Technology is a horse in the stable. If you do not know how to ride one, you will end up walking the horse yourself.
Manjeet Singh, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Buddy4Study
Every startup must have two co-founders, one who knows how to build a product and the second who knows to sell it. Manjeet belongs to the admirable league of founders who have built the products that did not exist before. His contribution to all the ventures he has built remains the DNA of the organization todate. A tech wizard in the literal sense of the word, Manjeet is the perfect blend of an entrepreneur and an innovator. He has used technology how it is meant to be used – simplifying lives and connecting people.
A Marine Engineer from MERI, Kolkata, his family saw him as a sailor going places. Manjeet, however, had different plans. Fifteen days into the oceans and Manjeet knew he is not meant to sail these waters for life. He decided to leave and follow other career interests; a step that would see anguishes and revolt from his family. But these are the traits of leaders, the innate ability to take risks that are not at all calculated. In the words of Manjeet, ‘Calculated risks are not risks at all, they are planned moves.’ He sternly advocates that it is easier to find out what you are not passionate to do and once you do, it’s time to immediately move on to find your passion.
As soon as he was back on land, he took up a job at a call center. This was a time when India was surging in the wave of technology. New technology was constantly altering lifestyles and challenging the conventional way of thinking. Coming from a non-technology background, Manjeet decided to take the plunge and dedicated himself to the world of writing codes that would create products and services the world has never seen before.
Progress, however, comes at a cost. Left without any support, Manjeet worked night shifts at the call centre and learnt how to write code during the day. A 20 –hour work routine that would see this Engineer transform into a tech magnate. Soon after, Manjeet joined IBM and movedtoAfrica. His contributions earned him numerous rewards including the coveted ‘Youngest Corporate Consultant’ by IBM and ‘Best Technology Consultant’ by Oracle.
The Entrepreneurial Journey
Satisfaction is like a chewing gum, you can keep on chewing but you will never enjoy it forever. By now, Manjeet had earned everything that a professional his age aspires to achieve. Not satisfied with just being a contributor, Manjeet took the first step towards being an innovator in his first startup venture in the year 2008.
‘Trying is in our hands, success is in our actions’. Governed by this philosophy, Manjeet was investing all that he had, money, time, effort, and intent to make his first venture a grand success. However, fate had other plans for him. When the dot-com bubble burst crashed giants, Manjeet’s first venture too took the heat. Nevertheless, the determined young entrepreneur was not amongst those who are bogged down by failures. He used his learning to build a new brand that would not only survive earthquakes but the aftershocks too.
Elucit Software Services Pvt. Ltd., his second startup took birth in the year 2010. With Manjeet’s technological prowess and entrepreneurial ability, the startup soon strengthened its place in the market. Within years, he led the company from an investment dependent enterprise to a distinguished player that would start investing in emerging startups. The future was unfolding right when Manjeet was trying to scale up Elucit to new heights.
In 2013, Manjeet felt confined with the lack of avenues to scale up. He decided to make a move – the type of risk that prevents many from turning opportunities into success. Manjeet made an extremely profitable exit from Elucit and fixed his eyes on the next goal. This was the time when Pining Tech Pvt Ltd was formed, a venture that made Tablets and utilized technology to make a difference. Pining Tech scaled new zeniths of success and motivated Manjeet to take even bolder risks. But as it is said, businesses do not change, those who run them do. Manjeet is the 21st-century entrepreneur who believes in giving back to society. Profit with purposewas his drive. This is when he saw opportunity in Buddy4Study, a startup he was funding and decided to make the biggest career move in his life. He sold and took exit from Pining Tech and joined Buddy4Study as Co-Founder and Co-CEO in the year 2016.
He used technology to bridge the unfathomable gap between scholarship providers and scholarship seekers giving birth to India’s first technology backed scholarship search engine. Using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Science, the serial entrepreneur and tech geek built products like Scholarship Management Service (SMS), Scholar Tracking System (STS), and Student Management Panel (SMP), something that would place Buddy4Study at the forefront of EdTech space.
Manjeet’s vision is to build a product that would entice every one out of India’s 22-crore student population to visit the platform at least once. With his efforts, today, Buddy4Study has an active subscriber base of more than 5 lac students and teachers who are using scholarships to change their lives.
Manjeet believes that only those products work that are constantly evolving and are on the cutting edge of technology. As Co-Founder and Co-CEO of the organization, he is now driven to pivot the company in the space of Education Loans backed by technology. He aspires to reduce human intervention as much as possible to bring about a great impact in this space, and to build a product that would nail all 3 challenges of the space – deserving students able to fulfill their dreams by completing education; decreasing loan defaults and more competitive lending rates.As per his vision, this step would help Buddy4Study to scale much faster and reach new zeniths of success. Eventually, this renowned technology expert aspires to take Buddy4Study in the league of pioneers in the EdTech space.