“What is life?”, the question blares itself aloud, mostly on weekends or during times spent alone, wishing things were better personally or professionally because there’ so much people want to do to become better versions of themselves. But somehow the good-intentioned thoughts never seem to see the light of day. One, because there’s a plethora of things to do, from learning how to play a music instrument to taking up an artistic hobby.
In this age, where information is available to anyone on their fingertips, a paradox has set in, whereby users are saturated with choices. It is difficult to make up one’s mind, as to what types of skills or hobbies he or she should take up. A structured, results-oriented approach through a professional platform that is able to guide its users to the right curriculum and instructors, makes for a genuine use case for anyone interested in learning new things.
Music, arts, dance and sports impart character and values which complement users’ lives in ways that go over and above standard education through books and professional work settings. The satisfaction in learning a new skill is unparalled and contributes to one’s physical and mental well-being by alleviating stress and enhancing the level of feel-good chemicals like dopamine in the brain.
AIDIA Technovations is a company focussed on turning the vision of adopting music, arts, dance and sports into reality by taking them to the masses through a professional approach.
Give a brief info about your startup?
AIDIA Technovations Private Limited in Mumbai & Pune based start-up. “imd1”, an initiative of the company is all about MADS, i.e. for anything and everything in Music, Art, Dance and Sports. imd1” stands for victorious expression ‘I Am The 1’. We aim to recognize, motivate and give a platform to the ones’ special interest in MADS. “imd1” provides an opportunity to the MADS enthusiasts, parents and Gurus to network with others from different parts of the country. imd1 has also created a standardised curriculum for MADS and with the help of Gurus across the country, delivering scientific, proven and result-oriented coaching with a unique combination of brick & mortar and digital.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
The first and foremost reason is the personal experience of pain points of co-curricular education by the core team. Once the team started getting deep in understanding the pain points and how using technology, it can be solved, the picture became clearer.
Currently, with regards to the co-curricular education, the following problems exist largely across India which imd1 intends to solve:
Co-curricular education, i.e. training in Music, Art, Dance and Sports (MADS) is considered “extra” and therefore are not motivated enough to take up MADS as a career option.
Lack of standardization in coaching or training in MADS, no result-oriented approach, absence of systematic and scientific techniques in MADS training. Insufficient time for extra curriculum in school and that too
without attention to an individual’s skills and preferences. Quality Coaching centres and Gurus have little visibility among their target
audience, due to limited resources for advertisement and promotion.
The above problems are restricting the co-curricular market and its stakeholders to grow as per their true potential. imd1 aims to address this problem and resolve the same.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am a techno-functional expert with more than 22 years of experience.
Before setting up Aidia, I worked with one of India’s true product company 63 moons technologies limited. I started as a trainee and rose to become a member of board of directors over the 16 years. There, I headed large team and designed, created, implemented and run several mission critical technology set-ups for Indian and International exchanges, viz. MCX, IEX, MSEI, DGCX, SMX, GBOT etc. The passion to use technology for the betterment of society encouraged me to start Aidia Technovations.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Aidia is headquartered in Mumbai, a place where most part of my career footprints lie. Mumbai is a hub of resources, talent and opportunities, apart from being India’s financial capital and so that was the obvious choice. Besides this, Aidia’s development centre is based out of Pune, which is currently a hotbed of technology enthusiastic talents. We are very happy with our decision with the kind of team, connectivity and other benefits from these 2 locations.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Per se, there is no paranoia that captures me as before we started, we were ready for unexpected challenges. But yes, I constantly remind myself that in the age of digital, speed of execution is of essence and this is what keeps me awake at night. And that is the only time which gives me “Me Time” allowing to take stock of the day and plan for the next one.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
At present there are no direct competitors to us with identical approach. There are few otherwise, however, we stand quite apart from them because we do not believe in replacing class/field learning in MADS with digital lessons but empower them with the knowledge of the Legends. Thus, the coaches / trainers who are competitors to others are associates for us.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Life as an entrepreneur of a startup can be challenging at times. The problems faced are mostly unseen, unanticipated. As a leader you need to take these hardships heads-on and there is no passing of buck. These things tax your personal and family life. However, over the time, we learn to smartly balance it using little available time in best possible way. At Aidia, we encourage and promote our people to take up some hobby and pursue that regularly. Our office interior reflects this thought. In fact, Aidia has started a movement called #KuchRealKare where we are encouraging people to do something related to Music, Art, Dance or Sports, if not possible daily, then at least on first Sunday of every month and with their family and friends.
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.
Yes, we have raised 2 rounds of funding. We are in discussion for the next round and should be closing the next round in coming months.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
I do not think people who work with me have any misconception about me. Otherwise not only for me, for all the founders, there is misconception that the best things about founders are, they don’t have any boss, they can do whatever they want to, take leaves and earn in millions. The reality is completely opposite to these.
What gets you excited about this company?
Aidia is a dynamic and agile organization. imd1, excites me the most as its challenging and it is something which can make fundamental transformational changes in the way co-curricular are pursued. And I am more excited when I see the exciting core team which is energetic and synergetic. I am often surprised with the solutions that they come up with. Making imd1 brand big is the sole dream that binds everyone and drives them.
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 with a quick exercise session, followed by a quick scan through the world news and updates from the team. At office, a typical day consists of all status updates, next plans and meeting with associate, investors, prospective collaborators and others. Before I hit the bed, I have a habit of reading for at least half an hour. This keeps me updated on technology, business scenario, domestic and international economic conditions that can influence our business, etc.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My current team consists of people who I have already worked with in the past organizations. We already have trust and understanding between us which made things easier for me. The core team is an ensemble cast of technology architect, a UX specialist, an operation expert, a subject matter expert, marketing and branding team and many more. Each member is a significant contributor to that we stand for today.
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