The following report is based on a video conference between Karanvir Singh, Founder & CEO of Pariksha and Komal Agrawal, Founder of The Story Lane along with Himasweeta Sarma, Brand Executive at The Story Lane.
“With the aid of technology, we can take the most affordable and quality learning resources to the remotest part of the country. We are trying to create an impact that is sustainable and lasting; we want to level the playing field in the test prep space.”
A labor of love of four brilliant minds, Karanvir Singh, Utkarsh Bagri, Vikram Shekhawat and Deepak Chaudhary, Pariksha is a test-prep company for government exams, one of the fastest growing start-ups in its segment. Available in six languages and eleven states across the country, Pariksha is trying to level the playing field in the online test-prep space by providing relevant and meaningful learning solutions to the 75 mn mobile-first youth of the tier 2/3 towns and cities interspersed across ‘Bharat’. With over 100,000 paid subscribers since its inception in 2015, Pariksha is trying to solve the problem of ‘easy accessibility’ to ‘quality’ and relevant learning resources faced by the aspirants of Bharat by providing them affordable access to vernacular exam preparation learning resources and quality content. According to Karanvir Singh, Founder & CEO, Pariksha, “Ease of access to affordable, relevant, and meaningful learning resources should be a right, not a privilege; one that cuts across socio-economic class. Dreams do not discriminate. We are trying to enable such dreams.”
“In my family or social circle whenever a boy is born, he either goes for the Armed Forces or police services.”
Karanvir Singh, Founder & CEO of Pariksha traces his roots to Rajasthan, India. He grew up in an Armed Forces environment and identifies deeply with the services. Having grown up in a liberal and forward-thinking environment, entrepreneurship came naturally to him. In fact, the idea of Pariksha was born out of hardships faced by the founders themselves while preparing for competitive exams.
“The life of an entrepreneur is riddled with challenges. But the idea of creating a resilient impact excites me more than anything else.”
When asked about the trials and tribulations associated with entrepreneurship, Karan candidly elaborated on how entrepreneurship is a hard road paved with risks and struggles that tests one’s courage and endurance. However, Karan notes, “the satisfaction of having built something enduring and meaningful is deeply gratifying.” He furthers points out that the stress of competition is all pervasive, irrespective of the field or domain and entrepreneurship is no exception.
According to Karan, Pariksha’s differentiators comprise its niche – its focus on state government job exams, coupled with affordability, vernacularity and ease of access for its users. He asserts, we continue to see a huge aspiration driven population of our country (mostly living in Bharat) that wants to prepare well and in advance to secure government and stable jobs. And we will ensure that we raze down all barriers in the way with everything at our disposal to enable our customers to realize their aspirations. And in doing so, a hardworking girl in the village of Bori, Taluka Aheri, District Gadchiroli, in the State of Maharashtra will face no disadvantage when compared to a hard-working girl from Bandra, Mumbai.
That is the kind of level playing field we are trying to create.
“Anyone interested in entrepreneurship should strike off the word work-life balance from their dictionary.”
“The secret sauce for success as an entrepreneur is accepting that there is nothing called work-life balance when you’re running a start-up.” Karan quips. The founders of Pariksha understand the sacrifices and hardships demanded by entrepreneurship but it is the dream that propels them at the end of the day. “For every dreamer in the hinterlands of this country, there is someone at Pariksha who is striving day and night, to make such a dream come true,” Karan remarks.
When asked about how he imagines Pariksha at the zenith of its success, Karan thinks he would like to model Pariksha’s success after 2u, a US based company that tackles the problems of accessibility and affordability in a unique and sustainable way.
“Out of 365 days in a year, nearly 300 will probably be riddled with struggles and frustrations. It’s the 6-7 days when you see the light that you live for. In entrepreneurship, self-motivation is key.”
For the youngsters who want to venture into the demanding, but rewarding world of entrepreneurship, Karan has a simple word of advice: challenges will abound. Entrepreneurship will demand seven to ten years of your life, steeped in commitment, and sacrifices but at the end of the road is the satisfaction of building something meaningful and enduring. Passion above all will lead the way.