School ventures is a Bangalore based startup founded by Prasanna. It is leading preschool and K-12 school end to end school consultancy service provider.
“The Biggest misconception people have about me is that I am an AGENT. They think so because they relate the buying and selling of schools to the Real estate business”, says Prasanna.
We got an opportunity to talk with Prasanna, the founder of School ventures and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Brief Information about your start-up?
School ventures is one of the trusted and leading preschool and K-12 school end to end school consultancy service provider. Our team actively works with Individuals, Trusts, Entrepreneurs and Corporate companies to help them set up new Pre-schools, K-12 schools, Selling and Buying of schools, School improvement, Providing manpower, School management, School supplies, School Branding, Marketing and other school-related services.
What made you start your own start-up and what problems does it solve?
I have 17 years of experience in the education sector. I have noticed that mainly the Pre-school industry which is dominated by women entrepreneurs & the sector is still unorganised in India. The owners of these establishments face lots of problems with respect to the school curriculum, admissions, recruitment, training, marketing and etc. Only a handful of these preschools are a part of a franchisee model and the rest are stand-alone preschools which are at a disadvantage of not having the right expertise & knowledge of running a preschool. This was a major propellant for me to start “school ventures” which provides end to end solutions to any kind of school requirements.
Starting of Preschools and K-12 schools require lots of permission from the concerned education boards and the local authorities. School ventures help them in these formalities.
Manpower recruitment is another critical area in which the gap between the demand and supply is skewed. We at school ventures are tied up with exclusive recruitment firms and teacher training institutes to provide quality teachers to our clients to bridge the gap in the industry.
Apart from this, the major opportunity that we found for our business model was buying and selling of pre-schools and K-12 schools. There is virtually no one in the market to aid the selling and buying process. We at School ventures help to connect the buyers and sellers, conduct the due diligence and arrive at a selling price scientifically based on various parameters, assist the smooth sale and finally help the buyer to take over the school and conduct its operations without any hitch.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this start-up?
I am an MBA graduate with about 17 years of experience in the education industry. I have worked with education based companies such as – ICFAI, Eurokids, New Age knowledge pvt ltd, Pearson India education services LTD. Working in these companies helped me to learn the nitty gritty of the education industry.
I quit employment about 3 years back and started my first Start-up “Sleeves and Collars Drycleaners Pvt Ltd” which was a on-demand laundry service with stores spread across south Bangalore. It was a venture funded by IIM-B Aluminise. I sold my first start-up after 2 years of operation. After the sale of my first company, I wanted to do something in the area of my expertise and that is how School ventures came into existence.
Where is your start-up based out of? Why do you think it is the best place for you?
My Start-up is based out of Bangalore. Bangalore is the start-up capital of India and that in itself makes it the best place to start my company. Bangalore boasts of the best schools in India and is a hub for innumerable pre-schools. I couldn’t have asked for a better environment which is most conducive for the kind of services we provide.
As a start-up founder, what keeps you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
My expansion plans is what keeps me awake at night. I am paranoid about not adhering to my expansion timelines as growth and expansion is crucial for the survival of any start-up.
Who are your competition and how are you better than them?
In the selling and buying area there is virtually no competition as we are the pioneers. In relation to school supplies there are many players and online platforms which provides a list of vendors and helps them to connect but there is no major player who provides the various services which are offered under the umbrella of School ventures. We try to give personalised services to our clients and not just connect them with the vendors.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a start-up founder and how do you manage it?
It is very hard to maintain a work life balance in the initial years of a start-up as your work consumes 24/7 of your time. My family understands my passion for my work and are very supportive. I make it a point to spend my free time with my kids and family which helps me relax.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise?
No, School ventures is self funded.
Yes, We are looking to raise funds to aid our expansion plans in the future.
What is the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The Biggest misconception people have about me is that I am an AGENT. They think so because they relate the buying and selling of schools to the Real estate business.
We provide professional guidelines and due diligence services relating to the school sector and are not agents who just show the properties.
What gets you excited about his company?
The plethora of opportunities in this untapped sector and a chance to network and exchanging the knowledge and information with the best educationists of our times is what excites me.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
My day starts at 7 in the morning answering E-mails, messages and scheduling my day. After breakfast I am on the move throughout the day attending meeting, conference calls either in my HSR layout office or around Bangalore in the place of the clients. Most of the days I try to reach home by 7 at least, after which I hit the gym for about an hour. With the kind of travel and stress I endure throughout the day, exercise helps me de-stress. After a light dinner, I am back at my desk planning my next day, updating the day’s work etc. My day sometimes stretches to midnight or beyond as there are no fixed hours or concept of weekends.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
We are a small team of 5 people including me and 4 employees. Most of our business happens through the case on case base consultants. The consultants are mostly previous colleagues or people brought on board based on their reputation and recommendation by other industry specialist. The same holds good for our vendor partners also.
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