Bicycles, hosiery and now e-learning - BIG is built into Ludhiana’s DNA
Bicycles, Hosiery And Now E-Learning - BIG Is Built Into Ludhiana’s DNA. As free India is reborn, a family in Ludhiana sets out on a small venture to make the humble bicycle, and then turns the city into the bicycle hub of India, while at the same time progressing on to become the largest two-wheeler manufacturing enterprise in the world.
As free India is reborn, a family in Ludhiana sets out on a small venture to make the humble bicycle, and then turns the city into the bicycle hub of India, while at the same time progressing on to become the largest two-wheeler manufacturing enterprise in the world. Another family from the city, with political moorings, decides to delve into the telecom pie, and comes out to become the telecom king of India. And there are many other names – big and small – that turned the city into the woolens capital for much of the world.
There must be something in the DNA of Ludhiana that makes the city produce the big daddies of business.
Surprisingly, this is true of not only the hardware of goods, but also the software of human development.Envisioning almost 200 percent growth in next 12 months, Ludhiana based ‘young’ online education company TCY simply wants to change the face of Education in India. Company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kamal Wadhera says, “TCY – a little known name only a few years ago, today has a student base of half a million annually from every nook and corner of India, a mind boggling number that the biggest universities of the world could not even dream of. There are 13,000 classroom students; 100 coaching centers in India are running on TCYonline technology & 500 more waiting to be added over the next 6 months. Besides, 5,000 home based science & math tutors from every part of the nation are coming on board to run their tutoring centers on the TCYonline platform. A simple to use TCY K-12 mobile App is making the lives of these tutors, students and parents easy.”
How could such a ‘young’ online education company, based in this industrial town- never known to be an educational hub manage all this? Is the DNA of Ludhiana the answer?
Says Mahesh Munjal, Managing Director of Majestic Auto Ltd, “TCY started as a nucleus experiment and has now become a household phenomenon. I have been personally recommending TCY to youngsters from family or friends to prepare for entrances. I am happy that they all succeeded in reaching destinations of their choices. The online mode that TCY has started- this innovation saves students their time and unnecessary hassle.”
The team of 250 TCYians, divided into 25 groups, represents mini-India, as there are people from every part of the country. Rajesh Wadhera, Director, wonders aloud what ignites each constituent of team TCY. “For us, necessity was always the mother of invention. We always had to create more from less. It is comforting to note that we already have 120+ exam categories; without a single author being on company rolls and are surely launching 40 more in the next 60 days. When friends from other sectors see the processes we have put into place, we get real nice compliments. We never started with any numbers in mind. We have simply enjoyed addressing the pain-points of the typical student in a simple and logical manner. We had an affordable online business model; we brainstormed with the team for the best practices, and it clicked. If our model is related to terms like touch less, long tail and disruptive it’s great to hear that. ”
Harman, who grew up in Ludhiana and runs another e-learning Co. called WizIQ out of NCR and the US says, “I know Kamal from the days when he had just started TCY with just 20 students. He soon became my mentor since I was young and was interested in starting something on my own. I am amazed at how Kamal has been able to bootstrap his company for so long, keeping it profitable and yet venturing into new areas using technology that needed huge capital. We discuss technology, education & entrepreneurship all the time. ”
GeetikaDayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi adds, “ TCY’s success is a true example of inspired entrepreneurship that we really admire. It has been a pleasure to have Kamal Wadhera as a Charter Member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). At TiE Delhi, he has addressed large audiences of entrepreneurs about scale, importance of disruption and future of education sector. His sessions bring a fresh perspective to the table and radical insights that make you delve deeper.”
When asked about his views on the ecosystem for such ventures in the region, Kamal says, “True, we struggled a lot but always remembered that if Amazon & Lynda could be created beyond the silicon valley and Zoho beyond Bengaluru, why not TCY. Whenever we need to connect with the Silicon Valley, Bengaluru or wherever, we simply go there, get the stuff done & come back."