Interviewed By: Sandeep Kshatriya, Facilitator, The CEO Insights
The CEO Insights:Please tell us a little bit about your background and the founding of Intelivisto?
Gaurav Pal: I have over 11 years experience in conceptualizing, training, product development and operations in complete vertical of financial markets in India and abroad. My passion for education and trainings encouraged me to recently start Intelivisto Consulting India Private Limited. Before starting Intelivisto, I worked extensively with Financial Technologies group top management in a wide array of roles based out of Dubai & Bahrain. During my 6 years tenure at FT, I was instrumental in setting up 2 international multi asset exchanges- one in Dubai & another in Bahrain where I was head of exchange operations and product development.
Intelivisto Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. is a complete e-learning solutions provider that conducts workshops and designing courses on financial markets to foster young talent and nurture professional growth of aspiring students and also to help students preparing for various competitive exams. Incepted by a team of sound professionals having rich background in Banking, Finance, Law and Computer Science, Intelivisto Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. focuses on designing and developing cutting edge products like training modules, online test and analysis platform, content development and various other services across complete vertical of the education domain.
The CEO Insights: What is your vision for Intelivisto?
Gaurav Pal: With the focus on the growing education sector in India, Intelivisto believes in encouraging productive engagements by providing a complete question bank, strength weakness analysis, market players’ input, engaging articles, monthly newsletters and other relevant sections to make education holistic and comprehensive. Intelivisto aspires to fine-tune soft skills across specialized courses in universities or vocational institutions to fortify the academic growth of budding professionals of the future.
The CEO Insights: Where do you see the future of e-learning and mobile technology?
Gaurav Pal: With the advancement of technology and rapid change in life, the importance of e-learning is growing day-by-day. E-learning is student centric and focuses on every particular need of the students. The best part of e-learning is that it simultaneously authorizes learners from different backdrop to equally access the superlative resources, and provides them with all kind of referral materials, tutorials and teaching sessions from knowledgeable instructors and faculty.
Above all, e-learning bridges the gap between students and instructors and also removes the hindrance of time and distance, which are the most crucial aspect for students.
Also e-learning seems to be more interactive because of the videos and other technological tools, and hence, raises the interest level of the learners.
The e-learning segment is growing at a rapid pace of about 27.9% since the last three years. About 100 new e-learning companies have been started in the last three years, taking the total number of e-learning companies in India to over 140.
The CEO Insights: How does your project, Inteliclass meet the demand, while prestigious universities are offering their course content for free online?
Gaurav Pal: Inteliclass is focused on supporting students from different verticals to prepare effectively for various competitive exams like JEE, Medical, Banking, MBA, etc. The market is going thru a paradigm shift and the players are becoming more and more organized. Exams patterns have changed and use of technology has increased in recent years keeping in line with international trends. Some of these exams have moved away from pen-paper based to complete online mode as it reduces cost, time to verify the papers and also avoids any human error including fear of mis-handling the paper security since printing papers involves various third parties and have to be printed couple of days before the exams for logistics reasons.
In recent times, various leading universities have supported open free learning concept and we also believe that right of education should be promoted. This is the reason why we also provide a major portion of information FREE of cost to our users but at the same time, to justify the cost and also to bring the seriousness among users, an affordable cost is associated with some of our products.
The CEO Insights: Would you please talk about courses on financial markets & learning tools for professional certifications like NCFM, NISM, MCCP and IRDA?
Gaurav Pal: Financial markets become a backbone of any developed economy and India is not an exception. These markets are highly regulated and need skilled professionals to handle money of the client. In India, regulators have introduced various industry certifications, which are mandatory for professionals working in that domain to ensure that they can communicate the legalities, risk and operational nitty-gritties better to the clients. Since the founding team had an unparalleled experience in the financial domain, it became a logical step to initially introduce these products in the market. In a short period of time, we have more than 17,000 registered users for our financial certification products.
The popularity of these certifications has increased many folds in last couple of years and many new certifications are being introduced by the regulator in near future.
The CEO Insights: Your job with Financial Technologies group?
Gaurav Pal: I was selected to work on strategic projects of the group as part of the core team. We got a mandate from the Government of Dubai to launch a new International Derivatives Exchange in Dubai as a joint venture between DMCC (a Govt of Dubai undertaking) & Financial Technologies. My role as project manager included developing the business framework, product development, team building and marketing initiatives to successfully launch the exchange in record time. I managed the project for 4 years even after going live managing the new version roll outs, support team, etc before moving to Kingdom of Bahrain heading the exchange operations and new product development for Bahrain Financial Exchange (a new venture by Financial Technologies).
The CEO Insights: How far does it help being an alumnus from IIT?
Gaurav Pal: IITs have a distinction of developing a problem solving approach in its students. It also encourages students to participate in various skill building activities thru additional electives, sports and literature. This results in confidence building, teamwork and problem solving attitude in the students. Also, IIT works very closely with its alumni’s so you get connected with successful people around you.
The CEO Insights: Can you please talk about your thesis on “Derivatives Market in India-a prognosis for efficient markets”?
Gaurav Pal: Exchange traded derivative instruments were launched in India in year 2000. Lot of study was published during that time in trade journals and it created an interest and passion in me to undertake this upcoming change and be part of this change. My research included studying the best practices around the world for these markets with respect to operations, risk management, trading and suggesting a framework for efficient markets for these instruments and also what lessons we can learn from mishaps and crisis which have been witnessed by some of the major corporations in handling these instruments.
The CEO Insights: You do you feel being associated with NCDEX and conducting trainings for brokerage houses?
Gaurav Pal: We got in touch of NCDEX when it was launched and proposed them that we can create awareness and enable their members to start operations on this exchange. During this association, we travelled extensively and conducted programs for more than 100 members. It was an eye opening assignment which helped us to understand the financial inclusion level in India and also the skill gaps which needed to be plugged in.
The CEO Insights: How has IT made your products more secure and user-friendly?
Gaurav Pal: IT penetration in India has increased many folds. With mobile technology and affordability, it has emerged as a preferred medium to reach masses. Our platform has reached more than 50 thousand users and converting 17000 + as registered users in just over 18 months which could not have been possible with traditional brick and mortar model. Users have flexibility over time; have lot of analytical tools for efficient and interactive learning. Security features are embedded for payment gateways and to protect the intellectual property and content piracy.
The CEO Insights: How do you research the potential of product innovations in your industry? Does it rein in costs & increase operation efficiency?
Gaurav Pal: One major portion of our revenue goes into research and development of the product. We interact with lot of corporates and professional to gauge the skill gaps and upcoming requirements and design the product accordingly. We believe that this cost is an investment and not expense.
The CEO Insights: What investments you are planning to make in technology to deal with scalability issues?
Gaurav Pal: We are using state of the art scalable solutions from Amazon which are auto scalable as and when required. Our technology team is also working on making our platform more robust to handle the expected traffic in near future. It’s a regular process for a growing company.
The CEO Insights: Can you talk about some best practices and processes you use?
Gaurav Pal: All employees of Intelivisto Consulting India Pvt. Ltd (ICIPL) agree to and support the objectives of ICIPL and accept the following Code of Ethical Business Practice:
• Uphold the profession’s reputation for honesty, competence, and confidentiality.
• Give clients the most current and accurate information possible within the budget and time frames provided by the clients.
• Help clients understand the sources of information used and the degree of reliability which can be expected from those sources.
• Accept only those projects which are legal and are not detrimental to our profession.
• Respect client confidentiality. Recognize intellectual property rights. Respect licensing agreements and other contracts.
• Explain to clients what their obligations might be with regard to intellectual property rights and licensing agreements.
The CEO Insights: How do you make sure your values are upheld when your employees deal with customers?
Gaurav Pal: In any startup company, the major issue is to motivate employees. We do it by developing the sense of ownership and responsibility in them. Regular informal sessions are conducted. We have a very flat organization structure and they realize that they are part of the achievements we have made. They are our brand ambassadors and not just employees.
The CEO Insights: Are there currently any other companies that you admire?
Gaurav Pal: A lot of companies I would say. I have worked very closely with Financial Technologies Group and admire Mr. Jignesh Shah as my role model. Tata Group is another company I have utmost respect for.
The CEO Insights: What are your favorite book, movie, and/or play?
Gaurav Pal: My best read would be Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. I also like watching documentaries. I like Chak De India as a movie which also gives practical management lessons.
The CEO Insights: What are your hobbies and interests?
Gaurav Pal: I like sports though not regular but play Squash and am learning Golf. Like reading business books, autobiographies, etc.
The CEO Insights: When you have spare time, what do you do?
Gaurav Pal: Try to be with my family. I have 2 kids (twins) and love to spend time with them whenever possible.
The CEO Insights: If you could go back 10 years & give advice to your younger self, what would that be?
Gaurav Pal: I wish I could have started much early in my entrepreneurial journey.
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