Sagar Paliwal | Founder of BlockGeni
Success leaves clues
Finance Strategists sat down with Sagar Paliwal, founder of BlockGeni. He shared his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight he gained from running the business.
Who is Sagar Paliwal?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
Sagar Paliwal, I am an automotive engineer with specialization in International Business and eCommerce. Born and brought up in India, have a BEng (Hons) degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Lancaster University UK, a Masters degree (MSc) in E-business and Innovation from Lancaster University Management School UK.
I consider myself as an eternal student, always eager to learn new things. The potential of new technologies like Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence excite me. With these technologies being the future of humankind, it is crucial that we make these technologies available to the masses.
It was in this quest to make technical education easily accessible, I created BlockGeni.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
My parents and my wife are the biggest influencers in my life. My parents have taught me the value of good education, the importance of honesty, the strength of determination and the significance of justice and equality. The values of these concepts have enabled me to have a practical and holistic approach to life and business.
I truly feel that the modern education systems of the world are creating more robots than humans, where students understand the concepts of capital but lack the ethics, morals, and social responsibilities that come along with it.
Most of the millennials and gen z are living in an artificial impractical world of social media. For them being popular equals being rich and successful, and if you are not popular then there is no hope for you. I want to help change this notion, trying to bring some sanity in this insane world of social media.
I believe that with easy access to quality education we can help create far better and more permanent opportunities than what are available today. This will help make things real again and will encourage people to focus their energies in the right direction.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
My life has been a roller-coaster ride, having graduated during the biggest recession in recent years, jobs and opportunities have been difficult. I started my first startup immediately after graduation. One of the biggest lessons learned, “Things never go as planned, so plan better, create backups, fallback – regroup and try again.” Don’t lose faith and never give up hope. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, tough times don’t last forever, only tough people do. Give every effort a fighting chance and give it your best.
When starting out, you are bound to make mistakes, so learn from them quickly. Understand what went wrong and improvise. Network better, surround yourself with people from whom you can learn, find a mentor if possible. And most importantly, don’t measure yourself with only your failures.
What is BlockGeni?
Q: What is BlockGeni?
BlockGeni is an educational platform dedicated to bleeding edge technologies. We want to revolutionize Education, make it realistic and practical for the new generation. We aim to make learning technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning accessible to the masses. On BlockGeni, we curate content on these technologies from all over the globe and present the same in simple, easily consumable format. Our editors categorized the content on topics like Latest News, Educational Content, DIY projects, and Media podcasts. This makes it easier for our readers to stay updated. This is a perfect platform for people who like to stay updated on all fields of knowledge related to modern computing technologies.
As an educational platform it supports all types of students, people who are simply interested in staying updated can refer to our news sections for various technologies. For people who are starting from scratch and what to learn, we have an Education section which covers all topics on these technologies and gets updated relevant content on daily biases. For students who already know about these topics and want a more hands on approach, we have a DIY section, where we regularly provide new development projects, helping students understand how the code really works. On BlockGeni.com, there is something for every type of student.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
BlockGeni is a unique platform unlike any other. We curate technical and educational content from 1500+ content providers worldwide on daily bases. Everything is classified and categorized into News, Education, DIY Projects or Media Podcasts. Unlike most Online Educational platforms, which are focused on simply selling their courses online, we aim to encourage our readers to develop their skillset at their leisure without forcing them to purchase a course. All content on the platform is absolutely free. To date there is no other platform online which provides the level of sophisticated detailed content as to which is available on Blockgeni.com. We are revolutionizing the concept of education by making it more approachable, keeping it at par with the present times. This is the easiest platform for anyone who is looking to update themselves with the latest technological concepts. We provide the easiest hands-on DIY approach to technical education.
Q: What led you to start your business?
In this continuously evolving stage of humankind, our traditional education systems are simply unable to keep pace with the ever-developing technologies. Even tech giants like Google and Facebook put more emphasis on true skills over degrees from fancy universities. This dramatic shift in educational paradigm, makes one wonder the true relevance of mounting student loans, ridiculous high fees and the 3-4 years invested in getting a University degree. As even after graduation, you still need years of relevant experience to get a decent technical job. So does it not make sense to rather start developing relevant technical skills earlier instead of wasting that time in getting a degree which has no relevance in the present job market?
We wanted to create a platform which stays true to the roots of education while providing an experience which is relevant in the present job market. A platform which encourages people to self-learn without imposing any monetary restrictions, it is with this intent we created Blockgeni.com, A platform, like a Genie per say, will help you achieve your heart’s desire by providing you concise curated content for all leading technologies.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
Starting a business on your own is an experience unlike any other. I got involved in business at a very early age. One of the most important lessons I have learned while building my business is the ability to stay patient and focused especially when the surrounded by chaos. It is your focus and perseverance that will get you out of any situation. Secondly, build a great team, give them focus – a singular vision, encourage them, share your passion with them. You need a great team to execute your vision correctly and to also take great care of your customers. Don’t hurry to build a great team, it’s not always easy to find the right set of people for the job, so be patient and always be on the lookout for the next piece of the puzzle. A bad hire can do more damage than good. Third, plan well, plan in advance and plan further than you “think” you need to. There will always be elements beyond your control, so keep space for wild cards. Be it product planning, financial planning, hiring, they all take longer than one might expect, so it’s sensible to have backups – buffers for unexpected delays. Lastly, if you need to raise funds, do it from investors who believe in your vision and who can provide you more than just capital. So when things go sideways, which they will, you will actually have a supporter to help and guide you through it.
These are some of the key things I have learned from my experience of building businesses.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
In the present scenario, with COVID-19, US-China conflict, and global recession, it is difficult to predict the future. From our perspective we will continue developing the BlockGeni platform. We work tirelessly to provide great content on the platform, will continue adding new contributors to our content. We want to further our reach and want to meaningfully impact as many lives as possible. Our ultimate goal is to be an International University, with students and teachers from each and every country on the planet, covering all fields of education- scientific, social, cultural and historical subjects.