We talked to Karim Saad, founder of ClassNinjas, about online education, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Karim Saad: It’s all good over here, hope you are doing fine as well. Thankfully the past year was quite healthy for my entire family.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded ClassNinjas.
Karim Saad: I have been working in the tech and media industry for more than 20 years mainly focusing on creating digital products and inspiring stories for various companies. Before founding my EduTech ClassNinjas, I worked for Red Bull building a digital editorial outlet for games and esports as well as managing the relaunch of RedBull.com as a product manager. Four years ago I decided to start my own business, first a small media agency before launching ClassNinjas which I am not working full-time since 2018.
How does ClassNinjas innovate?
Karim Saad: We believe in a world where students don’t fail. To achieve such an ambitious goal, we create content on all relevant digital platforms while teaching in an entertaining, time-efficient way that relates to a student’s life at an affordable price. All our content needs to apply certain storytelling in order for students to understand the wider meaning of mathematics.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Karim Saad: It mainly helped us to convince parents that digital education works. This mind-shift is ground-breaking for an entire industry and hopefully just the first step in a comprehensive educational revolution. We need to enhance schooling in all aspects and the global pandemic changed that in many ways. Thankfully we could even grow the company and doubled our team size within the past six months.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Karim Saad: As we are financially independent, we didn’t need to cut any jobs. Despite being quite flexible in terms of the workplace, the pandemic helped us to establish the remote-first principle. All team members can decide whether they want from our office, from home, or from wherever they would like to open their laptop and smartphone. That’s a great relief in terms of office space and recruiting process.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Karim Saad: As parents are our main target audience, the pandemic clearly helped us convincing them to use digital tools instead of private on-site tutoring. As schools had to establish distance learning methods, software like Zoom or MS Teams is now easily explainable and way more efficient in terms of time-management.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Karim Saad: Thankfully we didn’t have to apply for any grants during the pandemic.
Your final thoughts?
Karim Saad: I hope your readers are doing great! We all know that the global pandemic is the biggest challenge most of us have experienced so far. With all the negative aspects of the psychological consequences, we need to focus on the bright side to move on as a prospering society. Thanks to the vast technological offer we now need to fix all the industries that didn’t apply the digital advancement in the past.
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