“You have to be observant, vigilant and insightful. Opportunity can be found in small thingsWhen. we saw that corporate trainings were long and boring, not efficient enough, we found an opportunity!” said Mr Kevin Chan, the CEO of Coursepad.
Coursepad, the winner of “the Most Innovative Start-up award” 2013 by NTU is a Mobile learning start-up company based in Singapore. Students of GMBA September 2015 batch got a chance to visit company and to understand insights and prospects of growing start-ups in Singapore.
Mr Kevin Chan the CEO of Coursepad had a brief conversation with the GMBA Students addressing them his insights, experiences and learnings. He started with how his team came up with idea of Coursepad, how that idea evolved and his journey till today as an entrepreneur.He enlightened GMBA students with his profound knowledge about growing company and the challenges faced. Kevin emphasised on thevarious factors such asfundraising, building networks, understanding the market, astute marketing strategies involved, finding perfect market segment, investments made to promote and advertise the company, and the organisational structure of the company.
When asked about the various challenges faced, Kevin replied that convincing the prospective customers was challenging. Coursepad having a B2B business model, was different compared to a B2C Business model.Kevin briefed the studentson the strategy it had adopted to transform their product to appeal to a global audience. In terms of funding, he quoted that for secure funding he thought angel investors were better and an easier option. Once business moves from initial stage and after you have gained some growth in the market and future seems positive, then the company should target the venture capital.
Kevin clarified the technical details involving the contributions of the CTO when Coursepad decided to go international. Catering to an international audience meant that there would be a significant increase in the customer base and hence the technical system that runs Coursepadhad to be designed in a scalable manner. This task was achieved by moving the enterprise system over Cloud and by introducing changes in the business processes of Coursepad.
Breaking the myth that startups would not be able to get in touch with global corporations, Kevin explained that on the contrary a startup receives a lot of feedback from multinational companies and prospective customers. Sometimes these propositions and feedback are so many in numbers that undertaking all of them may lead the startup amiss. Put in the CEO’s own words, the vision of a startup must be as focused as a laser beam so as to keep it on the right track. The company has to ensure that it incorporates only the necessary and the relevant suggestions so that it retains the differentiating factor in a highly competitive Asian region and Global market.
“In a nutshell, we learnt that various start-up challenges involved in fund raising, building networks, understanding the market, decision making and the organisational structure of the company. We also learnt about the T Companies in Singapore and how they are adapting to continuous change in technology. The visit gave us clear insight of a business start-up andhelped us to relate academic textbook information into real-life context.”