If you happen to be a knowledge entrepreneur or know anyone who is one,we’d love to hear your stories.
Djagmo: Welcome to the Knowledge Entrepreneurs Show, where we celebrate the innovators driving change in the education industry at Edison os. We've worked with over 500 knowledge entrepreneurs to turn their EC ideas into profitable businesses. Today's guest on the Knowledge Entrepreneur Show is RS Ragan, a chartered accountant with over 22 years of rich industrial experience in various finance domains such as accounting, tax planning, payroll financing, working capital management, and strategies.
Djagmo: He's an all-in India rank holder and currently serves as the mentor and chief faculty at FFA Host, where he teaches accounting and direct taxes at all levels, foundation, intermediate and final with this vast experience and expertise in the field. We're excited to have r on the show today to share his insights on the finance industry and education.
Djagmo: Hi Rinni, va. Good afternoon. Uh, thank you so much for accepting the invite, uh, to be a part of this show, the Knowledge Entrepreneur Show.
RS Raghavan: Thank you, and I'm too a bit excited about, uh, talking to you. I'm, I'm actually, you know,
Djagmo: I know you're not trembling, sir. Uh, but I know you're trying to keep the humor. I hope I don't end up trembling that is all. So, uh, sir, uh, before we get started with the questions and all those things, just for the sake of our listeners, and even for us, since we are meeting after a long time, I'll just talk about what is the show, uh, what is the purpose behind this so that, you know, our podcast can also be aligned with that purpose.
Djagmo: So as the name suggests, it's the Knowledge Entrepreneur show. It's a show dedicated to people who are in the knowledge domain in the education domain. Um, and so far we've had about 15 guests and all the 15 guests have been entrepreneurs in the knowledge space. Either they've been teaching something beat sports related, beat music related, or they've been building some technology, um, for the education space.
Djagmo: And, uh, we've had people who've been training, uh, sad and, uh, you know, uh, the test preps and all those things. Now, um, the reason we are doing this is, you know, there are people outside of the entrepreneurial, uh, space, but who are teaching and training for other academies and, you know, who will be up and coming and who have some dreams of starting their own academy.
Djagmo: But as much as you research about all these things on the internet, there's only limited knowledge available. That's when we thought, you know, talking to people who are really in it, doing something, uh, just a conversation will bring out so much of insights. It, it need not have to help people chart a path for them to become an entrepreneur.
Djagmo: It can also open their eyes and make them see that they may not be the right people to, you know, be entrepreneurs or entrepreneur thing may not be their cup of tea. It's not everybody's cup of tea at the end of the day. Uh, some people might be comfortable, some people may not be comfortable. So that is what we are trying to bring out of this show.
Djagmo: And the questions, we will talk about what you do at F Fa, osu, but mostly I'll be asking questions about the business, f a, osu, how you built it, what are the challenges you face. We'll be talking about all those things. So that's what this, uh, podcast is gonna be about. So it'll be
RS Raghavan: like, uh, you ask the question that I, I'll have to answer, right?
Djagmo: It's a conversation, sir. Yes. It's gonna be a conversation where you'll obviously be talking the most. My, uh, maximum talking pretty much ends here. Uh, here's my first question to you, sir. Um, it's gonna be a light open-ended personal question. Uh, please feel free to, you know, share, um, go back in time as much as you want, because this is what is gonna help us connect with the listeners out there.
Djagmo: Uh, sir, uh, walk us through your journey so far. What was your childhood like growing up? What did you actually aspire to become and how did you, uh, you know, end up being a knowledge
RS Raghavan: entrepreneur by opening
Djagmo: by starting fa?
RS Raghavan: Oh my God, I never knew that. You such a wonderful person. Your question is very small.
RS Raghavan: Have to be longer. Okay. See, I'm basically, you know, uh, uh, the first time of, um, uh, uh, uh, uh, state bank clerk and a housewife, both of them graduates. And, uh, I have a lineage of teachers. My grandfathers on side have been great teachers, great great teachers. And, um, another grandfather, the younger one of, uh, you know, one of my maternal grandfather.
RS Raghavan: Um, uh, he was a famous writer in, uh, and, uh, you know, um, as you should know, this family is one which gives a lot of importance, uh, for education. And, uh, you know, they may, and we were from a village. So these are some of the inputs, which you should remember. When I go to currently dos, uh, you know, the end of this answer.
RS Raghavan: Uh, growing up, my dad was, uh, going from place to place. Uh, you know, I almost traveled to travel and lived in most part of the state, you know, uh, in, we used to have one brand of two powder called, okay. So the advertising line, those days for that, uh, two will go like this, available everywhere, India, Sri Lanka, and all parts of ta.
RS Raghavan: So like that, you know, uh, uh, being a bank manager's son, you know, I was going, uh, across all the parts of, and all that helped, helped probably, I guess. Now looking back, all, everything, uh, culminated into me as an educator today. I'm, uh, still not at, uh, become an entrepreneur, but I'm, uh, I'm certainly become a teacher, I say.
RS Raghavan: But prior to that, my, uh, aim was to become, uh, you know, uh, finance heads of company. I, I somehow, you know, in my age when, uh, you know, people are my age, normally go, go after finance. Uh, I went after finance and, uh, uh, you know, I always dreamt of, uh, sitting in that top, uh, top floor, corner room, CFO room, and directing the, uh, uh, company's affairs, uh, wherever they're, uh, located.
RS Raghavan: Um, and eventually I ended up becoming a cfo. I was a CFO in a few companies. One, um, indoor Australia c to start with, and, uh, the next one was a UK based, uh, c all, all in, uh, And then I moved on to one insurance company, which is also an international player. And finally, uh, I was, uh, CFO in one of the GE verticals.
RS Raghavan: Uh, it's been fascinating, uh, journey all through and you know what, everything culminated. And, uh, you know, as a, uh, finance guy, uh, fortunately or unfortunately, um, I never did into the basics of, uh, accounting. So now what I saying, credit, what goes out? That has never been the stuff for me. Uh, God gave me opportunities to transform businesses wherever, whatever job the company I, uh, uh, had.
RS Raghavan: I ended up, uh, you know, making the company bigger in one sense or another. So, uh, the company is, uh, could have been, uh, you know, suffering from zero turnover. I brought up hundred pros and then, uh, to three pros, to 20 pros, including some smalls, amalgamations strategies, et cetera, et cetera. Apart from me being a charter accountant with, I also, uh, studied bit of management given there with Bangalore and our own, uh, uh, learning center, Ava University, France.
RS Raghavan: So all these things, uh, helped me. To do the transformation, business transformation jobs in my, uh, wherever I taking up assignments. And finally one day, you know, probably I was internally growing, uh, beyond the official positions I'd been handling. So I decided to quit and, uh, uh, take, I've decided to take upon, uh, the transformation of the people around cause I, I was working in geo vertical and also at that time IED on, uh, certain, uh, characters in this place.
RS Raghavan: So I quit. And since I had nothing to do, I started this venture. Cause I always find that, you know, I think that I'm eligible to teach something or other to everyone, you know, so people like me who has this kind, you know, attitude or heavy high headedness either could land up into teaching or inter politics.
RS Raghavan: Fortunately, no, I took up teaching.
Djagmo: That is great too.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. And that's how I started this. And I live in a place which is a growing town, growing city where there's lot of ignorance of all accounts. Um, and so, uh, and I'm enjoying the transformation of people here. I combine my, uh, Uh, the, the, the authenticity, uh, you know, the, what makes me think that I'm eligible to teach whatever I'm teaching, I'm teaching finance here comes from the fact that I'm a, uh, you know, holder in charter accountancy where, you know, that, you know, even passing itself is very difficult.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, coming from value of education, I picked it up from the, uh, family lineage, the, uh, who always taught the importance of the education and values and the fact that, uh, you know, we have been moving around places, uh, you know, other than cities, uh, you know, during my dad's days, helped me to create an empathy towards, uh, the people whom I had.
RS Raghavan: Like I said, in the beginning, all these things helped me into, uh, this role of, of being a transf of, uh, you know, people
Djagmo: got it. What definitely, I think, um, being an educator, uh, gives you that opportunity to also influence people. And, uh, through that, you
RS Raghavan: know, there is a scope for transformation, uh, people as well.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, which you keep, you know, which you
Djagmo: rightly mention. But, um, you said that, you know, you were in electricals, uh, Before you started, uh, fa huu, and, um, you said you had nothing to do, therefore you started, uh, fa huu. You could have either become a, you know, either you could have gone into public service, uh, or you could have started teaching and you chose teaching, but, uh, can you please, you know,
RS Raghavan: uh, no, uh, just a small correction either into teaching or into politics.
RS Raghavan: Politic sense, public service. I'm already doing
Djagmo: Okay. Fine. Politics. Yeah, I just, uh, I think loosely interchanged what those
RS Raghavan: words. Yeah. Yeah, probably you wanted to be a diplomatic to say, not to put, set your defenses. Right.
Djagmo: Okay, sir. Sure. So, uh, sir, um, I'd like you to deep dive a little bit more into, you know, you could have done a lot of things. You certainly seem to have identified two things and you chose teaching, but was there anything else that you contemplated and why teaching? Did you have some teaching experience before?
Djagmo: Did you teach, uh, part-time or anything? How did you choose teaching? No, like every
RS Raghavan: married man, you know, I, I was suffering from, uh, you know, ability to talk to people, but no listener. So I thought, you know, I had to make good of this kinda lapse in my life. But, you know, I basically love children. Okay. And especially those children who are not aware of things, um, you know, and who are scared of succeeding, who, who, who has all the, you know, people wish to, uh, win, be a winner and everything, but, uh, scared of things in Seattle.
RS Raghavan: I somehow like, uh, you know, to be a clean sort of such things, right? You know, uh, every time I step into incidentally, you know, I'm running a trust, which, uh, helps, uh, you know, which through which I'm supporting about 50 government schools and around. So they all identify, I don't know them by face or I dunno them by name, et cetera, but when the moment I step into a school to do some service, they'll always cheer up and welcome and they'll surround me, uh, and keep saying my favorite tagline, I love you.
RS Raghavan: I don't know. See, uh, probably, you know, I got that confidence from, uh, such kids that I can also teach. Uh, that's a, that's a passion point. But then what, what do, uh, what, uh, what am I eligible to teach? You know, of course I have a big record, uh, both qualification and experience wise. So I chose to teach finance to these people.
RS Raghavan: Right.
Djagmo: Got it. Um, so, uh, you said, you know, uh, You had this experience with kids where you run a trust and you met them, and then, you know, there was that experience as well. But, uh, from what you, uh, what you shared so far, am I correct if I say that money wasn't a
RS Raghavan: criteria for you? It is, it is. Even though I've not seen money, I've not earned money, but I enjoy doing what I'm doing.
Djagmo: Okay. Uh, so what I meant was, um, when you, when you quit your corporate world, your corporate experience at that point in time, uh, you didn't have to, you know, you weren't looking to start a business
RS Raghavan: to earn a living.
Djagmo: No. Was no. Right. No, you could, you could have, you could have, you could have, I mean, I'm sure you would've earned enough to kind of relax and, you know, um, spend the rest of your life.
Djagmo: Am I correct if I
RS Raghavan: say that? Uh, well, I, I would like to, you know, that decent background, but anyway, the fact is not I earned, lost, lost them. Okay. So now I'm in, in the process of rebuilding. I have no shame in, uh, openly saying that. But then, you know, that, uh, saying like that also gives me a feeling that, you know, I, I have a commitment to keep chasing it.
RS Raghavan: Right? But the biggest change is that in the process of me earning money, I'm not compromising on anything. So I'm not telling lies, but I'm taking up a responsibility for the entire generation. At least one generation, I will be contributing to. And, um, you know, yearn my living. That, that gives me a great, a great satisfaction.
RS Raghavan: That's a change of thought after push my, uh, corporate, well, I must be honest enough to say that in order to, uh, you know, I've been, uh, getting offered from many companies for the CFO post, but somehow it was not, uh, going through the last leg. And, uh, I understood that and no, I had something else, got as, uh, you know, uh, planned something else for me.
RS Raghavan: And this, uh, moment, I, uh, I spotted the, uh, connecting point between my passion and profession. Uh, everything started clicking today. You know, I had run TV shows, uh, was all the schools and colleges know me. And, uh, I would've talked at least talking to about one, like, uh, around that, uh, number of students.
RS Raghavan: And they all see me as a, you know, like, you know, even if they have some, uh, problems, fears, need, not necessarily to do anything with finance, but anything for any reason they come to me. But there are some times, you know, uh, you know, I must tell you this interesting thing also, you know, uh, uh, it was in the early days of my academy startup, one father and, uh, one son took an appointment with me through one of my common friends here.
RS Raghavan: They distributed, uh, you know, the son was seventh
Djagmo: standard son.
RS Raghavan: I was thinking that, you know, like any new startup business, uh, seeing a customer in every face I come across. So I thought this must be my new customer. So I was speaking like a typical salesmen, you know, like you guys have in. So, uh, no. And then at that part of time, I, I never realized that the boy, my, uh, client, but he was too small, too young, right?
RS Raghavan: And in the new course, the father said, uh, I asked the father, okay, we enough. What do you want? Where's your son? Do you want him to put in ca? Yeah. He's the son. I thought, no, he's too small. What is he, uh, doing? He's currently in seventh. For seventh. Seventh. It is too early. But let him, uh, you know, uh, keep playing ca is a bit serious.
RS Raghavan: I, I will take him out of five years. That's the right thing. No, everywhere that will show that I'm, I'm not that good a businessman at all. Not being able to see some money through that boy. But, uh, you know, the father said, what, uh, you want teach? I want to put him into ceo, you know? Yeah, yeah. I'm doing CEO all stuff.
RS Raghavan: Right? But then it's too early. No. At his age, I, uh, learned cooking. You know, what does it go? I was a bit confused then. Said, what? What do you mean cooking a ca and seven standard. At that time for the father said, he said, uh, come on, sir. I know c scattering. That's right. You know, oh God. Okay. You know, how do I take it?
RS Raghavan: You know, is it an insert on me or, uh, insert on that fellow, or, you know, he comes from, he, he's a filthy, rich guy. Okay, by the way, you know? Uh, and that is the level of ignorance I really took beating, uh, on, on, on him. So that was a start file. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, that, that, that's the thing, uh, that drives me.
RS Raghavan: And I've not, uh, started any center or any such initiative, the same initiatives I'm doing right in, in, uh, Chennai or Bombay or something like that, right. Where I could've easily made money. I've stuck to this place. And, uh, so far, so far, I think, uh, officially I've trained about 500 students in the last eight years, and I've produced all their rank and I've placed them, also placed some of them.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Uh, great. You know, that has helped with transforming some people.
Djagmo: Great. In the process. I didn't, I didn't mean to be rude when I asked you, you know, whether you were set for your life when you quit geo electricals. It was just to establish, you know, where were you when you started? Because a lot of people
RS Raghavan: who are aspiring to do something like what you're doing might
Djagmo: be listening and, you know, um, I want them to know, okay, you know, this person has exactly gone through this, and that is the situation from where he started.
Djagmo: Because a lot
RS Raghavan: of people might be in the same situation as what you were a few
Djagmo: years back. And, you know, it gives them a confidence or, you know, it gives them that hope that yeah, it can be done. Even if you do not have any money, you can start
RS Raghavan: from scratch and, you know, you can go
Djagmo: on to build stuff. So that's the reason I just wanted to ask.
Djagmo: And I'm, uh, you know,
RS Raghavan: thank you so much for being very, uh, transparent
Djagmo: about what your situation was and another
RS Raghavan: that's, you know, that can save me from any income tax's. Uh,
Djagmo: this is, so you said, uh, you did not have, uh, you know, any Oh, yeah. Uh, this is the thing, right? Uh, what fascinated me was, okay, here's a person who's not, uh, you know, quit his job with, uh, with a bulk of savings, with a fat savings.
Djagmo: And then, you know, who started, what fascinated me was, you know, you need to do something right. You're still not there where you can, you know, relax and, you know, kind of
RS Raghavan: spend the rest
Djagmo: of your life at the same time. You know, you just want to do things. Not from a business point of view, you also want to serve.
Djagmo: So I saw that, you know, you've kind of combined, you also need to make money. At the same time, you also want to serve people and you know, you have a goal that you want to kinda achieve. So both of these things, to know that you've been doing that for eight years is amazing. But I'm not gonna jump directly into it and ask you how you did that.
Djagmo: I'm gonna like, gonna go back eight years. When you say eight years, I think you started f a in 2015. Am I correct sir? 2015. December, 2015. Yeah. Can you start off from 2015 December? Like what was f like at that point in time compared to now?
RS Raghavan: And what is the journey from 2015 to 2023? Pin lake? See, 2015, as I said, the scenario was, uh, you know, there, there was a little bit of awareness amongst the students, uh, about doing CA and all that they know, uh, was that the ca is something very difficult, you cannot get through.
RS Raghavan: And the people were in a conservative mood that, uh, since, you know, you always need to have a backup, uh, doing a a degree course. And, uh, this is a place where I found that, uh, you know, the, the mindset of the parents were oriented towards getting their not as married after 12. If they don't, uh, you know, uh, there are so many precess for me in this part, part of this, uh, country working on, uh, you know, cleaning the society.
RS Raghavan: Like, you know, don't do this early. And no, send your, uh, girl children to, uh, schools, all that stuff, right? Um, so this was a scenario and I never had any, uh, statistics with me, you know, uh, with a big business plan. All the stuff I, uh, just jumped, uh, believing only my heart, you know, and also the fact that I had to do something and I had nothing else to, to do other than this.
RS Raghavan: Great. Um, so hardly about, uh, 10 admissions from Class 12 was in two, uh, ca Foundation. Ca Foundation is an exam, which is at the entry level for which only the Class 12 pass out are eligible. So I need my business is to, uh, work on, uh, those children, okay? Right from there. First year or second year of higher secondary education.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, you know, such was the output. Only about 10%. There are about, uh, 3000 or 4,000 students, you know, doing studying commerce. Uh, and out of which, you know, 10 only people are doing, and that too, they had to go somewhere in either to Chen or to bang to study ca okay? Such was thing. And out of the stem, at least nine would've been.
RS Raghavan: From the background of Rich, uh, you know, business man kind of right. But, but certainly I will not attribute any lineage of the, you know, uh, uh, children, no, uh, family background of the Leonard people, all this stuff. No, it was not. So everything was odd. I think it is providential that I did not see, look at the numbers as I normally used to look at, uh, as a CFO for before I clear any projects in, uh, in the business.
RS Raghavan: Um, in the first year, I admitted about hundred, uh, students in the first year itself. Okay. And, uh, uh, you know, I went to, went to school after school and motivated the student, the kids there, and told them about how easy it could be to do ca some are Ed, and all that I had to do is to know, uh, go through about five, one or two batches to show them the, that it's actually possible by them.
RS Raghavan: Great. And, uh, it started like that. And 2015 on, on an average, I'm, I'm covering about, uh, except that Corona periods, uh, inside I always, uh, had an average admission of hundred students. Per, per, okay. Okay. That is, uh, that is something 10 times. So this also had, I, I ended up not only inspiring, uh, the students, but also some of the, uh, uh, few more others who after seeing me, okay.
RS Raghavan: They also gained confidence and started some, uh, training centers. Great. The, the point is that they called me and took my, uh, blessings to start their, uh, training sentence. So I'm really happy that I've been a source of inspiration for, for, uh, for all, uh, you know, all around people are all kind of people around me.
RS Raghavan: Got it,
Djagmo: sir. Great. So you said, um, you know, only 10 people started off for ca Foundation and then you said you admitted hundred students the first year. Yeah. Uh, so you said 10 and hundred. Am I missing something here?
RS Raghavan: No. Uh, I I'm only missing both and hundred. So, you know, the, the point is that they did not know about this fact.
Djagmo: Okay. And then, you know, after you went to schools and when, once you created awareness, you got more, you know, 90 odd people. Uh, God.
RS Raghavan: Correct. See, I also did one more thing that I, uh, presented more to the girl children normally know. The, the trend is, uh, you know, when it comes to plus one, plus two, or maybe, you know, it is a trend, uh, even higher up, higher education, also great girls.
RS Raghavan: Girls were the majority, and I mean, girls were, uh, mostly after studies, right. But the boys were
Djagmo: mostly after the girls.
RS Raghavan: So, and the point is that, uh, you know, in place, like girls were not allowed to study beyond 12 because No, especially see, because they had to either travel to Chen or bang know, which the families were finding out bit difficult.
RS Raghavan: Okay. Since I pitched and centered my center in, uh, most of them, most of my students, 90% of my students are girls only. So I think that is providential where I'm already working out beyond this fa I'm working for the cost of development of, uh, of women here. And this helped me. So there is a, you know, uh, the, the God I think has made we combine all the, uh, professional passion, et cetera, to one.
Djagmo: Got it, sir. Great. Sir. Uh, when you started off, um, your, uh, academic fa, how much money was needed for you to start up? What was the capital that you were looking at? No,
RS Raghavan: actually no, the, in terms of fixed capital, I had, I, I wanted about, uh, five to six flags. For the facility deposit, for the rented premises, et cetera.
RS Raghavan: And for the, uh, running capital, I had to give, uh, uh, salary to the faculties. But I must say that I got a good landlord, uh, you know, to helped me with this. And then, uh, know I had set up, uh, uh, facilities like, you know, the computers, some of the, some of the equipments, uh, were actually gifted to me by my relatives who, who, who wanted me to come up fast were being my well Welles computers I set up.
RS Raghavan: No, they, they, the, another strategy is apart from taking of the girls, focusing on the girls, the other, the other strategy I, I said is that I will give them entire thing that they would see a center and Bangalore or ink. So it is very easy to start off with, uh, know, okay, these are guys, any, uh, any rustic guys and, you know, I can, um, afford to put some plastic chair and, uh, you know, hire a school, uh, for the classes, use Blackboard, all that stuff.
RS Raghavan: No, I hired a projector, a smart board, um, you know, completely set up a new, uh, classroom facility. And then I hired only. You Toco that work only chartered accountants and other similar professions to come and teach. And here, and I must thank all those cas and other professionals who never somehow they trusted and they, uh, you know, uh, aligned with my principal not to do any discrimination to serve without any discrimination to anybody.
RS Raghavan: So we all come back, the, the forces universe sent to me all these things. And, uh, you know, I, I had a big pantry and the coffee wedding mission where, uh, Mr. Will go glass from which not have imagined anywhere else. Great. So I gave the test and similarly for the teachers, I motivated them. I have about 20 to 30 teachers.
RS Raghavan: All of them are professionals or doctorates or, uh, you know, one of my, uh, uh, teacher, uh, at that time was a professor, he's a doctorate in, he was a professor in, uh, Melbourne University. Wow. Okay. Right. And now eventually he has moved to take over, uh, some position in, in India. So I gave them the best. I picked up this value from this man whom I have, uh, you know, at the back of, uh, my seat.
RS Raghavan: He's my uncle and my first employer and my role model Wow. Who, who taught me, who has yearned, uh, who is yearning in gross and also, uh, gifting in gross. So together, you know, uh, you know, I picked up this not to wait for money to sell people or not to discriminate people when they doing service and always go for the best when you have, when you know that something is the best.
RS Raghavan: Where do, do not ever compromise on the quality. So everybody follows this principle. They won't compromise on quality, but they'll do that only when they have to get something. Now I did a reverse thing, so when I have to give something, I always ensure the best quality things available to them, right?
RS Raghavan: This is another usp. So, uh, the, the people who had, uh, you know, some awareness of the things, how a typical class will do, who could be, uh, how could I, uh, uh, think, get, uh, effect, how can I rate, effect, whether they're capable of delivering this and, uh, that all the stuff, if the moment they walk into my first thing, they will come into my country.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Right. So in a way I'm reaching, uh, you know, people's heart through their s.
Djagmo: Yeah, no sir. I was gonna talk about it very interesting point that you made about having a pantry because, um, I think once the basic needs of a human being are taken care of, I think automatically we will move on to the next steps, right?
Djagmo: Uh, say for example, one of the things is in, in, in empty stomach or when you're hungry, you really can't do much. And probably, uh, in a area where, you know, a topic like ca, which will be very intense, you know, such small things might go a long way. Uh, which I think you're already experiencing. And this could be a amazing insight, uh, to people who are listening, you know, if they're having a center because, um, when you talk about quality, right?
Djagmo: Um, quality of teaching is one thing, and quality of infrastructure is another thing, which can be easily forgotten or discounted. Saying that, you know, all those things doesn't matter. They'll be wrongly looked at as flash and bling and all those things. But I think having a very nice infrastructure, um, you know, with facilities like what you said, you know, having a pantry is actually, um, quite useful.
Djagmo: And it's not just fancy stuff or not flashy stuff. I think that's the, that's the important thing from here. But you said you had a faculty of 20 to 30 teachers. Uh, was this the strength when you started off the first year itself, you had 20 to 30? Uh,
RS Raghavan: no. I had about six or. They're not there. All those who are there with me, were
Djagmo: not there.
Djagmo: No. Got it. And, uh, you took up the role purely from an administrator point of view when you started f Fasu or you were also part of, uh, the teaching services. I
RS Raghavan: have to be the teacher, one of the teachers, but, uh, no, I cannot be doing all the subjects. You know, people should not come and say, oh, outta eight papers I need to write.
RS Raghavan: Uh, you can only teach only one paper, something like that. Then, you know, they'll go to a place where they'll have everything under one umbrella. So I, that is why, you know, I, uh, I started something like a movie, grand, uh, you know, thing. Instead, uh, a typical, uh, startup businessman would always start, uh, in a small way and then enhance it as, as he goes along, why I never wanted to keep my children as clients waiting.
RS Raghavan: So I gave them about, I, when I started I had, uh, two classrooms and a big, huge, uh, library and about 20 systems, uh, and, uh, lease line computer lab. Yeah. And, and a projector. And, uh, you know, uh, straight away in the second month or third month I started, uh, uh, this, this, um, you know, internet teaching, you know, my, most of my teachers were from.
RS Raghavan: Bombay, uh, or like I said, Australia, right? So they will come through Skype or something. At that time, Google made Zoom and all there. So I started off. So, uh, I, I brought the best and I gave the best available. So therefore, uh, probably you, I think, uh, I have, uh, appealed to them. No. Now when, uh, when they say, oh, oh, it's, then they're sure of the standard.
Djagmo: Right? Right. Amazing, sir. I mean, in 2015, December is when you started. So 2016 itself, you had, uh, online teaching that was happening. Yeah. Which is amazing. Yeah. Um, sir, uh, another question, uh, curious. Uh, you know, you are in
RS Raghavan: and,
Djagmo: uh, even in places like Bangalore or Metro cities, language is an issue. The medium of communication is largely English.
Djagmo: Um, and, uh, for a subject like ca uh, I'm sure you also use English as a medium of communication, correct? For your students? Yes. Yes. Um, was that like, I mean, was that easy? Uh, was there any gap to start off with?
RS Raghavan: Oh, yes. Yes. See, uh, for a person who be successful in this part of the world and product I'm handling, one has to be, biggest challenge is to.
RS Raghavan: If, you know, people are coming in only in twenties and thirties and forties, et cetera, and uh, I show them result of one or two or seven, which itself is about 10%. It's very good average in terms of when I compare to the national average, average has always been about 20 to 29%. Now, uh, you know, I have been hitting, uh, at least one batch every time to be, uh, I, I like attached a hundred percent reset in one batch and one of these eight years, you know, I've always been way ahead of the national average.
RS Raghavan: Okay. But that's only how indicated that that, you know, a deplorable one anyway. Uh, you know, if one has to be so successful, then I would like to have a, uh, I'll to show the research, but I could not, the reason is English. Yeah. Uh, whatever so-called model people are boing about, have spoiled ero, not only our own mother tongue, but also English.
RS Raghavan: Now we're, as I see in the field now, uh, nobody knows any language. And you know, the recent studies as they, they shared in the newspapers, millions are very in the, uh, you know, in terms of proficiency in the in termil. Okay. Okay. It's a government study, I think. Okay. Uh, something like that, you know, uh, um, I discovered it after a few batches, certainly, uh, when I was handling a class for, uh, graduates.
RS Raghavan: Okay. You know, it was at the, the next level c mba, uh, level when I discovered that something could be wrong. So I told them, okay, I took up a newspaper, uh, that day's newspaper where, uh, you know, was alive and he has made, made a statement that, uh, uh, sta is such successor. Okay? So the headline went like this.
RS Raghavan: MK says, sta is his such a, sir. That's all. I, uh, asked one of the graduates who's doing intermediate CMA to translate it in. Okay? Okay. So the correct answer would be, I don't want to you, I must tell correct answer could be, oh, sorry.
RS Raghavan: Right? But the sixth of, uh, six students in that batch graduate, they told me,
RS Raghavan: okay, it's very repeatable. Right. So immediately what I did is that I, I wanted to respond to this situation. So I engaged an English teacher and know, and he or she should not be found boring as well. So motivator come English, and I paid only for those six children for, uh, about six months. I paid her about a lack.
RS Raghavan: Wow. Only to improve. I said, okay, come. Lemme take whatever it takes. Right, right. And I finally saw that, uh, uh, uh, I think three of them have made, they, they've become professionals now in that batch. Great. So what happened is I took up a big, uh, queue from that. So I changed, I tweak my, uh, teaching process here.
RS Raghavan: So every time a student comes in, they'll go through, he will go through a personal assessment. Right. Just to find out what are his strengths, um, how does he understand the thing by saying, or by writing or by whatever. And that will give a plan of, uh, coaching to the teacher. And then, uh, we'll also come to know about his English of them are here.
RS Raghavan: Um, and they will make, uh, every time, uh, the class starts before that they'll let to go through meditation and primary exercises. Wow. Okay. And, um, you know, morning session classes, And then afternoon, uh, uh, lunch with me and after lunch, uh, after quite some time, my yoga teacher will come and teach him some, uh, basics of yoga, which it doesn't disturb much this for that time of the day.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, you know, the evening classes will be over and evening classes. After that, periodically a psychologist will come and, uh, you know, assess that nobody like me is expected to do this. Yeah. The parents or the teachers, no one really, you know, uh, they, they won't even care if I don't do this. Yes. This is something which are extra my life taking.
RS Raghavan: Okay. So what happens, even though if I had to wait or I lose some children in the process, some students in the process, I'm satisfied that I've done what, good job, I've given the best to the children and the day will come, or a point of time will come, they'll be happy about it.
Djagmo: Right. Got it, sir. Great. So you said, uh, you know, uh, the English, uh, training when you realized that, you know, English was a big problem, it went on for six months, right?
Djagmo: Uh, now this happened. Uh, simultaneously while you were teaching your subjects as well? Yes. This was taught for how many hours a
RS Raghavan: day? See what happened? I had to go through finish batch, so I had engaged English teacher for them for six months. Okay. Afterwards, you know, they teachers who normally teachers subjects, they to push them, the students through daily newspaper readings, and, uh, we made them, um, you know, uh, read the newspapers and then present the current affairs.
RS Raghavan: Every day there'll be a session, newsroom session, right. That they to do. And then we, uh, inserted this, uh, presentation process in the education. So every weekend students will have to pick up some topics and present it. So it is not like a typical classroom where the lecture will come and give you some, give some lecture, and you take some notes and then get away.
RS Raghavan: Right. So they'll be able to speak about what they, uh, uh, study what they were being taught. So that will help me understand their comprehension. The second one is their, uh, writing ability, which is very important to pass the ca examination and then their communication. So, you know, um, I, I develop my students holistically.
RS Raghavan: I I give them some, uh, you know, all round learning. And on top of that, you know, in all my personal social projects, they'll be given some roles. So they'll also know, you know, how whatever they're studying now could be used to this society
RS Raghavan: Got it.
Djagmo: Sir, uh, the teacher you hired right, for six months. Um, so you made them, you, you know, you made the teacher teach all of your, uh, children who had come to the center, uh, from that experience you had with that six people.
Djagmo: Yeah. Uh, you know, you started something called as
RS Raghavan: personal assessment where you
Djagmo: used to assess them, you know, how much of language they could pick up in communication, all those things. So once you started doing the personal assessment, uh, how many students coming in needed English? Was it majority? Yes, it was majority.
Djagmo: And, uh, the, even,
RS Raghavan: even though even they come from a very good family background, or even if they've been taught in a CSC school for 12 years, I find them, uh, lacking in English.
Djagmo: Why do you think so, sir? Why, where, where do you think the problem is?
RS Raghavan: Uh, I don't want to become the enemies of the school student are teachers.
Djagmo: Got it. Okay. Okay. Let me, you know, rephrase the question like this. Um, how do you think this, uh, can be addressed going forward? You know, how can English also, uh, be made an important skill so that when
RS Raghavan: kids graduate 12 standard, they come out good, uh, even, you know,
Djagmo: as communicators, uh, in English.
RS Raghavan: See, one is language issue, the other one is the, uh, the, uh, aptitude attitude issue.
RS Raghavan: Okay. Uh, I'm addressing at the micro level, I'm addressing, uh, both by giving them some exercises and then, uh, give them a big space to interact with where interaction without their knowledge would be compulsory for them. Right. Right. So they have to interact with them. And then I made it point that they to, uh, talk and write and read in English.
RS Raghavan: So that way the, the other thing at you, uh, think if you ask me at the back level, you know, we need to strengthen, I find, uh, the need to strengthen the, uh, education system or practice up to the level. Right
Djagmo: sir. I think, um, and, uh, do you think this problem is only in. Or is this all over India? The language problem of English,
RS Raghavan: I have no big exposure, uh, uh, about other, uh, states.
RS Raghavan: Okay. But based on my interactions, for sure, I can tell
RS Raghavan: except the Core Al students, uh, I don't think the situation is any different. Any different except, except the Baal. Uh, but in other states, you know, through the online classes, which I had here and there for the North students, uh, at least, uh, you know, I don't think that I'm, I've, uh, come across enough people to make a statement, but my experience was that it is, uh, the same.
Djagmo: It is the same. It is the same. Okay. You pointed out Bangalore and you said the problem is not as much in Bangalore. Would you, would you say the same for all metros? Uh, would you say the problem is not there in Chennai? Yeah.
RS Raghavan: My experience, yeah. Uh, in Metro, I think at least in Chennai, in Bangalore, I don't think that, uh,
Djagmo: that problem is there.
RS Raghavan: The other, the third one. The third one is, um, which is common even for Bangal or Rav for, uh, Chen. Chen, right? Is I told you that I, with almost a of students in this last eight years, Right, the apart from language and attitude problem. The third problem is the lack of knowledge on current affairs. Hmm. I must share with you not cause you tend to be serious for quite some time now, last five, 10 minutes.
RS Raghavan: So I must tell you one experience where I went there, it was around the time when, uh, DY brought up this gst. So the, uh, one of the colleges hired me, uh, uh, took percent to the third year, uh, become students about gst. Okay? So since, uh, you know, at that time, GST was a child, uh, and I, I didn't have to have, uh, do more hard work.
RS Raghavan: So I said, okay, jumped into it. And I started saying, uh, no, I wanted to build up, you know, it was an audience of 600 students and I wanted to build up Theo. And I asked that. Now I'm going to ask you, uh, you a very tough question. I'm not sure whether you'll be able to answer me correctly, but then, you know what?
RS Raghavan: Something like that, right? Everybody was, you know, gather everybody's attention. The whole hall was in pin drop. And then I asked, who is the prime Minister of India? You know, I had to ask this. I wanted
Djagmo: to say that blah, blah, blah.
RS Raghavan: Right. Immediately though, so many voices, so many hands raise, raised, and then say, then I picked up one third year, become and pastor.
RS Raghavan: Okay. You tell, and before she could open all her, open her mouth, all her friends joined her and shouted at me.
RS Raghavan: Okay. And then the heads of the teachers, uh, sitting there were down red. Okay. You know, but some of these people knew that know also was not the
Djagmo: actual minister.
RS Raghavan: You is India.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, I visited one place called Oli, uh, to talk to the students there. Oli is a place where it's right. No, no. Itk, where factory is there. Okay? So I, I asked the same question, expecting the same reply, but then these were, uh, seven of 12 plus two students, okay? And they answered me, uh, Stalin. Okay. Prime Minister, uh, prime Minister of India.
RS Raghavan: And then, uh, the child sitting next to the, the, the girl who answered Miss, uh, just rub it off and said, is the Prime Minister of, he's asking the Prime
Djagmo: Minister of India.
RS Raghavan: Okay. You know what, you know, you can to joke at, uh, laugh and then go, but then I'll take up their costs. Right. No, I mean, so I, no, no, no.
Djagmo: I just,
RS Raghavan: just want, wanted to give you an idea about the depth of the problem, cause I'll take it. Yeah,
Djagmo: yeah, yeah. So you said, you know, current affairs is one problem, but current affairs also is tied back to the language.
Djagmo: Right? Uh, of course, I'm not saying that there are no media, uh, houses in and all those things
RS Raghavan: in regional languages. We've got newspapers, we've got social
Djagmo: media channels and everything. Uh, but probably if they have to, okay, it may not tie back to English, but then even in social media, I think what people are inclined to go and see happens to be mostly entertainment.
Djagmo: And probably not. Um, stuff that is related to education or anything that is useful. Which brings me to another important problem that every knowledge entrepreneur today is facing, especially online. Uh, I'd like to, you know, get your thoughts on it. Yours is, at least, you know, sir, it's a very serious topic.
Djagmo: Students come with proper. Uh, okay. Okay. Let us look at it like this. There are two ways that you can run your course. You can either have students come to the classroom, do live sessions, and then you know, little bit as supplement. You can create recorded courses and give it to them. But on the other hand, there are companies that want to scale up and they're doing this whole business from a self-paced course point of view only.
Djagmo: There are no live interactions. There's only recorded videos. Now in recorded videos. The CO there is something called a course completion rate. People come, they pay money, they buy the recorded courses. That is all the engagement between the company and the student finishes there. I mean, not literally.
Djagmo: The company will still host the courses for them in the platform and everything the students will have to go and see, but the course completion rate is very, very bad. You know, it's very less. Do you think see self-paced courses is never going to work? Is that what, how you see it? Or do you think there could be a solution
RS Raghavan: to this problem?
RS Raghavan: No, I think, you know, I borrow some of the experts, uh, from Bangalore, uh, whose interviews in the YouTube and other channels have across. Okay. Then I feel that somehow the traditional way of, you know, going to the schools up to, uh, plus one, plus two and then joining a, uh, college for three a degree is going to change.
RS Raghavan: Okay. In fact, uh, I don't wanna quote that person. Uh, he said that, uh, you know, university, all the stuff is going to rule, uh, lose their relevance in due course. Okay. Then I, I related this to the fact that there is a software company here, which is whose market cap market, about 5,000 pros. Uh, you know, they had a strategy in hiring their software engineers.
RS Raghavan: They never went to colleges and hired any bs, uh, uh, Betera. But they, uh, they picked up a whole lot of, uh, plus two students talk about Zoho. You want me to name it?
Djagmo: We can say, I mean, okay. I'm
RS Raghavan: not sure that, that's why I said but the idea of elected. Right, right. You know what and what a transformation, uh, the company has given to the lives of so people and where, where was the colleges and there.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. So that gave me a, a kinda confidence. Cause you know, I've been telling my about my plight, you know, lives any other religious here deliberately to. So I gotta start from them. Uh, I like to teach not only the finance subject, but also the attitude, the, the language, language and uh, you know, the personality, the general language, all that stuff.
RS Raghavan: You know, uh, uh, that is why it me, men's happiness that I, when I produced one of my, uh, students said all the rank folder. And after that, you know, he, uh, he took, went a step further in see education where he was asked to make a presentation, right? Uh, uh, in front of Inu, somewhere in front of so many auditors, et cetera.
RS Raghavan: And the man picked up and then he talked like, uh, uh, you know, an experienced speaker, right? And that teacher, uh, called me and, uh, appreciated me. So that gave me a lot of confidence. You know, he's from a place called Kris.
Djagmo: Yes. Yeah. RI is about hundred kilometers from Bangalore. Yes. Right, sir. Uh, before we move on, uh, to talk more about fa uh, given that we touched upon English, I'd like you to, you know, uh, uh, share.
Djagmo: Something that will, you know, do you think, you know, I mean, it's, it's a no-brainer that English, even though it's not a knowledge, but it's a tool to communicate. It is a medium of communication. That
RS Raghavan: is it, it's a language that
Djagmo: connects people, but still, there seems to be a lot of ignorance around picking up the language seriously, from the school.
Djagmo: Um, uh, now I'm not asking you to, you know, address the students here at all, but I think I'm not, um, I'm sure there are a lot of people who are doing it, but I've not come across anybody who's teaching a professional course who's taken up the challenge of teaching people English also, because without English, how are, how are they gonna go and clear the ca exam?
Djagmo: Does ca exam also come in regional languages?
RS Raghavan: Sir? Only in Hindi.
Djagmo: Only in Hindi. Then what about the rest of the, you know, people? So English is a must for them, right? So, uh, anybody, uh, you know, who's listening to this, who are teaching, uh, subjects related to CA and, uh, non Hindi speakers to non Hindi speakers, uh, please, uh, you know, uh, share a few words as to why they need to start, uh, including English also, uh, a subject that they, they should teach just like the way you did.
RS Raghavan: No, actually, uh, I must also say that I have a lot of, I've seen a lot of YouTubers, uh, doing this. You know, English, English, et fact, we're gonna come up with, uh, some product like that. But then eventually, eventually, although I talk to them, no.
RS Raghavan: So I English now, uh, you know, I, it not be a good idea for me to say that. Now
RS Raghavan: after listening to me, he, if he goes back to, uh, goes to the textbook and say No, or he has to go and present court and all, it won't take, so the, the, it has to be bilingual. It has to be bilingual, bilingual at least, if not totally English. If not totally English.
Djagmo: Okay. It has to be bilingual, and at least if not the co, uh, you know, if not the, uh, English that is needed to communicate at least the English that is needed, uh, to clear the subject of, you know, the vocabulary that is needed around finance has to be mastered by the students.
Djagmo: At least that's a must. Yeah. Right. Um, okay, sir. Great. Uh, moving ahead. Um, you know, we started off, uh, as to how you started off, uh, fa sort of the capital of six lacks, and then that was a fixed, uh, capital that you needed for your deposit and, uh, for all the infrastructure that you have put together. And then, you know, you also had a running capital, uh, that you had to utilize to pay off your staff members.
Djagmo: And when you started off, it was just six to seven faculty members, and now you are, uh, sitting at about 20 to 30. Uh, what are the subjects that you started off teaching and, uh, is it the same now or have you included a lot of other subjects as well?
RS Raghavan: Uh, as part of what Fasu teaches? So when I, when I started, it was, uh, I, I started for Ca Foundation and Ca Intermediate both.
RS Raghavan: Okay. Okay. And my first pledge was for Ca Intermediate. Okay. And, uh, you know, my first student attended my class on the first day and then ran away. Okay. So, you know, everything was odd. I then remember the story of Del, he's a master now, but on his date of first recording at the moment. Uh, ready. 1, 2, 3, start.
RS Raghavan: You know, the power went off. Okay. So all the stories, and I kept reading that gave me a don't worry about this runaway person, you'll still get I one, one bad guy. Guy ran. And there were so many guys who came and, and they listened to, and then I was,
RS Raghavan: yeah. Uh, so it was for ca, uh, foundation, CA Foundation, the preliminary and the foundation. Intermediate.
Djagmo: Intermediate, yeah.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, of course another variety of subjects. I I, we even taught the, of course, they not cannot be so regular final people can be run on, uh, on demand basis. Right. The meaning is that I've said, like I said, I, I entered the, uh, business like, you know, with all the grand, uh, could have.
RS Raghavan: Right. And slowly we added the other professional courses like cma, cs, uh, all those are Indians, right? Indian professional courses. And then, uh, we built the language learning and the physical latitude, et cetera, as a part of teaching only. So all these people, whoever comes to study here, will, uh, go through this.
RS Raghavan: That is what, okay. After that, you know, I'm also in, into, uh, teaching, uh, uh, the higher secondary support plus one and plus two commerce education. And then we also have a cell, uh, which will help you. Um, giving career counseling. It is not only with finance, but anybody can do this. Okay. Certainly not
RS Raghavan: that. Uh, I've had an international courses also in my passport. S C A C, cmma, cma, uh, CMA means us,
Djagmo: us cm, ama, CMMA, s cpa, also
RS Raghavan: c p not attached. Cma CS are directly, we are not doing, we're allowed to expert. Cause I feel that I will go, uh, uh, you know, I to take some time before jumping into it. Right. So I, I didn't want, I wanted my, uh, you know, IANS to get introduced to this.
RS Raghavan: Right. Uh, that there are some courses I wanted transform one person who?
Djagmo: To cma. Okay. Who's doing
RS Raghavan: US cm? Yeah. US cm. Well, I, I have, uh, one a dozen CMA students here from here. Okay. If you see their profiles, uh, they're all, uh, sons of Hawkers Village. Hawkers. Okay. Yeah. They're doing
Djagmo: great job.
RS Raghavan: So to answer your question, uh, you know, uh, I started with CS ama, but then I add a plus to support, degree support, postgraduate support. My dream is only, you know, uh, I'm imagining a tagline of, uh, for my, it should go like this from plus one to PhD,
Djagmo: right? Anything that's related to finance.
Djagmo: Finance and account finance account. So FAA stands for Finance and Account Finance Academy. Simple Finance Academy. Host of, okay, got it. Great. Everything falls under the umbrella of finance. Uh, sir, um, at this point, you know, you said, um, I'd like to bring in this question, uh, from a teaching perspective. Uh, but before that, uh, you know, you've included your courses, uh, sorry, you've expanded the number of courses that you're offering now by starting off with just CA Foundation and CA Intermediate.
Djagmo: Now you're offering U S C M A C M A and a lot of other things that you said. And you've also gone off the finance thing and you've also gone to the periphery, uh, by also addressing people who are already aligned their career towards finance. So you're, uh, starting to help them from the grassroot level itself.
Djagmo: Plus you're also planning to go, go until, you know, PhD. Now, from a physical space point of view, you said you started off with two classrooms in one library. Has that also expanded? Have you moved on to a different place now to a bigger
RS Raghavan: place now? No. No, uh, you know, the market changed here, you know, the people were, uh, uh, you know, asking me for in campus classes, right?
RS Raghavan: So, uh, I, I really did not have to, you know, shift or experiment place. So I'm going to, uh, imputing my teachers, uh, to different colleges and schools here where they, they where we assign contracts. Got it, sir. And one more thing, sorry. So one more thing I need to add is that, uh, you know, I also, I'm also an authorized training partner of software, and I'm, I'm the, uh, students on MS office and I'm planning to train, uh, people on SAP also.
RS Raghavan: Oh, great. Okay, great.
Djagmo: Um, sir, uh, now, you know, uh, you said there are people who come to your classrooms, plus now you are also catering to people who need in campus. And I see the trajectory, you know, where you, you went from six to seven teachers or trainers to now about 20 to 30 of them. Now, as far as a revenue split is concerned.
Djagmo: What is a split? Uh, how much revenue do you get from in campus, and what is the revenue that you get from your, from your center?
RS Raghavan: No, as of today, actually, You know, every six months? No, no. The current batch, you know, I have, uh, 90%, uh, in campus,
Djagmo: 90% in campus. Only 10% come to your center? Yeah. Okay, great. I'm sure this is more convenient to
RS Raghavan: you, right?
RS Raghavan: No, I, I don't make a choice yet. Uh, okay, fine
Djagmo: myself to what else you need. Okay. No, what I meant when I, um, you know, uh, told you was now are you focusing more on getting more colleges, uh, contracted with you, you know, so that this is how we expand, but, um, okay, fine. So the awareness at that level itself is there now for you to go, but before you used to go to institutes or then you used to go, so that's, so that's changed somewhat, correct?
Djagmo: Correct. Is that correct?
RS Raghavan: Correct. Okay, great.
Djagmo: Sir, what about online? Is there a separate market for online? Of course. Yes,
RS Raghavan: of course. But the, uh, the point is that if, if I say, or I have online classes, there are so many players, uh, you know, I have, uh, been inspired by many players, the market who are teaching ca online, right?
RS Raghavan: But they're all my big brothers. But for my or, uh, you know, kind of people, uh, online is, uh, not giving them that confidence. Okay. You know what my strategy is to, uh, get into contracts with. Educational institutions like schools and colleges. Okay. And then, uh, after some time, because my teachers are being well spread, you know, the country and from the globe, uh, other countries as well.
RS Raghavan: So I will have to necessarily make it, uh, online to start with at least one or two subjects. Okay. Familiarize them with them with a, of online and all playing classes and then move on little bit. I don't want do something which the other people are always doing already know, self paced thing, this, that, all this stuff.
RS Raghavan: Right, right, right. But then at the same time, I, I cannot, uh, be without them as well. So I, you know, I, I'm in this process of studying how to fix it to suit my contacts. But world over the success rate for, uh, online classes is, uh, lower than, uh, the such for direct classes. Traditional. Traditional. There's one area where, you know, online classes could be of, used to be directly effective, to be directly is that executive education.
RS Raghavan: We are into executive education also. We are going to sign up, call big time contracts. Now there, after that I'm gonna have a feel of, uh, how it goes. And then we will be consider on developing, uh, uh, executive Education Center online. You know, that's a very safe market and uh, you know, the maturity level of the students will be high, very high.
RS Raghavan: Right. And then, uh, it'll become, uh, uh, imperative for them to go through this class, positive their, uh, promotions, et
Djagmo: cetera. Right, right, right.
RS Raghavan: So with that, backing me up, I can always venture, uh, into, uh, self-based programs or recorder classes or even life classes for
Djagmo: them. Got it. Sir, sir, uh, coming back to in campus, you're only covering your region or you have also, you know, gone out of o or out of state as, as of now?
RS Raghavan: Yeah, I can say that. No, I've gone outta state, but you know, the factor that I live 50 kilometers away from, I'm, uh, technically Yeah. Technically yes. And I'm an there, there. Okay. And other than that, I've gone beyond, uh, also also schools, C degree schools, and I made some brochure to schools are across the,
RS Raghavan: they are different profile. The students profile them, you know, they, they're bit different. They're still still scared. Uh, I think, you know, if I were to, uh, remove their in one.
Djagmo: Okay. So from whatever uh, you shared with me, I can, uh, clearly see that, you know, it's mostly traditional way of coaching that's going on. Teachers are going in
RS Raghavan: campus, 90%,
Djagmo: you know, your teaching classroom style and all those things. Do you have any plans of creating content like video, self-paced courses?
Djagmo: Do you have any plans? If you do have plans, why do you have those plans? Considering that self-paced courses are not anyway, is working.
RS Raghavan: See, I'll tell you what, I, I'll not say that self courses are working. It doesn't, the people are not to make use of it. And, uh, like I said, the profile of the students from the executive education segment to suit very well.
RS Raghavan: You, you and I, uh, will be serious to take a course from u right. Or course, uh, or something like that. No, we, we'll be, you know, all those damn sure of all those married guys who will go for, uh, self-based, uh, courses. They don want to, they want not only work from home, but also learn from home.
RS Raghavan: Majority of my students are children of, uh, doing their first year secondary, secondary. So they normally they'll be, they're choosing to see and their mobiles and my glasses. Right. Okay. And they'll be interested, uh, in, uh, witness affairs then, uh, the current affairs. Okay. So I will, this is possible only if I'm there in front of them.
RS Raghavan: So, like I said earlier, then I'm only, you know, uh, planning, in fact, I hired some people. Uh, it's to frame a syllabus for my online, uh, thing. Only the methodology will differ for sure. Mm-hmm. Because, you know, given the profile of the students from this place, like I said, no, how can I, uh, you know, uh, sell a recorded classes and work on their attitude.
RS Raghavan: Okay. So there are some challenges like that. And, um, certainly I said no, it's not a thing that you, you can do with, in my view, takes time.
Djagmo: Got it. I mean, uh, you don't have to deep, uh, just from a high level, what are, you know, major differences that needs to happen, uh, in self-based courses as compared to face-to-face teaching?
Djagmo: Uh, for example, do you think, you know, we need to introduce some humor. Or, um, I don't know. I mean, is that the kind of changes that you're looking to do? Or what is, if not, what are the other sorts of changes in terms of the methodology of teaching?
RS Raghavan: No, in my, if you ask me, I, I'm still working on my pedagogy for online.
RS Raghavan: Okay. Yeah. Uh, I myself to get some clarity, my teaching is a bit niche. So, uh, you know, how do I, but if you ask me, you know, if I'm a C teacher and I need to teach, uh, physics or um, et cetera, then I can always do lot of visuals like, you know, what is relevant in the market. It's a bit difficult for me to do that, adapt this to my subjects.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Right. So if you ask me the, for the success point of, uh, self course for CA education, then you obviously know you need to have a lot of issues. Yeah. And then, um, you know, there has to be a proper mix of life, at least live and uh, self based force. Right. Yeah. Go for some more time. I think this will do
Djagmo: Makes sense. Sir. Uh, a while ago, uh, you spoke about, you know, there's this software company or many software companies, you know, they're not relying. Uh, on hiring from institutions or some, you know, proper traditional
RS Raghavan: places. And then, you know, they're just, uh, training. They're just
Djagmo: picking up, uh, people who finish that plus two.
Djagmo: And then, you know, they're training and they're taking them right now, uh, let's say now, okay, first of all, that is a different domain. That's the domain of the software. Now, do you see that happening in this domain of commerce and finance also see, the
RS Raghavan: professional coaches are designed even in India, not, not now, earlier also, that they can be taken up after that good standard.
RS Raghavan: So, which means if they have to prepare the first goal, uh, they'll let to start preparing this from at least one year. So from their 11th standard, they, they, they can, uh, study. If you take up international courses, like they do have a program for students of 11th standard itself. Okay. So all my big brothers have the trust in, uh, in the 11th standard students.
RS Raghavan: So why not? Why not we, okay, okay. Um, I'm sorry, I gotta get back to the question
Djagmo: again. No, I meant, uh, you know how software companies are directly going to 12 standard students, taking them, training, got and then deploying them in the projects. Got it. Can that be done? Got it. Got
RS Raghavan: it. Yes. I, myself have placed.
RS Raghavan: One of my students who did not do her graduation, but finished a ca Okay. Her father is a c c operator, I mean, subcontractor pending. And mother is a government school teacher. And now I in, uh, multinational company, the comp here, the company is, uh, manufacturing C cars. She's with the company Now. She got married and away, but imagine, uh, you know, the transformation.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. And she did not graduation.
Djagmo: So the CA certificate is completely different from the degree certificate.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, you know, ca, once you become a ca you are considered as per the directors of U GC, that you are, uh, you've done something equal to master's program. Oh. Like, uh, 12 plus four, 16 years of, yeah.
RS Raghavan: So it is cons, it is considered equal to a master income, something like that. So that is one thing which is, uh, not even reach to many of the students here. No. So, uh, but even otherwise, also, uh, tag charter accountant will make you, uh, take up any job. It is only the pre fact for the same person, same student, or a big company to whom originally I sent this, uh, girl as a candidate rejected because they did not, uh, she did not have, have become the, I said, don't worry, the market is already hiring.
RS Raghavan: And then eventually she landed up in this company, the car manufacturing company, and she was able to grow up, uh, to some extent there.
Djagmo: Okay, got it. Um, so, but, uh, the majority of students, uh, traditionally what they do is those are aspiring to become cas. They still do their degrees, so they consider the degree as to do some sort of a backup, because ca uh, passing percentage is very minuscule.
Djagmo: That's reason. Yeah.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. So this is where now I'm playing, um, uh, another role I I make them, uh, you know, take up, uh, risk or be aggressive in their lives. All those students who have some academic record cut off my, I put put them only for, I recommend only for ca, but if I get any average student, uh, then I will, uh, suggest them to do degree parallel.
RS Raghavan: Okay. I you but I of losing my to a ca student in that case, because you know what, CA they fail. They will always think that, okay, we'll see that later on and we'll finish that. They will, uh, finish this big so they will, uh, naturally go with the, um,
Djagmo: uh, comfort,
RS Raghavan: uh, course. Whatever is comfortable to them, they will eventually not run up a ca as well.
RS Raghavan: Okay. So I, but still, I suggest a lot just to, uh, consider the case of the boy girl. I will give them life. I'm not doing, uh, you know, teaching center. So I'm, I I somehow feel that maybe I, uh, bit foolish. I somehow feel that I'm responsible for many lives and therefore I recommend, uh, you know, uh, uh, degrees for such class of students who are low attitude, who are not aggressive, who are scared, and who are average marks, et cetera.
RS Raghavan: And those people, they do and they take time to finish, uh, ca cause no, ca is structured like that.
Djagmo: Right. Right. Sir. Um, now, especially after you brought up the topic of in campus training that's happening, I wanna ask you a question. This is related to so many things, right? The, to to, to all the aspiring finance related educators out there.
Djagmo: You know, who might want to set up something. Now, there used to be a time when a certain percentage of people who are doing their BComm used to do ca Foundation and articleship and all those things. But now when you say there is an encamp need, that means anybody who's doing BComm is giving it a shot at ca.
Djagmo: Am I correct? Most of them, the numbers have increased. Last.
RS Raghavan: I'm talking about the schools also, even in the plus one, plus two, we have some products. Okay. Where no, I, I can teach, start teaching them, uh, ca uh, got even when they're doing their first year, uh, high second.
Djagmo: Got it. So that's what said. So for those who are teaching, uh, ca related, uh, subjects or ca related, you know, whatever it is that surrounds ca the student acquisition.
Djagmo: Now completely, there is a shift because before privately you used to have students come and join your academies or who are doing this, but now you're tying up with the colleges and schools. Now that route is slowly coming down and this is the more scalable approach. Is that correct? I would
RS Raghavan: say so, yes.
RS Raghavan: Because, you know, the, the NCE factor plays a role, right? People, people like they, people are still scared that what, what happen if I don't, uh, pass ca foundation now, so I'll go for college. Okay. So I'm chasing them
Djagmo: right? Got it, sir. So, okay. Uh, now, uh, here's another question, uh, surrounding this, uh, you know, in campus training because, uh, it is not directly under your control.
Djagmo: You need to approach schools, colleges, and all those things. And for all those people who are listening to this, and you know, the trend is changing wherein, you know, it is going from a point where you used to advertise directly to public, get students to join your academy, but now when the college itself is offering, or school itself is offering, why would people want to come and join private academy?
Djagmo: So you're forced to go and approach, uh, institutions. So what are schools looking for? Uh, what would you like to say to people who are listening, how to win such contracts? What is the key here? While you approach schools for partnerships?
RS Raghavan: No, for schools, it is a differentiator. You know, were nowaday uh, you've been seeing for quite some time that every school advertises that they do classes that need,
Djagmo: et cetera, right?
Djagmo: Right. From the eight standard itself or something. Yes. I
RS Raghavan: don't, I don't touch the kids from the age standard, but, uh, you know, when it comes to
RS Raghavan: it's safe to start, it's very good enough to start know, I, not the numbers, I put their, put them in their heads, but also I build the into their wheels.
Djagmo: Okay, so it'll, it'll also give some time for them one,
RS Raghavan: so on the school side, uh, it's a key differentiator for them. For the schools. Okay. For the school and for me also.
RS Raghavan: Itll be a good, uh, for my online. Uh, so what I have, if I'm having, uh, some remote, uh, you know, colleges to two students, I learned to teach. Yeah. So there'll be some point of time when I had to start doing all these things, classes from my center.
Djagmo: Right. Got it. So now, um, see, uh, going back a few years, uh, ca was probably, you know, of course few people, you know, in the family, if they were cas, they'll have guidance.
Djagmo: They would've started off in their plus one, plus two and all those things. And people first generation ca uh, pursuing people would've started in their BComm. Now it is coming down to plus one, plus two. As you said, n J is coming down to eight standard. Now, uh, how do we look at this? Do we look at this as, uh, the education system finally catching up?
Djagmo: Do we look at this, uh, as a education system, finally catching up with what is gonna work for students in life and they're tweaking the curriculum from the start itself. Or, uh, are students being taken away that natural flow of education that happens in their young life and they're already being pressured from a
RS Raghavan: very young age?
RS Raghavan: How do you see this? I don't think, uh, that's any question. What is that? If pressure is in the schools, uh, you know, if you, if you think, if you say ca is giving them pressure, I would say colleges are giving them pressures. I don't know what is and all the stuff. Yeah. I, I don't think, uh, know these days, uh, you know, people, what is there to cherish about, you know, uh, you know, conducting culturals, et cetera.
RS Raghavan: But whereas I'm offering the same thing with some high standard in my center. There's always some projects or some, some shows or events. In fact, one of the events, uh, at a different level, Mr. Your co-founder, I dunno, his design designation, he also has, he had spoken in that, uh, gathering. Yeah, so I, I, I don't idea probably I passed my colleges.
RS Raghavan: So, uh, I keep this answer only for elite questions like you.
Djagmo: Okay. Now, um, you know, uh, from what you, uh, shared so far, you said that, you know, you kind of, uh, uh, for you in 2015 itself when you had only 10 students come and approach you for your classes. You got the rest of the people by creating awareness in schools, which gave you an opportunity to go and build a rapport with the school people and build connections, references, network, and all those things.
Djagmo: So you probably, you know, when now you need to go and do an on-campus thing, it may not be a very difficult thing for you. Uh, probably for you, whatever you did in the past, it's helping you get these contracts easily or, you know, tied up with schools and institutes. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but to people out there, you know, who may not have done all these things, you know, who are probably not great salesmen or you know, who are not great at communicating with people, building relationships who are only good at ca and who can only teach, how do these people tackle this situation of going and tying up with educational institutions, um, you know, are now, uh, schools, uh, you know, directly going and hiring, uh, people who just passed ca Or are they open to people being approaching them?
Djagmo: Do they choose or is it happening in a rotation policy or how is it going on certain schools and institutes
RS Raghavan: right now? No, I'm not clear. You are talking about those cas who want to teach. How do they face this sales? Okay. Let them tie
Djagmo: up with me. Yes, yes, yes. Okay, great. But you know, generally for entrepreneurs, you know, who are looking to go crack a contract with a educational institute or a school, what is, what do the schools of the educational institutes look, uh, for people who are approaching them like this?
Djagmo: You know, what are the things that need to, they, they, they need to take care of before they go and approach schools and
RS Raghavan: institutes for, see, the one thing with the schools expect, uh, from people like me is that they should, uh, we should show results. Okay. Right. So, which is quite not possible, you know, with about 10% any batch being issue.
RS Raghavan: Okay. It vary from zero to 10. Somebody says that 10% given, then I would salute them, even though it remains the fact that I've done hundred percent in some the batches. But it is still the challenge because the, I've read this 25 or four.
Djagmo: So you mean to say if there are a hundred people from India taking the CA exam, only 25 people plus, yes.
Djagmo: People do not. Yes.
RS Raghavan: For various reasons. I'm not saying that the, uh, the five or, uh, the only bunch of good students outta the, there are people, people, they failed more cause of, uh, fear. You see, we, I'm converting, I put up a process that I've hired people to do this, exactly this conversion of the 75 2 and then, then add them to this five.
RS Raghavan: So my, my scope of work is a bit large. I'm going, I'm reaching out to the parents and then in fact, I follow one of the parents who, uh, you know, decided to put her into for job daughter who was studying with me halfway through when, when she is, when she has to write interpreted exam, much work. Father said, no, no, I debt.
RS Raghavan: So you go and go to a company, join them, and gave me a 15,000 per month. Okay? So it so happened, and then I went and talked to the parents, tried to convince them. I even did some drama of falling at their feet. Nothing worked. Okay. So, uh, this is one, see one is, uh, the indifference from the parents. So most of the schools.
RS Raghavan: They wanted to show, they want to advertise that they're, uh, different from the others in that region. And for that, they'll start off. What they'll look at you is to give them the results. Second, uh, continuity, your delivery. Okay? And thirdly, of course, equality of it. They, they, most of them won, won't be able to judge you.
RS Raghavan: Equality. But at least you know, the intuition will never, will always help them. You know, people are mature enough to a person. So, uh, you know, if you are, uh, uh, are you a good communicator? I won't say not all cas are good communicators are all like, you know, you cannot say that all good communicators
Djagmo: are good cas, good cas.
RS Raghavan: uh, it is only a matter of one. One is that your commitment, the, uh, methodology and, uh, you know, the quality of, uh, your, uh, uh, teachers. Yeah, right? This is what they say and cause of course, the results. But if you are sure of all this, uh, first three things, then uh, the result will be a result. Okay? So in my case, you know what, uh, since I've already strategically planned to hire for doing this, I've gone, uh, I've done this.
RS Raghavan: Um, okay. And one more thing which I wanted to tell you is that I'm working not only with transformation of students, but also transformation of my teachers. Okay. Yeah. Uh, I want them to, uh, I have a separate yoga program for them, and then, uh, mdp like faculty development programs for them, you know, uh, and then, uh, I have a separate library for them.
RS Raghavan: I insist that every teacher has to, uh, uh, write a book on this. All the subjects they're teaching, they're just teachers. They're, they're not, uh, you know, you know, they're not even, uh, some of them are not even thinkers, you know, like, you know, I've made them write books and I have published them and some of the teachers and supporting them for doing their, uh, s and PhDs.
RS Raghavan: Okay. So I'm investing, you know, in the expectation that at least if not to be, but the students at least know they'll do a job well. Got it,
Djagmo: sir. Great. Sir. Um, do you foresee at some point right now, uh, you know, we moved from a point where students used to go for private, uh, centers to get ca coaching. Now there is in campus happening in the future, do you see that schools are gonna directly hire teachers to train students in Ca Foundation Intermediate?
Djagmo: Do they, uh, you know, are they gonna hire in their payroll itself
RS Raghavan: and will there be a threat for private educators? Like, no, I don't think so. Everybody will have their written, their names on the, the be a change. Like, you know, when I started my private center, um, you know, uh, the system changed. I will adapt it and there'll be a way for me to adapt it.
RS Raghavan: Also, how I foresee, uh, this is that, you know, definitely there are cases where, uh, schools have started. They've brought me and hired some other practicing, but they could not make it okay. And that school did not want give up on the initiative and they, uh, engaged their own teachers mm-hmm. To train their students.
RS Raghavan: Okay, nca. Well that again, okay. Like I said, you know, a ca cannot be a good teacher or a teacher cannot be a good ca. So, uh, that is why know, I insisted my teaching. The third, uh, I follow two layer teaching fraternity faculty or faculty, two layer faculty system, like, you know, right. Uh, the lecture content, et cetera would be given by the CS.
RS Raghavan: And the daily doses of, uh, you know, uh, practice, clarifications, et cetera, will be handled teachers who normally teach high secondary level. So, uh, teachers know the psychology of the students, right? Finance and how to do, how to tell as this is going to be like this. No school can be a competitor too. Okay?
RS Raghavan: And, uh, that schools can come only two foundation
RS Raghavan: and not a ca just because you pastor
RS Raghavan: that's right, there's always a patch of grass for me.
Djagmo: Got it, sir, that was clear. Your answer was pretty clear, sir. Um, now, you know, we spoke, uh, in depth about, you know, how these in campus partnerships are happening and the, that's the way you're primarily teaching a lot of students now, uh, coming back to your private, uh, teach, you know, private teaching where students come to your academic di you know, straight away without you tying up with schools.
Djagmo: Uh, what is the kind of marketing that you do? Do you even put an effort there or is it already a word of mouth and references? How's it going on, on that side? No,
RS Raghavan: it's a mix of everything. You know, you can see me, uh, see, uh, see me inside the newspapers frequently. Okay. Uh, in fact, I know. Have you ever driven on the highway from CP to, do you have that experience?
RS Raghavan: So on the way you see on the side,
Djagmo: recently I went to road, uh, via,
RS Raghavan: so you went to collect the money distributed by many. Okay. So on the way you can see May and, uh, many walls of homes, you know, like, uh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Like that. No, some houses have even waited my institution's name, I've gone to that level.
RS Raghavan: I've given banners, et cetera. I've done local TV shows also.
Djagmo: As part of your marketing initiatives? Uh,
RS Raghavan: yes.
Djagmo: Great. Okay. Okay.
RS Raghavan: The one thing is that I always
Djagmo: involve the teachers, all
RS Raghavan: teachers of the, all the local schools here. So who would not like to see their phase on the tv? Okay. So that is an opportu for them like you're giving me now.
Djagmo: Okay, sir. I mean, that's a different topic. I'm not gonna fight you on this, I'm just gonna take this, you know? Yeah. Okay. But, uh, but this is great because, you know, this is a very insightful thing, especially for people who may not be in major cities, you know, who might be in smaller cities or upcoming cities.
Djagmo: It is a great thing for you to go to the periphery of your town and then, you know, engage in marketing activities, just like what you did coming on TV and, you know, coming on newspaper and uh, painting on these, uh, the walls of the houses that are on the highways and stuff like that. It gives a lot of visibility and stuff.
Djagmo: Great. But, uh, what about social media? So do you also, uh, actively spend, um, money on social media market? I spent a
RS Raghavan: little and burn, so now I'm sitting, going back and studying this. I'm gonna come back be doing away with that. So, is. You know, all of the day. So I learned to do that law, uh, very, uh, uh, very little money left with me.
RS Raghavan: So I learned to be very
Djagmo: cautious. Great. But, uh, one thing, what I understood is you definitely, uh, do believe in marketing and, um, you know, you Yeah. From whatever you said so far, you know, uh, that is great to know. And, uh, some of the things that I've, uh, heard today from you, I've never heard it from anybody else.
Djagmo: Um, maybe the reasons will be different, but I'm glad, uh, this is a topic that I'm talking with you and, you know, I'm glad that people are listening to these kind of things also, and they can give it a try. Even people in cities, they can go and give it a shot. Probably. There are local cable TVs and all those things.
Djagmo: Visibility is visibility at the end of the day. Yeah.
RS Raghavan: I, in fact, I was a bit childish to attend. I went and one, uh, government initiative, this record, but I was not successful. I wanted to, uh, use the TV and, uh, you know, get an exclusive slot for my classes. I was trying to reach out to, I failed. That not means I not focus it now, I, but I find them, there is a channel classroom name every has do that.
RS Raghavan: And if I'm not successful, I had
Djagmo: a backup plan of going through the local capability, which here. Okay. Yeah. Did you, did you, uh, make any? No, I couldn't In that direction? No. By the
RS Raghavan: time I had this idea, uh, this, this setup box thing happen, so, you know, I could not, the local TV channels are not that.
Djagmo: Okay, sir. Got it. Sir. Uh, now I'm gonna, you know, uh, touch upon some of your, um, numbers and stuff like that. Let's see. You know, what we can bring out, but I mean, I'm not gonna go and, you know, it's not like, but from what you said so far, I realized that you spent quite some money. In your infrastructure as well.
Djagmo: You know, you've, you spoke about having pantry, you spoke about having very good, uh, classrooms and facilities. And then as we spoke, you also told that you not only teach what you, uh, what's your domain, you know, it's just finance academy, but then you're also teaching students English, yoga, and a lot of other curricular activities, you know, extracurricular activities.
Djagmo: Plus for your faculty, you have a lot of programs. I wonder, um, after doing all this, are you still ing? No.
RS Raghavan: No, you're not. I'm doing it in a small, uh, scale. See, all these ventures are normally, they're on, uh, uh, normal things for, uh, biggie, but all the biggest is domain now are bleeding. They're not successful, right?
RS Raghavan: See, uh, all those who are successful, uh, they to pay through the nose to the faculties and uh, you know, they will always hire, uh, some school classrooms, et cetera, all this stuff. But now I create, give them an ambulance of, you know, like college or like the school and uh, obviously, you know, with the same numbers coming up from,
RS Raghavan: remember, uh, you know, these are all seeds. I'm sewing now. I'll take some time. I'll definitely be profitable. I'll take some time. I don't think, for that matter, anybody is doing. Any, any educational institution, they are bleeding. I guess I'm
Djagmo: happy. Okay. You have not been profitable in, in your last eight years of Yeah.
Djagmo: There were a couple of years ago
RS Raghavan: before Corona came in.
Djagmo: Okay. After
RS Raghavan: that, things have changed and, uh, uh, people, uh, saw me after two, three years and I love to remand, uh, uh, them who I was, uh, kinda a thing. Hmm. Uh, so it has, it's difficult. I need to pick it up. Pick up. Very Sorry, I'm very bluntly
Djagmo: saying the Oh, no, no, no.
Djagmo: Not at all. I mean, these are the kind of truths I think, uh, this conversation, you know, uh, aims to at least bring out for all the people who would've been listening and who would've thought you're profitable. It might be a bit of a downer for them at this point. No.
RS Raghavan: That, that is, that is cause of the volumes.
RS Raghavan: I need to see the volumes you, you see for, you know, uh, before manufacturing companies. Uh, when it starts, it'll be ready and it'll spend all its money on, uh, its factory machines, technology, all this stuff. And then it'll take a year or two for them to make money. Okay. Definitely. So that year or two is come to, before Corona I was, for what I'm doing, I was profit.
Djagmo: Sir. Um, now I, I, I, I think this is very important, at least, you know, for people who are like listening, what, you know, how do you, how have you managed to stay afloat despite for the majority of your journey being not profitable and, you know, what are the, before entering into such businesses, what should all, you know, what should people, uh, ensure to do so that, you know, they remain afloat because they need to live to see that day of profit, right?
Djagmo: That itself is, is a challenging thing. So how do they ensure
RS Raghavan: that, see, the reason for me, uh, I, when I'm saying, uh, I'm not profitable, I'm, I'm saying, uh, I'm not saying that I'm in a red. Okay? So I'm not enough profitable enough. That's what I meant. Okay. There is, okay, there is hope for, uh, people to make money.
RS Raghavan: The reason for me not being that profitable that quickly is because I, as I explained you, I'm working, I've chosen deliberately cause of my, uh, values, reasons chosen to work only on two, three. So what I would suggest, uh, anybody who's venting into this, uh, to have a center or two, um, in, uh, areas where they can see some money first, okay?
RS Raghavan: Right? That is a different financial strategy. I can always help them out and build them separately.
Djagmo: Got it. And, uh, in the eight years, uh, you've traveled, your revenues have always been in the
RS Raghavan: rise. Yeah. Except for those corona factors. Corona years.
Djagmo: Corona years. So usually, so the trend that I've, uh, seen, uh, with people who've been running educational academics during that period of the lockdown and the pandemic, they have seen an upsurge of online training and online students enrollment and all those things.
Djagmo: Uh, what was it for, you know, what was it like for you? You know, I
RS Raghavan: had, uh, I had to continue on existing batch, uh, during the Corona period for one year. And the second year I, I started one, uh, I had to shift to a direct class in two, uh, online class with, right, okay. There are two batches. I had success in the first case where I had taught, uh, most of the subjects, uh, in my direct classes.
RS Raghavan: It's only a patch up class that, so that was a bit
Djagmo: successful. Okay. Yeah.
RS Raghavan: And, uh, the other one was a flop because, you know, uh, for, for the first time they're getting into online education, even for that classes online. Right. And, uh, you know, this being a very, uh, neat subjects, it was very difficult. And you know what, I know you must have experienced this also.
RS Raghavan: Most of the cameras would've been shut during the class time. Right, right. Yeah. Like you, uh, usually reach your boss. They're, uh, they were reaching my, uh, my teachers, right. So, uh, you know, it, it, it took me some time. So the got it now, now they're back. And the trend, I feel is that they feel like coming to directly to,
RS Raghavan: A couple of years from now, I think even also
Djagmo: will do this. Got it. And, uh, when it, when it comes to pricing or the fees and all those things, um, how did you, uh, arrive at whatever fees or whatever that you charged? Did you see your competitors? Did you see the national, uh, players or did you see, you know, your region specific pricing is
RS Raghavan: what you did?
RS Raghavan: No, pricing is not something specific to, uh, the region. So I think there are some players, even in the metros who have come down on, uh, who come below my price levels. The only thing is that I did not increase my prices, whatever I was charging, uh, as fees, you know, from the start, I still do the same thing.
RS Raghavan: Whereas, uh, some of them have increased their price for their classes. Some of them, uh, you know, who found it, uh, difficult. They shifted to online classes and money. I didn't want do the compromise. Uh, so I'm stuck to
RS Raghavan: is thousand and I have nearly 500 in, in this eight years. And debt,
RS Raghavan: the money, which is
RS Raghavan: think there's nothing wrong with pricing,
Djagmo: sir. What
RS Raghavan: is, uh, bad debt? Bad debts is something, you know, which, uh, uh, as your student is supposed to pay the fees, but, uh, they're, they're not paying it, is it? It goes un Wow, that's great. Yeah. It, it is, it's something that is, uh, again, a blessing for me,
Djagmo: surely because, uh, no, that not only says that your pricing is right, but, um, I think, say for example, this happens, right? In some academics, what they do, students, uh, they join, they're okay with the fees on all those things and they wouldn't pay the fees initially. And there, there would be academies that would be kind enough to let them attend the classes for 10 days.
Djagmo: The students mindset of the, I'm one of them. Exactly. Exactly. Now after you doing that, also out of now what we are talking about 500 students in 25,000 is a crow under 25 lacks out of which 40,000 is bad debt is is a testament that you know, nobody is come in if they would've come in with that mindset.
Djagmo: Also, they have carried on to continue and finish your course by paying the fees because a lot of academics see, you know, where students are not happy after a week and they would simply obs without paying the fees. Right. That's the time that they would take. I'm sure bad dates in other places would be way higher than what you have.
Djagmo: So that is
RS Raghavan: great. No one thing is the environment is enticing here. There were people who always like to be in the center.
Djagmo: Sir, I think, uh, this is a great point that you made. To all the people who are listening, one of the important points you made was of course, uh, you know, it's interesting that you brought up this point more than anything else.
Djagmo: That means I am assuming that you are saying, look, your quality of imparting knowledge has to be at a certain standard that's a given. There's no compromise on it about that. You also have to have your. Environment, your infrastructure up to a certain standard where students like spending time there and not running away and going into their houses, that could also be a factor.
Djagmo: I think that has been an important factor for you. I think if, uh, people who are listening, especially who are running classroom trainings, if you see, if you, if you are looking for something, uh, that can, you know, enhance your student retention rate or your admissions rate, I think your work on your infrastructure and probably, you know, add in some basic facilities like a pantry, uh, for some coffee and snacks and stuff like that.
Djagmo: I think especially students who are in their teenage and little early twenties, I'm sure, you know, they'd all love this. And that could also be a reason. It, it may not have to be the sole reason. I mean, in that case, you're failing in your business, but if that can kind of enhance, uh, on top of your good quality education, if you can add that, I think it can be a huge thing.
Djagmo: And that's what I'm, uh, taking away from this conversational
RS Raghavan: Yes. See what happens if somebody, no, I do get some pa parents who come here and negotiate with me. I said, I, I'm very sorry. I won't come down on you. Come and, uh, see mine, uh, classes. Okay. And then the second thing that they will ask me to do is, okay, we're not about, we're not a demo class.
RS Raghavan: I said, bullshit.
RS Raghavan: I, I said a very same thing to them. Okay. So I may collect, I may be sitting like this and I'll an office, all stuff to collect and then ied all this stuff. That doesn't mean that I'm a, I,
Djagmo: so somewhere
RS Raghavan: I'm able to the, that I'm, I'm not doing any business kinda a thing here. You come and pay fees and then take the divorce and trust me.
RS Raghavan: Right? Like I'm trusting you, you trust
Djagmo: me. So somewhere I'm
RS Raghavan: able to drive the, I've never come down on my crisis. I, I will tell them that I can give you time. You, you know, I'm still taking up that risk on me. I, I, when I say that I'm giving you time, but touch word, uh, all of them happen to be serious, uh, students and, uh, you know, those, uh, who have failed me on this 40,000 or about six students, uh, were coming from very, very poor background.
RS Raghavan: I'm must remember students taught them so far. Um, you know, this scheme schools, right? Uh, one, one of the cook's son is an
Djagmo: intermediate student with me.
RS Raghavan: Hmm. I've given him three education. Yeah. And Juan.
RS Raghavan: Uh, his, her father's, uh, profession is only okay's daughter is now an employee of Schneider. She was, uh, you know, during training, she was for airport bang airport and things like that, right? You know, people are saying that, and I'm not doing a menial job, so it has changed their lives, you know, so I was able to influence that and that, uh, probably, you know, made them believe and have that faith with me.
RS Raghavan: And you, you see many of the players in the market, they, you know, uh, all the self paced courses, they'll save 10,000, then strike it off and offer it for 399. Uh, would you ever believe that? I don't believe anybody who's coming down on their basis. So, God, uh, it's a blessing that I didn't have any, I have never gotten into such kinda tricks to.
RS Raghavan: Got it, sir. No,
Djagmo: that's, that's, I think that's always been reflective of the way, you know, of whatever you've shared, all the things that you've shared has been reflective of that. Um, now this also has its own, uh, cons. You know, you are very clear about
RS Raghavan: you want to do it in a certain way and you might
Djagmo: not have seen the kind of money that the others are seeing, but that's okay with you.
Djagmo: And you are pretty confident that down the line you're gonna see that kind of money as well. But, uh, sir, uh, ha has there been a point, you know, when you've be, when you've been in need of funds, and if yes, how, how have you managed to raise it?
RS Raghavan: Angel Fund.
Djagmo: Right, that's what I was
RS Raghavan: expecting. Angels, angels
Djagmo: in my family.
Djagmo: Can I,
RS Raghavan: can I be, uh, open with Jack? Yeah, sure, sir, please. And the biggest source of, uh, source for me was my wife who had to sells
RS Raghavan: the, that
RS Raghavan: So I believe that, uh, it'll lot more waste and I will get back one day. Okay.
Djagmo: Just, uh, it just for the sake of the people who are listening who don't understand Tamir, I think this was pretty interesting and easy for me to translate. means, um, jewelry and, uh, . So means, uh, delight, smile, happiness, smile, uh, but, you know, uh, it doesn't mean the same.
Djagmo: So what, uh, Shon was telling was that, um, the only Naga, the only jewelry his wife is left with is the punga is a smile and not the jewelry Naga. So, which goes on to say that, you know, uh, that is how he's raised his funds and, uh, great, sir. Got it. Um, sir, um, just, you know, from a general entrepreneurship, uh, perspective, some questions, uh, for you, right?
Djagmo: Um, you know, about your journey. What are the, what are the ups and downs, you know, what are the most, um, low moments that have, you know, because entrepreneurs have to go through the moments, which will be like really low, depressing. Uh, how did you, you know, what were those moments when were, when were those and how did you manage?
RS Raghavan: my earlier batches, my first two batches were a failure, total failure. I see. I'm a corporate guy, so taken to teaching first time, I've always tasted success in all my winters. So now comes the fact that two, two batches are a total failure. I shut down. I did not, uh, take my food. I, in fact, I was in tears.
RS Raghavan: And I, it is then, uh, you know, uh, God sent me one of my friends who is into, who's a great teacher, educationist. Mm-hmm. And she came and told me that travel, don't take it personally. You, you are done your job, and then you are all that you let us see is to no Okay. Uh, how to make, uh, click. You still have another attempt.
RS Raghavan: And for me, no, because of this emotional thing, people saw that I'm taking pride in whatever I'm doing. I'm taking responsibility fully. So they all surrounded me. About 16 of them promised me that they were clear and eventually they worked so hard. You know, they took everything that it takes and, uh, in the next exam, they all clear.
Djagmo: Wow. Okay. So when you said your first two batches were a flop, nobody cleared. That's what you, nobody cleared? Nobody cleared. Nobody cleared. And the same batch of students cleared Next? Yes. Next started.
RS Raghavan: Yes. Yes. Wow. Okay. You know, normally they, they're called as repeaters batch. And, uh, and that gave insight that every time I have a failed student, I will call upon that student and talk to the parent, et cetera.
RS Raghavan: So that, you know, I'll give them some reassurance. Right. And teach them free, of course, for the next
Djagmo: attempt. Got it, sir. Sir, uh, a quick, uh, backtracking, uh, about teaching here. You know, you come from, uh, you know, of course your family's got all great teachers. That's what you said, but you yourself do not have any experience teaching, and you stayed away after your corporate experience.
Djagmo: You jumped into teaching. Now, as a teacher, what were the skills, you know, I mean, as a sme it's one thing, but as a teacher, what were the skills that you found yourself lacking, and how did you, you know, make up for it? Did you even, or were you a natural?
RS Raghavan: No. See, uh, I think I must give the second aspect of it was natural for me to, I allow people, meeting people.
RS Raghavan: I love talking to them. I love giving them right, all the stuff. The, the other thing is that what, what I seriously lack in that is that if you ask me, uh, you know, I, I cannot, I don't have the patience to go through the latest question papers, the question paper pattern, uh, how they'll ask questions, how to make all that stuff, nothing.
RS Raghavan: I have no patience. So probably, I, I will make, still have it done through my colleagues, but for me, I don't know this, I, I know how to present concept and I know how the students are, uh, able to receive it or not. I know how to make them receive it. That's, that is what I'm doing. So what, uh, you know, people are fascinated about my class, that same topic, which.
RS Raghavan: Take about one month or two months to teach them. Great. I will teach the same thing in 15 minutes or 30 minutes. I'm very, I'm very proud to say that 15 minutes and those who are into the field, they can, uh, understand that, uh, there is a topic called bank reconciliation statement, which normally, you know, either the school skips or even if they teach, they'll take about a month or so.
RS Raghavan: Wow. Okay. That I will, uh, you know, teach the students here, uh, in about 15 to 30 minutes start. Okay. And they will not be able to believe it. And that's, uh, that's how they'll come into my, but if you ask me to sit through them, you know, take them, uh, step by step, et cetera, which is the normal teacher, so.
RS Raghavan: Right, right, right. So I'm neither a nor a teacher, so I'm somewhere in between. Right. But as an entrepreneur, I would engage, uh, who are, uh, good teachers and also who are, uh, uh, on one side and also who are professionals on the other side. I do a balance
Djagmo: of it. Got it, sir. Got it. Great. And sir, as an academic, uh, do you, have you ever had a sales team as such?
RS Raghavan: No. I had to grow into that.
Djagmo: You had to grow there. Okay. But you think if you grow, you might need a sales team. Going, right? Yes. In the academic side and the educational side, they're u they'll usually be called as counselors. Yes. Right? Yes. Yes.
RS Raghavan: Got it. Yes. I do some career counseling. In fact, some people, uh, uh, come to me for their marital counseling,
Djagmo: also relationship counseling
RS Raghavan: also.
RS Raghavan: So I come, uh, uh, I take water that comes in my way. Great. Some help or somewhere and, uh, you know, they'll, that help, uh, get paid
Djagmo: later on. Got it. Sir. I mean, you're always available for people, is how I take it, you know, in any way possible if you can correct. Help them. Correct?
RS Raghavan: Correct, correct,
RS Raghavan: So, I, uh, I never enjoyed that.
RS Raghavan: You know what? Yesterday I and the lady, suddenly, her family was doing some rituals and she suddenly turned to me and said, hi, how you, I said, I was a bit embarrassed. Then she said, know my students. She remembered me and she left rituals there. And she, when
Djagmo: she saw me in the same,
RS Raghavan: uh, I went to the, to see how they wanted me to help them help that, uh, thing, repair.
RS Raghavan: I wanted to study. Okay? So it happens like that. You know, I gave her some medical counseling, some.
Djagmo: Got it. No, I was about to say that. You know, anything you do, you may not do it from a marketing point of view, but all these are connections at the end of the day, and it helps you build a lasting impact or impression. It leaves a lasting impression on people who are taking from you. And you know, it's a way that they remember, okay, you know what, sir?
Djagmo: He's also, he's doing this. But the point is not that, you know, do this expecting something. Do the, do it anyways. I mean, if something's, uh, to come out of it, it might. Um, that's the thing. Sir. Um, from, you know, taking your business, right, uh, finance, academia, what is the most, uh, significant risk that you see?
Djagmo: And, uh, is there any risk at all? If there is something, how are you overcoming it?
RS Raghavan: The risk is always about the next batch, right? Like, you know, today, you know, I give a very successful, uh, result in, uh, January, but for my next batch in May, there is no direct, uh, students here, right? That is the thing.
RS Raghavan: Normally they'll think, okay, it is quite normal. Like, you know how many times you have gone to a particular doctor and after he suggest some surgery, et cetera. Thank you, doctor. You're like, my God, thanks a lot. And then the next thing we'll do is to another doctor.
RS Raghavan: So I run that same rescue here.
Djagmo: Okay. But you're pretty confident that it's gonna happen when the time comes somehow?
RS Raghavan: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The first opinion doctor always gets your
Djagmo: business. Okay. Got it. Sir. And you said, you know, you've, uh, taught 500 students so far. Uh, I'm, I'm thinking that's not, uh, that's not inclusive of the in campus courses that you're doing.
Djagmo: Does that include that also?
RS Raghavan: Alright. My in campus, uh, students are only now,
Djagmo: huh? In campus. Students are only now, you
RS Raghavan: know. Yeah. It includes, uh, that also it includes that also 500 includes, includes that Only this, this batch? No, they're gonna write their exempt now. Okay. In
Djagmo: June. But, uh, when you're working with institutes, you don't charge directly, it's a revenue sharing model that you work on, I believe with the call with the institutes and the
RS Raghavan: schools?
RS Raghavan: No, actually no. They, they, uh, never, it didn't
Djagmo: happen then. It was not revenue sharing. It's not.
RS Raghavan: See they, they did this only cause they wanted to be different from other
Djagmo: colleges. Got it, sir. Okay, sir, I will, I think, um, all my questions, I think I'm done. I just have some, some fun questions. If, you know, uh, if there is anything that, uh, would help people, it's not even fun, it's just, you know, your personal, uh, uh, stuff that you would've done.
Djagmo: Like, say for example, what, what would be the, uh, three books that you would recommend, uh, for anybody to read and why?
RS Raghavan: Oh, I am a lover of books. Okay. Yes, yes, yes. Every, I'm a victim, uh, sponsor of the, the local book fair. And, uh, every student every year will get a list, books of their choice, you know? So I love these books. Uh, one book. Yeah. Three.
Djagmo: You want three books?
RS Raghavan: Uh, okay. Okay. I think you can reach by Nepal and Hill.
RS Raghavan: That's the first book. That's a book that transformed me. Second book is, uh, what to
Djagmo: say? Talk to yourself. Wow. When,
RS Raghavan: okay. When you talk to yourself. This is something which I saw first time when I was doing my, uh, 10th, 11th standard, and I missed it. It's written by SHA PhD. Okay. Every book will tell you. You have to think positively.
RS Raghavan: You have to think possibly. But what do you mean by that? How do you think positively? This is the only book which I've come across in my life that explains how to think possibly. And incidentally, I'll tell you one thing. Uh, this is about, the thing is about words. So, you know, normally, um, we find the conversations will be like this, um, end up later, something like that.
RS Raghavan: Okay. And, uh, every time you pick up a, you start a conversation, the replies will, uh, restrict you to, from moving forward, or you'll not get any clear, clear, uh, sentences, right? As a, a reply. So in order to, uh, avoid all these things and then, you know, healthy and, uh, en uh, environment, energetic, I always instruct my students and teachers mm-hmm.
RS Raghavan: To avoid three letters. And those three letters are, but you um, try. I will try. So supposing Jack, uh, I want meet you at two o'clock. And if you say I will try to, no, I won't take your.
RS Raghavan: You say that, uh, I know said the interview was very good, bad, then I won't take it. Yeah, I know. But means whatever you said before, we'll get negative. And then if, or all the stuff right, we won't use even our might also will not use this words. Yeah. Okay. So that negative words we are removing from the system.
RS Raghavan: That's another exercise, which I personally teach all my students and stuff. Okay. This is, this is the one which taught me the one who, uh, and, uh, in my college days, I, I wanted all, I always wanted to become a advertisement guy. This guy is called David the father of advertising. He has written this book and this I first read when I was in for the nice, uh, photographs of women, some women, yeah.
RS Raghavan: You know, this American women. But then after my third time study, I discovered that there is some fantastic message in that like, if you have to, uh, grow your organization, you to hire people who are better than you, so that there is an illustration in this book. So I always, uh, tell the same thing. Now, uh, you know what, uh, all my teachers who may have engaged or doctorate.
RS Raghavan: And they're always better teachers at any point of time, uh, compared to me. That's how I stand tall. Okay. So, uh, and, uh, these are the three books which I suggest. Of course I have a long list, but yeah, it's okay. Thank God that
Djagmo: I don't know. I'll tell you why. Uh, three. So I was, uh, I was, uh, having a conversation with another person yesterday.
Djagmo: There was a podcast. His name is Navin. He's only 24 years old. He's based in Bangalore. He teaches only u s usa, uh, c uh, U S C M A to students. And, um, uh, he had attended, uh, some courses, um, uh, there is a platform and then there was a course that he attended. And then one of the social media influences, they're told that, you know, three is a very, uh, psychologically appealing number.
Djagmo: If you wanna say something, structure it as three, not two, not four, not five, but three. Uh, if somebody's asking you to justify something, tell them, you know what, here's why I do it. And here are three reasons. So something about that just stuck to me. I've not still, uh, you know, made a deep dive into it, but I thought, okay, fine.
Djagmo: You know, let me apply this and see. And that's how I arrived at the number three. And, uh, I,
RS Raghavan: I, I'll tell you what, this could be the thing I'm able to relate it to. I'm a fan of, uh, I told you that I'm a fan of psychologist and psychiatric processes. Uh, there's one famous, uh, psych psychiatric, uh, in a book written by Dr.
RS Raghavan: Jose Silva, the Silver Mind Control Method. That's another, if you ask me for the suggest
RS Raghavan: mind control technique. Yeah. It'll help you to figure out the, you know, how, how to, whatever you want, how to manifest your et cetera. Uh, uh, there, you know, the basic thing is that down and relax and then state of mind, which is called alpha state of mind. And then give a thought, okay, that Jack is going love me.
RS Raghavan: Yeah. So I don't have to do anything else automatically. I will behave in such a way that will automatically allow me, yeah, you can try with your
Djagmo: girlfriend if,
RS Raghavan: okay, so this is something, and, and that, uh, they will count from, uh, some number to some number. It is always three when they say that you are now into health.
RS Raghavan: Okay. Interesting. So that's how it could get that I, I'm not sure, but I'm just
Djagmo: missing. No, no, no. It's interesting, sir. This is how even I kind of thing, but then yeah, I'll also go and do some research on that and figure out what it is. It'll be interesting and I'll share it with you also once I find out what is that.
Djagmo: Yeah. But, um, uh, just to, uh, sum it up for the listeners, the three books suggested by, uh, shva and, uh, think and Grow Rich, how to Talk to Yourself and, uh, on advertising. And the fourth book was, uh, silver Mind Control Techniques. Uh, sir, one final question to conclude the show. Um, what is one question that you expected me to ask, but I could not, I did not.
Djagmo: I could not. And how would you have answered that? So, can I
RS Raghavan: join your course?
Djagmo: I said yes. Okay. So Great. That was, that was really nice. Uh,
RS Raghavan: my, my, my is yes,
Djagmo: fine, fine. Great, sir. Um, it was a absolute pleasure, uh, having you on the show. It was lovely conversing with you. Uh, I'm, I'm sure there is, you know, another part, uh, that we can make and I'll get back to you for a part two.
Djagmo: I'd love to talk about a lot of other stuff. Probably we can have a podcast just on the book recommendations that you can give a little tidbits on each of those books will be wonderful. Um, I'll be very happy to do that. It's a pleasure, sir. It's an, it's an honor and a pleasure. Yeah. This podcast is brought to you by Edison OS a no-code EdTech platform to operate an online education business.
Djagmo: Knowledge. Entrepreneurs can use Edison OS to sell online courses from their own websites. Manage online masterclass, launch mobile learning apps, sell online practice tests for competitive exams, run online learning communities, digitizing their offline tutoring business, use it as a learning management system, and a lot more cases in the domain of knowledge commerce.