Today we have selected Ananya to take her interview. She is Co-Founder of Adaptive US.
First, how are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?
Thankfully, due to our decision to move into a 100% remote organization in 2017, none of our staff members were required to travel to work. This enabled the team to stay safe during COVID 19. We are a 100% remote working organization, with our team of 8 different ethnicities spread out across the globe across three continents.
We have been a remote team from day 1 to save on the commute time and tap the global talent pool of various specializations. This made it an almost zero transition effort for COVID safe behaviors since we were already into it, We practice trust-based work culture where employees’ work hours/leaves are not tracked, and they are allowed to take off from work based on need.
COVID has put higher demands on professionals’ mental health and significantly more on women professionals due to the increasing load of child care and kids attending classes online from home. Some of our women staff had challenges coping with the sudden changes and needed extended time off to settle and come back to work. We allowed long time-off for staff who needed that. Due to the trust and remote working, we had zero attrition in the last four years of our operation. This has made us a place where the employees feel trusted and valued for their contribution.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined this company?
I am an Electronics Engineer by education and a marketer by role, holding the creator of opportunities and growth at the Adaptive US. You can call me a self-learned marketer from a non-business family with no background or formal education in business, sales, or marketing experience.
However, I always keep my eyes and ears open to watch out for anything new and innovative, learning from them. My first stint as a founder was unsuccessful; hence, I decided to prioritize marketing and growth, which comes from winning customer trust. This has made us a global leader in our domain. I believe education is the key to harness any individual’s potential, and it opens a myriad of opportunities for them.
This empowers an individual with skill and enhances confidence, personal branding, and leadership and influence. Thus, the amount of transformation it brings into the person’s life is immense. With this thought in mind, I co-founded the Adaptive US, an Ed-Tech firm focused on professional education, in the year 2017. The company offers specialized certification and skill-based courses, which top leaders and industry experts deliver.
With undivided focus and commitment, we have established the Adaptive US as a global leader in the Business Analysis domain. My mission is to help business analysts build successful professional careers. We have been able to transform the lives of 10000+ BAs during the last four years in skilling and scaling up and help them excel in their professional career.
How does your company innovate?
We constantly push ourselves to win customer trust, improve operational efficiency and use the best technology to deliver maximum value to our customers. We always welcome improvement suggestions and feedback from our student community, spread over 80 countries, our global pool of expert trainers, best practices from the market, and our team.
We have implemented automation in all those areas where tasks are predictable and automated and have removed human intervention, thereby improving our team’s productivity in a significant order. Learning and innovation culture has been the core way of our working from the beginning. Unless you automate and improve processes, people will not grow in the system.
Laser-sharp focus on customers –
CUSTOMERS’ success is the sole focus of our organization; we try always to put ourselves into the customer’s shoes to bring new changes. We have paid a lot of attention to what our customers say, their concerns, and how we can alleviate their pain points.
Removing the customer’s risk, thereby winning the complete trust
We guarantee our students’ success, thus leading to absolute peace of mind for the customers. This reinforces wholehearted trust from them since it removes the risk in the process for customers.
How the Coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
The pandemic has brought about fundamental changes to the way we all live. Many businesses had to go through rough patches, while some flourished since the world moved to online and remote working. The pandemic has undoubtedly affected our business as well as detailed here:
- Cost Control – Corporates stopped their training initiatives; the training budget was cut down heavily.
- Layoffs/ job cuts/Contracts closed without prior communication – Many sectors were severely affected with COVID like hospitality, retail, travel, events – the reduced income impacted us deeply since everyone focused on reserving cash. We stood by our students at the times of their struggle, assisted them in upskilling, helped them in boosting their confidence during our mentoring sessions. We also introduced COVID Aid, which was significant financial assistance. This helped many professionals who COVID had impacted to enroll in our classes, upskill, which helped them get better at BA skills and tools knowledge. This also boosted their confidence to face interviews and showcase their ability to add value to their future employers; this ultimately led them to bounce back and grab the best of the opportunities in the market.
- Increased stress on professional mothers due to COVID impacted our team and its productivity since two-thirds of our workforce is women. We assisted them in coping with it by allowing them longer time off and an easy transition back to joining work with the team’s support and backing it up.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
We had to let go of tools, consultants, or any services that were not justifying the ROI and had to be extremely focused on delivering value to customers while being conservative on our spending and limiting it to essentials for business growth. Difficult times call for difficult decisions, but organizations have to be agile to change gears based on the need of the hour.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Automation has played a significant role in removing manual and predictable tasks, thereby elevating humans to do higher capability tasks like new idea generation, innovation, strategic involvement, etc. We have implemented automation in almost all those areas that can be predicted and have removed human intervention, thereby improving our team’s tasks in a big way.
The learning and innovation culture has been a very core way of our working from the beginning. Unless you automate and improve processes, people will not grow in the system. Technology adoption is crucial for an organization to keep up with the market needs and stay ahead of the game. We have implemented products and tools such as
- Thinkific – Learning Management System
- Active Campaign – Mailers and promotions to our leads
- Accredible – Issuing digital certificates to students that let them share the certificates easily across social platforms
- HubSpot – Website and CRM
- Shopify – Shopping platform
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
We have many competitors, including many private sector organizations and universities; however, we stay ahead of the competition by being extremely committed to delivering value and staying focused on providing only business analysis-related courses. We strive to be the best in the business analysis domain with constant updates to our content.
Our undivided focus is on our customers, providing them the best experience, and making their success our goal. This has helped us win the customers’ trust and become number 1 in the world in the business analysis education domain. We offer some of the world’s firsts designed solely to keep the customers’ interest in mind and have helped us tremendously win customer trust.
- Success Guarantee – We share the risk with our customers and pay for the additional cost (retake fees, retraining fees) until the students are successful in their certification exam
- Money-back guarantees – We commit to paying back the entire money if the students are unsuccessful in passing the exam. This is followed strictly, unlike many companies who claim this based on satisfaction guarantee, which is subject to debate.
- Class run guarantee – We commit to our students of zero cancellation of classes. If we ever cancel classes, we refund the entire money that the student has paid and pay back $50 extra from our side as a penalty for the inconvenience.
Your final thoughts
Persistent and sincere efforts always yield results, and there are no shortcuts to success People are committed to giving their best in a trust-based culture and not by being micro-managed. If you focus on delivering value to customers, customers also work as partners and help you grow. There is no replacement for sincere and honest effort.