First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times?
Ranjan Kumar: Thanks for asking. COVID has impacted everyone globally. It’s been a difficult time coping up with lockdowns and with restricted mobility. My thoughts and prayers for all health and social workers who are risking their lives so that we can live safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined Learnyst
Ranjan Kumar: I did engineering in computers and started working as a developer in IBM & then as project manager at GE. After working for about 9+ years, me and my friend Shankar (another co-founder of Learnyst) made up our minds to start something on our own. After analysing the market requirements we found that teachers in India were finding it difficult to go online due to the technology barriers. This made us think about providing a technology platform for teachers to sell their courses in their own branded website and mobile app. That is how we started Learnyst.
How does Learnyst innovate?
Ranjan Kumar: We take a customer centric approach in developing new features. We consider market requirements and work towards solving those challenges. Being a tech company, we constantly keep upgrading our technology to make online teaching easy for teachers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Ranjan Kumar: Due to lockdown, all classroom teaching stopped and teachers were forced to teach online. This resulted in the number of teachers who wanted to get their contents online. To help them interact with their students and to help them continue teaching, we came up with Live classes. It was our latest feature. In just a click, teachers can interact & chat with hundreds of students at a time from their own website & mobile without any hassles. We have doubled up our support team as well. We are adding guides and conducting webinars to help teachers set up their online classes. Lastly, we have also slashed our prices by 50% in response to the tough times faced by our teachers all over the world.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Ranjan Kumar: In the journey of becoming a successful LMS platform, we did make difficult choices. The lockdown was a phase where we had to make some difficult choices. We had to pause all our previous work & take up new challenging features the market needed. We also had to change our marketing style and approach. Those were some hard decisions we had to take. The lesson we learnt was that, if you have a happy & talented team that believes in what you do, then you can successfully handle the tough times.
To do this, we never rushed building our team. Our hiring process identified talented & passionate individuals who could help us solve educators problems. As a result today, Learnyst is enabling 1000+ educators to teach online on their own website and mobile apps. Educators have earned more than USD $35 Million in revenue by selling courses online.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and learnyst in the future ?
Ranjan Kumar: Along with success comes the stress, anxiety & hardships. I have accepted it as part of the entrepreneurship journey.
The days when I feel low, I would tell myself to remember the journey till this moment. I would think of how we have nurtured an idea into a real product that now solves people’s needs.That helps me cope with stress & anxiety. I also have a supportive circle of family & team mates who help me keep the stress & anxiety at bay. One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is that you get an opportunity to be among great people who are highly motivated. Being part of such motivated people keeps me inspired during difficult times.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Ranjan Kumar: There are many LMS platforms who are competitors for Learnyst. To stay up in the game, we follow a straight & simple strategy of keeping our customers happy. We want them to become successful edupreneurs, who can grow their revenues by 10X or 20X.
We want them to teach online easily and without worries of losing their data or contents being stolen. We offer features like DRM encryption, highly secured & branded mobile apps & Live classes. We do not charge any transaction fee which helps educators sell their courses securely & keep 100% profit to themselves.
Your final thoughts
Ranjan Kumar: We feel fortunate to see Learnyst growing over the years. It has been an exciting journey so far. We have a lot more to offer to our educators to help them teach online. One of the key initiatives we have taken up in this pandemic is to help educators in creating course content and market them online. Our vision is to make online teaching simple and scalable for educators. We foresee a lot of scope in this area & we wish to make Learnyst as the most trusted LMS brand that helps educators become edupreneurs.
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