Interview with Sandeep Giri, Founder of KnowBigData.com

KnowBigData.com sells education and training courses on topics related to Big Data. They have been using Instamojo.com to collect payments online and we had a chance to interview them about their success.

Instamojo: What is the story behind KnowBigData?

Sandeep: One of my close friends who had been a manager in a reputed IT firm wanted to be hands on again and learn a new set of technology, especially in Big Data. He tried enrolling with Coursera but could never complete the course. He tried to enroll in offline classroom trainings and found that most of the instructors were not upto date with the latest technology. Then he called me, and I taught him Hadoop over Google Hangout. My friend found it to be the best training he had ever attended.

Following this experience, I realized a few things:

  • There is a big gap in the learning industry
  • Coursera or other recorded videos are not sufficient for intensive courses because the learner gets lost in a nexus of answers on the internet when they have questions to ask.
  • It is possible to teach effectively over Google Hangout and other webinar tools.
  • These classes can conducted from anywhere at anytime, and students also have the ease of learning from anywhere and anytime.

With a panache for teaching technology, and knowing there was a need in the market for a good course that also provides hands on experience in Big Data, I started KnowBigData in 2014. I had been working on Big Data while at InMobi, and at Amazon, and my intense knowledge on the subject came in handy. With my prior startup experience with tbitsglobal.com, I decided to make KnowBigData.com.

Instamojo: Can you tell us more about your products and how they are delivered?

We provide online trainings and consulting in Big Data and related technologies. We offer instructor-led online classes with additional need based support for our students. Students can login from anywhere in the world with a computer, a headset, and a decent internet connection and take up our course. On successful completion of our online course, students are equipped with the professional and technical skill sets required in the Data Sciences domain.

Currently, we conduct online classes on MongoDB, Data Sciences, Big Data and Hadoop. Our students also get lifelong access to the study material, one-on-one sessions with the instructors, and access to our Cloud Labs which I’ll talk about below. In addition, online classes are especially helpful for women in countries like Saudi Arabia where they have to be escorted with a male member for any offline learning. Our online teaching mode makes it easy for them to learn new technology without having to leave home.

Instamojo: How would do you measure the success of KnowBigData?

We started in July 2014, and within 9 months, we have already trained close to 20 batches. Our students are from across the globe and from various backgrounds, right from top-rung corporate executives to research scientists at NASA. With such a mosaic of students, we constantly strive to keep our course content the best and the most up-to-date in the industry.

I also realized that the current courses in the market focus mainly on just a delivery of the presentation. Instructors really don’t have an in-depth knowledge of Big Data and Hadoop. If you give them a real problem, getting a really useful answer is difficult, and almost impossible. We focus on giving our students not only theoretical knowledge, but also real life problems/projects on Big Data that challenge both the student and the instructor.

We have set up Cloud Labs which is our own cluster with all its required components that students can use to experiment on Big Data problems. It provides the perfect playground for students to work on real life projects anytime of the day and from anywhere in the world. This concept of Cloud Labs is unique to us. No one else in the industry provides Cloud Labs for their candidates.

Our future looks very busy, exciting, and promising with newer courses coming up. Watch our site www.knowbigdata.com for more details.

Instamojo: Why do you prefer instamojo over other solutions?

Instamojo really stands out when it comes to ease of integration. The best part about Instamojo is that anyone who wants to sell online can get started quickly unlike the other payment gateways.

Where do you think Instamojo needs improvement?

Integration with WordPress needs to be looked at. We also need a feature to give referral bonus to our users.

Any other comments you have about Instamojo?

Transaction fee is competitive and reducing it even more will be great for startups. Faster payouts is something we are looking forward to.

Thanks a lot Sandeep for your time! Good luck with your business!

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