Startup Sunday || Season 4 Episode 7 || Skill Prodigy

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty” – Henry Ford

What is ‘Skill Prodigy’?

Many students and professionals despite their academic brilliance miss out on bagging their dream jobs. Almost every time the reason is an interview gone wrong. Skill prodigy bridges the gap between knowledge and presentation. Skill prodigy is an app with a user-friendly interface that helps you prepare for interviews. Videos and other tools are applied to give the user a realistic experience. It is backed by dedicated mentors, and it employs the practice of peer reviews.

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What is the story behind the inception of ‘Skill Prodigy’?

As mentioned earlier, the reason behind a failed interview was known. But the students didn’t have any proper means to rectify. A problem presented itself and we had the solution, we simply realized it.

 

What business model does ‘Skill Prodigy’ employ?

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Target market:

  • B2C – Students and professionals with less than three of experience
  • B2B – Universities, corporates, and technical training providing institutes

Value proposition:

  • Customized in-app training for interviews, group discussion, CV analysis along with personal mentorship
  • Specialized offline training like accent training

Revenue sources:

  • In-app purchases
  • Workshops in universities
  • Partnership with other technical training providers
  • A licensed model with universities and corporates is in the pipeline

What were the challenges faced during the launch?

  • Finding qualified mentors who believed in our cause. They are the cornerstone of the company, without whom it would be a business with hollow values.
  • The product was bootstrapped by the co-founders. This placed a few restricted on the capital expenditure, forcing us to focus on high valued investments while having a frugal investment strategy.
  • Access to decision-makers in universities was minimal in the beginning

How is your company causing ripples in the e-learning market?

It is a bloodbath with multiple players aiming for the same consumer segment. Creating strong brand awareness in this crowded market is challenging. Having a strong value proposition is what differentiates us. Customer retention is key.

Why ‘Skill Prodigy’ and not other apps?

‘Skill Prodigy’ is a one shop stop. Even though the medium is an app, our human element is our strongest element owing to our dedicated mentors. Its ease of use and economic feasibility make it a true digital pocket partner. It focuses only on communication and covers all aspects of it.

What are your plans for the ‘e’ part of the ‘e-learning’?

At present, the app is available for Android OS. We will soon be launching it for iOS.

Explain to us the expansion and scaling plans set in store?

  • Short term plan: Work on brand awareness. We want our presence in tier two and tier three cities pan India.
  • Later build on brand presence with the help of an extensive user base.
  • Make ‘Skill Prodigy’ a global brand

One of the biggest hurdles for a start-up is funding. What about ‘Skill Prodigy’?

Co-founders have been bootstrapping it until now. We are focusing on friends and angel investors who are interested in small-ticket items. Since the company is only five months old, we are not approaching venture capitalists and other big fishes as of now.

Since the company is in its initial stages, it is turbulence max now. How are you managing it?

It is not a cakewalk, situations are very volatile. Our goal ‘To make every individual in India a great communicator’ is what drives us.

What are the main factors to be kept in mind while building a start-up?

  • Rock-solid team – Start-up is a pipe dream without it. Each member’s drive and effort is the pillar of a start-up.
  • Execution plan. Even the most brilliant ideas are meaningless without a proper plan to realize it.
  • Your gut is seldom wrong. But at the same time consensus is important.
  • Try to build symbiotic relationships.
  • Nothing can replace research.
  • Start small. Test your market and then improvise.
  • Reach out to your gurus for guidance.
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