What was your inspiration to start this venture?
In 2014 we realised that the Financial Market Education industry in India is very unstructured and fragmented.
Hence we launched Elearnmarkets to streamline and structure the journey for individuals who wants to make a career in the financial markets. It’s a unique interactive online education platform, which is committed to taking practical oriented finance training to the next level. Here we use technology to spread knowledge, our courses make use of high-end and interactive Learning Management System. We also provide a platform to market experts and enables practical experience sharing with the learners. This helps us create a large pool of learners who are well trained, skilled and a perfect fit to fill the manpower requirement of the industry.
In 2016 we launched our second product StockEdge (SE), which started as a sidekick to help learners get structured data of listed companies along with cutting edge analytics. StockEdge has now turned into full-fledged equity and mutual fund research tool with the app garnering over 2 million downloads it has become the growth driver for the organization.
For an enhanced learning experience the analytics, data, financial statement from SE are integrated with the respective course modules.
What were the challenges and how you overcame them?
The journey till now has been very fulfilling. We started Elearnmarkets in 2014 with the objective to simplify finance for all then, later on, launched StockEdge in 2016. Now we plan to expand both in and outside India.
One of the challenges we faced was the sudden inflow of new participants into the stock market as we had to quickly scale up our operations to provide a high-quality service to users. We hired more than 70 people in various roles to facilitate this at the same time we started new initiatives such as our Face2Face series and ELM school to help first-time participants learn about stock markets.
Tell us about your company’s major milestones & fallback, if any.
Elearnmarkets is available on multiple platforms with over 2.2M+ Pageviews/month on our website. The Elearnmarkets app has been downloaded 320K+ times. On the other hand, StockEdge has over 2 million+ app downloads with monthly active users at 505K and a rating of 4.4, the highest-rated finance app in this category in India.
On a combined level (Elearnmarkets and StockEdge) we saw a 3X jump in new users/month in comparison to pre-covid levels. We have 1.8 million unique registered users in Elearnmarkets & StockEdge out of them 70,000 are paid users doing at least 2.4 transactions each.
Tell us a bit about your early life
Elearnmarkets and StockEdge have been co-founded by Vivek Bajaj, Vineet Patawari and Vinay Pagaria.
Vivek Bajaj is a Chartered Accountant, Company Secretary and an MBA from IIM Indore and his family owns one of the largest proprietary trading desks in Eastern India with over 150 full-time traders.
Vineet Patawari, also a pass out of IIM Indore and a Chartered Accountant, had the inspiration of building an internet-based scalable business. He shunned the campus job offer and started his eLearning venture into MBA entrance exam preparatory. He later joined hands with Vivek to expand in the financial education space.
Vinay Pagaria, a Chartered Accountant by qualification but a hard-core techie by profession, has had 15 years of experience in software development.
Their cumulative experiences and expertise in the field of financial markets, learning management systems, visualization of learning tools and most importantly their passion for spreading Financial Market Education makes them the perfect team to take this product to the global scale.
What is your advice for young entrepreneurs?
I personally believe that it is ‘Perseverance’! Once you are into something, you need to stick out your neck and be there for some time because building anything valuable, it takes time.
Don’t get blinded by the glamour and by the fundraise news everywhere in the country and that kind of environment which is building up. For some, it might happen faster and for some, it might happen slower but if you are there it will happen to you, this is number one.
Number two, you have to be consistently a learning machine because the environment changes every day, people change and if you need to manage people you need to consistently learn.”
Disruptive quality of the idea/person; what they have done differently from several others in the segment.
First of all, in the space where we are operating, there are very few people who are functioning in a structured way. This industry is extremely fragmented and there are individuals who are training people.
There have been scams and all other problems related to finance in the past, so people generally don’t have faith in financial planners or market experts who can train them because there always have been vested interests. What Elearnmarkets has done is bring credibility into the system- the fintech ecosystem through the due diligence of every trainer before we onboard them to the company and then we have revenue sharing with them, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. At Elearnmarkets, we try to keep the prices as reasonable as possible, so that it is accessible and economical for every buyer and every student who wants to benefit from our services.
This is one aspect and the second aspect is ‘students’ who want to get a job or who want to learn about markets or finance as a whole. For them, we have certifications which are from the highest authority in the field of financial markets. So, Elearnmarkets is affiliated with NSE as its certification partner along with MCX and NCDEX, all of them are providing certifications for the courses which we have created and posted on our platform Elearnmarkets.com.
What are your future plans?
We want to become an integrated solution provider for individual investors in India in the domain of personal financial management. We started with knowledge offerings because it is the core DNA of our organization. Through knowledge, we are helping the users to connect with us and consume our various forms of content like video, analysis tools, learning tools etc.
We aim to make retail participants become independent decision-makers to do so we are looking to expand our research and analytics division by incorporating artificial intelligence and machine learning. Also, we plan to build a community of like-minded people so that they can interact and learn from each other.
In the next 18 to 24 months we plan to expand our roots in the tier-2 & tier-3 cities as well as abroad. We aim to increase our current combined user base of 1.8 million to 5 million.