Entrepreneurial Journey of iDream Education Founder Can Inspire You
“I still did not have any specific idea in mind, but I went ahead and took the leap of faith.” Said Rohit Prakash on quitting his job and starting the entrepreneurial journey. Rohit is the co-founder of iDream Education, a company striving hard to provide best interactive and enjoyable learning solutions to underserved learners in government and rural schools via mobile and tablet. It’s a company which has been felicitated with Google India Awards for impacting change through the digital medium. So now, Rohit Prakash must be praising himself for taking that ‘leap of faith’.
His amazing journey can inspire many, and we are pleased to tell you that in an interaction GoodVitae, he has shared his entrepreneurial journey via a question-answer session.
1. How you started your entrepreneurial journey?
“Education is a sector, which is close to my heart. I wanted to do something in the education sector on a broader scale. My father had been in the environment business for over 20 years. During my early days of entrepreneurship, I used to accompany him to meet some scientists and researchers working in the field of environmental research. I realised that though deep research is happening in the environment and yet the outside world continues to deteriorate with a majority of people not really bothered about it.
I realised that if I can marry my passion for education with my new found love for the environment, there may be a business opportunity which can also create the right impact. Then I started a company called i-dream with the idea to teach students in school about the environment, sustainability and responsible citizenship.”
2. How were your initial days as an entrepreneur?
“‘Clueless’ is the word that would describe my early days. In 2009, there was also not much of a startup ecosystem, which is in abundance today.
Although I had done my MBA in marketing, but when you get down to doing something on your own, marketing is just one of many things on your mind. You are also responsible for product development, finances, execution on the ground, and of course, figure out the most cost-effective way to market your product. I was literally clueless as to how should I proceed and this at times also lead to lots of frustration. I had come from the FMCG industry where things move so fast that anything can change within a matter of hours. And here I was trying to write to schools, trying to meet the principal and then trying to convince them to believe in what I had to offer. It was suddenly a world of patience, lots of patience.
My family was extremely supportive during these times. Without them, it would have been difficult to sail through those early days.”
3. Did you ever think of giving up?
“That is something that I have never thought. I believe that an entrepreneur should be a hopeful person. Yes, I have had tough and frustrating times, but I always used to think about ways to overcome difficult situation rather than running away from it. I have never thought of quitting and I will probably never do that ever.”
4. How did you overcome the tough situation?
“In my opinion, the only way to succeed a tough situation is to hope that tomorrow will be a better day. But this hope is not easy to manifest, and you must dream a goal that drives your passion. I have always had many dreams, and I have always worked on the best route.
Therefore, whenever I am down, I tell myself, “Get up and keep moving because this is the only way that will take you to your dreams.””
5. When did you achieve your first success?
“When I had just started my entrepreneurial journey and was still trying to figure out the education sector, I had this opportunity to teach in a private school for some time. After about a month of teaching, I received my first cheque of Rs. 10,000. I still remember the moment; somehow it has managed to stay very fresh in my memory. I came back home that day very determined to make something big out of my work.
When I look back at it today, it may be a very small thing. But it was the first of many to come, and therefore will always remain a special inspiring moment of my life.”
6. What keeps you motivated on a daily basis?
“My partner and work.
My partner Puneet Goyal is a straight thinker with an extreme amount of clarity, and it inspires me to keep pushing my boundaries and aspire for the best.
Secondly, our work. I recently met Nikhil, a class VIII student in a Government School of Uttar Pradesh, who within two weeks of setting up of a TABLAB – a tablet-based learning lab in his school, self-taught himself to make a motor-driven fan using waste items lying in his home. When I see this, it gives me goosebumps and is a great motivator. We know that we are onto something big and if we keep moving forward, we may very well change the way rural India learns. This very thought motivates me to get up every morning with full energy.”
7. What have you learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey?
“a. Patience – There will be many moments during your journey, wherein you may be dependent on others to move forward like waiting for a client to say yes or pay you. If you are not patient, it will be very difficult for you to continue and manage.
b. Passion and Perseverance – If you are not passionate about what you are doing or about the kind of impact your work can have, there are more chances of you giving up. You need to be insanely passionate about your idea and then have the perseverance to keep pursuing it.
c. Humility – In your journey as an entrepreneur, you will find all sorts of people. While there will be some who will push you forward or someone will try to bring you down. There will be many who won’t agree with you, who will be rude, or disrespectful to you. I have realised that being humble gives you a piece of mind. One needs to be strong of course, but with humility, you can continue to focus on your work even if there is negativity around you.
d. Always take the leap of faith – Whenever in doubt, listen to your heart and take the leap of faith.”
8. At last, which quote resonates your entrepreneurial journey?
“Life is a freak show, and entrepreneurship is a ticket to the front row. And I like this Steve Jobs quote ‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’.”
If you are feeling inspired after reading this answer then share it with your friends and family.