Pradeepta Kumar Saha, the initiator of a virtual-reality based education platform in Bangladesh, was rejected before reaching incredible success. The founder and CEO of Nerdiz and Skillhub received numerous awards and recognitions all through his journey.
If you are unable to see the positives in negatives, then it’s very hard to remain persistent
How did you initiate the inception of Nerdiz?
In my initial days of schooling, being a visual learner, I always had a problem with the monotonous education structure of Bangladesh. Back in 2016, we went on a field trip to Lalbagh Fort from my university. To my surprise, I scored pretty well in the follow-up activities on that trip, which gave me the idea that if we can visually see something and learn, that is much more effective than reading. So I decided to build a platform where people can experience while learning.
What were the startup challenges that you faced?
VR technology being relatively new, my idea was thought utopian. Although my friends applauded my idea, I was also laughed at and not been supported. With a background in Economics and no skills in the field of IT/VR, I self-taught myself with everything that was needed to build this platform over the next six months.
How did you build the founding team?
I shared a prototype on my Facebook, which reached 80k views at that time. That worked as an excellent exemplar in depicting my idea. I got 30 approaches and recruited seven from them. Then we officially launched Nerdiz on 14 August 2017.
How did you manage the seed funding for your startup?
My startup fund primarily came from personal savings I managed from tutoring. Buying VR headset, 360-degree camera and server for the platform was the equipment we initially needed to build the prototype.
Which stage is your company currently in?
We are currently operating two platforms Nerdiz and skillhub. Nerdiz is a VR education platform, whereas Skillhub is its sister concern and skill development platform where we provide essential skills and industry 4.0 skills both in physical space and online.
Is there any interesting story that you want to share with our readers?
I used to participate in different competitions. Once I got rejected after generating my idea about VR education platform in a competition hosted by a university.
I was laughed at by the audience and disapproved by the judges as they thought it was futuristic. The next year, the Vice-Chancellor of that university called me to learn about my company and its impact.
Where do you imagine yourself in the coming years?
We started with a vision to promote VR technology in education, create VR labs in schools, and also reach out to underprivileged and disabled students who can not afford a trip due to constraints. Now that Skillhub is its sister concern, we are progressing to the affiliate community with Skillhub which would certify our students internationally.
Do you have anything to say to the aspiring youths who are reading this?
While developing Nerdiz, one of my friends once told me, ‘We are very much underdeveloped’. I replied ‘We are not underdeveloped, we are under development.’ If you are unable to see the positives in the negatives, then it is tough to remain persistent. Giving up was the easiest thing to do, but I remained persistent. So, I would say youths to be persistent.