Ankita and Lokesh first time met during the MBA program in XIM Bhubaneshwar. At that time, they would not have known that they would someday be running a company together as a couple. That too a well-known brand in the education sector such as Mota Chashma. Both Ankita and Lokesh had always been an advocate of proper and holistic environment for education for all. In the past, they both have worked on projects related to education and started Mota Chashma to reach millions of students pan-India.
The platform is non-funded, profitable and has been running successfully for last five years. Mota Chashma is a startup in the education sector based out of Delhi-NCR. Both the founders bootstrapped it in 2013 as an information portal. It provides solutions for the educational needs such as details of entrance exams, competitions, scholarships, auditions and results and caters to students starting from 5th standard up to post-graduation. All the services provided to students are free of cost.
Why build Mota Chashma?
“We both have had experiences where we felt that we were lagging behind our peers. Our friends or cousins living in bigger cities had much more information about competitions or scholarships or various career streams than us,” said the couple. Ankita has been State topper during her school days, but being from a small city, she had first hand faced the information gap. Lokesh also felt that streams like engineering and medical were given much more recognition. After his graduation, Lokesh along with his friends started a company named “BRIDGE”. It provided career counseling to school students. They also hosted a 2-day flagship event “Paathshala 2 Profession”, which was a massive success in providing support to about 5000 students in Roorkee and nearby districts.
“We got married right after our MBA and started working in different jobs. But we both always felt the desire to start something of our own. After few years working in big corporates, we left our jobs and dedicated ourselves to starting Mota Chashma. We did a lot of groundwork and visited many schools and colleges to understand the market conditions. Insights from past work that I had done also helped us in coming up with the core idea for Mota Chashma,” said Ankita when asked about how it all started. Ankita has done a project under MHRD where she assessed the reasons for high school dropout rate in elementary level in 21 states.
How they made it work?
Working 24×7 with your better half can be a challenging task. You have to learn how to manage professional and personal life separately. The problems of one area should not affect the other. “We try to keep professional talk to a minimum when at home. But it’s easier said than done. We constantly find ourselves discussing work. And it’s not a major issue as both of us are highly dedicated to our work,” said Ankita. Lokesh added, “We trust each other’s capabilities completely in matters of work. Ankita is a great partner to work with and very good at what she does.” Ankita Heads the Content Department of Mota Chashma and also works together with Lokesh in the matters of expansion and hiring. They also emphasize significantly the support they got from their friends and family. Mota Chashma was ranked in 10 Best Start-ups in Education Sector in India in 2017 by Silicon India Magazine. We were also covered in the Good News India Show by DD News
An expansion is the main point of focus for Ankita and Lokesh. There are plans to increase the team members. They are also looking at revamping the website to suit the needs of users in a better way. Lokesh says that the business model can also be profitably replicated in other developing nation. That’s why they are looking for funding to expand in India as well as globally.