Saurav Kumar: A student should always remain a student.

“A student should always remain as a student.” This is the success mantra Saurav gave when I interviewed him last Sunday. Saurav is a young entrepreneur, the CEO, and co-founder of XTUDY started in 2017. After rigorous attempts and follow-ups, I finally got the opportunity to do an interview with him on the call and I really appreciate the efforts made by him despite his bad health. It was a really inspiring and thought-provoking conversation.

So I am sharing the interview with you all so that you too learn and get motivated.

Interview With Saurav Kumar :-

Shubham – Hi Saurav, thank you so much for spare some time for this conversation from your busy schedule. It’s so generous of you.

Saurav – Thank You Shubham for having this conversation. Sorry I was not able to have this interview done last week as Some of my family members were tested covid positive.

Shubham: No it’s totally fine. A tough time now. All are well now?

Saurav: Yeah all are doing fine.

Shubham: So Saurav, can you please tell us a bit about your company XTUDY? Although I am following you and XTUDY since it was launched back in 2017.

Saurav: Yeah sure. So XTUDY is basically a platform that assists the school’s teachers and staff to manage the data daily, like updating attendance, uploading the class notes, students’ progress reports, and many more. At the same time, parents can also use this platform to get updated about their child’s performance.

Shubham: That’s really great. So how did you come up with this idea of XTUDY?

Saurav: Yeah, actually before starting XTUDY I was working on a different project with one of my friends Uday who is also one of the Co-founders of XTUDY. We started a company named INFYNITO that was related to road transportation. But unfortunately, it stuck into some government permissions and we had to drop the idea. Yeah coming to your question. So for the government permissions, we had to meet some officials of the state. So one day I was in the chamber of one of the BDO and he was really bombing the school authority for not providing detailed feedback from the teachers for his daughter. After disconnecting the call he told us and I Quote” Are sir kya aaplog ye traffic, driving license k chakkar me pare hain. karna hai to School ka kuch kijiye na koi system nahi hai.” I smiled and ignored it at that time but when I was traveling back that idea hit me. And I discussed it with Uday and then XTUDY was launched.

Shubham: That was pretty awesome I must say. So You got the idea for a successful company from your previous unsuccessful idea.

Saurav: Chuckles. Yeah, You can say that.

Shubham: So Saurav when did you first know that you wanted to do a startup?

Saurav: Actually when I was In my 3rd year of engineering college I started a website to sell second-hand books and notes. At that time I thought this idea will revolutionize the engineering college. Young days you know. So the idea of doing a startup was from the early days of my college. And I was pretty clear that I will start something of my own. My parents are really supportive. I should say they don’t even care what I do. (He laughs).

Shubham: Saurav you are from Ranchi and doing a startup we don’t often see it in towns like Ranchi and Patna. So what were the difficulties you faced in your early days and how did you come up with that?

Saurav: Yeah that’s true and sad at the same time. When I started, I had to convince myself that this idea will go ahead. This idea will create an impact. This was the most important thing. In the early days when we used to visit the schools, they didn’t show any interest. Schools were mainly working offline. The manual methods. And they were skeptical of going online and try an app. So it was really tough to convince them. We planned that we have to break at least two big schools to convince the rest. At least this time we will have a big name on board. So I went to my school DAV Hazaribagh and I am really grateful and lucky that they like our product and they bought our service. There is a saying I guess in cricket one brings the two. The same happened with us as well. DAV Ranchi also joined us. And that was big for us. We used to travel all over the state each day. Sometimes I used to drive 80kms to reach the school. But you know I never felt tired. When you love what you are doing, you will never get bored or tired, which kept me motivated. Though I got frustrated at times I never doubted my idea. I feel that I learned many things in the process. A student should always remain a student. Because as a student you will always look to learn. I was not into web development that much but I learned javascript, bootstrap, JSON, and designed the website. I also learned about UX design and found it really helpful for our application. So you see you have to keep learning.

Shubham: Wow. That was pretty encouraging. And I really loved the idea of being a student. So that was about your past hustle tell me about your present. At present time especially in this pandemic, how’s everything for you and XTUDY?

Saurav: Ohhh. To be really honest I thought that this pandemic situation will really give our idea and product a boost. Because everything is going online. But but but there is always a but. Our 80 percent of the clients are the schools that are not that big and due to the lockdown, we are not getting the payments from these clients. They are using the platform but the payments are not regular. In fact in April this year, we have onboarded 150 schools. Our revenue was 3x and we were planning to invest it into ads and marketing. But I always see the positive side. I know in the coming days’ schools colleges will going to invest online. This pandemic opened an option just like Jio did for the 4g. But opportunity brings competition. But as long as your product is of high quality you will always be in the demand. We are constantly updating our product, providing training to the teachers. Everything will be in order soon. I hope.

Shubham: This is really making me motivated. And I am really finding it fascinating that how you stayed so positive. This is the reason for your success. But sometimes success depends on person to person. For someone, success is to become a billionaire and for someone, it’s just starting an offline store. So what’s your idea of success and how you are going to achieve it?

Saurav: That’s a really good question. I remember reading about Sanjeev Bikhchandani Ji founder of Naukri.com. He said that If you are starting a business for the money then don’t do it because in the long run there will hard times and you will be tested. If you are here for the money then you will get frustrated and eventually you will quit. But if are here beyond money then you will sail through. Money is always there. But to generate the money you have to have that product and service. When DAV bought our product at the very first meeting that was a success for me. It was so satisfying that our product is giving something to them. You should always build your business on deep customer insights. As of now, we are operating in Bihar, Jharkhand, and planning to expand in UP, Karnataka next year. hoping this pandemic ends soon.

Shubham: That’s really thoughtful Saurav. I am really happy and proud that a guy from Ranchi has such an idea of success and motivating many of us to achieve our dreams. Thank you so much for this interview and for giving me such insights about business and life. It was really fantastic talking with you Saurav. Thanks again.

Saurav: Pleasure is all mine and thanks to you too Shubham for constantly following up on this interview. I really appreciate your patience and professionalism. Looking forward to having more such conversations. Take care and stay safe. Good Luck

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