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Vignesh Iyer: An Accomplished Entrepreneur & Leader Elevating the Education & Training Sectors

Vignesh Iyer: An Accomplished Entrepreneur & Leader Elevating the Education & Training Sectors

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Vignesh Iyer,CEOSince the age of 16, entrepreneurship was deep-rooted in the mind of Vignesh Iyer (CEO, Scofe Labs), an education aficionado and accomplished entrepreneur with humble beginnings. While distributing newspapers to fund his Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, Vignesh also strived to gain profound insights on how the then media industry worked, how to choose a distribution channel and how to assemble advertisements. These insights coupled with the brainstorm of creating a magazine targeting school students made him unveil Gyan Bharti, a maiden monthly magazine exclusively for schools across Mumbai and Chennai. Despite people tormenting Vignesh that he was not even a graduate with no experience in business or minimum knowledge on how a magazine cover would look like, he managed to create a new brand identity for the magazine by procuring 5,000 subscribers. No wonder Gyan Bharti was recognized as one of the Top 25 Student Companies of the Year by Tata.

After four years, Vignesh sold out the magazine to another publication firm and ventured into Scofe Labs, an eLearning platform with 3D visualised and animated online courses for mechanical engineering students. Since engineering students then had sole intentions of just passing the exam and not comprehending the subject concepts, his eLearning business (incepted with a capital of Rs.50-60 lakh) turned out as a non-market fit business with no tangible customers and hence no RoI. On top of this, as majority of the engineering courses were not on par with the industry trends & standards, engineers had no industry knowledge and thus were unemployed. But Vignesh was always relentless towards educating students and therefore launched a new portal for GATE exam which
gradually gained a subscriber base of 1,100 customers combating the prevailing competition. No wonder he presently relishes a turnover of more than Rs.50 lakh from Scofe Labs which has emerged into a market fit product with authentic online content. Read the excerpts here under of an exclusive conversation of Vignesh with CEO Insights to know more about his entrepreneurial journey so far.

" Through this journey, I endeavoured to manage a lot of people whom I overhired and learnt to tackle ‘n’number of situations diligently"

As a well-established leader today, what were the lessons you learnt while setting up Scofe Labs?
When studying Diploma, I was also designing locks for Godrej & Boyce as an intern in its R&D team and was further offered a job at the same firm. But the clear vision to start my own company kept me moving forward though I knew that I won’t be earning money for the coming year. Building a proficient team with vast experiences firstly through role-based recruitment, I attended a lot of venture capital and angel investor meetings to discuss Scofe Labs’ concept and analyzed all ways in which procuring a venture capital will be of help to develop my firm besides raising funds. Through this journey, I endeavoured to manage a lot of people whom I overhired and learnt to tackle ‘n’number of situations diligently. I also learnt that having a long-term vision coupled with an efficient short-term goal was imperative for an organization’s success.

Kindly shed some light on what triggered you to foray into aerospace segment.
During my tenure at Godrej & Boyce, I was fascinated by some research on missiles at its aerospace department and hence chose aeronautical engineering as my specialization. But what startled me the most was that students who are aspiring to learn aeronautical/aerospace education could not differentiate between the basic domains in the very sector and had no proper guidance to become astronauts or similar professionals. To bridge this knowledge gap, we have launched 'Epoch Aerospace’, a real-time learning platform that provides elaborate exposure to STEM Education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In addition, we have
also edified the young minds across 900 schools in India through STEM Workshops on Aeronautics & Aerospace, CFD,Drones/ UAV, Computational Thinking and Astronomy, which entail exhibiting flight simulator models, aeronautical equipment, aeroplane engines, big plane models and around 25 paper models. We are also proud to be the prime educational partners for the workshops organized at Windmill Festival, India’s First International Children’s Festival.

Fun Craft is my other venture wherein we make DIY paper crafts for diverse purposes and will soon be acquiring venture capital for the business.

What are your strategies to edify and learn simultaneously from the emerging education industry? Where do you see yourself in the upcoming years?
Edifying entrepreneurs was always my interest, especially on the topic ‘Starting Young’ which includes how to start your own venture, how to create a brand and how, when and why to approach a venture capital. Hence I regularly participate in conferences/seminars at various MBA colleges and also Group Benefit Services(GBS) where I try to enhance my knowledge on the current industry as well as expand my business networks. Reading startup-related books/journals/content has always been my ardent hobby. Being bestowed with the ‘Young Scientist Award’ for presenting around 31 technical papers in national & international conferences and my firm bagging the status of a ‘Super Start Up’ from Super StartUps Asia were some of the best moments in my journey. Moreover with the booming education market in India due to new startups and technologies, I envision myself as a successful market leader with innovative ideas in the upcoming years.

Key Management:
Vignesh Iyer, CEO
Currently pursuing PG in Family Business Management from IIM Calcutta, Vignesh demarcates as the mastermind behind the establishment of Scofe Labs (eLearning platform for mechanical engineering), Epoch Aerospace (cohesive learning paradigm)and Fun Craft(DIY paper crafts).

Office: Navi Mumbai
Offerings: Online Courses for Mechanical Engineering Subjects