This RTBI incubated startup helps you to share technical learning in vernacular languages
29th, September 2017 - Tech Startup
Being an entrepreneur is a great and a fulfilling experience but, what is even greater still, is being a social entrepreneur. It enables you to add value to the society, and that is what Team Guvi stands for. Chennai based Guvi is the brain-child of Mr. Arun Prakash, Mrs. Sridevi and Mr. S. P. Balamurugan who were working at PayPal and decided to share what they know. They took a bold decision to quit their job and embarked on their entrepreneurial journey with Guvi which provides a platform to connect budding technologists with industry experts and bridges the skill gap between industry and academia. At a time, when English is the language of our academics, Team Guvi stands apart, engaging students in their mother tongue. Guvi is a proud recipient of the KSMBOA-Business Excellence & Achievement Awards 2015 for "Outstanding IT initiative of the year". Catching up with the warm and welcoming Mr. S. P. Balamurugan, Co-founder & CEO of Guvi and also a CEGian, proved to be a truly memorable experience. Here are the excerpts.
FB One-liner : Guvi, an online vernacular learning /mentoring platform co-founded by our alumni, Mr. S. P. Balamurugan is incubated by IIT -M's RTBI . Recently, GUVI had partnered with Itrix and provided internships to the hackathon winners. Read on to know more about Guvi and the journey behind its success.
Tell us about how Guvi started.
Well, Guvi was started as a volunteering activity when we were working in PayPal and wanted to share our technical knowledge. We started sharing our learnings as micro videos through our youtube channel.To our surprise,our viewership reached 1k likes in our first month itself.And when we look at the demographic reach,we had viewership from countries like US,Uk etc.As we all know there are thousands of technical videos are available in internet and even many prestigious institutions are also giving their content for free.We started thinking what made us stad apart frome them and understood that the way we deliever the content make the viewers stick to it.Usually how we craft a video is, it’s the same way we teach something to our friends.Content will be in English ,but explained in vernacular language which makes it more friendly to the viewers.
We made videos in Tamil and our PayPal friends from different cultural backgrounds helped in other native languages and we ended up with a video hub of around 700+ videos. When we uploaded it on YouTube, we had about one million hits and over 5000 subscribers within a short period of time. When we were not able to fully commit to it on a part-time basis, we quit our jobs and embarked on our start-up journey.
What was your most defining moment?
You know you are on the right path when your hard work creates a change in other people’s lives.When Murugan from a small town in South,approached us for mentorship programme, we never thought it will become defining moment in our journey.He was the first graduate in his family with a great thirst for learning but did not know how to go about it.
When we did a initial assessment for Murugan,we found that he is having great caliber and what he needs was proper channelising.So we enrolled him for our Java Mentorship programme and connected him to a Java expert who is having 12+ years of Industry Experience and working in a reputed company.In our Mentorship programme for each stream we have a learning path which had a complete learning plan for 6 weeks.The learning path will lists the topics to be covered for each day and associated tasks to be done.
Initially Murugan struggled little bit ,but with the guidance of his mentor he was able to cross each level easily.There will be 2 mock interviews which will be conducted by working professionals in this six weeks programme.At the end of sixth week,to meet our expectations,he performed extra ordinarily in his mock interviews ,which made us to refer for one of our client Cango Networks.
Now he is the best team player in Cango Network and has been awarded star player award twice in a short period of time.
It was a singularly touching moment for Guvi.
Ten years from now, where do you see Guvi?
It will be the one-stop platform where people will look for their technical needs.The need can be anything like learning any new technology in the language they choose,to get connected to industry experts,to meet fellow techies like them,get guidance for their career path and to get landed in right jobs.
Is it hard to find people to join your mentorship programmes?
Mentorship Programme is altogether new concept for learners ,the only after college place people know for learning are computer centers.Still now there is no place to learn more from an industry perspective.
So until we make them understand the value ,its little bit challenging.But once they are into the programme ,we got many learners through their referrals.
Can you share any memorable moments from CEG?
I finished my MCA in 2006. CEG was a great place to learn and the exposure was really valuable. Right from the first year, everything was project-oriented. The CEG brand really helps, especially in networking. Wherever you go, there is always a CEGian to help you out.
How did you feel stepping back into CEG for Itrix?
It was nostalgic. I felt proud to come there and inspire people. I was really happy to do my bit for my Alma Mater.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurship skills don't come overnight. But, that doesn't mean you have to wait years and years to make a move! Nurture a vision, an idea from the beginning. Find out what inspires you. Find out what you like and go for it. All the best!
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