Start With Deceptively Small Things
Have you seen night time twinkling of fireflies that flash to attract mates?
I guess, you have seen them umpteen times, and might have tried to get hold of them in your childhood days.
These days, I am truly charmed by the bioluminescent insect that creates light through a chemical reaction that takes place in specialized cells called photocytes.
May I have your Permission to run Time Machine to roll back! May I bring to you some flash backs from the recent past!
Ever since I resigned from my full-time engagement, ‘Cube farms'(!) [euphemism for organizations ], people ask various questions regarding my present engagement usually out of curiosity.
I tell them about Knowledge Empowered, Ekalavvya and then IASpireD.
“What’s Knowledge Empowered?”
I tell them it’s a site that helps you chalk out a roadmap for your education, learning and career that enriches your quest for knowledge ultimately.
To them, I act as a veritable boxing sandbag receiving blows after blows, and dangling to receive next blow.
Then they ask, ” What’s Ekalavvya? ”
I tell them it’s a site, catering to ” Current Affairs and General Studies” needs of students appearing for various competitive examinations.
By this time, they lose interest in my ‘Doings’, and they throw next volleys of queries, which are more scary to me.
Do you have a Business Model? What’s your Business Plan?
I mumble, fumble and stumble !!!
They quit the scene, leaving me exasperated, flummoxed!!!
Now let me relive the journey so far.
We have started Knowledge Empowered to create an ecosystem for Education, Career and Learning. Within this ecosystem, Ekalavvya is one subsystem, and IASpireD is another one.
When Ekalavvya was started on July 9, 2012, the original plan, was to develop it as a platform to launch various online courses for competitive examinations.
But, over the months, Ekalavvya has evolved organically more as a site offering “Current Affairs and General Studies” for student community, with no Business Model until now. It was a deliberate decision to let the news hungry community galvanize on the site.
Of late, we have started believing ” you shouldn’t worry too much about monetizing your business idea, initially. Rather, should work towards converting your idea into a business reality.”
And here comes the Firefly.
For us, Ekalavvya works as a firefly’s light to attract and engage the community of news- loving people especially youth appearing for various competitive exams. Business model or no model, it is the traction of the community that keeps you running.
Ekalavvya is the nucleus , the kernel, which is found in cells, which contains most of the cell’s genetic material. It is our nuclear genome.
What came out as a good Business Model is IASpireD, which is an online learning platform for competitions. It offers freemium Online Courses and Digital Products. You can have a look at the Beta Version.
From IASpireD platform, we have launched Online Test for candidates appearing for banks examinations. We opened up a Test Lab and eventually we tasted a moderate success.
But, we need much more to keep ourselves going. Somewhere, we need major Investments to launch the Online Courses.
Until and unless we get some funding, we are not making much headway. Fingers are crossed.
Having said that, everything is not lost. We are a startup, we firmly believe in iterations, keep coming up with some products until we reach a scalable and repeatable business model.
We have something more in our kitty to serve our community, and we are coming up with a couple of digital products for competitive examinations.
But, now it is High-time for us. The team is desperate to have some workable business models to make things running. One option could be advertisements placement on the site, another could be do some affiliate marketing. But we all know, these are not viable options for sites, which don’t drive huge traffic and have much traction.
But, we are trying to start with deceptively small things [Empirically ]
A couple of digital content products, online tests for forthcoming competitive examinations. Advertisement placements. A subtle Affiliate Marketing…
Strategic Change in the offing!!!
A little tinkling of can do wonders!!!
Till then, Ekalavvya, the Firefly, sparkles light to engage the community.
On the path to “Invent your own next chapter“( Thanks Seth Godin)