ISB Updates

There’s more to MS Excel than just tables

For those of you who have stared blankly not knowing what to do with the tables in Microsoft Excel,Abhinav Verma of the PGP Class of 2013 has a solution: Tutoring “D” Street (TDS).

Having learnt about the power of Microsoft Excel in his early days as a Wall Street banker, Verma noticed that while this software was the most widely used application in India, it was also the most underutilised. Verma and his friend, Rajat Singhal, observed that employees spent unusually long times on data entry, report generation and analysis, simply because they were not trained on the software, especially on the operations that were required on a daily basis. This observation led the duo into founding TDS.

Set up in October 2010, TDS currently trains employees of 14 companies, and is in the process of partnering with Microsoft to expand its product suite to other applications such as PowerPoint, Outlook, Access and Word. Verma has many plans for the company’s growth. “With 14,200 colleges in India and 3.5 million graduates every year, the college space presents a huge opportunity for us. We plan to work with the government to reduce the looming employability gap in India,” he explains.

Working at his venture while still juggling between classes presented its own challenges but Verma explains that splitting responsibilities with this partner helped him stay focused at ISB. This focus has paid off in increasing his knowledge on the different elements of management studies. “I have learnt the importance of market positioning at ISB. After taking courses such as Marketing Decision Making (taught by Professor S Sajeesh) and Competitive Strategy (taught by Professor Prashant Kale), I have learnt the downside of trying to do everything as an entrepreneur. Companies that try to be ‘everything to everyone’ end up being ‘stuck in the middle.’ It is the companies that take a stand, and create an identity for themselves that ultimately prosper. Discussing real-life cases in class, I realised that my strategy of providing both, soft-skills and technical training, to clients was wrong. I realised that I was trying to follow the typical Indian mentality of providing all training services to the client, at times at the expense of quality.”

The company is currently in the process of securing its first round of angel funding to execute its growth plan, and achieve its vision of becoming a leading provider of employable training solutions in India.