Programmable Communications Innovator Interview: Devadas Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer at MySchoolPage
I’ve known Devadas for over 13 years; time flies! We first met when he was heading up marketing for IMIMobile, and have kept in touch since. IMIMobile went on to become a global business messaging provider, through a number of acquisitions.
Devedas has had an interesting career, working for large corporations like Microland and Vodafone, to start-ups like Handytrain, a mobile-first on-demand learning and employee engagement platform that helps enterprises scale their training initiatives; a healthcare start-up Athene Healthcare. And most recently MySchoolPage™.
MySchoolPage™ is an online live tutoring service for K-12 students across the world. Ensure that the live coaching and tutoring is delivered along with the content to the student, who can take these classes from the safety and comfort of home.
They are revolutionizing the tutoring process through personalized lesson plans and schedules. Their academic experts ensure that the tutoring processes are tailor-made for your child in order to ensure academic success.
Conventional classroom learning doesn’t cater to the learning needs of every single child and neither does it afford the teachers the opportunity to provide the individual attention and mentoring that each child requires. That’s exactly where MySchoolPage fits in. Their carefully selected tutors, robust technology platform, and highly responsive customer service ensures that the search for a great tutoring company ends here.
From my personal experience with my son: for maths and reading online is great, e.g. Khan Academy and Epic. While for writing to demonstrate comprehension and analyzing what he’s read, this need much more human intervention and coaching.
And as you can imagine given this time of social distancing, MySchoolPage has never been busier.
We’ll cover in this interview:
- Devadas will share his history, where he began his career, and how he ended up becoming the CEO of MySchoolPage.
- We’ll then ask some questions around the greatest challenges and successes with some of Devadas’s previous roles. He’ll be encouraged to be frank, we have a no BS policy at TADSummit 😉
- Then we’ll focus on MySchoolPage, on the impact he’s having around the world, the challenges he faces in operating and growing the business. And then looking to the future on where he wants to take MySchoolPage.
- We’d close on what advice he would give give to anyone a) using programmable communications in Asia / India, b) the one thing you wish you’d known before starting MySchoolPage.
Devadas shared a success with Handytrain, moving from a bespoke software model into a SaaS model, and gaining the first revenues for the company. They also added a communications suite to the SaaS offer, which was a first in India.
Given the vast and confusing array of resources, it’s a challenge for many students and their parents to find the best program. And the lesson plan is different to each student. Curation is required to achieve the best results. Devadas noted the market is $120B with a CAGR of 16%.
His recommendations in programmable communications are its not about the technology. Rather understanding the customer and knowing the local communication regulations. Programmable telecoms is almost a no code technology, so a small team can create great experiences across a range of devices. But in Indian VoIP gateways are still banned, so an IP based call can only terminate in IP, not on the PSTN. So something as simple as a welcome message may not be able to be sent by SMS. This is why MySchoolPage keeps everything online, to ensure their service just works, and they can be there to help tutors and students if there are any communication problems.
An interesting point Devadas raised, and I’ve heard from many start-ups is the many vendors and integrations required across CRM, communications, SPAM, marketing campaign management, email, ERP, security, billing, cloud hosting, etc. It would be nice to have the basics of running a business pre-integrated. SFDC has had that as their vision for sometime. But it remains a problem, and I think local integrators / MSPs may be better suited to solve this at the price points many start-ups are look for using both open source and SaaS.
The COVID-19 situation is causing Devadas’s business to grow quickly. But he’s pragmatic that the business needs to be able to scale up and down given the uncertainty in the current situation. I think with many summer camps in question, and the learning curve some teachers have gone through with on-line teaching over the past couple of months. Demand for online summer tutoring is going to be at an all-time high.