#1 Tell us a bit about yourself.
-Currently, I'm doing my B. Tech in Engineering Physics from Bennett University, India, and with that I'm also managing my start-up Horse's Mouth, a platform that helps students who want to study abroad, book one-on-one calls with students and alumni already studying at the abroad university, and the course of their interest.
#2 How was your life before choosing entrepreneurship as a career?
- Well I would say life was not easy before either as I am a scholarship holder and had to maintain my academic rank accordingly. So before entrepreneurship, I was just like any other Bennetian who would study and score well. But once I chose entrepreneurship it was a combination of managing challenges in both the academic space as well as in the start-up arena. So what I can say now is that after choosing entrepreneurship my life has become more challenging but as a true entrepreneur, I like challenges and embrace them as opportunities to learn.
#3 Tell us something about your brand Horses Mouth and through what USPs you are challenging your competitors available in the EdTech industry?
- Horse’s Mouth is a digital platform where students interested in studying abroad, and their parents, can book one-on-one calls with the students and alumni from the university/course that they’re interested in. Basically, we help students in getting local insights into their future abroad universities, and currently, we have more than 90 mentors from 15+ countries including those from the Ivy League, and multiple happy customers.
I believe one-on-one mentoring can actually help Indian students in building a good application/resume and can also help them understand which university/course would be a good fit for them. We are still on our way to the creation of our USP and the plan is to build an AI-based platform where students can get connected with those mentors who belong to similar backgrounds, which will result in more personalized guidance for our students and parents.
#4 What mistakes you have done as an entrepreneur and don't want other budding entrepreneurs to commit?
- The main mistake that budding entrepreneurs make is that they take a long time in launching their product and then end up creating a product that is something that customers don't want. All I can say is, launch your product as fast as possible even if it's a basic version of the product, and make sure that you are continuously taking feedback from your customers and improving it. The earlier you start, the more experience and feedback you will gather which will be important in establishing a credible brand.
#5 How do you get your first sale? Any hacks or tips would you like to share with the budding entrepreneur to get their first sale?
- Generally in B2C it's difficult to get the first 100 customers since you have no brand value. In my personal opinion, it's possible to get a few leads on platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram and other social platforms but the success rate is generally low because most of the audience is not aware of you or what your company does. Initially, what I personally did to get sales is I used to visit study abroad fairs in New Delhi and talk to as many students and parents as possible. As my target audience is students and parents so this thing worked for me but you will have to come up with your own ways to reach customers through a non-digital way, initially.
#6 How do you keep yourself motivated in your bad phase?
-I believe that "Entrepreneurs aren’t born with the right to give up "
If the problem that you are trying to solve through your start-up is something that you personally care about, then getting through tough times will be easier. If you are going to start up then you have to be ok with dealing with uncertainty, pain, doubt, and taking the punches. But these things will battle harden you along the way, and the lessons and insights you gain as you go along in your start-up journey will help you for years to come, not just in company building but in life as well.