Tejas Shyam: Igniting the Flame of Innovation in the domain of Education

Tejas Shyam
Tejas Shyam

In today’s fiercely competitive world, education is witnessing unprecedented growth. Be it ‘Ed-Tech’ or ‘Hybrid Learning’, the education industry has managed to create a large, tangible impact that is now driving substantial change in the education landscape. And with this, we’re seeing the rise of the ‘edupreneur’. So, what exactly does an edupreneur do?

Entrepreneurs that bring innovation to the education sector are known as edupreneurs. They use ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ as a means of creating both – a positive economic and social value.

Edupreneurs are aware of the shifting market needs and create curricula, products and services to fulfil those needs which, in turn, aid learners in honing their skills and developing their talents.

Tejas Shyam is an Edupreneur and an Entrepreneurship Coach. While at IIT Bombay as a student, he was a part of the E-Cell, which sparked his interest in entrepreneurship. Additionally, Tejas had a strong interest in teaching.

Tejas’ zeal drove him to launch his first Ed-Tech venture, Thinkers to Rankers. But the start-up failed, and Tejas learned a lot from experience. He then set up TEJ (The Education Journey), which is still going strong and has successfully completed a six-year journey so far.

While searching for the “10 Most Influential Edupreneurs of the Year 2023,” Tejas Shyam came to notice. In an interactive interview with The Education View, he discussed his schooling and work history and his future goals.

To learn more about Tejas, read ahead.

The Inception Tale

Tejas received his M.Tech. and B.Tech. Degrees from IIT Bombay. He was a member of the E-Cell as a student, which introduced him to the field of entrepreneurship. He decided that one day he would launch his own business and pursue his passion. Meanwhile, as a student at IIT Bombay, he had already started providing private tuitions in and around Powai since he loved to teach.

After graduating from IITB, he worked in the corporate sector for almost one and a half years before realizing that teaching was his inner-calling. He had two choices: work a part-time job or devote all his time to becoming an educator. He then decided to devote his life entirely to teaching and follow his passion.

He worked with a few renowned JEE coaching centers in Mumbai in the first few years of his teaching career. Every day provided a new learning opportunity, and he soon began to notice the shortcomings in the education sector. As his knowledge of the target market expanded concurrently, he identified the need for a well-differentiated product to make his business stand out.

A Statement of Objectives

While stating the firm’s vision, Tejas asserts, “TEJ, in Hindi, stands for the effulgence of knowledge. At TEJ, we endeavor to make the process of Education a wonderfully interesting journey – one that students enjoy, explore and benefit from. Our pedagogy is student-centric, and our vision is to ‘Help every learner understand and achieve their potential.’ We firmly believe that experiential, explorative, understanding-based conceptual education is most important for young minds.”

Further stating the mission, he says, “Our mission is to effectively synthesize the elements of traditional pedagogy together with digital learning tools to create a progressive yet adaptive education process that caters to the learning needs of the students and helps them derive maximum value from the process of learning.”

“It is our core belief that education is a tool for empowering the mind, and hence educational methodologies must develop thinking skills, problem-solving skills and a keen sense of subject appreciation in students,” he mentions as his firm’s core values.

Conquering the Challenges

While stating the challenges, Tejas asserts, “The challenges were many. Firstly, it was societal pressure. Whoever I met would say just one thing – ‘why are you wasting your talent teaching? Be in the corporate world and earn money!’ A lot of the time, this was tough to ignore. Being from a middle-class family and being the breadwinner, I was expected to contribute financially. The uncertainty associated with starting-up is well known.”

Reflecting upon the pressures he faced, he continues, “The societal pressure just made me want to start up that much harder. I did not have access to many funds, and I knew I had to make the unit economics work from the get-go, or I would not make it through even my first year. To top it all, the education industry has always been crowded with very little to differentiate players. Mostly, it comes down to pricing. Creating a unique niche for me was a fairly daunting task. In all of this, I decided that, no matter what, I will succeed.”

“My mother, on seeing my determination, decided to whole-heartedly support me in getting things started. That is how we teamed together to face all odds and keep pushing through. As they say – God helps those who help themselves. Moreover, I must say – God has been kind. I have never really had to look back with regret. There have been ups and downs. Sometimes inflows have been thinner than expected, and sometimes there have been unexpected good fortunes. Nevertheless, the journey has always been worth it,” he further says.

Incorporating the Skillset

As Swami Vivekananda so eloquently described, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already present in man.” To make the divinity within manifest is the aim. Tejas opines that, in addition to integrating Social Emotional Learning techniques in the classrooms, schools and institutions should concentrate on achieving this goal.

Kids’ competencies require empathy, mindfulness, compassion, and critical inquiry. Also necessary is instructional scaffolding. Finally, rather than just concentrating on finishing the curriculum, there needs to be a concentrated effort made to ensure that kids comprehend concepts and themes. This is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible, according to Tejas.

Words of Wisdom

When we ask the advice of Tejas for the students, asserting the same, he says, “I have three small but essential pieces of advice to give-

  • Always believe in yourself. ‘Suno sabki, karo mann ki.’
  • Focus on creating value. Valuation will happen automatically if you stay true to the purpose.
  • Cultivate the right Attitude- a great idea may get you backers, but a great attitude will always bring in the customers.” 

Envisioning the Future

While envisioning his future endeavor, Tejas states, “Education is growing at such a rapid pace that it is difficult to predict what happens in the future. I prefer keeping track of the changes and being humble and lean enough to use them to my advantage. If only there were a way to predict how education would transform, most education and ed-tech ventures would not be struggling the way they are. So rather than worrying about what may happen, I am going to keep focusing on how I can keep putting my best foot forward, always.”

Top stories