Every year more than two lakh people write GMAT and GRE. These students fill up the entrance coaching centres that are found aplenty; Bangalore itself has more than 85 entrance coaching centres. To ensure that students get the skills required, CrackVerbal was founded by Arun Jagannathan, 38 and Shreekala Kurup, 38 in October 2010. The team, comprising 18 members are specially equipped to train students attempting GMAT and GRE.
The test preparation company, CrackVerbal, focuses on the journey till a student gets into the programme of their choice, it streamlines and structures their preparation and helps them submit their applications to the schools they are interested in. Arun, who takes care of product development and marketing at CrackVerbal, completed his MCA from DDIT Gujarat University and worked as a Senior Delivery Manager with Talisma Corporation, Bangalore. Shreekala has an MCA degree from Gujarat’s SKPIMCS College after which she worked with Hewlett Packard for more than seven years. She was also a fellow of the ISB Goldman Sachs 10,000 Woman Entrepreneur’s programme.
Arun was always known to help others in his class with a unique ability to cut through jargon and make even the complex concepts sound simple. Arun used to work part-time at a training institute for CAT, and then shifted to a GMAT and GRE institute. His ability meant that he was immensely popular on forums like pagalguy.com and beatthegmat.com. One day, Arun agreed to meet a few aspirants to discuss test taking strategies. The meeting that was scheduled for two hours went on to nine, proving immensely useful for the test takers.
He decided to give it proper structure and thus began CrackVerbal’s two-day workshops. Having started with a dozen students, it grew to more than 1,200 students a year. To meet the growing demand, they started training faculty to teach more students.
The myriad of services offered here are priced from `10,000 to `25,000. “We have gone online with attractive features along with a test taking portal called gmatonthego.com,” says Arun.
CrackVerbal markets itself on social media as well as radio and print. “We also have a mobile app called WordToonz on iOS and Android for vocabulary improvement. Most of our students come to know about us through our successful students, many of whom have been admitted into Harvard, Stanford, ISB and IIMs.” adds Shreekala.
They consider IMS, Kaplan and Princeton Review their competitors; they have been active in this sphere for a long time. “Not coming from a business background hurt us as there were questions during every stage of the execution, so there was a lot of trial and error going on. Arun’s popularity on forums helped in building the reputation of the company,” adds Shreekala. CrackVerbal aims to set up branches in metro cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai and Delhi. They are currently active in Bangalore and Chennai.