Isaac Asimov says “I do not fear computers, I fear lack of them”, this is so relevant today because if somebody takes away all the technology from us for 1 day the world would literally shut down. Smart classroom is one of the greatest innovations as it eases and facilitates the education system. It provides teaching aids to the teachers and gives students a better understanding through audio-visual solutions. Gradually people have started realizing the importance of smart classes for better education.
I always wonder if we had a smart classroom when we were in school then how easily we could have retained large amounts of information for a longer period by using smart methods instead of cramming it. This is exactly what Wood Square Smart Class aims. They want the upcoming generations to be smart workers not hard workers. To achieve this they have been constantly working to provide the latest media tools & products to make a contemporary classroom smart and they plan to keep on thriving to make an unparalleled education system.
Mr. Ratesh Sharma, the founder of Wood Square Smart Class works on the philosophy that ‘A dedicated mind, a dedicated heart and an attitude to win is all you need to fulfill your dreams’. He believes that technology is a catalyst and if we want to grow at the world’s pace we need to make our education smarter than before. Thus, he started Wood Square Smart Class offering the latest technology and quality products like writing boards, projectors, photocopier, interactive boards, video wall solutions and every other product required to run a smart class.
Know the venture and Mr. Ratesh up-close through the following interview:-
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Wood Square Smart Class.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Educational Institutes that include Colleges, University, School etc. and Corporate.
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
Its based in Chandigarh, India. We are covering entire north India right now and planning to expand all over India within next 4 years.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
Smart class is an advanced technology implementation for schools, which provides tools and other contents for the students’ learning using latest media presentations. These classrooms are also called digital or new media classrooms.
The use of smart classes and modern technology eases the learning process for all students. The possibilities or advantages of smart classrooms are endless.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
I was working with some renowned names of the same industry and I felt that there is huge gap between commitment and deliverables and as a result many smart classroom started failing. So I thought to start with smart class service and from the first day our motto was not just to sell but to provide adequate training to the schools staffs too.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
There are so many ventures working on it and some are big names too but we don’t believe in competing with anyone. Our motto is to work on the technology that can help to build our future generation with good learning experience.
7.How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team?
I hired my first team through references. As a growing company we require a team that can work in every condition and environment and these things comes with right attitude and passion towards work. We think skills can be improved but right attitude is most important.
8.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
We have divided this in two segments:-
1) Product: Our Product in now almost ready and we are adding new technology continuously to improve our product to compete with Global Classrooms.
2) Coverage: In next two years we have a plan to cover entire North and West India with at least 2500 School tie-ups, and in next five years we have a plan to cover all of India with 10,000 school tie-ups.
9.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
We don’t see ourself beyond educational sector in 10 or more years. Education is very important part of every society and nation. In Future also, We will continue explore more technologies and ideas for the advancement of the educational sector. We want to be leading name and brand in the education industry.
10.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
No. We are not looking for funding in the near future also.
11.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
To build the trust of customers in buying a new product was the most challenging part that we faced during the initial stage. But we focused on delivering our promises and we created customer satisfaction.
12.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The most challenging part was lack of awareness regarding the smart classroom benefits. We have initiated so many programs for the awareness like free demos/training and seminars for the educational institutes to overcome the same.
13.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your leisure time?
I love to do kick boxing to relax myself and also read books is my daily routine to overcome stress and to learn constantly.
14.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
For me the biggest motivators are my Family and Friends because they supported me in every endeavor of life.
15.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
The biggest difference is the autonomy of taking risks & decision making which lacks when we work for someone else.
16.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I don’t consider this as an option as I am in a very happy space currently.
17.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Not much, one just needs to know work-life balance and I think I am handling it very well.
18.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Push yourself. No one else is going to do it for you.
19.Tell us something about your education & family background.
I have done double masters in Business Administration and Information Technologies.
20.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
Our commitment towards services and quality makes us unique.
21. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Unhealthy competition, So there is a need to be unique and to be focused.
22. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
Yes we do, for us success means meeting our plans and goals on time which we have achieved time and again.
23. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Unhealthy competition, Needs to be unique and focused.
24.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person
E-190, Phase 8B, Industrial area Mohali, Chandigarh