Education has given me a platform to test myself, to assert what I can potentially be, to realize my dreams and a sense of achievement. I have enjoyed learning some subjects more than others. I excelled in those and did not do so well in the rest. My personality and my life interests started becoming evident through what I chose from the options presented to me. Paying attention to my strengths and my weaknesses, education has made me realize what I am capable of. This personal realization has been the founding stone of my confidence and success to date. But all this are a far fetched dream for most, because quality is not accessible. I want to give every child a chance to be the best versions of themselves through the power of education.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Proving a new idea in a market that believed it will not work. I followed a famous quote by Henry Ford, 'If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses' when we started creating web and mobile platforms to enable students to access qualified educational content. Short of five years later, we have had more than a million users on our platforms.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
I am re-reading Homo Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari because it blew my mind and I want to make sure I am ready for Homo Deus, a sequel, by the same author.I would recommend The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
One of my visiting family members after spending few days with me had to ask what is it that I actually do? I am always with my laptop and it seemed so odd to her that I do not have a typical work attire. I think the biggest contention is explaining how we do what we do, what we do is very clear to the extent that it seems too simple. Most of tech or innovation work happens behind the scenes that it's hard to grasp how technical it is and how many different elements to work on are there.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Belief that I can make it. Belief in God, in my self, in our mission!
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I knew how hard it will be but it is worth it :))
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
You have to pursue a goal bigger than yourself, stronger than your ambition and bolder than your dreams. Your enterprise should be built on premises that it can succeed without you.