Deep Janardhanan is the founder of the International School Of Success, an organization established for the sole purpose of offering quality education to entrepreneurs – not as per any textbook, but as per experience on the field. Check out what they do at iSchoolofSuccess.
We’re in the business of providing much-needed education and training to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship as a subject is pretty vast and full of challenges. We have managed to break it up into different streams of knowledge that can be taught in order to give the entrepreneur the knowledge and confidence to get started on his/her own – and make his/her venture successful.
We’re a completely virtual training academy in the sense that we offer our training courses at different venues all over Mumbai and other metros. So far we have successfully concluded three sessions of our flagship course ‘Setting Up Your E-commerce Business From Scratch’ and a couple of digital marketing sessions aimed at the small entrepreneur. We are also launching a course for the development of Android apps in the near future.
When we started this business, we were adamant on doing a couple of things right. We give the best possible information/knowledge to our students and back it up with free support for as long as they need us. Also, we hire entrepreneurs themselves to come in and do the training so as to provide the most experienced viewpoints.
When my partner and I started this business, we were taking fees by cash or NEFT. Cash required us to be present on the spot to accept payment. Due to the inherent delay in payment after the deal was closed on the phone, we lost quite a few customers. Some of them plain forgot that they were scheduled to attend our session. Some of them would feel lazy to attend on a weekend and would postpone their attendance to the next session. This meant we needed another way of accepting payments instantly over the web.
One of the biggest issues with NEFT was that banks have imposed an artificial 24-hour delay in making transactions. Also, NEFT cannot happen outside of banking hours. Again we lost customers due to the delay in their ability to make payments quickly.
We looked at the major payment gateway as a way of accepting payments from customers. We found that most of them worked on a similar basis to banks – with respect to the requirements they put forth to us. Some of them demanded huge upfront setup fees or charged too high a commission per transaction. Some said the Know Your Customer forms needed to be filled and verified; which could take up to two weeks. Others would retain our money for a longer period before giving us our dues. A few wanted us to be a properly registered private limited company before they would accept payments. There were those who would not take payments under a certain cut off amount – due to which I would not be able to make smaller payments.
None of this was really what I wanted to go through as a sole proprietor. I wanted convenience for my customers and money in my account at the earliest. After a bit of hunting, I remembered meeting Instamojo’s founder at a meetup in Mumbai. I recalled him mentioning that his startup was meant for startups that wanted to get going immediately.
I browsed the Instamojo website, filled in my details and provided some basic banking information. The form required only a few identification and banking documents, which I supplied online. And lo and behold, my application was approved within two hours, and I got an email saying I was ready to accept payments that same afternoon.
Now with Instamojo, our payment receipts are instantaneous. We are even able to offer customers different pricing depending on when they pay, group discounts, early-bird discounts etc. Our sales efforts are rewarded by instant receipt of money as opposed to us losing out due to memory lapses or the customer getting busy with other things. It allows the customer to be worry-free as there is a proper proof of payment online. Our marketing team is ecstatic that they are not bound by completely artificial or technological limitations.
In the first session we held soon after integrating Instamojo with our site as our payments partner, we sold over three lakh rupees worth of tickets for our session; almost entirely over Instamojo. The best part was when they sent the money into our account on the third day of receiving payment.
We were recently offered even more control over our dashboard and the payment acceptance process by Instamojo. I am excited to have this extra information available to me. I can look for any issues that customers are facing and take action to offer them alternatives. Instamojo seems to be doing everything possible to make it easier for us to do business.
Another fun thing about Instamojo has been that they have called me more times to check after my satisfaction than I have had reason to call them. Occasionally, they have even worked with my customers in helping them make a payment! Now that is what I call real customer service. In fact, I ask my own employees to model our customer service after Instamojo’s.
We plan to make more courses available to our customers in different fields. With Instamojo we can offer any fee range to any customer. I’m positive that with a company like Instamojo on my side, we can grow this business to great heights.