We talked to Baljeet Dogra of KidSmart about its 11+practice app and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Baljeet Dogra: I am very well, thanks for asking, and everyone in my family is doing equally well. COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected our lifestyle choices, but overall we are quite optimistic about the near future. Nicky, a Husky female puppy, joined us last month as a new member of our family, and she keeps us entertained every single day.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded KidSmart?
Baljeet Dogra: I am a dad of two beautiful kids and the Founder/CEO of KidSmart with a background spanning more than 20 years servicing the Financial Services industry as an IT consultant in the City of London.
I created an app to help my daughter prepare for 11+ because it was too difficult to find the right tutor, and it was hard work searching, asking for recommendations, and then interviewing them. My daughter successfully got admission into Hertfordshire’s #1 grammar school.
We now use the same tools and teach using the same techniques to prepare other students for 11+.
How does KidSmart innovate?
Baljeet Dogra: We use a combination of technology, gamification, research, and psychology to build solutions that enhance the learning potential and retention of the information, which helps the parents and students succeed.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Baljeet Dogra: The pandemic has positively impacted our business as many parents who were previously skeptical about online learning also accepted this as a viable platform. The pandemic has completely changed the way people think about online learning forever.
We added additional channels to help people reach us easily, and we love talking to parents, even if it is just them asking us a few questions.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Baljeet Dogra: We transformed into a 100% remote company and did additional hiring. We were probably lucky in the sense that we did not have to make difficult decisions. We found many customers who were facing financial difficulties, so we changed some of our offerings to suit them, including giving away free services.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Baljeet Dogra: We found that transparency, assurance, and eliminating uncertainty helped a great deal to take the stress off the team. We share positive feedback from the customers every day to motivate the whole team. We keep customer success metrics at the forefront, and each member of the team is challenged with making at least one customer happy. This helps give us a sense of purpose, which takes over the anxiety and relieves stress.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Baljeet Dogra: Our competitors are pretty much anyone in the EdTech sector. Our game plan is to continue to provide customer-focused tailored services to help children top the competitive exams.
Your final thoughts?
Baljeet Dogra: We are a customer-focused company, and customer success is at the forefront of our strategies. We are looking forward to the best of the remaining 2020 and a great run in 2021. We are open to new partnerships, new relationships, and new team members who can join and help push our company forward to the next level.
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