Interview with Sumanth Prabhu & Nikhil Bhaskar, Co-Founders of Ulipsu
Sumanth Prabhu and Nikhil Bhaskar are first-generation entrepreneurs and founders of Ulipsu, the flagship brand of Kidvento Education & Research Pvt. Ltd.
Sumanth Prabhu (the CEO of Ulipsu), and Nikhil (the CTO of Ulipsu) are zealous entrepreneurs, enthusiastic technocrats, and passionate educators.
Both of them have been instrumental in bootstrapping Kidvento to success and making Ulipsu the largest learning platform in the world.
Under their leadership, Ulipsu is spearheading efforts to make learning holistic for a million young minds by 2025.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
We started our entrepreneurial journey during our days at Jawaharlal Nehru National College of Engineering as students.
Bored by rote learning, both of us started a company called ‘CREW’ at the age of 19, which was awarded “The best student startup of the nation” by TATA. Right after college in 2014, we made a fresh start with Vesto Education Solutions LLP, which provided hands-on education to schools.
Inspired by this experience, we founded Kidvento Education and Research Pvt Ltd in 2017—a one-of-a-kind curriculum for the K-10 segment that is now being implemented in over 250 schools across South India.
In 2022, we ventured into the education technology space by launching Ulipsu (under the flagship of Kidvento Education) with an improvised product offering and a reinvented business model.
What made you choose the education industry for starting a business ?
Since college days, we have been passionate about teaching, and that has led to interacting with thousands of kids and teachers.
We could identify the gaps in the education market and knew that there were untapped learning needs. We understood that with the right kind of product, we would be able to create an irreversible transformation in the way children learn.
We understood the market thoroughly and could see a lot of potential in this industry, especially with the increasing technological advancements.
Most of the brands present in this space were at higher price points, and that’s where we wanted to make a difference.
We wanted to build an affordable skilling ecosystem for children where they learn at their own pace with the right use of technology.
What was your mission at the outset?
Learning is for life, not just for an exam. We, therefore, started Ulipsu to let students “learn what they wish to.”
Because when a child starts learning his or her subjects of interest, the knowledge stays with him or her for a lifetime.
The mission was to democratize learning, which lets young ones truly explore and learn at their own pace and space.
We are now committed to the idea of stress-free and affordable learning that is integral for a child’s growth, and we are thereby working every day towards fulfilling this vision.
What’s your leadership mantra?
Our leadership mantra is “to grow inclusively with the utmost integrity.” We are always committed to our vision for the company and its employees.
Everyone at Ulipsu must have an equal desire to improve in whatever they do. We believe in growing together inclusively, and hence we have formed multiple groups of leaders to discuss major decisions, innovations, etc.
Also, we follow the ground rule of testing the waters ourselves. Hence, one can find both of us on the ground with the sales team, product team, implantation team, etc. This way, we are able to better guide the rest of the team.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
We had earlier failed in setting up the right processes across different functions like sales, finance, product, etc.
That resulted in a lot of wasted efficiency and money. We focused more on firefighting the situation than setting up a strong process.
We learned that processes define success and thereby ensure every single function of the organization is driven through proper processes.
What was the inspiration behind becoming an entrepreneur?
This is a question we asked ourselves several times. In the beginning, we used to feel that we became entrepreneurs because we wanted to be our own bosses.
But that’s not true because, as an entrepreneur, it’s not about being a boss. The real inspiration to become an entrepreneur was the idea itself.
Both of us had a strong flow of ideas in our minds, and we wanted to set an example in the system with that very idea.
Key things to consider before starting a startup?
We believe that when one has to set up their own startup, there’s not much need to overthink and consider every bit and piece.
One should start a business without considering the positive or negative outcomes. If we start evaluating the pros and cons, we will always be on the sidelines watching a cricket match.
The best thing to do is get onto the field and start playing. Be humble, be smart, have the right attitude, and just start. Don’t wait!
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
It’s important to be patient, brave, humble, and extremely resilient. Always be ready to pivot; never be too proud of the product you create, but be proud of the purpose you have chosen.
Purpose should have a greater value than your love for the product because only the right purpose can let you create the right product. Never chase perfection, as there isn’t one. Be open to criticism and feedback; be open to advice.
|Are you an
Entrepreneur or Startup?
Do you have a Success Story to Share?
SugerMint would like to share your success story.
We cover entrepreneur Stories, Startup News, Women entrepreneur stories, and Startup stories