We all must have come across a situation in any examination where we would have done better, had we access to the notes of our batch topper or for the matter of fact better notes than ours.
From standing in never ending queues near the Photostat shop to calling out almost all batch mates for notes, a night before the final examination, we all have gone through all kinds of hassles to arrange for the best notes to help us out either for exams or for our own knowledge.
But think about a possibility where we have access to nearly all kinds of notes, the best in their fields! No hassle of Photostats, no appeasement of toppers! Moreover think about all those helpless students who donai??i??t have access to quality education, but, now all this is possible due to a dream of a Carnegie Mellon Graduate, Mr. Manak Gulati, who is all set to bring about a change in the education sector in his own way of serving on a platter, the best notes, and making them available for everyone.
India Spark had an amazing time interviewing and knowing about the founder of NotesGen, Mr. Manak Gulati and getting insights about his startup. Letai??i??s take a look.
1. Tell us everything about your startup, what does it do? What were the challenges of setting up and scale. How did you overcome them?
Imagine a student from a remote village/town/country side getting access to good quality study materials prepared by like-Ai??ai???minded students across the globe. Now, dream if a cost effective product is made available to the mass.
The practice of sharing notes is quite old. Every institution has its own stories and nostalgia of paper notes. As technology improves the lives is meant to make lives convenient, how good would it be if we all had the option of accessing and sourcing these notes on our mobile? Think of the synergy it creates, if the money backbenchers spent towards photocopy and wasting paper goes into the pockets of the topper, who actually paid attention in those endless classes and worked hard to make these notes.
Notesgen is based on the premise that knowledge grows by sharing and learning from one another. When an opportunity is given to interact and communicate with others, knowledge expands & learning is facilitated particularly with peer learning support being less threatening.
The idea of Notesgen was born out of my personal experience during my undergrad years where I found that borrowing and hiding study notes from classmates and seniors used to go maniac around examination time. Those who were studious wonai??i??t share their notes, while those who didnai??i??t prepare notes often relied on the generous ones to lend them the same. After completing my Masters from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, I followed up this concern and developed an online platform primarily for students of different levels and fields to share their self-Ai??ai???prepared study notes, and get some incentive in return for their efforts.
Notesgen is a cost effective way to get study material prepared by peers on topics common across various courses. It brings together the student community to share & exchange their study notes for better learning & performance. Study material obtained at Notesgen as a shortcut to studies, substitute for books, classwork, teachersai??i?? notes & guidance.
ai???Notesgen is a not intended to be taken as a shortcut to studies, substitute for books, classwork, teachersai??i?? notes & guidance. It should also not to be viewed as a source to earn money but a way to earn credits for the efforts they put in.ai??? This is the fundamental of the product. The challenge is to help students inculcate the habit of making notes.
Notesgen has grown on its own. Since its inception in 2014, Notesgen has reached 350,000 users from 111 different countries, and added more than 20,000 notes.
Notesgen has also been able to execute ai???Content Unbundlingai??? feature where big educational institutes like Career Launcher and other small local coaching points shared their content in unbundled (unpackaged) format, thereby helping users get notes/content at a less price which otherwise would have been priced high in package. Through Content unbundling, Notesgen wishes to help every user purchase effectively. For ex: If a CAT preparing student is able to purchase English from Career Launcher, Quant from T.I.M.E, and Reasoning from Brilliant, at an economical price of less than Rs. 1000, as compared to buying full packages from the above respective institutes which might cost more than Rs. 70,000 ai??i?? see the benefit the CAT preparing student would get. This is how Notesgen has managed to attend to its challenges and grow. ai???Whoever is our competitor and to-Ai??ai???be competitor, we make them an business offer, they donai??i??t and canai??i??t say no toai???.
2. How did you come up with the idea and what was the Eureka moment?
The idea of Notesgen was born out of the personal experience of Manak Gulati during his undergrad years where he found that borrowing and hiding study notes from classmates and seniors used to go maniac around examination time. Those who were studious wonai??i??t share their notes, while those who didnai??i??t prepare notes often relied on the generous ones to lend them the same. After completing his Masters from Carnegie Mellon University, USA, Manak followed up this concern and developed an online platform primarily for students of different levels and fields to share their self-Ai??ai???prepared study notes, and get some incentive in return for their efforts. I was super passionate about Notesgen. After my MS from USA, I was recruited by at E&Y, New York, H1B process completed, and a handsome salary package ai??i?? I gave up all, came back to India, and started executing Notesgen. And since then, I have been called Crazy. I like that. Unless you are crazy, you wonai??i??t change the world.
3. How did you build the core team? How did you meet and how did everyone align to the idea?
Getting a team of co-Ai??ai???founders was a simple equation of trust. 2 of my very oldAi?? school friends had seen my product Notesgen on the website and other social media accounts where I was posting. They really liked the idea and had a ton of other features and ideas that were wanting to add it in Notesgen. Looking at the ideas and the passion behind them, we all came together and became co-Ai??ai???founders. Infact, weAi?? 3 compliment each other. From handling everything, to delegating the jobs evenly amongst the 3 of us, that is how the core team was born. Adding of employees or expanding our team was and will always be based on the passion the respective employee has in building something really really big. The 2 qualities we look in our employees are: passion and patience.
4.Ai??Give us a background of your core team and yourself with the age.
Manak Gulati (CEO) (28 years): MS in eBusiness Technology from Carnegie Mellon University, Computer Science Engineering. Worked as Tech Head at a startup in Delhi. Built an online retail estate product during engineering days. Did live projects with big MNCai??i??s and Tech companies during MS @ CMU. Guitarist. Theaterist.
Roman Khan (CTO) (29 years): Computer Science engineer from North Maharashtra University. Worked as Tech Manager at a product company in Delhi.
Ankur Sharma (COO) (30 years): Computer Science engineer from UPAi??ai???Tech University, Agra. Worked as Tech Lead at a Jabong.
5. What has been Revenue, traction and growth from the date of inception till now?
Since the launch in 2014, Notesgen has a user base of more than 350,000 users from 111 countries, with 20,000+ Notes added ai??i?? All this growth has been without spending a single money on marketing.
6.Ai??What is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors and what’s your revenue model?
Notesgen is a peer-Ai??ai???to-Ai??ai???peer learning platform. Notesgen is a not intended to be taken as a shortcut to studies, substitute for books, classwork, teachersai??i?? notes & guidance. It should also not to be viewed as a source to earn money but a way to earn credits for the efforts they put in.ai??? This is the fundamental of the product. It brings together the student community to share & exchange their study notes for better learning &performance. The challenge is to help students inculcate the habit of making notes. Our aim is to not compete with others, but to act as a catalyst (for sales) in their own businesses. For ex: launching Content Unbundling features (bringing edu. Institutes share their content in unpackaged format ai??i?? single files on Notesgen) helps Notesgen get valuable content and in-Ai??ai???return gets edu businesses ai??i??Ai?? sales.
7.Ai??How are you funded? Purchase trazodone hcl
Notesgen is backed by education and content veterans like CL Educate who have invested in the startup and appreciate the value addition it is providing. It has attracted angel investments of $ 50,000 from industry veterans ai??i?? Satya (CEO of Career Launcher), Arvind Jha (CEO of Pariksha Labs), and Rajeev Saraf (CEO Lepton Software).
8. How does your product work?
Personalised Notes Page: Quickly find notes of other students from the subjects of your choice and learn in a way that works best for you.
Upload Notes: Click the picture of your notes and earn every time your notes are purchased.
Social Interactions: Find and View notes prepared by other like minded students by following them.
Buy Notes: Read the first 3 pages of the notes before you buy them. Also learn moreAi??about the notes by reading the notes description, and view seller profile.
Earn Notesgen Cash (NCash) from In-App Activities like Register, Upload Notes, Purchase Notes, etc.
Our vision is to help everyone, whether you are a student, teacher, parent, professional or adult returning to classroom, Notesgen provides a real mobile learning experience anytime, anywhere.
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Expand in all the countries
Make Notesgen the Go-Ai??ai???To-Ai??ai???Platform for all content sharing websites.
Introduce technologies and features that will help every individual get access to customized content/notes in real time.
10. Key message to all the budding entrepreneurs.
Below are my thumb rules to become a great entrepreneur
Pick up a problem and create a solution for
Select a team where everyone adds value.
Create a simple full-Ai??ai???running product.
Be Passionate. Be Patient. Share your story on Social Media.
Donai??i??t think that your startup will not survive if not funded.
There is atleast 1 investor in this world who will invest you in you at the early stage. Rest will follow. Search for that investor.