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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

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Educating Online: Interview with Ashwin Madhavan, Co-Founder, Enhelion Knowledge Venture Pvt. Ltd




For the Sake of Argument Correspondent P S Chandralekha catches up with Mr. Ashwin Madhavan, Co-Founder of Enhelion Knowledge Venture Private Ltd.






  Chandralekha (C): Tell us something about your college life.

Ashwin (A): Well, I graduated from Gujarat National Law University in 2010. It was a wonderful experience studying with the brightest minds in Gandhinagar. After completing my undergrads, I decided to pursue my master of laws from Dalhousie University, Canada. Subsequently, I decided to work as an intern in a law firm in Canada, I realized that it was very difficult and time consuming for a foreigner to break into the Canadian legal profession. The job opportunities that I got were not of my liking and expertise and so decided to come back and start up with something of my own i.e. Enhelion Pvt. Ltd. 

C: When did you conceive the idea of founding an online education company?

A: The idea of starting an online education company was shared with me by a very close friend and my guru Mr. Rodney D Ryder, while I was interning and working with him in Delhi back in 2007.  Mr. Ryder, myself and another friend  James Mukkattukavunkal, decided to start Enhelion in April 2013. The three of us love to teach and we found that there is a huge gap between what is taught in the law school and what is expected out of a young law graduate when he/she joins the profession. It is this gap that Enhelion would like to fill.

C: Tell us something about Enhelion Pvt. Ltd.


A: As of today, Enhelion is a full-fledged online education company, having trained more than 1500 professionals and students from across the length and breadth of the country. We began operations in April 2013 and it is a growing baby, which needs all the love and support of all its students and founding members.

C: What are the areas of law that is focused by Enhelion?

A: Enhelion began as a legal education company, but today has courses related to Big Data analytics, Project Management, Information Security, Intellectual Property and many other interesting areas.

C: Do you really feel online education is helping the students in gaining knowledge in true sense?

A: Yes, we [Mr Ryder, James and myself included], strongly believe that online education is helping students gain knowledge. Students from the length and breadth of the country have told us in person that they have gained immense knowledge from our courses. This is evident from the ever-growing number of students who join our courses.

C: What plans you have for Enehlion and what is its future?

A: We believe that Enhelion has a lot of potential across all areas of law, management and engineering education. Students and universities are looking for great content and want to learn more from the experts. This helps them in becoming more employable in the vast changing employment landscape in the country and the world.

C: You have recently got a book published, tell us something about it?

A: It was the year 2008, when Mr Ryder under whom I was interning shared the idea of writing a book with him. I was on cloud nine, when this offer was made to me. It was an honor for me to get an offer to write a book with a well-known author like Rodney D Ryder. Mr Ryder shared the first draft of the manuscript in November 2008. I completed the second draft in May 2009. We worked together on the manuscript for another 3 years, before completing the same in early June 2012. We sent it to a few publishers and I made it a point that we send the manuscript to non law publishers, because the target audience for the book was business managers and legal managers. SAGE Publications, a renowned international publishing house finally accepted the manuscript in the middle of 2013. We went through two review rounds and we got the final go ahead in September of 2013. It was a memorable experience. Writing a book is not a joke and I personally realized it only after going through the process. 

C: Do you have any plans to get into complete teaching since you seem to be quite into publications?

A: No I do not have plans to go into complete teaching. I am surprised when people ask me this question. I often wonder, is it only academics who write? May be in India that is the case, but if you look at other countries, people within the profession also write. 

C: What are you plans for future?

A: To make Enhelion a big success and start another venture very very soon.

C: Any message for the young new comers in the field? 

A: I am a huge fan of the former president of US – John F Kennedy who in his inaugural speech to the American public said the following words – Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. I am not John F Kennedy, but this message has stuck with me since the day I heard it, which was some 20 years ago. I want all of us including the people who are currently in universities to contribute to the growth of their respective institutions in every which way possible. You should contribute newer thoughts and ideas, think out of the box. This is the only way we can make our universities and educational institutions become world leaders. If you do good to your institution, you are bound to succeed. It is only a matter of time. And one last thing, do not follow the crowd while chasing your dreams. 

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