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  • Sravan Sridhar

From the classroom to the company - My experience of having the chance to apply classroom knowledge

My first venture was set up when I was in 11th grade, I have just enrolled in the IBDP program, and I had taken up business and economics at a higher level. At the same time, I was the co-founder and COO of Picanva. On this artist aggregator platform, we were offering complete customisability to artwork across mediums, and we were doing it at a much lower price than the rest of the market. But we had initially started as an e-commerce platform which will give budding amateur artists a platform to portray and sell their artwork.


How did we go from a business to customer e-commerce platform to a business to a business offline service company? Well, that is where classroom theory helped. The fact is an entrepreneur subconsciously uses the business metrics we learn in class, instead of fancy jargon and complex templates they may be doing it in a simple, informal manner. A small vegetable vendor shifting his position to stand out from the crowded market is the same as a company looking and capitalising on an opportunity. When the supermarket around the corner you are a regular to for a long time gives you some discount is the same as maintaining customer loyalty, it's just not formalised and deliberated upon like it is in the MNCs and larger Organisations, they don't sit and spend hours on these strategies, but they do it.


How does classroom learning help in these situations? Well for me it allowed me to see the larger picture, so instead of looking at things separately as sales, operations, finance, marketing and HR. I was able to draw parallels and connections across the board. It allowed me to look at the SWOT, Cashflow forecast, and market plan for the e-commerce website, and I knew the scope of the market was not enough. While we could have used strategic planning and played around the marketing mix to try and make the site work, an external analysis was indicative of market commoditisation, which meant we could not drop our price to stay afloat, cause we would have a cash flow shock that would sink the firm. We need to pivot to something completely different, which is where we ended up in the B2B business.


Now without the highlight of a bigger picture and all the analytic and strategic thinking school thought me, I might have been risk-averse and stuck to the e-commerce idea, I would have tried different strategies to make it work, but it was because of what I learned in the classroom, I was comfortable deciding on the switch because I knew that those numbers and analytics don't lie. Which is why all entrepreneurs must have some theoretical background; that way, they would have the confidence and the foresight to make risky decisions which more often than not pay off. At Moqqua, we are not only allowing you to apply previously learned skills, but you will also have access to theoretical knowledge, which you can use in parallel on your work hence allowing a holistic entrepreneur development.

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