Nidhi Maitrya, Founder at Insurance Gurukul
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Nidhi Maitrya: Almost a decade ago, I began a lifelong journey of self-employment by any means necessary. I never planned to be an entrepreneur; I just did not want to work for somebody else.
My first Internet start-up was called Her connect – an online social-networking platform for women to discuss anything under the sun. I tried to work on it while being employed elsewhere, but I could not provide the focus and determination it deserved to get it moving. The portal never earned me any money, however it made me realize something much more valuable than money: ‘freedom’
I learnt how freedom is connected to responsibility, and how I can combine my desire for independence with something that earns me a living as well as crafts a life of purpose.
Since that day, I have imagined a life where all my time is spent on things I really want to do. Imagine giving your greatest attention to a project you create yourself, instead of working as a cog in a machine that exists to make other people rich.
Insurance Gurukul was conceptualized in the dining hall of our home and has ever since grown to become what it is today. This was at the time when I was preparing myself for the Fellowship Exams conducted by the prestigious Insurance Institute of India. The biggest challenge for me was to prepare for these exams in the little time left after office hours. So I went online and did some research to find courses that could train me for these exams. To my surprise, I could not relate to a single player who was providing dedicated and organized learning kits for these professional exams. And one fine morning I told myself that
“Today is the final day of me working for anyone other than myself” and thus, the journey started. Insurance Gurukul now aspires to become the “one stop destination” for all Insurance related e-training.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Insurance Gurukul?
Nidhi Maitrya: We were the pioneer portal in the Industry to provide self-learning test series for students writing Insurance Institute of India exams. Today we are a 15000+ students company having our hold across 7 countries with 40+ modules on our website created with the help of content partners spread across the globe.
We also associate our brand proudly as an Education partner with Chartered Insurance Institute, UK – an internationally reputed brand in the Insurance domain, counselling and helping students select the right courses to achieve their career goals.
Great Companies: What makes Insurance Gurukul different from hundreds of other Insurance Training Institutes?
Nidhi Maitrya: I have never really thought of it that way and or have put any extraordinary effort trying to be different from others. Sometimes “Doing nothing” does “Everything”.
But yes, our exceptional and prompt customer – centric approach seems to be working for us.
Our marketing spends are just 8% of our total revenue and our major clientele till date is only through word of mouth. One client refers another and we have 15000+ happy students registered with us today.
For me, value comes about when someone takes action on something they love to do anyway. With a corporate stint of over 5 years in the core underwriting teams across Insurers and after being a Pan-India topper for Insurance Institute of India exams, the value that we created through this portal for the clients came very naturally to me. The conditioning, experience and understanding on how to crack these exams ended up transforming this project in a proper business model.
We boast about an average of 85-90% pass percentage for students preparing for III Exams through our portal.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Nidhi Maitrya: Exploring the art of working with freelance content partners has been a challenge for us. We have made some progress but we are still learning as the dropout rates are very high plus the negotiation on remuneration gets tricky since there are no benchmark rates set for this industry.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Insurance Gurukul?
Nidhi Maitrya: You’ll need to check with us after 5 years! But definitely, better use of AI and technology are on the cards.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Nidhi Maitrya: To start a business, you need three things: a product or service, a group of people willing to pay for it, and a way to get paid. Everything else is completely optional.
Yes I heard it, but the money you have is enough.
There is no rehab program for being addicted to ‘freedom’. Once you‘ve seen what it’s like on the other side, good luck trying to follow someone else’s rules ever again!
Having said that, work still is only a PART of my life, life in entirety is much more than that.
P.S I was truly blessed to have my husband, Apuarv and family walk beside me on this journey. They truly heard me when I first discussed this venture with them. I was about to leave a well-paid job and start from scratch, not sure how it will shape up. Infact, there were moments when they believed in me more than I did in myself. Their support is imperative to what Insurance Gurukul has to offer today and what it can become in future.