Former Edelweiss executives Alok Bhageria and Rohan Nair spent a lot of time in their previous jobs recruiting and training fresh graduates from colleges and usually found those recruits lacking in basic domain knowledge and industry awareness. The idea for inQuisitive Learning, an online learning platform for domain skills across industries, emerged from that experience.
“We found that it usually took 3-6 months before fresh recruits (at Edelweiss) became productive. We wanted to bridge this gap by offering role specific online courses. Students can undergo assessments which will indicate their skill levels to the recruiters,” says Bhageria, who led the product team that built Edelweiss’ online trading platform. Nair was engaged in marketing and corporate communications roles at Edelweiss.
The online platform that is currently live was not the original plan that the two founders started up with. They set out initially to train students and primarily did it offline. “However as we met corporates and understood their recruiting requirements, we realized that it is best to develop an online learning platform (on the lines of a MOOC platform) but ensure that it is linked to jobs,” says Bhageria.
IQ Bootcamp, where they were mentored by Deven Shah (Wikipaisa), Pravin Jadhav (Wishberg) and Anand Jain (Burro), enabled the founders to crystallize their thoughts and develop a well-integrated platform that combines learning, evaluations and engagement.
inQuisitive currently offers courses to students free of cost. There is a minimal subscription fee that students will need to pay to enroll for tests and obtain certifications. A future revenue channel will be placement fees that the company will charge corporate organizations to provide trained candidates. So far, it has build an inventory of capital market courses and is working on making the content more engaging. It is manually recruiting users to ensure that it reaches critical mass on the platform after which it will launch marketing activities. Workshops in colleges, followed by a Finance Aptitude Test, are also underway and it has tied up with a few corporate organizations to list their recruitment requirements on the platform.
Over the next six months, inQuisitive plans to develop banking and insurance related courses, garner more than 3,000 registered users and have the platform’s three sections — learning, evaluation and engagement — ready to roll. The founders have so far bootstrapped the business with their own savings but are in talks with potential angel investors and hope to raise funds over the next six months. Though it will initially target the financial services sector — which generates five lakh jobs every year — there are plans to diversity into other sectors in future.
The company’s competitors include platforms such as Coursera, Udacity and Udemy and Edukart. The quality of content will be key to the success of this company. “We will need to keep generating engaging content that will attract students,” says Bhageria. Also, while education is largely a recession-proof business, professional training can sometimes be affected by slowing economic growth, since there are fewer jobs in a slowdown, and this could be a challenge for the company.
Editor’s note: StartupCentral is a strategic partner for IQ Bootcamp. This post is part of an ongoing series of posts that we will be publishing over the next few weeks on the graduates of the first IQ Bootcamp batch.
Image credit: inQuisitive Learning