Passing out from the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, Vineet Patawari found it hard to resist a seven-figure job. However, the urge to aid the larger student fraternity got him to start his own venture. Thus was born fireup.co.in, an e-learning portal for training for management entrance examinations. With funding from his parents and two partners, Patawari laid the foundation for his first entrepreneurial venture in June 2008. “Fireup”, Patawari says, “is a revolutionary portal that is designed to aid students in cracking the Common Admission Test (CAT), the toughest management entrance examination for the IIMs and other top business schools in the country.”
Patawari explains the way the portal assists students in their preparations, “Fireup provides top-quality online preparation modules that prepare students for the exact testing standards of the CAT. Moreover, the portal offers an active e-course with a learner-centric, interactive and adaptive learning approach.” This budding entrepreneur has found the potion to leverage technology to enhance learning and in turn giving its students the winning edge in cracking CAT and realising their dreams.
Talking about the scope of the new start-up, Patawari told yourstory.in that students appearing for the CAT, MAT, XAT, SNAP, NMAT, IBSAT etc are the ones who take help from Fireup. The figure comes to around more than five lakh students. The benefit these students derive is that since most competitive entrance tests are gradually shifting towards an online format, they would find it easier to adapt to the mode. Patawari plans to expand the range of services to other competitive exams such as the CPT, PCC, Band PO exams, final level exam for CA and entrance exams for the IITs. He further said that with the aid of a venture capitalist or private equity, Fireup would be able to augment their marketing strategies and reach. This would enable them in making Fireup a household name in helping students across the nation, across domains.
Hailing from a non-technical background, Patawari faced a few challenges when it came to adapting various technical concepts and the functioning module of the dotcom and e-learning business. However, after more than a year and with an employee force of more than fifteen, those seem to be times long gone.
Speaking to yourstory.in about the edge that Fireup has over other training institutes, the young entrepreneur explains at length the extensive research that they put into formulating every single question and its explanation. With a broad smile, he says technology-friendliness is their key differentiator. Patawari explains the way each paper comes with real-time analysis along with the individual score. Fireup gives students a detailed report as to the areas they are strong in, the areas that need to be worked on, along with effectiveness of a particular test-taking strategy.
Talking about his entrepreneurial venture, Patawari told yourstory.in that he always had the zest to start off on his own. He always resented the monotony of a nine-to-five job, though starting up on his own was not a cakewalk. Initial large investments that later turned futile, the uneven revenue stream, manpower issues and unforeseen delays in projects made him question his choice a number of times. However, now a successful and proud entrepreneur, he says, “The learning from starting my own venture has been tremendous, which no job could have given me in such short span of time.” This learning and freedom to make his own choices are what kept him going. He says perseverance was his mantra to succeed as an entrepreneur.
The B-plan for 2010 for this start-up is to increase their service range to the other competitive exams. Fireup is also planning to start an institution that will provide guidance to school and college students undertaking various courses under one umbrella.
On an ending note, Patawari says every dream is at least worth a try. Your degree is an insurance that will cushion you in case things don’t click. Also, he says, it’s a good time to try your luck as the stakes are much lower now than perhaps they would be half a decade from now. The mantra to success that he wishes to share with all aspiring entrepreneurs is perseverance.
Yourstory.in wishes this budding entrepreneur and his fine venture all the best for the coming year.