"We Had to Know What to Prioritize at What Time" - Prajwal T P

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1. Tell us more about your company and your journey.

Our company name is The Circle home tutors, and we are a team of two behind this. Our journey started with taking very few home tuitions, we did not advertise on any platform, and we grew just because of ‘word of mouth’ marketing.

We basically connect students and teachers, and we, as a platform, enable home tuitions. We find the right match between students and teachers by taking a few factors in consideration like locality, syllabus and grade of the students. Firstly, we provide demo classes to students and learn from parents whether the demo class was impressive and relevant to the subject material and if yes, then we discuss the fee structure with the parents and convert these leads into customers. 

This was the first thing we started as partners and the company was running really well, during this pandemic situation the company was falling down as we couldn’t give home tuitions due to the strict lockdown rules, so then we thought of something new to stay on the field and we started with online summer camps and this idea worked really well, and we received a lot of positive feedback and a huge number of enrolments for these online summer camps. Right now, we are also working on and planning on conducting online workshops for art, calligraphy, public speaking and many more which are not taught in school.

2. How did you come up with this idea and go about executing it?

Me and my partner, who is also my beloved friend was taking home tuitions, and we thought why not take it up to the next level, when we discussed this with our other friends, they were very much interested in joining the company and were looking forward to helping us expand the business. We started spreading the news through sending brochures around our close circle and they helped us reach others through WhatsApp and Word of mouth.

3. What has been your biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome it?

We grew successfully by facing a lot of challenges but the biggest challenge was to provide security for teachers and students as we are not a registered company yet. Parents and teachers were finding it hard to trust each other, and we came over this by asking for a copy of the identification card of both the teachers and the parents along with their children’s identification proof before conducting the classes and we used to accompany the teacher for the first time, i.e., during the demo class to analyze whether it was a safe place for teachers to take up classes, basically here, we used the technique of ‘judge a book by its’ cover’. 

We also faced another challenge as we are not registered, parents used to sign up and take up classes for their children but used to refuse to pay at the end of the month, we came through this by maintaining a good professional relationship with the parents and we were asking them the sign along with the date, the record of classes conducted each time they took up a class.

4. What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful entrepreneur and what are the factors for running a business successfully?

We believe that the qualities of an entrepreneur are based on the type of business he/she is invested in and we also would like to say that these qualities are the factors which make the business successful. For us, the most important qualities were Patience, Transparency, professionalism and work ethics matter a lot. We have been loyal and honest to teachers and parents. We also give a lot of importance to parents providing feedback as it helps us improve professionally and personally and we implement the right things after accepting our mistakes. 

We also had to make a lot of compromises, we had to know what to prioritize at what time, and as our business is a start-up, we had to keep nurturing it and prioritizing it to help it grow.

We maintained transparency in the matters of the commission that we collected which was a part of the whole fee.  Patience was the key to our successful start-up, in just 5 days we got enrolments of 150 teachers but when we rolled out forms for enrolment of students, the response wasn’t the same we had to wait and have patience while we wait and we did not let the fear destroy our dream, and we rather built more confidence during each day of the waiting period.

5. What are your tips for the first time and aspiring entrepreneurs?

The tips are to be patient, transparent and respectful to the clients and customers irrespective of their background. We would suggest the aspiring entrepreneurs discuss their ideas with their family and friends and collect help and ideas from them. Another important and crucial tip is to never make your best friend your business partner as your friendship might ultimately get affected by the business or vice versa because you try to overcompensate one with another and it negatively affects your business or friendship, and you would lose one amongst the two. 

If you are taking up the risk to do business with your best friend, over time, you’ll understand the negative impacts of it. We also suggest you be loyal and honest to your clients and partners as it is the base for a successful and healthy business. We also suggest you give back to society by tieing-up with NGOs and volunteer along with them, we as a company do it, and we do it for self-satisfaction and not for publicity. 

Amidst all of this, it is very much important to give your 100% time towards the start-up and expect the same from your partners, it is important to respect each other and when your partner does something wrong, it is important to confront them, listen to their side of the story and correct them and is important to share the profits according to the investment of time and money.

6. How can one overcome a hurdle of lack of funds when starting up?

We would suggest you to try to reduce the investments and overhead costs or plan a start with zero investment. When we started up the risk of going under loss financially was very low as we started with zero investment and this also helped us in getting better support from our family and friends.

Interview by - Chaitra

"We Had to Know What to Prioritize at What Time" - Prajwal T P "We Had to Know What to Prioritize at What Time" - Prajwal T P Reviewed by Anshul Chauhan on June 28, 2020 Rating: 5

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