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"With the right tool, Life becomes less of a struggle." - Rajan Chandi, Co-founder ,Classmint
With an aim to make learning fun and interactive, Classmint was founded by Rajan Chandi and Amar Prabhu in the year 2013. Classmint is an interactive study notes service.
Rajan Chandi completed his Engineering in Information Technology from C.U. Shah College of Engineering and Technology in the year 2004. Prior to Classmint, Rajan had also founded Hireplug, a startup to help recruit top talent from social networks.
In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, Rajan talks about Classmint, his prior venture Hireplug, the importance of a mentor's advice for any entrepreneur, his favorite quote and his life as an entrepreneur so far. Please read the following interview to know more!
CE: Hi Rajan. Could you please tell our readers more about Classmint?
Rajan: Classmint is the best way to take Cornell Notes and study online. Cornell Notes are a technique to learn smarter and retain more information. A number of US district schools use Cornell Notes to improve educational outcomes. Classmint helps create interactive study notes best suited to help score well in exams. Many students have written to us that they're scoring better by using our product. It's a technology to learn better.
CE: You founded Hireplug prior to Classmint. Could be please tell us a bit more about your entrepreneurial journey?
Rajan: I've been a crazy engineer in truest of terms. Like I've built a few products myself or with small teams.
More or less, I'd call myself more of a product artist than an entrepreneur as I've had fun in building things.
Being an engineer puts you at a great advantage. I recently build a product in 22 days whereas some MBA would take more than that to find an engineer to work for him.
I feel most engineers should explore entrepreneurial prospects if they're interested in building things. They can easily do better if they work on solving a real problem.
Hireplug was quite a ride, we got over 300 companies in 10+ countries using it with paying customers in India and UK. Also approached by biggies like Facebook and Naukri from $2mn+ offers but didn't take them as they were restricting in some ways. The challenge there was that it was hard to sell. So, If a crazy engineer wants to do a start-up, I highly recommend to get a business guy on the team who is good at sales.
I also build Lifetime.fm alone with 5000+ monthly active users and one of the top 10 rock bands used it to talk to fans.
Overall, I've had lots of fun building things that I wanted to build. Now, I'm looking for focus more on business side of things while still not leaving coding ?
Recently, I'm launching a new product called askable.me.
If someone of your crazy engineers have questions about jumping into entrepreneurship, I'm happy to help. (https://www.askable.me/rajan)
CE: What is one of your favorite quotes?
With the right tool, Life becomes less of a struggle.
CE: What chore do you absolutely hate doing? How would you inspire budding engineers to complete their tasks on time?
Rajan: I hate to do anything repetitive like sales, arranging stuff around me or even eating sometimes.
I like to prioritize and do it everyday. So, top priorities are addressed fast and it's easy to get things done.
CE: If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be? Why?
Rajan: I would like to stay at 30 forever.
You're capable to do things. You also have maturity and wisdom to do things.
It's said that people achieve most in 30-40 age range.
CE: A mentor's advice is crucial for any entrepreneur. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor and why?
Rajan: I'm a tech entrepreneur and would like to pick Paul Graham as my mentor.
CE: If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be? Where do you see Classmint an year from now?
Rajan: Classmint is a seasonal business. It will grow year over year and not month-over-month. It's because students stop using it during their vacations and when they're back to school they get on it.
So, I've picked a new battle that have chances of growing faster: askable.me
Askable is the best way to answer people's Questions.
If engineers have entrepreneurship questions, I'm happy to help: askable.me/rajan
CE: Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
Rajan: I tried to find a job at startups in Silicon valley without luck. No one hired me, so I became an entrepreneur.