Hardik Shah of SundaramEclass tells us about providing digital classroom and content services to schools in the country.
First of all, how are you and your family doing?
Hardik Shah: Thank you for asking. It surely has been a very interesting year for everyone around the globe. We are thankful we are all safe and healthy. Wearing a mask and cutting down on unnecessary travel have helped us stay safe in these tough times.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined SundaramEclass.
Hardik Shah: So the company (Sundaram Multi Pap Ltd) was founded by Mr. Amrut shah (my father) 38 years ago. What started from a 300 sq. ft. loft is now a factory spread across 4 acres with over 500+ employees and catering to 120+ cr turnover in the field of paper stationery.
I joined this company 10 years back, and I manage our EdTech arm of the company (Eclass). Our typical business is into paper stationery products. We are one of the largest manufacturers in Maharashtra, covering 200+ products and catering to over 15000+ dealer networks.
How does SundaramEclass market its product/services online?
Hardik Shah: We provide digital classroom and content services to schools in the country. We market online, and word of mouth is a strong point for us, as we get many inquiries from our website.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how did you get through it?
Hardik Shah: Due to Covid-19, the schools and colleges were shut, which had indeed hit our sales and business of books. However, we have kept our patience and sailed through the rough patch. Now with schools opening up in parts, the market looks good.
Also, because of our online segment, we were happy to provide our digital educational products to over 1,00,000+ students and schools in Maharashtra. So the pandemic surely got a lot of attention to eLearning, which has helped our eLearning brand Eclass. We aim to provide our digital hybrid education to schools and students.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to manage your online marketing?
Hardik Shah: We have used technology to the maximum levels during the pandemic. From zoom calls to online management, a lot of things have changed. We have learned that post covid19, there will be a new customer/world which will come into play, and the idea is to focus more on quality products. We have constantly been aiming to motivate our employees and conducting zoom classes to ensure good productivity.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Hardik Shah: The notebook industry is highly unorganized, and we have very few players in the organized segment. ITC is our biggest competitor in the paper stationery market.
For eLearning, as we cater to English and Marathi content for Maharashtra, the competition is very less, and the possibilities are endless.
Your final thoughts?
Hardik Shah: The covid19 pandemic has surely broken the world, but it also taught everyone a very important lesson to upgrade and update. We at Sundaram are confident of a more active crowd emerging with a key focus on education. People have realized education is the key goal, and being in the industry will surely help boost our sales for both businesses.