KnolSkape : Online Simulations, Experimental Learning

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Since 2008,  Knolskape has been on a relentless mission : delighting managers from Fortune 500 companies, students at top B-schools, top-notch academicians and recruiters with their simulation based products and services. Their core philosophy is that the best way of learning and assessing capabilities is by doing. Keeping with this philosophy, they have been developing products and services that are immersive, engaging and real-life-like.

Using simulation platform, Knolskape deliver training products, assessment solutions and a wide range of services – from gaming to scenario planning. Top B-schools rely on their domain expertise in management and technology to partner with Knolskape for their academic computing needs.

Founded by an INSEAD MBA, KNOLSKAPE is a global company with clients in South East Asia, India, Middle East and the U.S. The technical team of KNOLSKAPE, comprising engineers from top engineering schools, has years of experience developing cutting-edge business simulations.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Mr. Rajiv Jayaraman, Founder & CEO @ Knolskape. Let see what he wants to share with us.

Techaloo : What made you motivated to join the entrepreneurship community?
Prior to KNOLSKAPE, I worked for a global technology company in California, USA. I was involved in research, design and development of enterprise software. Along the way, I got bitten by the creativity bug. I got into theater, story-telling and film making in a serious way. During that time, I had the right-brain, left-brain problem with one part of me enjoying technology and the other thriving on creative pursuits. In a quest to integrate these 2 passions, I started to look at starting up a venture at the intersection of technology and creativity.

 

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Techaloo : How did this Idea come to your mind?
I did my MBA at INSEAD, a global top 5 B-school. I applied for this program with a clear intent of starting a venture post my MBA. During this program, I experienced a software simulation product as part of a course. I felt empowered as a learner where I was able to take decisions and derive meaning out of my own experience. This was an eye opening experience. And it also dawned on me that this was the intersection of technology and creativity that I was looking for. This was the starting point for KNOLSKAPE.

 

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting Knolskape?
The vision was to make learning fun by giving the learner an active learning environment through simulations and games.

 

Techaloo : Why the name “Knolskape”?
Knolskape is a portmanteau of Knowledge and Landscape. Through our experiential learning products we believe we are transforming the knowledge landscape and are pioneering new ways of learning and acquiring skills.

 

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
The initial challenges were around the concept itself. Using games for learning was not a popular concept with companies. Learning was seen as a serious activity and games didn’t seem like a credible methodology for driving learning outcomes. Fortunately today the perception has changed. Gamification and serious games are seen as effective ways to drive serious business outcomes.

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Techaloo : What are the products and services provided by you?
We are a software company focused on developing experiential learning products that transform learning in boardrooms and classrooms. Our product lines include business simulations, animated simulations, and a real-time case study platform and gamified e-learning.

Our services include custom simulation development, gamification services, training programs and academic computing.

 

Techaloo : The services are only for corporates or an individual can also avail them?
Our products are mainly B2B – both corporates and academic institutions use our products to transform their boardrooms and classrooms respectively. We are beginning to see success in the B2C space as well with two of our products and our strategy is to make all our products available to the individual too.

 

Techaloo : What is the recognition of certification provided by you?
The certifications are provided by Professors from top 10 B-schools. For instance, the certification for Finance Experiential Learning Module is provided by Prof. Gabriel Hawawini, ex-Dean of INSEAD.

 

Techaloo : What services are mostly exciting the users?
Our simulations and the ability to customize them to adhere to a particular case study or scenario help participants see their actions yielding results in a game-like manner. Couple this with immediate responses and feedback gives them a learning experience that is comparable to that of games.

 

Techaloo : You have mentioned that “Knowledge+Skill+Action=Excellence”, How it will be different for a student and an entrepreneur?
Today’s learning trends like MOOCs are catered towards delivering top class knowledge from universities such as Stanford to anyone who has a computer with Internet connection. We believe for an individual to achieve excellence, the knowledge needs to be married with skill and action. Our products help take the knowledge build the skill and enable the learner to act on it in a safe learning environment.

 

Techaloo : What top 3 services will you recommend to an entrepreneur, who wants to start his own venture?

–       Accounting and legal help with contracts

–       Mentoring / Advisory

–       PR / Marketing services

 

Techaloo : Explain a little more about “Gamification” as a service.
Gamification is taking a mundane process and adding game elements to it so that users are motivated to follow the process through. For instance, we use our modeling capabilities to come up with a game for frameworks that companies use as part of their strategic planning. This creates a safe learning environment for participants.

We at KNOLSKAPE take game principles a step beyond entertainment to improve business performance of organizations and institutions through our gamification services. We also develop games for companies to engage and train their employees and ecosystem partners.

 

Techaloo : Have you got any sort of funding or looking for the same?
We have bootstrapped ourselves.

 

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
We want to expand geographically, introduce new product lines and deliver online products for a B2C audience.

 

Techaloo : What will be your advice for a new startup?

  1. Look      at the big picture and go after large opportunities
  2. Focus      on building a great team. Winning teams create winning businesses
  3. Focus      on understanding the customer inside-out

 

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Techaloo is a great initiative to motive entrepreneurship among the student community. When students have such platforms to support them and to showcase their ideas, they are encouraged to go ahead and take the risk. We need more entrepreneurs in this world and TechAloo is contributing to this very need in a big way by providing them with the support and encouragement they need.

The fact that it itself is a startup and has been founded by the students, TechAloo is an inspiration in itself to other budding entrepreneurs.

 

Meet Rajiv Jayaraman

knol3Rajiv Jayaraman, an INSEAD MBA and a BITS-Pilani alumnus, is an entrepreneur and a professor of technology management. In February 2012, Rajiv delivered a talk at the TEDx event at Gachibowli, Hyderabad. He was a panel speaker at the AIMA National Management Conclave in India. He is a top-rated visiting faculty at SP Jain Center of Management, Singapore and Dubai. He has delivered guest lectures on technology strategy and entrepreneurship at INSEAD, IESE, IIM-Bangalore, IIT-Madras, IIFT-Delhi, NMIMS, MICA. He trains consultants at leading technology companies on innovation, risk and change management.

Prior to KNOLSKAPE, Rajiv worked at Oracle USA in the server technologies division, where he led numerous product development efforts from the ground-up. His technology experience combined with his business skills give him a unique edge in helping companies bridge the Business-IT divide.

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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