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“The real hardships and journey of an edtech Cofounder: From a small city Rafiganj in Bihar to Dubai”

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“Courage isn’t having the strength to go on

It is going on when you don’t have the strength “- Napoleon Bonaparte.

An example is the story of Ranjan Kumar Soni, Chief Product Officer of InstaPreps- The Confidence App, hailing from a small town Rafiganj, Bihar.  

Ranjan took up the challenge of promoting his roots and uplift the people who are denied opportunity on the basis of the language they speak, by deciding to give his presentation in Hindi at The Dubai Expo held in Dubai, in March 2022,. The move was supported the co-founders (Anup, Arun, Hemant, Ritesh, Krutika and Arvind) who believe in bringing up social issues and their solutions to the world. With over 700+ startups participating in the expo the presentation was appreciated and welcomed by all.

Ranjan was raised as a pampered kid in a business family and was excellent in academics. He moved to Patna for higher education and preparation for entrance exams as Rafiganj lacked quality education and infrastructure. He cracked the Airforce examinations in his first attempt, but didn’t pursue it as a career. He opted for Bachelors in Computer Application from Patna University where he witnessed lack of quality education once again which moved him deeply. 

Since childhood, Ranjan knew many children, who gave up their education due to high cost or lack of quality education resources even after having the potential of doing well academically. He developed a keen urge to do something revolutionary for them so as to not compromise with their education. Despite having the ability to afford quality education from the top universities, his privilege didn’t deter him from thinking about the problems of the society at large. 

Ranjan completed his Masters of Computer Application from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur. He appeared for over 50 interviews in Bangalore, in search of a dream job and got an opportunity to visit Mumbai, where his life changed forever. 

In Mumbai, he met Anup, his old friend since standard 7th who helped him in Mathematics. Anup had a healthcare start-up and achieved the fame of being an IITian and a Super30 Alumni. Anup shared his idea of educating kids for higher education at a very low cost with Ranjan. Ranjan instantly agreed to contribute since he always wanted to eradicate the problems of quality education and resources in small villages, towns and cities of India.

In 2017, Ranjan moved to Mumbai to start building 7classes. Hence began the struggle of living in Mumbai in a shared accommodation with roommates who were full of distractions. An example was everyday commute of 4hrs, to cover 84 kms by changing several buses and trains to work. 

Ranjan sought financial assistance from his brother as he committed to an idea of revolutionising education with no pay expectations. He instantly got 11 blank cheques. Ranjan used only 9 out of 11 to meet his monthly expenses and has 2 cheques till date to remind him of his struggles. Ranjan never let his parents know about his struggles until a few months ago, when they were overwhelmed and very proud of their son.

Anup and Ranjan were the first employees of 7classes. The two-member team was divided into simple roles where Ranjan researched and got students enrolled and Anup worked on pitching investors with the business model. They worked hard to establish 7classes with its unique offering of selection of 7 students in a single batch.

In 2018, the first centre of 7classes was established in Powai. By 2019, they established 6 centre’s at different locations of Mumbai. The setting up of 7classes has been a roller coaster ride, however by 2019, they showed profits and were on their way of growth trajectory.

Life took a huge turn due to Covid 19 pandemic in 2020. All the centre’s were shut and most of the teammates left due to lack of finance. The pandemic impacted the company like a nightmare, however the core members stood for each other like a strong family and have been growing strong ever since.

Anup and Ranjan were already working on coding for an app to create an online platform for students to diagnose their level of confidence. The team of co-founders worked round the clock and eventually, in October 2020, Instapreps- The Confidence App by 7 classes was launched which was like the rebirth of enthusiasm in the team.

It’s been a long journey since the inception of 7 classes and Instapreps- The Confidence App. The cofounder team has increased to 7 members and the love and brotherhood among the 7 founders is inevitable. Ranjan says, “To reach new heights, one should never stop believing in them and should never get afraid from failures and  taking risks.” To take a confidence diagnosis, visit – www.instapreps.com

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