Entrepreneurship means different things to different people; for Santhosh Karnananda, it was his chance to give back to society. He is the founder of meraenglish.com, MyGmat and MyGre.
Santhosh began his entrepreneurial journey in 2012, starting meraenglish.com, quitting a plush job with software giant Google. “I was born into a lower-middle class family and realised that the only way to get out of the financial mess I was in was through a sound education. In fact, only during my graduation days at Loyola College did I pick up English. The job at Google didn’t interest me beyond a point and soon I started seeking work as a freelance trainer,” he says of his journey into entrepreneurship.
Meraenglish.com is a free to read English learning tool, with the site containing articles on how to improve your language. “If you look at most of the websites about learning English, it’s all about memorising a bunch of words and their meanings. At meraenglish, we focus on usage. We have conversations and anecdotes on how to use a particular word/phrase in an actual context, thereby making learning much more practical,” he says.
Santhosh also conducts workshops in various schools, colleges and corporate offices on communicative English, and teaches contact classes at his academy in Nungambakkam in the city. A popular workshop of his is titled ‘Learn 1,000 words in six hours’, which has been made into a book as well. Giving in to the demands of his students, he started offering coaching for Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). The coaching is available at Rs 17,500 and Rs 24,500 respectively, while the package for Communicative English is at a flexible rate.
Besides web sources, Santhosh advocates making reading a habit to improve one’s communication skills. Santhosh also gives talks to graduating students on two topics — ‘How to think about your career’ and ‘Mind your mind’. “The former is about dispelling myths that students have about a job — like it is only a shot at money. It’s much more than that. One should be able to express themselves through their work and essentially your personality should reflect in whatever you choose to do.”