Open Innovations Lab (Co-founder)
Sanjay Jangid is a co-founder of Open Innovations Lab. He started his startup in 2016. Currently it runs very well and solving the problem of students and industry. He did his engineering in Computer Science from JIET College, Jodhpur. He got job selection from campus placement in Syntel. He had done number of Diploma courses in advance technology and innovations. He worked almost four and half year at there. There he got a chance to work with major clients like Moody’s and Amex. He learned many new things in his corporate job. He left his job to start his entrepreneurship journey. He has made a bridge between academia and industry to help each other and solve many problems together. He provide plug and play service and every must needed plugin on his platform to students and industry. He believes his Open Innovations Lab suits for the current era of the innovation. He has given many suggestions, pro and cons of any Startup to new founders and students in this interview. Here he shares about his Startup named “Open Innovations Lab”, its model and his entrepreneurship journey with us.
Q1. What is Open Innovations Lab and how its model works?
Open Innovation is a terminology which came to open the closed Research and Development Lab culture. Open Innovations Lab is a virtual platform to connect academia and industry. It is a problem statement to bridge the gap between academia and corporate. Industry has lots of problem statement and academia has lots of fresh resources to solve it. We created a virtual platform for academia. Academia does not have there own innovation management platform to cater problem statement, mentorship and tools. MHRD and Niti Aayog are directing academia that their ranking should depend on innovation achievement.
We give our platform to academia with plug and play service and provide every must needed plugin like real industry problem and curated tools. We tell industry to give their problem on our platform. Industry person problem statement on our platform. Academia gets real world problem from direct industry on our virtual platform. Secondly there are lots of experts (Mentors) from industry who wants to work on student project but they don’t have any discipline approachable platform to work with them. We have a plugin for mentor too. We have a curated tool for students to explore anything from industry. We have an analytics tool for reporting based on Machine Learning. It produces a whole summary of progress like strong points, number of projects contributed, technology used and many more. So it is a WIN-WIN situation for both collaborators. I believe Open Innovations Lab suits for the current era of the innovation.
Q2. How did you get the idea of Open Innovations Lab?
It started from my college journey. We wanted to connect an industry to work on real time project for internship. But it was a very big problem in tier-3 cities because we did not have any guidance and mentorship. It is a huge difference between IIT or grade-A colleges and other engineering colleges regarding entrepreneurship and internship. Same situation realize in my corporate journey too. Everyone has to do some training part before start a job in corporate. I got a client exposure too. Many of my friends got Moody’s and Amex but I was selected for internal project name “Project Labs”. I was worried that I was good in scores and they had alligned me an internal project. But there was a one good thing that the project was led by directly a senior Delivery Director because it was also a naive initiative of company too. So I went for an interview and asked to director directly that why did I choosen. He replied that “You are blessed”. I did not understand this phrase at that time and joined the project.
Company had a problem that they had a lots of bench strength. Resources (Trainees) come regularly and clients do not connect them directly. So the upper management started work on new idea to use their resources and solve the internal process of company. They wanted to automate things (process) and do innovations for company growth. I was get good exposure there and got the opportunity to connect with senior management of company. Even we were awarded thrice for our work with rewards. We had a limited team so I got good opportunity to work on that real problem.
So there I got a point that a problem exists in academia and industry too. Students want to work on real time projects of industry. Industry also wants people to solve their own problems. Because there employees works for their clients, so who will solve the problems of industry, automate it and innovate it. So I got an idea to make a bridge between academia and industry to help each other and solve the problem. Students want training and internship to solve the real world problem in industry during study and industry wants resource to solve their problem without hiring new employees. It is beneficial for both of them. So I started Open Innovations Lab and made a virtual platform that connect academia and industry to solve the real world problem.
Q3. Is Open Innovation Lab is your first startup venture?
Not at all, Open Innovations Lab was not my first venture. Before that I tried many things but it did not run well. But I learned lots of things from my all previous startups. It was a serial entrepreneurship where we tried many things including service part but many were not got success as our expectations. Ultimately Startup is a business and every business wants many factors to get success like team, network, clients, finance, support system, customer presentation and many more. We were not too mature at that time and made many mistakes. But every failure is a learning process. Now we are growing and improving our business and idea. Although Currently I am working on multiple projects with unique idea, experience and maturity.
Q4. Why did you left your corporate job in this competitive world?
I wanted to start my own venture from my college days. But I was not too mature at that time to get any idea for Startup. I did not have any guidance and mentorship. We have to learn many things as homework before start entrepreneurship journey. So I started my job, met many persons and learned many things during my corporate journey. I was pretty clear at that time to start something my own. But what we want to do and when to do is the main question, so we started to workout on this question. Finally after some years of experience and knowledge, I left my job in March 2016 as a H1 US Visa holder. It was a very high moment for any tech employee but my thoughts are little bit different. So I started my startup in 2016 as a full time. Rather then going to overseas , I preferred to start my startup.
Q5. Many students afraid from entrepreneurship. What do you want to say about this fear??
Students mostly afraid because there are certain doubts exist in market about entrepreneurship journey. And yes, you can see more than 95% startups failed in last ten years. This is the bitter truth about Startup and entrepreneurship journey. But when I started my journey, same figure came to me also but I found that if you will run your startup for next 5 years then this figure would be decrease and your chances will grow to do something new. So my milestone was to complete a so called risky time span of 4-5 years firstly, that’s it. One thing I want to tell you that don’t come in startup for mere funding or luxury. Actually things are too different as it’s being shown. It is not so good from close. If you do for that only then don’t do it because you can’t make it easily or might not complete it but if you are really want to solve any problem then you definitely make it although journey will be still challenging and that is the best part of it. So I would say that entrepreneurship is a challenging but worthful journey, it is a fixed deposit of entrepreneur with high return. It is very profitable and tuff comparing to any corporate job. First thoroughly study, identify yourself and then decide to come in entrepreneurship.
Q6. What are the suggestions for new Startup founders?
I would suggest that when you think about Startup or think something out of box then it is not one thread. I always say “Let’s explore it”. Current time is the right time for any startup due to right and vibrant ecosystem. People are looking that you will get something new. If you really want to solve something and have a passion for that then it is really worth. I would suggest to pick a problem statement which you faced or identified. Fortunately We have a lot of problem in India. So find out a real problem, try to solve it with planning. Do a good homework before that and enjoy the process to solve it.
Q7. Where do you see Open Innovations Lab after 10 years?
Yes there are lots of eco-players who are doing good in this domain. Government entity are looking forward, academia has got a reverse change in education and discipline, industry looking desperately for new product. We are seeing alignment exposure in market; small startups are acquired by big organizations. All of them are doing well then it is possible to get success. But to get real success, you should be disciplinary and update time to time. We are early adaptor in this discipline. We have an advantage of timing and technology. We have an amazing team too. We are working in tier-3 city where numbers of players are very less and we find it as an opportunity. We have achieved some good milestones till now and leading towards . We will leading towards an exponential growth. We got an opportunity to work with some high labelled corporates and state government too. We would like to change the mindset of academia and industry. I am confident that we will get a very good exposure in the span of 10 years and might play an important role of this flip class room.