What is the best way to promote a coaching institute in a city like Raipur? Nagesh Banchhor of Pro C Education taught for 84 straight hours in 2006 to break the then Guinness World Record of 72 hours. He later found out that the actual record was 96 hours, and the Guinness website had not been updated to reflect it.
“I did miss the opportunity to get my name in the Guinness Book but I learnt that if we set our eyes on a goal, we can achieve it. We drew terrific business mileage from this event. When Pro C started offering franchises, it was easy to convince people to join us. My 84 hours non-stop teaching feat increased my personal credibility as well as that of my institute,” recalls Nagesh.
Pro C Education coaches students for entrance exams like CAT, IIT-JEE, CLAT, GRE, GMAT and Bank Probationary Officer Exam. They also provide consultancy services in the educational sector, for launching schools and marketing of educational products and services. They have many firsts from Chhattisgarh to their credit. One of their students was the first ever to be selected for IIM-Ahmedabad from Chhattisgarh. They consistently produce toppers in the State Eligibility Test for lectureship in state-level universities and colleges. Their students secured first rank in the Symbiosis Entrance Test conducted by Symbiosis International University, Pune, in 2006 and 2008. Pro C sends the largest contingent of students to the IIMs from Chhattisgarh. This year, more than 10 of their students, who were personally coached by Nagesh have been called for admission interviews at IIM. They coach more than 2,000 students every year, and their counselling services cover over 10,000 students annually.
The courses are priced slightly below that of national players, but above that of competitors in the local market. For a full course which includes basic communication in English, group discussion, personal interview, and mock tests (online and paper based) the fee is `21,000 approx. Students can access the institute library and the latest test prep books. Pro C has diversified into coaching services for the school segment this year, and plans to emerge as one of the biggest players in that space.
Apart from individual students, they also have clients like NIT-Raipur, Rungta College of Engineering, Chhattisgarh and Maha Maya College of Technology in Raipur. Some of their corporate clients for training programmes include Indian Postal Department, State Council of Educational Research and Training and Ambuja Cements. Their consultancy division works with clients like Manipal K12, ITM University in Gurgaon and many schools, colleges and universities in the region.
“I love being independent. My mentor from IIM-Kozhikode, Sunil Handa, an industrialist, professor and alumnus of IIM-Ahmedabad, who took the ‘Laboratory in Entrepreneurial Motivation’ course, motivated me to become an entrepreneur. We reached out to our client by offering free career-oriented seminars, which led to the first admission. Consultancy services happened by accident,” explains Nagesh about the early days of his venture.
Born in Balod village, Chhattisgarh, Nagesh did his schooling in government schools, as his father was a forest officer and usually got posted in small villages. After completing Class XII at Kondagaon district in Chhattisgarh, he graduated from NIT-Raipur and did his PGDM from IIM-Kozhikode. He then worked at companies like BHEL, Ramco and Torrent. “Corporate life made me a lover of systems. I found it easy to design my systems as an entrepreneur. While you are on the edge, mentors provide a push in the right direction,” he says. Nagesh played cricket and represented his college in badminton. He likes to read, and practises illusions (magic tricks), a hobby he developed eight years ago.