From “0” to 80,000 kids, 1073 SKUs, 183 Schools, 200 team members, 7 offices, 25+ cities, in 3 years XAMCHECK showed me life, its limitless possibilities and what madness is capable of!
Today I finish 3 years with XAMCHECK. In one moment it feels like yesterday in another an eternity.
To look back and summarize my 3 years of experience would not be an easy task or a wise one. It may seem as intense amount of work but if you look closer its actually been an intense personal journey and continues to be one. Work has been a minor part!
I was 23. I was messy with a recent breakup, experienced on ground with sometime in U.P. figuring out agriculture, an AAP supporter. I was carrying broken ideas of feminism, with full confidence that I ll change the world. And then XAMCHECK happened.
Startups are challenging and exciting. They create products that can change the world. This is what we hear most of times. It was what that motivated me as well to join one, that it will accelerate my learning. Startup IS all that but here is what I learnt beyond product and learning
1. Startup is you!
2. Startup is your personal journey!
When there’s no customer, no team member, startup is you. When there are many of of them, it is still you. The fact that you stand there matters. Your co-founders standing there matters. How did you deal with the last failure and how ready you are for the next one matters. You definition of success matters. Your individual growth/journey matters.
Varun Kumar and Naveen Mandava are the two co-founders of XAMCHECK and also my two favourite people and inspiring individuals on earth!
XAMCHECK is my sacred free gender-neutral space! It is most gender neutral space I EVER experienced. Actually, it was the only gender neutral space for a long time. I experience what THAT kind of freedom does to me and my growth. My ideas, my work, my work timings, my decisions are judged, scrutinized independent of my gender. THAT kind of freedom, its awesome! It made me ask questions, made me break boundaries, have my opinions and feel the freedom of expression! I wrote my feminist blog, I wrote about sexism at my alma mater. And THAT was life changing.
XAMCHECK taught about being grounded!
Each product launch had the entire team pull all nighters. Sometimes in phases, sometimes together. Irrespective of role, position, I have seen team traveling in local trains, sleeping on office floor, eating from our local roti-wala , visiting customer as and when they called— pre as well as post investment. I am going to carry this life skill with me, to stay close to reality, to stay grounded!
XAMCHECK questioned things that I would take to be granted truths of the world. It did that each day! It still does. And I love that. Because in the process of constant questioning, you keep changing your course ofaction , you keep pushing your boundaries. And in the process you question yourself too. I did too and a lot of my answers failed. But failure was welcomed. Never never scolded for any failure. Nobody was/id. That’s a boon!
To be given a ground to play, to make moves, be encouraged to face failures and play again!
XAMCHECK taught me fairness and what it means to have a transparent conversation. You know the good thing about transparent conversation /fairness is, it makes you a much more confident person. There is no greater sense of power or best principle of negotiation than putting your cards on the table. It is absolutely counter-intuitive but it’s true. I never pulled out my card. So I was always stuck with the one I had. The moment I started putting out, I realized how many cards I was capable of having. Everytime I would dive into myself to bring one, I would surprise myself of the fairness I am capable of. I am even more surprized how that fairness actually works in my favour.
Each time you add a team- member you are humbled to the core with the faith they show in you!
I have constantly experienced Naveen and Varun express how humbled they feel to see the team coming together and putting faith in the vision and in the them. I have learnt ( still learning) humility! To acknowledge
events coming together is serendipity but it takes you to be out there to grab that chance of serendipity
— is an excellent way to stay humble. It’s a statement I ll remember.
Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey XAMCHECK — to change the way education industry operates, forever. I am so glad and grateful for my 3 years and I look forward to more! You changed me, I would have been so lost without you, you have no idea. You accepted all my versions and let me be. You have let me express and embrace my good, my bad and grow with that.
And for that, I love you!
XAMCHECK is India’s fastest growing education company, working toward personalized education. www. xamcheck.com
I work with XAMCHECK as a part of the new initiatives team. I joined the team in 2012, post one year stint with Deere and Company. I majorly spent my time with, content, sales, operations(now) and people function(now).