852 Kids Taken on a Virtual Reality Tour Into Solar System
KOMPANIONS, a Gurgaon based Ed-Tech-Sci organisation that aims to build a cognitively healthier and an intellectually smarter planet, took 850+ students of St. Xavier’s School, Jaipur on a Solar System Journey through Virtual Reality (VR). These students were from grades 6 to 8. This was the single largest gathering of school students who undertook a VR journey, a feat that has never been successfully attempted by anyone, so far.
School authorities and teachers were enthralled and appreciated the efficacy of the learning outcomes achieved by this edutaining method. They shared that one of their core missions is to increase the learning levels by enhancing the learning experience for every student and that this is certainly one of the most effective ways to achieve it.
This extremely engaging and enriching journey was made possible via a state-of-the-art mobile app and a Virtual Reality Cardboard Headset Gear, developed by KOMPANIONS. According to Mr Gautam Arjun (Co-founder, KOMPANIONS) the real purpose behind doing this is to actually bring back the joy in learning. It is about making learning both engaging and relevant.
This event got wide coverage across newspapers like Hindustan Times, DNA, Rajasthan Patrika and Dainik Bhaskar. ETV covered it LIVE on its channel. The response that KOMPANIONS received from the students, parents and school was very encouraging and motivating. KOMPANIONS strives to launch many such edutaining (education + entertainment) journeys over the next few months in the fields of Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Geography etc across India.
Entrepreneurial Story of Gautam & Yuvraj who founded KOMPANIONS located in Gurgaon
- Gautam Arjun: Chief Growth Hacker and Co-Founder at KOMPANIONS, established to revisualize education and learning through 3D Gamification, Visualization, Augmented & Virtual Reality. He is a Finance Professional and a Software Engineer with over 8 years of experience, Gautam is a visionary and a leader in interactive learning, educational game development, research and curriculum. His expertise includes Education Management, Management Consulting, Business Development Strategy, Operations, Private Equity Valuations and Business Modelling. Prior to KOMPANIONS, Gautam was a part of the Management Consulting team at KPMG where he primarily focused on leading the team for Valuation, Bid & Transaction Advisory, Financial modelling, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Revenue Maximization and Operational Excellence.
- Yuvraj K Sharma: Chief Innovation Trailblazer & Co-Founder at KOMPANIONS. Yuvraj is an online media and marketing expert, techy and a learning addict with hard core education management experience. A foreseer and an ardent believer of transforming learners into achievers. He is an education enthusiast and has spent a considerable amount of time inside classrooms with learners of varied intelligence. An accomplished facilitator and a persuasive speaker, Yuvraj has the way with children and young adults, having conducted several workshops on problem solving, logic and communications.
When Started: 17/03/2015
Email – [email protected]
What motivated you to start your Business?
We the founders are individuals who were doing really well in our corporate careers, but always had the driving urge to work for a cause and if the work can impact a larger audience and can contribute, even in the minutest of ways towards a building a healthier and brain fit planet, was enough for the idea of KOMPANIONS to be birthed. However, it actually started with a question that was posed to the founders by one of their young nephews. This kid had a mathematics test in class and he was supposed to perform division for a 5 marks question. The question was to divide 15 by 3 and this kid wrote 4 in the quotient’s place and 3 in the remainder’s place. But actually got a zero for his attempt! His question, when he came back home was simple, that though he agreed that he didn’t quite do his tables thoroughly, but he had over-heard his elder sibling saying that Dividend = Divisor X Quotient + Remainder, so by that logic it was 15 = 3 X 4 + 3 (and what he did, satisfies the equation that he had heard), so may be the teacher could have deducted a few marks for not remembering tables properly. But since the process that he followed was right, he should have gotten at least 2 – 3 marks for his attempt. This question in itself was the “apple falling” moment, as it not only highlighted the gap areas and the opportunity that existed but also showed them that if there was an area that they wanted to work and contribute in, it is definitely “Education”.
Tell us about your Business
We are focused on Brain Training, keeping neuroplasticity as an important factor of our work/programs and use some of the new and most advanced approaches such as Gamification, Visualization, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
The core problem that we are trying to solve is a three-part issue – (A) Diagnosing and raising Brain performance in key areas such as Fluid & Crystallized Intelligence, Language Proficiency, Logical Reasoning, Creativity, Plausible Reasoning and Co-evolution. (B) Reducing the gaps in learning, reasoning and aptitude. (C) Providing a growth path towards improvement; as currently there isn’t a structured approach towards organic development and learning continua. Our focus group is from toddlers to ninety year olds.
We have designed many learning and assessment based products around brain training. These products incorporate gamification, VR, AR and 3D learning methods which will be revolutionary in the field of education in future.
Tell us what an average day in your life looks like.
Every day in our life is full of excitement, wherein we have to juggle between product planning and development, recognising prospective clients and approaching them with an appropriate solution, managing our and the team members’ time to ensure the best and timely results in whatever we undertake.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
Planning and visualising any situation at hand is the most important skill. This helps us to be prepared to face any situation which in absence of this skill would have been termed as “unforeseen circumstances”.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far? How did you overcome these challenges?
Creating the right kind of awareness amongst our target groups as quickly as we can, getting to our early adopters at the earliest has been a challenge. For starters, we were attempting something that has never been done before, which obviously meant that to find talent, then to find the right kind of talent was a big challenge! We work in a technology which is both niche and nascent, so to setup processes was a daunting task. And lastly, though a lot of youngsters want to join the start-up bandwagon in India, but few are willing to put in the extra stretch. So, as an organization, finding and on-boarding right minded professionals remains our biggest challenge.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
Our approaches toward revisualizing education is par excellence and this automatically attracts new clients. After our record making attempt at St. Xavier’s Jaipur, we are being approached by many national and international organisations to collaborate.
Moreover, the 4 products of ours that are first in India and exceptionally good are enough for an EdTech-Sci start-up to attract new clients and businesses.
What advice do you give to other business owners?
We feel that all innovative start-ups do face the challenge of hiring the right minded professionals, the ones who are willing to learn, toil and grow rather than just grow! Professionals need to understand that a start-up, as the name suggests takes time to grow, and they need to have patience to reap the benefits of the efforts that the team puts in. They need to acknowledge that appropriate and sufficient efforts by the team members assures the growth of the start-up as well as the individual. Apart from this, we feel that there has to be a substantial period of investor backing. Innovative ideas do require time and hence the backing. The tendency to generate over-night returns may lead to some really good start-ups, burning out fast. So, attracting both the right – investor and working talent are the two main advices we would give to any business owner.
How did you keep motivated through difficult times?
The fact that our work positively impacts the society and helps children, adults as wells senior citizens to optimize their cognitive abilities; to be able to do our bit in building a more brain fit society, is something that really keeps us going.
What are your Marketing, Funding, and Team Building Strategy?
We are actively building on our digital marketing front. We are reaching out to audiences through Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. We are also rolling out offline campaigns and are tying up with various RWAs for the same. Corporate tie-ups is another route that we are exploring.
As far as funding is concerned, we have enough cushion for our product development and marketing activities. Moreover, with the launch of our retail products in the following months, we expect to meet our operational expenses comfortably.
• K-LAB July 2015: First 3D Knowledge Laboratory powered by Gamification and Augmented Reality installed at St. Soldier’s School Chandigarh.
• KUBE September 2015: India’s first 3D Educational Knowledge cube (KUBE) launched by honourable Minister of Technical Education Rajasthan at Jaipur.
• KANVAS December 2015: Movie screening of “Udd Jaane Do” with more than 5000 parents at the venue in Chandigarh. We auditioned more than 1500 students and 100+ teachers for this inspiring cinematic representation on the art-of-learning under KANVAS productions.
• KOMPASS January 2016: KOMPASS, a diagnostic assessments tool that predicts and provides remedial solutions was launched in Delhi NCR.
• St. Xavier’s Virtual Reality Tour into the Solar System: A record feat of 852 students from 6-14 years of age taken on a VR tour into the Solar System. This was the first of its kind event in the history of Indian education history.
What’s your favorite quote?
“I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” Rocky Balboa.
Who inspires you?
Inspiration is everywhere, from the small things in life to reading about all the greats. We take the best from everyone and remain true to one of our guiding principles of being an eclectic learner.