This Entrepreneurial Story is about Dr. Deep Lodhari who Founded ‘mytestbuddy.com’ located in Vadodara, Gujarat India.
About - Dr. Deep Lodhari [Founder and CEO] is MBBS and is passionate about changing the way students in India study for their exams and he set out on an endeavor to create a platform for the students Contact :- Facebook | Twitter
Mr. Kaizad Hansotia (CMO) is a MBA graduate who has worked with a couple of startups and had his vision in sync with Deep’s and hence joined forces.
When Started: 2011
What motivated you to start your Business?
While preparing for my pre pg examinations, I was faced lot of issues, especially I did not know what to study and what not to, the exam curriculum was vast and frankly I was lost. The coaching classes charged astronomical amounts and I knew they were no good, most of the times I would sleep halfway through the lecture and I can’t remember the number of times I have been asked to leave the class for having fallen asleep!! I needed a place where I could share my views, challenge what was given in the books and discuss various aspects of the examination. I wanted a test buddy and that’s how I started developing a concept of online educational companion which would be like all purpose place for students to study online.
Tell us about your Business
Mytestbuddy is developed by doctors and tech savvy engineers with a motto to provide a comprehensive platform for online education for students and Educators alike.
Our B2C Model – Mytestbuddy helps prepare students for standardized tests like IIT ( MAINS ), IIM CAT, NEET UG, NEET PG, GMAT, GRE, and Banking. Mytestbuddy conducts online test series, provides students with practice tests, question banks, discussion forums and Interactive Report cards. Questions and exams on mytestbuddy.com are prepared by Students from premier institutes like IIT, IIM’s and Educators who excel in their fields.
We recently launched Our B2B Model in August, 2013. Mytestbuddy’s offers Low-Cost SAAS solutions for Educators, Academic Organizations, and Educational Institutions.
We provide our educational platform as SaaS (software-as-a-service) to educators, teachers and academic institutes such as yours, who can create an online classroom and students can attend it from any part of the world through any technological device. Plus we give testing platform for all competitive exams such as neet, jee, cat, csat, gmat, etc so it becomes easy for coaching institutes to either integrate or imbibe their content/test-series or exams into their website (through white-labeling) or use directly the same from mytestbuddy.com’s web-portal.
What is a Day in a life of you like?
The best part of the working as an entrepreneur is that you can’t understand the concept of Monday blues, there is no such thing as office and work hours, you keep on working from the moment you get up till you sleep and yet you feel happy about the same. Everyday its like a new challenge and constantly keep on updating our website’s features and tools that enhances the overall appeal and learning experience of the students. I began “MyTestBuddy” as a way to connect the medical students online, discuss their problems and share their issues online, we have come a long way ever since, we have now included students, teachers, admission consultants, schools and colleges with us. We now serve students from 7 major spheres and covering all educational institutions.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
If I were preparing for any given examination, let’s say I am preparing for pre pg medical examinations (natural choice because it used to be my forte), I would take a full length Mock test first, I know I am not prepared but then taking a test will help me know which areas I am particularly week at and which areas I am doing better then what I thought. I will start preparing for the areas which I think I am weak at by going through the practice questions available on Mytestbuddy.com, I will nudge my friends to join Mytestbuddy and study online with me, I would post discussions on the discussion forums and then then take practice tests. Once I am confident Of the topic that I have done. I would sit down and retake the test and see How I am doing! I will repeat that till I have achieved the desired goals. While doing all these I can ask questions to my peers and teachers, raise opinions and meet alumni and discuss doubts. All these combined makes us the best online learning tool available.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far?
When we first started Mytestbuddy.com we found it extremely difficult to convince teachers for Mytestbuddy.com.
How did you overcome these challenges?
We came up with more features for teachers and students thus taking care of every parent’s expectation.
We have come up with a more traditional veil for the extraordinary product. We have provided parents with a parent watch where parents can use see their student’s products. We have online class for teachers, where they can monitor their students progress, give out specific tests and create content for their students, provide students with online assignments and much more. We now have mock test series and online full length tests, virtual simulations of the competitive examinations, thus allowing students to take diagnostic checks on their own learning patterns and get to know what their weak and strong areas are.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
1) No Bulk-emailing, no cold calling but directly going to their institution’s office and insisting to meet the designated concerned person. Basically not leaving their premises until they agree to give us few minutes, hear us out and take a look at our business propostion! :p
What advice do you give to other business owners?
India is, as pepsi puts it a ‘youngistan’ nation with 500 million plus population who are less than 25 years of age. We may have skipped the pc revolution but we are surely neck to neck with rest of the world when it comes to the smartphone revolution. Indian youth are some of the fastest adapters of technology and I look forward to see how we social media space will evolve. So I think future successful business owners will be those who look forward to local innovations for local needs with global impact.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
I believe in learning by doing and experimenting, I believe that all that we know today as facts, science can change over a period of time and we should be ready to accept the changes and not stick to the dogmatic views that we are taught, I believe that far too much importance is given to the Sanctum Santorim of the text matter that the students are actively disallowed to think beyond the text matter and the teachers professes their views over the children. I believe that education is something that needs to break free, “come out of the closet” and challenge what is known and what is unknown. Mytestbuddy firmly believes in movements like wikipedia and Quora, where the content is free to edit by its users and believes that even in the education the same concept should be allowed. At mytestbuddy.com students can create their own tests, edit the mytestbuddy content and challenge their peers while engaging in fun learning activities. Surely, students are not used to such freedom, but then thats what mytestbuddy professes and tries to provide students with tools that will help them learn by engaging!
- Won Indian education congress award in 2012 for “Best use of Social media in Education”
- Won Indus group for “Education excellance” in 2012
- We were also nominated for other few international awards.
Whats your favorite quote?
“Work hard in silence… let Success make all the noise!”
Who inspires you? – All entrepreneurs in the world inspires us. The hardest thing is to get started, and they are the true hard-workers, building the business and market from scratch.
Do you have a Business Philosophy?
Yes, we believe that the time has come for technology to change the way we have been studying and learning. With increasing penetration of internet and smartphones in our country, we can now create a system where students can learn on the go, a system that allows and encourages you to study harder and achieve your maximum potential. However this does not mean that classroom teachings have become a passé, rather an integrated approach combining both the methods of online and offline teacher could help bolster a student’s performance dramatically. The right combination and tools are important for a student to gather maximum information outside the confines of his classroom regarding a topic so that it helps to improve their basic concepts and give them a holistic idea about the actual subject they are studying.
Startup Freak wishes mytestbuddy Team, All the Best!