If you have the drive to start your own venture, then do it as soon as possible, says Avneet Makkar

Avneet Makkar

Avneet Makkar, CEO and Founder of CarveNiche Technologies Pvt Ltd.

With over 13 years experience in IT, Avneet Makkar has successfully managed large multi-million dollar programs for marquee Fortune 500 customers in various industries such as Investment Banking & Finance, Education, Oil & Gas, and Utilities. Avneet is CEO and Founder of CarveNiche Technologies Pvt Ltd.,  which owns education brands like beGalileo (personalized afterschool math learning program), Wisdom Leap (a free online source for K-12 education) and Concept Tutors (personalized 1:1 tutoring focused on the middle east market). She has done commendable work in the edtech startup space, within a span of 2 years of launch. Her product beGalileo has opened over 500 centres in India which are all run by women. She currently employs 1000 women in her team.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview where Avneet unfolded her entrepreneurial journey with HelloPost Team:

Tell us something about yourself?

I’m a technology enthusiast and the Founder of CarveNiche Technologies Pvt Ltd, an innovative edtech startup which is using technology to deliver personalized learning to thousands of students across 5 countries. We have developed advanced ed-tech products such as beGalileo, India’s largest personalized after-school math learning program for K-12 education, Wisdom Leap, a free online source for K-12 education) and Concept Tutors, personalized 1:1 tutoring focussed on the international market. The products are developed by a highly skilled team from IIT, NIT and IIM.

Prior to founding CarveNiche Technologies, I have worked with some of the most respected multinational groups of India like Infosys and Tata. With over 13 years experience in IT, I have successfully managed large multi-million dollar programs for marquee Fortune 500 customers in various industries such as Investment Banking & Finance, Education, Oil & Gas, and Utilities.

What motivated you to start your own venture?

I have always been a keen campaigner for the role of the right to education in building nation & societal well-being, driven by the ambition to enable children to learn, improve and innovate rather than just study and merely survive. I believe if kids are empowered with the right technology they can realize their full potential and become leaders of tomorrow.

What were the challenges that you’ve faced while starting your own venture?

There were various challenges, such as finding the right product-market fit etc, we initially started with providing ed-tech solutions to schools, which did not work out for us. We then later shifted to Maths being the prime focus of our company. We developed an after-school Math learning program called “beGalileo” which gained popularity pan India and currently we have 500 centres across India, employing over 1000 people.

Which was the moment in your journey when you felt that it's not working but still you didn’t lose your hope and kept it going?

When we started there was a time when my co-founder quit the company midway and that was a difficult time for me, however, I didn’t lose hope and stayed on my journey and today we are a successful venture thriving to take over global markets in the ed-tech space.

What was the biggest achievement during your entrepreneurship journey?

We have created products that students love using and the results for most students have been remarkable. We have many students who tell us that they have started enjoying math after using our product. That I feel is the biggest achievement in this journey.

How do you maintain a good work-life balance and mental health?

I strongly believe in focusing on one thing at a time and try to avoid multitasking as much as possible. So, when I am at work, my full attention is on that and once I reach home, my time is with my family. I also try to plan my day well and I usually have the key tasks for the day noted out every morning.

Who is your role model?

I don’t have a specific role model but I have been inspired by many people. For example – Narayana Murthy of Infosys for building a great company from India which pioneered the IT revolution in the country and keeping a team of 7 co-founders together in the journey, Kiran Mazumdar for showing how a woman can single-handedly build a company in an industry which most people had not heard of till a few years back.

What is your secret to success?

Staying positive with a ‘never give up’ attitude.

What’s one leadership lesson that you’ve learned in your career?

I truly believe that in today’s knowledge economy, you are as good as your team. Finding the right people is difficult, in fact, hiring is one of those activities that take the most time for a founder. But once you find the right people, nurture them, have them believe in your vision and do all you can to retain them.

What are your future plans?

We plan to expand and scale quickly in all the countries that we are present in, we are also looking at tapping into new markets.

Any advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

If you have the drive to start your own venture, then do it as soon as possible. There will never be the perfect time to start. Also, ensure that you have the complete support of your family as running a startup is challenging and the initial years take a toll on everyone at home.

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