Emerging Entrepreneurs

A technology platform that helps corporates educate and engage with staff

N Ramakrishnan | Updated on June 27, 2018 Published on June 25, 2018

Subramanian Viswanathan, co-founder and CEO, Disprz   -  N. Ramakrishnan

Disprz’s app helps companies deliver knowledge to, and train, its employees

Subramanian Viswanathan and Kuljit Chadha, classmates at ISB, Hyderabad, started their first venture together in the edutech space with the idea of changing education through technology, which was a hard problem to solve. “We were trying to use technology, particularly tablets, bring them to classrooms to solve the problems of classroom engagement and boredom. It was difficult because it required a high cost to set up and was not a poor man’s solution. We managed to grow it to a reasonable point,” says Subramanian. They sold the company, Harness, to a UK-based private equity player. That was his entry into the learning space, a segment that neither he nor Kuljit wanted to exit. “We felt the world is moving towards everyday learning and we should use our experience in education and bring it to play in the corporate learning space,” says Subramanian. They started Learntron in late 2015, with a focus on online learning and corporates.

Their goal was to build a technology platform to help companies deliver knowledge and training to their employees online, simultaneously in diverse locations. “We knew that online learning was becoming big in India. Ten years from now you will have online schools in India and when that happens we want to be the front and centre of that revolution,” says Subramanian.

According to him, companies were looking at new ways to train their employees. They were no longer looking at having training sessions spread over a few days at one location because of cost issues. The duo realised that the corporate learning market was a big one. Companies had to constantly train their frontline workforce, which was dispersed geographically. Disprz’s app helps companies provide training, monitor performance and enables learning and engagement to happen simultaneously. “This is for distributed workforce. Which is why we came up with the name Disprz,” he says.

Three segments

Disprz, according to him, serves three segments – the distributed blue collar segment, which they call the frontline readiness platform; enterprises; and, online learning. Their customers include companies such as Thyrocare, Delhivery and Naspers. Disprz is a cloud-based platform that is available for companies to host their content either through a web application or a mobile app. It has started getting customers in West Asia and South East Asia and recently signed up its first customer in the US.

 

Subramanian says companies can even host live videos using Disprz’s platform. “You can have up to 2,000 people simultaneously on the live video sessions. We are trying to increase it to 5,000. We have people logging in from about 50 countries with Naspers, which has investments in various countries. Naspers has 25,000 users from 49 companies and 74 countries. We have already built a global product,” he adds.

Subramanian says Disprz is not just a hosting platform. It is about delivering content intelligently – delivering the content people need and also giving insights on what they do with the content. “Using our platform, we can tell which part of the content was engaging. You can add questions in a video and you can say who are the people who got them right and those who got them wrong,” he points out.

For emphasis, he adds, “imagine doing this with 25 videos and 25 other forms of content and delivering it to a network of 1,000 distributed people each of whom has different skill levels.” The platform will be able to identify those who need more focused attention and send content to them. Those who don’t fare well, they get content more frequently and get specialised content.

The main challenge

Disprz has about 100 clients now, 65 of them in India. The challenge before the founders is whether they should focus their time and energy in growing the domestic market and, if so, how much of their attention should be devoted to India, or should they spend more time on new markets. They will invest in improving user interface and experience. He believes that the team will at best 100-strong, from about 50 now, and that it is possible to build a strong company with about $20 million of revenues with a small team.

“He (Kuljit) knows a thing or two about taking a new product and finding a market for it. That is what he excels in. What I excel in is in taking an idea and building it into a product. That is where we complement each other well,” he says.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on June 25, 2018
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor