Home >News >India >How an Indian small-town boy built a $15 million EdTech start-up

NEW DELHI : One is always intrigued by stories of successful entrepreneurs and their high-flying Start-ups. Their journey to success is not as smooth as it sounds. Here is a story of how a small-town boy from India with $10k built a $15 million business to impact more than 250,000 professionals.

Subramanyam Reddy, affectionately known as Subbu, was born in 1983 in a small town called Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh. In 2007, he completed his MBA in HR & Marketing with the dream of becoming an entrepreneur.

He kick-started his career in marketing with a startup in Bengaluru. In 2009 he joined a training firm in a marketing role. Within the first six months, he performed really well and grew the business eight times. He was promised a 5% incentive by the founder, which was not given to him, instead he was fired for no reason.

After suffering from this major set-back, he decided to pursue the vision to make up-skilling engaging, long term and accessible for professionals and students. He set up KnowledgeHut (KH) in 2011 with two of his friends. They found a rundown office and on-boarded 12 employees, to start their journey with KH. Even after a lot of efforts in the initial two months, they could not generate any revenue.

Subbu had no more savings left to run the company. The employees wanted to leave, but Subbu convinced them to stay. By the end of third month, leads started to fly-in and they generated a revenue of approx USD 28K. They defied all the odds and generated business of USD 280k by the end of that year. In the next four years, the inspiring team at KH grew ten times in revenue and expanded globally.

All was going well until 2015, the business suddenly went down and they had no money to pay salaries. Subbu took a personal loan to pay salaries and kept the company afloat. They analysed and quickly revamped their products/services to generate a revenue of USD 5.7 million in 2016, $15 Million by 2018. They even got funded in the same year thanks to their phenomenal growth.

"Countless struggles and numerous challenges made me more resilient and even more focused," shares Subbu.

KnowledgeHut's milestones

Today, KnowledgeHut has trained over 250,000 professionals across 70 countries, their high-quality curriculum and pedagogy with 65% more engagement, 95% latest content and real-world experiences. It promises to be the next revolution of learning. KH is proud to have been accredited by world's best-known training bodies such as PMI®, Scaled Agile Inc., Scrum Alliance®, PeopleCert, Scrum.org. as their Registered Education Provider (REP).

KH delivered 70% improved competency analytics and offered over 300 courses in different domains including, Full Stack Development, Data Science, Cloud Computing, Future Tech, Deep Tech, Agile & Scrum, IT Service Management & Project Management.

Road ahead

As we embrace this new normal triggered by the Global Pandemic, KH has developed an AI-powered platform, PRISM to take learning to the next level. This is an Immersive Learning Approach, which at each stage becomes a virtual companion for every Learner, guiding them to explore and improve skills that differentiates them from the crowd. These programs include live instructor-led classes, self-paced learning modes and self-learning online modes.

As they continue to redefine the Global Blended Model Approach (GBMA) with their Immersive Learning Experience Platform they are moving closer to their endeavour of enabling professionals across the Globe to apply their acquired skills consistently, with a shorter learning curve and significantly higher subject retention.

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