Today in the 21st century, technology has become the backbone of every country’s growth story. While we are making significant advancements in various sectors, we have still not been able to make complete use of technology innovations in the education sector. Apparently, for serving the noble sector, our complete thought process has to be directed towards a quick and reliable system. Although such a thought process across the country may take a good amount of time, some minds have already started thinking and working on those lines with a vision of making Indian educational system digitized. Here we present you OnFees.com; an online platform for fee payment. It serves various organizations in the education sector such as Universities, Engineering Colleges, medical and management Institutes, Coaching Classes, schools, Degree & Junior Colleges etc with uniqueness in products as well as service. This team has an expertise and deep understanding in serving the educational sector. They have an expert team with more than 10 years of experience in departmental functioning and designing related modules for both institutions and students.
With a complete solution for online fee payment and now a step further with the biometric attendance system and online admission portal they are moving ahead towards their goal of building a digital ecosystem for the education sector. They are making consistent progress by expanding in different cities. With growth, they aim to build a long-term relationship with the institutes by building trust in their solutions.
Let us know more about OnFees.com and Ms. Manisha Thakur in this exclusive interview.
1. What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
It’s OnFees. You can tell from the name it’s an online fees payment platform.
2. Who is your target Audience/clients?
We cater to both B2B and B2C audience. B2B in a way where institutes register themselves on OnFees and B2C as the institutes communicate and connect with the students to make online fee payment.
3. Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & what are your geographical target areas?
We are based out of Mumbai and MP. We have also initiated operations in Delhi, Pune and planning to expand in the south as well in near future. We are exploring these markets to replicate Mumbai story at much larger scale.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Onfees is a platform for educational institutes to manage fee payments. We aim to help educational institutes go seamless with fee management solutions and students to provide a new age digital alternative to make their fee payments from anywhere, anytime. The product and service come without any huge recurring cost and with a complete flexibility in integrating other system functioning.
OnFees, an online admission platform, allows students to submit their admission forms online in multiple colleges and courses from the comfort of their home.
Our other services include complete digital automation of administrative processes of the institutes including attendance, exams etc
5. Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
We have been serving education industry since 10 years by developing ERP’s and mini ERP’s as per requirements from the educational institutes. From our experience, we have observed that the players who have come forward to develop the required ERP’s demand for huge costing which can come to approx. 1 crore in. It’s not only the money but the time frame required to generate required ERP’s also comes out to be 2 years approx. Even after investing many resources like money, time, efforts etc the resulting product was not at all satisfactory. Second, at the time of demonetization when there was a cash crunch, educational institutions were facing a lot of difficulty for digital payment systems specifically the traditional institutions who do not have any ERP in place for online fee collecting mechanism. So that’s when we realized the need for developing such ERP’s which can be offered to educational institutions with the three main factors – economical for institutions to implement, simple to understand and flexible to accommodate any related function such a library management. Our product can be offered to all such educational institutions that don’t have any technical ERP in place, maintaining just a mini ERP with limited functioning and the institutions that are not happy the current ERP system in place.
6. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
As of now, we don’t have any player with the same offering in the market however we have some payment gateway systems and banks that are also providing alternatives for online payments. But these substitutes don’t have any structure for flexible and functional integration with the simplicity that we have for an educational system. Experience and expertise in the field is what makes the product so unique and successful. With easy and complete solution along with lots of features such as easily accessible reports, multiple payment systems for students, cash collection system etc we are providing the industry with the best product and service that we can.
7. How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us something about your co-founder/s.
Mayur and I were looking for tech partner for our previous project ChalkTalk. After meeting many techies and visiting multiple cities, we finally found our CTO, Viral Dedhiya in Mumbai itself.
Mayur Jain, with almost 6 years of experience with PWC as Chartered Accountant, decided to be an entrepreneur first for ChalkTalk and then OnFees as acting CEO.
An expert in handling numbers, Viral Dedhiya is a serial entrepreneur with more than a decade experience in tech innovations for his ventures like Just Buy Live, Numbermask Digital, Inifinitech Solutions, Chalktalk and then OnFees as CTO.
8. How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team?
We were lucky to have our techies from previous projects continue working with us for Onfees as well. It was indeed a blessing as their experience in developing solutions for schools and colleges played a key role in making OnFees what it is today.
We work with colleges as a part of their team. We pledge to offer the best to our clients.
9. What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
OnFees has bagged 100+ institutes in its home ground Mumbai since inception last year. In our immediate plan, we have Pune, Delhi and Bangalore operations starting before the next academic session.
In the longer run, we have pan India to cover, especially education centres in each state.
Indian education market is yet to mature and we are being a part of the journey. In all possibilities, our promise to deliver an exceptional tech experience for education remains unchanged.
10. Where do you want to see yourself in the next 10 years?
OnFees has the potential to become the market leader in EdTech that currently we do not have. We look forward to tech innovations, services or involvement with the client to build a solution that’s required today or in future. OnFees has its target set to become a leader by building a digital ecosystem that’s accepted by all (students, parents, teachers and college management).
11. What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
By the end of Q1 of the 2nd year of inception, OnFees has 2 lakh students on board through 100+ institutes. So far 50Cr+ worth fees payment transactions have been made. We expect to expand in various locations by the end of Q3 with exponential growth through multiple avenues.
12. Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We have raised 2.5 Cr in the beginning as a seed fund. Now we are prepared for the next round to expand plans and capture the bigger market.
13. What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
OnFees is a unique solution. Decision makers of educational institutes i.e. our audience had already burnt their fingers with other alternatives available in the market. Making them trust something new and unique like OnFees was the biggest challenge.
For an industry like education where there are multiple regulation and compliances which changes almost every year, the solution has to be tailor-made. Building the trust that we have from our clients today was the biggest challenge for us and learning from our mistakes and making corrections was our formula to success.
14. What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The team is what makes any business successful. We are lucky to have skillful and passionate team members now but finding them wasn’t easy. It’s important to have peers who can share your dream and live it with you to make it happen. We built our 70 member team mostly by adding references from friends and existing team members.
15. Are you married, single or in a relationship?
16. What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
When I have time I like to read, travel and watch movies.
17. What is your favourite food & holiday destination?
I love seafood and anything that my mom makes.
18. Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
My mother is my idol and biggest motivator.
19. What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
Capacity to take risk is much higher in entrepreneurs wherein those working for others have a secured professional path.
20. If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I would be more open to learning new things and would have followed my seniors more closely for their wisdom, I could now relate to. Experience is the best teacher and the only way to get it earlier in life is by learning from your mentors.
21. How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
When you are passionate about something you dedicate all your time to it. To sail through the tough times of business, family support becomes even more critical. Even with all the struggle and compromised social life, it’s totally worth the effort but you are never too late to get back home
22. Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
If you have an idea that you believe can make a difference to your life and society; take the plunge, risk it when you feel it’s time. Success doesn’t come easy.
23. Tell us something about your education & family background.
I am a Computer Science graduate from BIT Mesra. I have done my MBA in Marketing & IT from Bharti Vidyapeeth University Pune. I was working with Edelweiss Financial Services as a Digital Marketer before attempting entrepreneurship.
24. What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains?
In spite of creating a revolutionary change in the fee payment system, we have made it very easy to understand and use for the students and college staff but at the same time economical. The best thing about OnFees is we don’t just sell a product. We deliver a complete solution by owning a total responsibility for it.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
The growth rate for startups is looking good so far. Having said that, that doesn’t mean, success is coming easy to these blooming businesses. They have been facing many difficulties. Finance tops the list. Funding is very important for any business to grow. But it’s difficult for these new businesses to get a strong financial support and even if they do, it comes slowly despite a good idea, which can delay the impact and influence that can have on the society.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Success to me is translating your dreams into reality. Having 100+ happy clients is also a success for me. However, I would consider myself really successful when we will have a strong digitally enabled ecosystem for education, seamlessly working for all rural and urban institutes in the country.
27. Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person.
Co-Founders: Ms. Manisha Thakur, Mr. Mayur Jain, Mr. Viral Dedhiya
Address: 138/139 , Hindustan Kohinoor Complex,
LBS Road, Vikhroli West, Mumbai -400083
Phone number : +91 8104502268 / 8104503060
Email: [email protected]
Website : https://onfees.com/