like we do in India game of skill

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no no no but it's not a I mean you I mean the kind of people who end up qualifying and the kind of uh questions that come in these examinations I mean we can debate that is this the right way to measure Etc but we have to all agree to some way of measuring a person's ability and if uh hard work is by the way I couldn't clear any of those examinations if people don't know but I got rejected by a coaching Center in Jaipur there was this coaching Center called resonance where there was this teacher Ashish Arora who eventually joined an academy uh two years ago but I my father takes me to the coaching Center and they rejected me because uh

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to get into that teacher's batch you have to clear a test which I couldn't clear so one of the things that an academy now does is and some of our teachers are paid a million dollars million US Dollars we got the best quota and Jaipur teachers and they would start teaching at ten thousand or twenty thousand people paid a million dollars that's why he started by saying venture capital is that the difference no no by the way I think without Venture Capital nobody gets paid a million dollars these teachers never getting paid similar amounts by offline coaching centers who

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collectively were doing 20 000 crores in Revenue so between chaitanya between Allen between Akash and between narayana and I don't want this to become the rameshwaran cafe type shocked but between these four coaching centers these do twenty thousand corrosion Avenue and there are let's say some of these coaching centers would have at least 40 50 teachers who get paid more than two crores per annum and some of them can I interject funds is that the differentiation why one ethic platform works over another quality of teachers is it syllabus is it teaches but again see you need to do this segment it would be different I mean for

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me and for the overall working professional it's a lot of plus plus it's not necessarily teachers and faculty which is the epicenter is it the syllabus like if you had to pick one at upgrad would you say syllabus have more weightage or do teachers do no I think learning experience and the whole process of learning because it's online is the most important part of it and connecting otherwise I mean just a lecture today is not going to move the needle from All Points of View if you have just have a TED Talk that's not how you're going to learn for the next level of what you want to basically do right so I think that is the pivotal part so

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for us learning experience right now to me what I think is going to revolutionize learning is peer-to-peer learning so while we are talking about teachers and faculty I can see that Trend in the next five years the power of everything that's going to go to the next level and maybe not in school because you do need that basic element you can't start any app peer-to-peer is peer-to-peer learning I actually wanted to ask Jay that question because I agree with this yeah did you go to Harvard because the teachers were good and after you went to Harvard did you learn more from your teachers or your classmates so Harvard is actually a

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Harvard Business School is a very interesting kind of education model because it is a combination of teacher to student and peer-to-peer because every class is almost like a conductor with an OP to an orchestra where the conductor is only kind of which is the professor he gives you a case everybody has to read it before the class you assume everybody's read it it's usually a very interesting case on a topic based on what the class is and they have you know millions of cases and then the professor has a road map of what he or she wants to get out of that discussion but he pushes different members of the class

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and because it's a very diverse class like for example on a case where you're talking about Disney the media company there was a girl who was a child actress who became a very successful child actress and then a media executive and then came to Harvard Business School and had an interesting perspective to share with the rest of the class and likewise on other topics that's to me I learned a lot more what was most valuable was it the network the classmates and what you learned of them or was it the teaching staff like for him it would be different than for what it would be for a normal person

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no I I disagree no no but because the normal person is going there for an intent to eventually get a very high paying job in Harvard I don't think I don't think no I don't think so no that wouldn't necessarily be there I think that uh that's normally a given by the time I think that for most people they already have some form of reasonable paying job before they come for an MBA because in the U.S unlike in India you don't do an MBA right after your undergrad it's usually anywhere from three to six years of work experience and because the school is so selective these folks tend to have gone to iits or you know very good schools

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so the intent is to go to up level yourself into being a business leader and to being a more well-rounded professional and person but so what I had heard and maybe you can correct me if I'm wrong the most sought after jobs after after somebody completes HPS or private Equity firms hedge funds uh Venture capitalism you're the youngest is a lot but you're 10 years you're 10 years behind I would say I graduated six years ago and it had already started to change so what is it entrepreneurship uh software product management yeah you're you're hanging around too much with the investment bankers

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management of course there is a large cohort of people that are going into private Equity that are going into Investment Banking there is always you know those are important pillars but even there it's with an entrepreneurial mindset and there it's within most people do that as a hey none of that career mindset but so you are essentially saying that people are going into HPS to become entrepreneurs but if you see the people who are like I don't think we should single it out in an hist manner all of these kind of uh like you and nikhil mentioned I mean you became entrepreneurs because of who you were and not because of the education no no

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no no no not at all it was the same human emotions greed yeah hunger insecurity exactly and not because of a college education no no it's not an education as much as is that it's an immersion into a pool of very interesting people and you go as a sponsor the question I was asking you is that your biggest takeaway from that hands down as a leader you need to be a great Catalyst and I think what you just defined is the network is a phenomenal Catalyst you know their ability too and you know coming back to we were talking about kotak being a a a large company and we're very small if we compare to truly large companies uh you know around

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the world and one of the things I see looking at that and looking at us and larger companies is that the skill sets you need is so much more about people managing people leadership motivation uh and I can say that just from the outside and I've interacted with many people but I've interacted with them for 10 and 15 years and the continuity of that culture that is there right comes from somebody being a phenomenal Catalyst that is therefore sprouted enough owners within an organization so there's an interesting question for the two of you if the biggest USB of colleges I will I let's not pick on Harvard let's say IV

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colleges in the US for example Ivy League colleges is the network the connections all of that occur there can attack where you learn through a medium without human interaction with your peers in a way ever truly compete with that the vision for us is to be inclusive the vision there is to be exclusive so the two different tracks it's a much larger experience for a larger set of people but do you think larger I mean much larger but do you think this can compete with that so let me let me just give you an example so we have products for people ranging

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from 17 year olds to 29 30 year olds there is this examination people prepare for called neat PG if you became a doctor and you want to do your postgraduate post graduation um and get your md Etc you give this neat PJ examination now the younger you are you need more coaching you need more intervention you need somebody to call you and tell you please study you need more discipline market share the problem there is people say we don't need offline coaching centers and even if you give them great content but boring content they will open the app because they

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intent so high they will study it without even building social interactions so if your question is on whether this can be done that you don't need let's say without a network Etc can you build that that depends on how much Intel what are you building at this point the government of India has or even some private institutions have these tournaments if you crack these tournaments uh your life changes we are coaches of that tournament now and and no I'm I'm totally with you up until here whether you need to compete I

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think it and that was your real question the firstly I'm saying let's say let's say education is a priority is a precursor to having a certain kind of individual a certain kind of 30 year old man for example which is also changing yeah that's also true yeah yeah there's no longer that formal context has not got the same weightage that it had before I agreement that you mean the degrees Etc yeah part of that is experience part of that is for the lack of a better word somebody's motivation to learn on their own so I think many skill sets today to be job ready yeah very different yeah but do

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you think a person who takes this medium I'm talking about using upgrad using an academy clearing a certain exam uh if education was online if the distribution of Education they're not going to a college eventually they're consuming all of the education online through a medium through a device can that compete or compare with real life education if I'm competing in terms of outcomes and I just want to say that what am I competing on if I'm competing in terms of final outcome report card being outcome absolutely right absolutely because you're visualizing a brick and mortar space and and I'm

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visualizing a a surreal space and if I and people who operate in all spaces today yeah I think the outcome I'm looking for is not necessarily Mark's card do you do you have you it's not necessarily Mark Scott yeah it's success in life yeah absolutely and and if your question is more about online do you know about Roblox so there is an app called Roblox in us every kid between 6 to 16. like one in every three kids spend more than two hours on the app so it's a metaverse gaming metaverse where you can play games with your friends Etc that is now replacing some of the offline experiences so you can go to an

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amusement park with your friends and it's a mobile app it's not a VR headset you can go to an amusement park with five of your friends have social interactions and then there are these game developers which are building experiences so my belief is that if you have built that or what Minecraft has done if you have built those kind of experiences and you are seeing kids addicted to those experiences and they are doing experiences online it's actually interesting I saw this on an Elon Musk interview he said it's easy to get kids to play video games the question is can you tweak the video games just enough

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the reason why that's a great learning medium is you don't need an intermediary you don't need that one pontiff you don't need somebody on the pulpit right and then Roblox is exactly peer-to-peer yeah a game developer developed a chemistry lab experience that if you mix these two things a reaction will happen you go there with five of your friends and you are doing experiences you can also collect virtual selfies Etc and you're posting there so I think like that will happen and if you have to crack online education you won't say that I will have boring content is that the next big thing in online education make it big there is no big things in

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life you have to make them big so the next thing I mean this is consistent yeah I'm telling you that it's not about whether it's time is arrived you're gonna make its time arrive from that perspective and it's absolutely ready to be there so if I'm uh so the only thing about thing is acceptance or open-mindedness when you look at these two things and I think yes and and my belief is that you have to make some you know I wrote this blog post long back about good addiction products like how some of the best minds of the world are working

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on GTA or FIFA or you know making every experience or Instagram so addictive yeah but some of the best finds are not working on education being super addictive so once why is why is GTA FIFA Etc addictive and by the way that's recorded content so if you can make recorded content multiplayer so addictive you can do that with education why why is it addictive and why is education not what needs to change gamification like like if you you know there's this game called Jailbreak on Roblox simple game super simple Graphics but one is the social aspect element of it the second is the gamification element

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of it um if you read this book called actionable gamification it breaks down every single aspect of why you get addicted to a game you people play games that they win so today if they are sitting in a coaching Center where you don't even get entry to a best teacher's class because they say you are number hundred that won't work but if there is an AI app that says that so the AI app can actually say that Nicole you want to learn this it can real time generate a lesson for you by the way this is not happening but we have to make it happen and can start giving you questions so

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basically and they have to give you some positive reinforcement because if you start playing if FIFA only had world-class mode and then have a amateur mode you would never play FIFA that's right this is a sharp word but I think if you look at I mean I come from a media background so I think storytelling is a very important aspect of what Hooks you on right and I think I mean the very fact that that same narrative is coming there is because there's a storytelling element to that conference and that's why that's why some of our top Educators work absolutely if you see that that's the ability if you see their classes yeah

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um and I think when Jay gave the example of this young girl who came in she was a child artist and whatever else we look at that you know and it stuck with him yeah it stuck with him in that element of a storytelling and I think if you can bring that element to your learning and hold on to people's attention so I'm thinking like I'm thinking in the manner that a 24 year old starting a business and a tech would think today so I need to incorporate peer-to-peer gamify the experience in some manner and storytelling has to be a more integral part of it is

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a very important thing because all of this if you don't figure out therefore what's the end thing because what do you think the outcome should be see because in school there's a defined outcome either it's in March or you move from one standard to the other so there's a calendared event that's done there here you have to set your own benchmarks for that and it is road to to some sense of success entrepreneurship or job enablement to move forward in your career it's as simple as that yeah that definitely it's simple do you think our current benchmarks are not well placed to cope with the changes that are happening like

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education makes in my view I'll give you my experience of Education right I went to a terrible school I hated my school hated my teachers grew up being scared of things I should not have been scared of I was probably scared of my class class teacher this teacher that teacher stopped going to school beyond the 10th I didn't go I started working and stuff like that but what I remember of school is it taught me to be conformist in a manner where their idea of what I should be their idea of what I should learn their idea of what is required to get

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the outcome we just spoke about being job success entrepreneurship whatever that was met but that idea seems to be changing very quickly in the world I don't think you become successful 10 years from now by being conformist anymore so my my view on that is that the definition of school is also changing for example if you ask an 11th or 12th year 12th standard student especially if they're not preparing for test prep or if they are because of their parents had so if you truly ask them what they want to be being a YouTuber would be a like a lot of people would say they want to be a

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YouTuber yeah yeah and and why why does that work or a social media celebrity of some kind and I think that cycle is turning no no but why that works is you need to realize YouTube is sort of like a school with instant gratification and which is non-linear at school you could get x marks on YouTube If you crack something you can get like 500 000 marks in a way you know that those are the kind of views that we get so that's why I also start thinking that if people eventually want to play non-linear games these platforms that have opened up there there are 15 year old kids who are making games on Roblox there are there

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is a kit one of the most a YouTuber who owns fifth largest YouTuber in the world who earns the most money is a kid who reviews toys and he makes like 30 million dollars so what are you saying about education so we are saying school no what I'm saying teaches you to be too conformist so what what I'm saying is that YouTube in a way has become sort of like a parallel school right people might not start when they are in school you think that's the future more democratized peer-to-peer education I don't think schooling we should be in our lifetimes also forget mine it's not going to get disrupted to that

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level why and I'm and I'm not saying that will be if it does it'll be at that very top one percent I agree with it it's not going to get this I think and actually in some ways it shouldn't I agree with that it needs to be why because you need to layer you need to build on situation one of the reasons where I reached where I reached was because I found YouTube yeah I didn't crack any examinations yeah so if you if you see what are these tournaments one tournament is that in a traditional fence if you become good at physics chemistry maths and you crack that examination I think that's powerful but I couldn't I went to a college which had

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too much fees where the best job you could get was in one of these IIT services companies three and a half lakhs and there was no way I wanted to get that job not saying that's a bad job but that's not that was not for me so in a way and and this is why I think upgrad and higher ed needs to change how do you change that no okay if you if you didn't go to a good college how do you change that and I think YouTube is one way upgrade me if I can get a good degree and that gives me exposure that's one way so what I'm saying is that think of a kid who didn't crack let's say top

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three top three percent of kids get into these good colleges what about the 97 they go into these engineering colleges in let's say tier two tier three cities their job placement rate is two percent five percent ten percent so they their capability is there but they don't get the exposure but is that a problem that there are not enough jobs or is that a problem that they're not well enough educated both see education doesn't solve for exposure you know why people prepare for upsc examinations there is a friend of mine she gave the upsc examinations four to five times extremely smart friend

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I'm like you gave the examination five times why because of the predictability okay once I crack it I will get this wealth or this status or this credibility or my father would give me validation so at the end of the day you know it take I mean it takes a lot of years for you to come out of the shell that was created for you Etc and you are always seeking that validation but and this is my question to all of you think of a kid and this is huge chunk of our population the kid does not crack a good examination the kid goes to a average college the college does not give get the kid a

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job what does he or she do but that's changing in many ways I feel like one more light because I think people look at a broad topic like we are about changing a job it's quite Universal and we won't draw the best examples and inspiration for the people who are kind of listening to this unless we take a little bit more of a Global Perspective without being just completely Global correct and Global does not mean the U.S because Africa Vietnam some other markets like that very very very unique and different but if you take the cluster of all of that together you'll actually find some very clear parallels that actually can

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make you give you so I think I just wanted to put that into perspective that some of the challenges on a Country-Wide basis is not going to be able to solve but if you put a lot of those perspectives you can have a bigger solution and then it'll start applying to a lot of stuff yeah I'm going to keep everything a little more concise mindful of time but I would like to you know maybe add here that today companies like Facebook Google Tesla even us here in India we don't care about educational qualification in the manner that once we once did yeah like we don't ask for people to tell us what qualification

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they have I have not hired anybody ever looking at their degree in their mouth I think that's a sliver at the top in more evolved parts of our job ecosystem I think the moment you go one level down you being an IIs officer or being an IIT grad absolutely matters but I have a separate question if the system was good and the test was meritocratic in the right set of ways and everybody had equal opportunity what's wrong with the test or a way that kind of tells folks who are looking to hire that from this pool this is the most capable I agree it's not where it is right now and that's where you know a lot of

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that's all has to do but I think the test is good I'm talking about folks yeah but capable is the key word so I think you know today more and more we are now hard driving those ones what is capability what is Readiness what is whatever else what are you at the cusp of so I think that all those are changing which is why I still believe there are some fundamental things that need to be built on but yeah just for the sake of disrupt everybody creates a little bit more chaos what skill set do you need to Ace these tests and is that relevant to you doing the job excuse for us here it's very sophisticated word I mean I call them

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super skills and I don't even call them soft skills yeah because I just realized as a marketing person that as soon as you add shaktimaan to something then there's a little bit more attention right so you say super skills versus soft skills obvious sounds very soft yeah super sounds I've already like more important situation the soft skills yeah the higher up you go in terms of metaphorically the success ladder which is a crude way of putting it soft skills becomes more important indeed super skills but you are a product of soft skills yeah I'm a product of soft skills what does that mean otherwise after 10 standard if you haven't done it what

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else would have got you through life it is your it is those soft skills it is that super skills that you manage to build on to that start with it whatever else through a background through a financial whatever else and you built on it no matter but don't do this realizing it civilizing the issue to like for example or shining the light on it okay I mean yes I mean trivializing it by saying is it so simple yeah we are but I think when you really find big Solutions when you simplified not when you complicate it I agree things like empathy things like leadership are and the ability to kind of be with seven people that have different

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backgrounds and Lead that team or you know figure out what motivates who is a very different skill than solving an extremely complicated alphanumeric five years back if I was looking to back a founder of hire somebody which is as a partner with me I would say problem solving skills is important today I'm saying spot the problem before you can solve it because I'm not looking for problem solvers anymore right I'm talking about problems spotters I'm looking for the guy who looks around the Ben and sees is the train going to hit me or the truck going to hit me right and not somebody's going to solve it because even that time and density we

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don't have right it makes sense see if I take a simplistic View my belief is that everyone is collecting these Badges and these credentials which is what education is about now if somebody takes an online degree from upgrad degree that's a badge because some like like I was talking to a SVP of mine and his wife had taken an upgrad course I asked him why did she take that she said he said that for her the moment she put that on her LinkedIn profile suddenly she started getting more

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requests so in a way what test prep is also doing is you're collecting these badges I have this degree I went to this college or I have so many subscribers so or I built this game which was played by so many people in a way I like to think that that's what education is becoming about on how and and then you can say that our system currently is limited available but what online can solve foreign is not that different it is an inclusive medium because exclusive is a problem here I have to get a test prep to get into IIT exactly

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perfectly fine phenomenal world out there but hello with 10 billion people in the world right now 8 billion going to 10 billion people right so obviously that opportunity of being very Democratic on what we want to do is gonna happen it's gonna have to change quite radically I think education has to solve for so one part of it is the badge gets you into the room with the recruiter and the HR and then you know the job the far bigger challenge is once you're in the job how are you good at it are you good at it because there's only so much that you can you know I think I think I think the opposite is true I

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think today getting into the room is a bigger challenge people are still there are like if if like for example nikhil said that they don't look at the IIT tag if you don't look at that tag there are still great people a bigger challenge for who and when sure for 20 for 18 to 23 year olds probably and yes it is a challenge because there are not that many jobs which is a separate problem to solve but being good at something anything is very important and education should be solving for how to make people passionate about things without using the word education because again you get back into a little

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bit yeah it's very unstructured that's not a education issue that's a motivation issue you do need you do need that prompt you need the prompt sheet you need that from sheet you need that hack you need that element my belief is and we we can agree to disagree here instead of Bottoms Up the top-down approach works and that's how people think for example for that um person who bought that upgrad course it was like I want a job and this particular product helps me get more exposure so I think it starts from the fact

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that's why I want to crack an IIT examination and that's why if you I I was on a flight and I was seeing you know Indigo or vistara magazine every single College ad now had placements with amount of packages people were getting yeah because I think is because I'll I like to believe that it's not oversimplication but it's the reality okay if you say that you will get X after doing y then people are more motivated so I don't think it's a education issue I think it's a motivation issue yeah and it's not maybe it's not an

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either all so I don't think it's about us disagreeing or agreeing in that context because it's such a it's such a massive Challenge and such a massive opportunity frankly but but do you think that would anybody learn anything for the sake of learning for example yeah yes yeah that's myopic I think maybe absolutely Society has kind of conditioned us into that but can I tell you like personal example my initial phase of learning was based out of insecurity I didn't go to school I didn't go to 11 standard 12th standard all my classmates did

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that insecurity drove me to learn but another selection by SPS see where there is also a lot of selection biases we talk about any product that has no not selection bias but where I'm getting to today is I've stopped reading the kind of stuff that I read back then which will help me be better at a job yeah and today I keep reading about history and psychology and philosophy and these things I do not for a job this is just because I find them but I think that stuff does help you be wetter yeah in life and job is part of life yeah in terms of identifying you just want to be more rounded every single day of your life to simplify it I

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read it because I enjoy it but but again I would say that's like a very very small subset of the population but I think more more of the population has to move there and yeah that I agree that how do we because otherwise we'll get stuck at the entry gate yes we're not at the Gate of Heaven yeah we're going to try and experience the whole thing so all I would say is you're right at the entry gate but there's much more than the entry gate and I think we might be all saying the same thing but at different positions the root of this is at some level something you said maybe five minutes earlier but you said education and

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exposure are different to me I think if I think about education as a lifelong process exposure is an integral part of Education that becomes a larger piece of that pie it just depends on what the context of education is here if we're talking about education in the context of companies solving for a piece of the value chain to make profit then it's probably a different education than a you know more abstract idea yeah I mean this conversation we are having is a is a learning curve of some way I mean I I keep being not wanting to use the word education because the perception comes back into a little bit

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about formal structure part exactly yeah and and I get two hours if I can pick up three nuggets and go away I'm not gonna remember the whole two hours of the conversation like digress this conversation into another place altogether let's say the world evolves tomorrow a lot of the jobs get replaced by computers and so on and so forth there are not enough jobs in the world to immaterial of house kill the person applying for the job is let's say that equilibrium is not met world transforms into some kind of

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socialism but by choice capitalism right like Thomas spaghetti spoke about donate economics where we're in Equanimity with nature in a way growth for the sake of growth is not good let's say Universal basic income is there yeah Ubi is there people are getting paid people to not then have global warming will come in sooner than that one if you ask me here I I personally uh like I know a lot of people are very critical of global warming like we have a big fun rain matter climate we do a lot of uh work around climate change I tend to be more sanguine about it in many ways when I look at the world today I feel we are the luckiest we have

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the best version of the world any of our ancestors ever did we live for 40 years longer than we lived 100 years ago we didn't have to see world wars we didn't have to see racism we didn't have to see uh disease malnutrition all of this in the manner that our predecessors had to uh so sure global warming is a problem we have to work on it we have to like you know work on negating the effects of climate change but notwithstanding that I think in the future if Ubi were to come in I feel the kind of learning that we are talking about will become the only kind

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of learning where people choose to learn a certain thing because they want to learn it totally I agree yeah yeah and to get on with what they want to do with life absolutely and that that to me is the is the fun part of it it's a limitless and this is living like if you go back 2000 years ago philosophy was not something people spent like a ancillary subject like the Greek way of living philosopher today's Turning inwards is giving you a much different depth and that's why I'm saying therefore let's not Tinker with the opening part of what we keep saying that all of this can only happen if you go back to the foundation yeah sure yes

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of course we can teach sex education better in school we can teach entrepreneurship we can teach competitive virtue of where the world is going maybe sex education yeah suddenly has become a very meta thing we need people to have more kids all over again so yeah we're doing pragmatic again maybe sex education look at that that context where you're moving in because of your other exposures in life and that's why I was saying there's a certain cost to an event let that be there because it's evolving in itself but I think the important part that we brought up here

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also was are there going to be that many jobs and therefore what's everyone's doing in this entire space to be able to do that and water does find its level of course it goes through troughs in many ways but water does find its own level in many ways hopefully I wouldn't say hopefully that's the wrong word for it likely there would also be lesser people in the future I think the value of everything formal I wouldn't be able to survive and create opportunities but because I'm gonna have this informal approach to a situation the more likelihood I'm going to succeed in an environment which is fragile yeah and unpredictable because actually today

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what I think the next 100 years is going to face is much more fragility much more uncertainty I'm not sure as a student of History um I think that there's enough historical Parables to say that this is indeed what is happening but I my personal instinct is I believe in capitalism I believe in our ability to solve problems in the context that I actually don't think either we're going to run out of jobs yeah because I think that for every job that gets taken away for sure new jobs are coming and it's been happening for the past 100 years was more that extremes of extreme negative extreme positives may

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become a little bit more polarization may happen to a a larger extent but I fully agree I'm not a pessimist on the fact that we're going to run out of jobs also on climate change which is the one that maybe we disagree yeah I think yes there will there will be an impact yeah I think we all agree on science and all of that but we will solve when it becomes okay there is precedent for that right like we solved the ozone layer issue yeah the world together did we yeah yeah you remember like 10 years ago everybody was like ozone ozone ozone layer hole in the ozone layer nobody talks about it more than our control because we were

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creating it and therefore we could control it couldn't you also argue climate change we're creating yeah it can it could it could but it's a little bit in that space But I think what will happen before this climate change inevitability that a lot of people prophesize is I think jio engineering will become such a big field in itself like if we were to like very simply talk about climate change right Sun hits Earth its surface reflects a certain kind of heat pack yeah it gets trapped in the atmosphere Albedo effect based on what gases are in the atmosphere that much heat does not go out but things like adding sulfur into

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the stratosphere technology around covering the ice caps with some form of limestone geoengineering in itself like everything else like if you've been resilient as humans for hundreds of thousands of years I don't see why in that minute 67 years that we are around will the world collapse in front of my eyes mathematically the odds of that to me are meniscus collapse maybe not deteriorate could be but the world's always changing yeah I agree I agree did you do it as a very relative world like if you talk about relative to the previous hundred years we should be happy with where they are now yeah and

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hopefully 100 years down the line we are there and we're coming back to a topic that we were talking here I'm saying therefore in that environment it's even more that you need that flexibility versus the formality of it yeah so what we are saying to summarize the last bit of our conversation what needs to change about education or what people looking to build around education need to bear in mind is the near future could be a time of increased gamification changing not replacing the bricks of Education if we were to consider it a wall

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but a lot of tweaking of the bricks to make it less conformist in the manner where your ability to regurgitate information is not as valuable as it was 20 years ago that change will likely happen and people need to bear that in mind and another point you brought up if peer-to-peer will become increasingly relevant like Jay also said going to Harvard is as much about the other people who went with him to Harvard then it is about syllabus teachers teaching stuff yeah in the interest of time moving on you brought up by juice for a second would you like to because it's all over the news if you guys have an

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opinion like would love to hear it since you're both in the space no I think I don't have a particular opinion on bedroom but I will make a more generic statement I think what has happened is that any new employee I'm interviewing any new investor who comes and talks to me there is this sort of negativity about edtech and the people who are in edtech know that it's a phenomenal sector I mean the kind of pools Revenue pools that it has whether it's in higher education or in test prep or in K-12 it's amazing I mean I was giving you the example that the top 10 offline coaching centers of the country do 20 000 crores

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in Revenue annually but if you don't even go top 10 if you go localized in madhya Pradesh there is an exam called mppsc there is a coaching Center six or seven Institutes that help people prepare for that examination does 150 crores a year and there are hundreds of such examples so that Revenue pool exists offline you can bring that online similarly in higher education whether any kind of college that helps people getting get better skilled or get a better job there is a huge opportunity to disrupt don't take this from a perspective where somebody is comparing one company with

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another it is not about an academy it is where do you think as a cycle every stock every sector has Cycles so if you were to paint the cycle like this where do you think edtech is it right now very simple concise answer I think in covert we were at the peak and then uh last year I think at least for us we would say that we were going through a lot of tough times now we are climbing back up right now and and that's more an academy and I can't say for others but that's what we are yeah look there is no this at all because the opportunity and what the need is is absolutely massive the there's a Revolution going on in reskilling today there's a dire need for

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it it's like a Clarion fall in many ways so there's no opportunity for anything to go up and down here when we look at this up and down we only categorize it in terms of uh investment bankers or valuation which are so irrelevant capital is not going to change learning Skilling and and and ten times more Capital coming is not going to give you 10 times fast result in fact it's going to slow the process stuff that because you don't need Capital to make the changes that you need to make not everything is about capital so I think Capital afford you larger distribution in a manner where you can

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reach more people no no I think like if you're not talking about zero Capital but I'm not talking about the capital that everyone thinks that that Capital if you throw at this is a this is an overall Have You Ever Raised money at upright yes we have raised money yeah but I'm saying the cap capital for most people sounds like if you're looking at such a large sector and since you're talking about your core group that will want to listen to this one go there one of the things I would say is you don't need to have that kind of capital to make the change in this sector and that's going to be the fun part of it because then it'll be longer lasting

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it'll be a lot more permanent right and I think the foundation will be even stronger what about physics voila right like what is he doing which is so different I hear so much about physics well have you heard of him so there is this guy who is not spending money in the same amount and extend as other attack players but is able to gather an audience a paying audience based on his popularity based on some say the quality of his teaching in physics or whatever like the other way to look at that is he built a business very frugally accepted that you don't need money on it and it's

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taken a fair bit of time to come to where he has and I think that's where the credit comes versus anything else because so you like him then yeah I like everybody who's an entrepreneur because yeah so bloody difficult to do anything in life so everyone needs incredible amount of respect and at the point in which you are obviously as you rightly said there'll be ups and downs but my question here is what he did write is not put Capital epicenter took a long-term View and the result you're seeing right now so if you go back for the last eight years and analyze that and you see that report card and you see somebody else's report

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card of a chess thumping moment or raising a billion dollars this thematically is true across you know mature companies newer companies folks they don't talk as much sometimes can quietly build something and when they come out it feels like it just happened it just happened and another part took link to something we said much earlier not fundraising immediately puts you outside of that uh you know media Spotlight and this Spotlight of oh wow I Am a Unicorn because I fundraised at a certain valuation and you know now I'm emotionally at that value you know valuation there's a lot of companies in

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India and around the world that are quiet and just to put this in the sector that Jay is in I mean you've seen that I mean you don't need to go into the startup world to do that you've seen banks have a different situation and how levels of corruption excess transparency have come in there just based on being funding so it's not an ecosystem here it's mature ecosystems like banking where you can have that highly regulated systems just remembered something since you're here what do you think of the new TCS on lrs I think it's complicated because at one level if we want the rupee to be competitor to

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the dollar to the Yuan we want to be free float as much as possible and you want to be Capital again you want to be completely convertible but it's very easy to say that can I ask you to prophesize if India were to become truly convertible Capital account convertible let's say lrs the money going out of the country is maybe 22 billion dollars let's make our assumption it's somewhere around that this year yeah do you think more money would go out or more money would come in I ask you this while I preface that every International Bank and investor I meet today wants to come to India money would come in money

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is coming in India is doing better I actually agree with you and to on on the uh lrs TCS point there is the real fact that this was a loophole the fact that that's what I'm saying in that context we look at it in that loophole element is the question is the question did they plug the loophole or did they make it significantly harder for people I think they did it in three doses which then got into an element of miscommunication if you ask me but beyond the third dose you still have to 20 TCS when you spend your lrs but you can you can claim it back yes it's I would say that is it the most elegant solution yeah one could argue not is the owners going to be on

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you guys as a banker my understanding is that Banks anybody if somebody spends on On A bank's credit card the bank is accountable to implement regulation and that's part of being a regulated entity and that's in significantly no that's the case at all there is lots of Regulation we also uh the word Bank comes with a lot of trust and that trust file is a good thing in terms of attracting customers attracting deposit comes with responsibility great power comes great responsibility that is The Regulators can make a change that they see fit for for policy and I think sometimes you get irritated because of the communication level and when you do

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it in three Doses and then everyone thinks now this is just enough like why do you want to get there but at the end of the day the report card is quite clear yeah if if you are spending 250 000 a year which means you should be a high tax paying back or a sufficient good tax paying bracket yeah in which case you'll be cash neutral at the end of the year yeah my point here is I actually truly believe right this is not for the sake of euphemizing some other thought of mine but every International investor I talked to today is really critical especially in America in the West in Europe

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they're they're really critical about their own economy but I would say 80 90 percent are sanguine about the prospect of India and wanting wanting some form of participation we're not one of the highest taxation but if we open up I truly believe more money will come in but I don't think this has got to do with open up it's not about it's sure sorry carry on I'll go after no because I think this if there was a reverse GST on it and for every 250 you are gone with you know this is not that it is just about saying we don't know whether you've necessarily paid your tax and therefore take it at the end of the year if you open up

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completely you also become Mercy even more to something the FED may do that is really silly that causes violent Capital flight that was nothing to do with you and we've seen over the past 30 40 years financially right foreign Capital flight because of nothing but that can happen with the Norms because they are not subject but less has come in is coming and how if you open a Floodgate very quickly and this would be an I would say how policy makers would argue it are you bringing in stable long-term capital that's looking at investing in the country or are you bringing in short-term you know quick profit seeking Capital so

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I think we've ridden the storm quite well through three of these ones because I think we've been a little bit more prudent right do you think this funnel of money which came into India attack many other sectors in the last decade when say the cost of borrowing in the West Was a fraction of what it was what it is now maybe it was one percent now it's maybe five and a half percent how long do you think this winter will continue for and when you look at large numbers of companies like SoftBank and temasek and all these big guys tiger Global they all seem to be down so much what you think will incentivize the fresh

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risk chasing money to come into India and in turn into a tech I think a lot of that money came in actually came in from the East Coast but went to the West Coast guys because most of the money got spent on advertising and spending out of the West Coast guys in America so actually some sense of in and out happened there I wouldn't put temasek and SoftBank and tiger all in the same bracket one is a sovereign fund one has a lot more the same individually run one has got a great track record no stand sense of judgment on it actually not domestic I'm talking about tiger yeah tiger SoftBank whatever else see I think it's a little

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bit like if I'm if I gave you this example if I want to do eight risk because the two that I want to win I win at 40x that's a point of view and if you want to play that you will have good years and you'll have bad years you may have good five years and 10 bad years but in eventually if you're looking at that 20x30x40x they may want to do exactly what they want to do and today a lot of these people are burnt in the public markets not in the private markets but the question of yours was a lot more in the private Market than the public market so we have to keep that in mind also there's nothing listed really

114:86-115:55

right in India in their Tech sector no no but the the mindset of these and the winter is set in because in the public markets they've lost more money much less than they've lost in the private market and that has created this perceived program not just about edtech this is about yeah I think what will also happen is that um even even when the winter is over the the disciplined ways the disciplined ways of building companies will come back and people will start building higher valued companies with much less Capital well why do we classify winter with the inflow versus the winter will be if

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the market is closed down the prospects of consumer spending is slowed down there would be a snowstorm sorry that would be like but but the thing is for a lot of young people I don't know why at the Starting Gate everyone's calling in the winter just because no no but the situation in Bangalore is quite bad in the startup ecosystem no no but what you guys are not understanding maybe in this skyscraper yeah no no no no no it is but it also compared to 2019 India is bad it's just compared to 21. no see a lot of people who want to start up the first check that they get is will

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be from like an angel fund or an Institutional fund or not the nine out of ten people that we're talking about don't get a check to start but that doesn't mean they don't start and I think we should be just a little bit realistic about that thought process so you are saying that it is possible to build a fairly large tech company without raising capital I think in media one did it for eight years without raising one rupee yeah exactly but ninety percent of the large tech companies and especially I'm talking about tech where you have to have some sort of an advantage to scale fast to speed first I think Venture

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Capital plays a huge role what is fast it's a subjective definition created by philosophy velocity set by some other people but ours is not fast I've been doing the same job I do today for 19 years full-time trading investing and people are losing the thing that it takes it takes time it takes time it takes time you lose the value of it takes time you're in trouble like exact same job same schedule same routine everything same for 19 years even big Tech took time and you know one of the things I look at big Tech I look at Google or Facebook the founders still own large shares yeah because they didn't dilute the way current Founders

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are diluting it's crazy you know where at Series E or at nine percent okay guys again mindful of eight minutes or whatever we have left maybe take the last couple of minutes each to say what have you learned that you wish you knew before starting upgrad before starting an academy before everything Jay has done in the realm of Education something for people starting off today to watch out for and if you had two choices to change about education overall what would they be so

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I think I've said this before and I'll say it again we don't have the liberty for hindsight and I think anyone starting up needs to understand that that if the formula is one about hindsight it doesn't happen that way if in 1995 I did this this and this I would have been a 10x value of my media company doesn't I could have been bankrupt because five other things would have happened there so to me it is a learning process it's an iterative process and if you look at it always fast forward and forward versus hindsight you're going to be able to actually better your odds of success so for anyone who's looking for what

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would I do in the rear view mirror the the possibility is that you'll do a lot more wrong if you keep looking in the rear view mirror because one thing I gather from you a lot is you take a certain amount of pride in the wrong that you have done and you speak about it yeah I think so in a way what you're also saying is not having an ego about the mistakes you have made is very important but we don't talk about it that often and we should talk about it I'm not saying we need to bang the table about it but we do need to talk about it and I think part of what we have thawing the icebergs here of the not the next thousand entrepreneurs but the next

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million entrepreneurs are going to come if you thought the iceberg not throw in a couple of ice cubes nice nice and two things you would like to change about education overall two specific things what needs to change what will likely change okay give me one that needs to I think there is one level of structure in the formal education space which we need to respect because if we go disrupting that it's not going to be there we need to layer it we need to augment it we need to have a much more rounded element to that thought process that will make a world of a difference because it'll get people at a much younger age to be a lot more aware

120:01-120:61

and second I think in education whether we like it or not there is the Haves and The Haves and not and I emotionally and passionately believe that if we fix the have-nots a little bit more disc proportionately will all be in a different Marketplace so for me at this stage in my life Market making and opening up at scale is quite an obsession so I think those are two macro points for me so for me two themes one is theme at a system level and one is at an individual level at a system level I think I agree with Ronnie don't break parts of what is

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traditional simply widen the number of people that can access what is traditional for me a far bigger problem is not necessarily the quality of the education I'm coming from outside their Tech sector so it's easier for me to say that because I'm uh not you know biased towards necessarily thinking the opposite way maybe I'm wrong and widen just giving everybody more making it meritocratic and then allowing Merit to take cause the challenge right now is that most people struggle to get access to Basics that make even access

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to education and then the brand name kind of spiral so that for me is the individual side uh at the system side at an individual side it's much more again the theme we've touched on learning from people not learning from courses and learning from books I think learning from people is it's harder to surround yourself but at some level we make decisions of who we surround ourselves with and those are semi-conscious at least I know some people have less of a choice in them and I think that that to me is lifelong learning after the age of at the latest 30 but

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for most people 23 or 24 is learning from people yeah can you repeat the question one thing you've learned in your journey in the journey around education that you would like to share so the new budding entrepreneurs can keep that in mind second part of the question if you could change arbitrarily one one very fundamental first principles kind of thing about education what would you change so I'll start with the second one first what I would like to change is that even today I think everybody there is a lot more focus on content and education Etc

122:63-123:35

I like to believe that technologists are not coming in the sector I like to believe that the way a Duolingo has solved a problem where it's a completely computer generated program or a game teaching people and obviously there is humor intervention that has gone into it or there is Roblox where every third kid is using in U.S like or playing a game on Roblox I think people are not building enough technology stuff so one thing I would like to change is that I would request entrepreneurs that education is a big sector uh don't just be stuck in fintech uh look Beyond fintech every other founder I meet is I'm doing fintech this

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I'm doing fintech that yes fintech is a big Market fintech is fun yeah yes yes fintech is a big Market but there are other sectors also where a large part of large companies will be created and second thing which I have a huge problem with is that uh and this is nothing to do with that Tech this is more uh I think the ambition of Founders in India is very low I think uh I see some co-founders exiting after taking some minor secondary I see uh people getting satisfied very less but let's say if you if you if you look at a dependent office Nola and the kind of aspirations they have

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for their act two amazing aspirations so what what we also like we want super duper ambitious people and Technology people to uh also come to Ed Tech and uh be ambitious in general so um and and more than education see I believe that yes peer-to-peer learning and people learning from people is good uh but my view is which is completely different I I don't think that's practical I don't think that's what will scale Duolingo now has 60 million Maus there is no other person on the app there are 8 million paid users this is from their last earnings report stock is trading at 15x Revenue six billion

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dollar company no human is involved no social experience there is gamification and a computer teaching you and I think lifelong learning though theoretically sounds good I don't think anybody wants to you have to solve for motivation in an ideal scenario I yes people should do lifelong learning but they don't so how do we solve for motivation that you know you study psychology for Learning and not because you want to correct this examination so I think these are the few uh thoughts that I have but and one last prediction I would like to make is that we don't realize

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that how much AI will change education I think every most of the stuff that we discussed today would look irrelevant one year from now and we don't realize that five years from now every household will have a robot like personal computers changed everything if you look at the latest product that ring has introduced the doorbell cam now ring has a drone which can value our away access your entire home and what Tesla bot is doing I think we are maybe three or four or five years away where every household in the world especially starting with the uh people who can afford it will have a robot so I think that will also change a lot of things super

126:17-126:93

my thing I can paint a optimistic picture or a very dystopian one I'm gonna pick the latter uh I feel like the modern construct of a family husband wife child or non-child or non-child is not is not the best to Fester education in the manner that I would dream for it to be I think if you go back in time before organized religion and many other things each kid learned from the community and he fixated upon what skill set he might like in the community what he would like to

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inculcate I feel the modern notion of a family we tell our kids what religion to follow we tell our kids what it is okay to study maybe not consciously but subconsciously uh I don't know how this will work but going back to a world where the mimetic influences of the world are lesser on the child and the child is allowed an environment to be more organic about the learning choices he makes is something that should change about education make sense yeah well put yeah yeah done so thank you everyone and

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Personal Entrepreneurial Journeys

  • Digital Transformation in Education

  • Consumer Behavior in Education

  • Operational Challenges in EdTech

  • Quality of Content and Teaching

  • Future Trends in Educational Technology

  • Peer-to-Peer Learning in EdTech

  • The Role of Networking and Mentorship


Chapters

  • Introduction and Backgrounds of Guests

  • Digital Transformation in Education

  • Consumer Behavior and Market Adaptation

  • Operational Challenges and Solutions in EdTech

  • Discussion on Quality Education and Teaching Methods

  • Insights on Future Trends in EdTech

  • The Significance of Networking and Mentorship

  • Concluding Thoughts and Industry Outlook


Summary

The podcast episode "Ep #5 - EdTech: What’s Broken, What’s Next?" hosted by Nikhil, features a profound discussion with prominent figures in the EdTech sector: Ronnie Screwvala, Gaurav Munjal, and Jay Kotak. The dialogue traverses various dimensions of the educational technology landscape, providing a deep dive into the current state and future prospects of this dynamic field.


The episode starts with personal narratives from each guest, detailing their individual paths to prominence in the EdTech world. These stories not only humanize their experiences but also shed light on the diverse backgrounds and motivations that fuel innovation in this sector.


A significant theme of the conversation is the role of digital transformation in education. Discussions revolve around how technology has reshaped learning methodologies, the delivery of education, and the democratization of access to quality education. The guests delve into the challenges and opportunities presented by online platforms, emphasizing the need for adaptive and innovative approaches in EdTech.


Consumer behavior, particularly in the context of education, is another key topic. The discussion explores how shifting preferences and expectations of learners are influencing EdTech strategies. The guests share insights into how they've adapted their models to meet these evolving needs, emphasizing the importance of customer-centric approaches.


Operational aspects of running an EdTech business, such as content creation, platform development, and scaling strategies, are thoroughly examined. The guests share their experiences and challenges in these areas, providing a practical perspective on what it takes to succeed in the EdTech space.


Throughout the episode, the importance of quality content, effective teaching methodologies, and the overall learning experience is underscored. The conversation also touches upon the future of EdTech, speculating on upcoming trends and potential innovations that could further transform the educational landscape.


This podcast offers a comprehensive view of the EdTech industry from the vantage point of seasoned entrepreneurs and experts. Their shared experiences and insights paint a vivid picture of the complexities and potential of this rapidly evolving sector.