In5Minutes : Hardik Shah
Q1.How would you describe ‘In5Minutes’ in under 50 words?
An e-Learning platform for engineering students to learn important academic concepts in 5 minutes. We do this through our video lecture series of just 5 minutes at a very nominal cost. Apart from video lectures, we provide students with other features like Hyperlinked syllabus, hyperlinked notes, time-stamped notes, pre-requisite to study from. Also, we provide a facility to students to clear their doubts from our experts through offline/online modes.
Q2.Who is the team behind your venture?
We are a team of young minds led by experienced directors. We are team of around 30 people which comprises of 2 directors & 3 core members. Our team includes Web developers, Video Editors, Graphic designers, Marketing professionals etc. Our Founding director Mr. Hardik Shah is a distinguished alumni of University of Southern California (USA) with a Masters’ degree in Electrical Engineering (Mixed Signal VLSI Design and Verification).Mr. Shah has teaching experience in Mumbai University for over a decade. Mr. Shah has also been a professional counsellor & has guided more than 2500 students for higher education in United States. Another Director Mr. Nirav Shah is also a professional higher education counsellor. The three core members (Mr. Chirag Bafna, Mr. Prathik Shetty & Mr. Sumeet Kotaria) of in5minutes are toppers from prestigious institute and has been working on the idea with director since its inception.
Q3.What is your work style ?
At in5minutes, we have passionate people working due to which there is no track of time kept. Being a startup, every person’s job is equally important which leads to creating responsibilities on everyone. Everyone is expected to complete their task before the deadline irrespective of the fixed timings. We believe fun is an integral part of work. The team goes for fun outing once a month.
Q4.How did you come across this idea? What was missing from the current solutions that you are seeking to fix?
India produces 2 million engineers every year. Considering the quantity of engineers produced every year the quality of engineers is not at par with requirement of India Inc. Students are still used to cramming up the theory to pass the examination. The lack of conceptual studying is one of the root reason for such deteriorating scenario. Through our survey of around 2500 students, we found that many students prefer studying through video lectures than the usual book reading. In the absence of the teacher, students start looking up for study materials on internet like YouTube, Wikipedia etc. But they are unable to get precise and authentic content for their academic needs.
Also, we found that as per a research by Wall Street Journal the average attention span of any human is 4 minutes 18 seconds, that is, it is less than 5 minutes. So, we combined this lack of authentic & university specific content with short video lectures for better focus to create “in5minutes”. At in5minutes, we have video lectures with short duration of 5 minutes recorded by state-of-the-art teachers & professors. Our ideology is to provide authentic & precise content to students to help them study effortlessly
Q5.What would you say is the biggest lesson you have learned while running ‘In5Minutes’?
The journey of doing a startup is very challenging as it may seem. We believe 3Ps – Passion. Persistence. Perseverance are key factors in the success of any startup. The valleys of darkness can consume you if you are not passionate enough about your idea. When we started in5minutes the major challenge we faced was convincing students about our quality of the content. The actual challenge was to change students’ mentality of learning through conventional classroom learning to a more modern & application-oriented learning. It takes a lot of passion & motivation to keep going when things are not falling into places as you want them to be.
Q6.How do you create your learning material ?
Our video lectures are all recorded by accomplished professors teaching in various colleges and institutions. We are currently dealing with the content of Mumbai University. To prepare the video lectures, our teachers breakdown the concepts into various 5-minutes scripts. These scripts are then narrated by the professors themselves along with the visual representation for an enhanced learning experience. We use state-of-the-art recording infrastructure to provide high quality videos. Along with video lectures, we provide other study materials like Hyperlinked notes, Hyperlinked syllabus, Pre-download Kit. Each material makes the learning experience even more effortless.
Q7.What is your primary focus in terms of new developments at the moment ?
There are around 80+ engineering institutes located in outskirts of Mumbai. As per research of an esteemed newspaper, we found that these tier-2 & tier-3 colleges do not have proper infrastructure neither do they have sufficient teachers who can teach with so fire that could kindle an engineer's mind. So currently we are focusing on helping these colleges to improve the current scenario by providing students with our digital content for better reference & self-study.
Q8.What are the future plans for growth?
In future, we plan to go PAN India with our idea. We want to develop content for all the major universities in India. Apart from this, we plan to train students through Skill Enhancement courses like for Placement training & Research workshops. We have also started with Technical Research Workshop, wherein, we have been training students in research projects that help them to apply what they have learned in theory to practical applications. We are planning to scale these workshops to a bigger platform.
Q9.Who is your target consumer and what is the need that you’re servicing?
Our target customer are all the engineering students. Mumbai University has around 1.1 lakh engineering students. In future, we plan to target the students all over India. We are trying to make a change the way engineers study. Our vision is to provide education to every section of Indian Society ranging from the affluent to the poorest of the poor.
Q10.How has the growth been since launch and what are the future plans?
We began working on the idea of in5minutes in the month of December of 2014. Before we registered our company in January 2016, we studied the market and done several surveys to validate the idea. We had our first launch on April 2016, and within the first week of our launch we had 300 users studying through our in5minutes lectures. We have trained more than 250 students in Java Advanced. We got shortlisted among Top 10 startups from 100+ participating startups in TiE SmashUp 6.0 to pitch among various investors and audience. We got published and recognized for innovation in EdTech sector in Inc42 Magazine. Currently we have 1200+ registered users studying from our video lectures.
Q11.What is your one tip for aspiring entrepreneurs?
PASSION. PASSION. PASSION. It is not easy to break into or be successful….Success stories all revolve around extreme passion.