LEADERS

Rashmi Gowda: Making Students' Dream To Destination A Reality

Rashmi Gowda
Co-Founder & COO

Studying abroad is a dream that millions of students harbor. However, out of those millions only a handful are able to turn it into reality. For other potential students, factors such as lack of proper guidance, support, or financial backing act as deterrent in their quest for international education opportunities. Rashmi Gowda, an established entrepreneur with 15 years of diverse and rich experience is striving to alleviate the challenges that several students face while pursuing higher education abroad. She is working hard to turn their dream destination into a reality.

Rashmi is the co-founder of Scoreleap, an edtech startup that specializes in test prep. Having had the opportunity and international experience at Harvard herself, Rashmi intends to apply her leadership skills across politics and multilateral organizations to help students fulfill their academic aspirations. Currently servicing as the COO at Scoreleap she brings in rich experience in Strategy, Fund Raising, Business Operations & Product Management.

“Nothing gives me more pleasure and a sense of purpose than seeing or knowing that we helped someone accomplish something that they once thought was out of reach,” quotes Rashmi Gowda in an exclusive conversation with Women Entrepreneur team. Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Introduce Us To Scoreleap Test Prep And The Various Services That The Firm Specializes In.

ScoreLeap, an Ed-Tech company was formed to give access to higher education abroad. Our platform helps students prepare for standardized tests that are required to enter universities, such as the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL and SAT. We assist students in applying for educational programmes abroad by providing a full end-to-end service. Our team members have successfully helped students secure admissions to over 100 universities around the world including Stanford, Harvard and INSEAD.

We have over 550 interactive videos on the web-app and mobile app platforms. We also provide live class sessions and one-on-one sessions to cater to different learning styles. There are approximately 2000 questions in the simulation practice tests and our team provides feedback for score improvements and equips our students with the strategies to crack the test.

Take Us Through Your Early Educational Journey And The Prior Industry Experience That You Bring To The Table?

I graduated from VTU with a bachelor's degree in computer science and later completed management programme for women entrepreneurs at IIM, Bangalore. I also have a master's degree in public administration from Harvard, which has given me the motivation to help others achieve their academic goals.

I began my career as a director at Csquare Learnings and worked for five years. I've also worked as a consultant and research assistant. In 2019 I joined Scoreleap's board of advisors. Within a year, I was appointed as director and in 2021 as the COO and co-founder of scoreleap.

My professional experience covers wide array of industries from education to development.  I was exposed to different work cultures in politics, academic systems, and the interactions that are unique to each of the industry's landscape. In the 14 years I've learned a lot about adaptation, strategic thinking, and communication, which have given me the tools to navigate highly complex and challenging paths.

What Prompted You To Take Up Entrepreneurship? What Are Some Critical Business Lessons That You Have Learnt In The Early Days Of Your Entrepreneurial Journey?

The advantage of entrepreneurship is having the space for creativity in the approach to your mission, work environment and how we build our organization overall. As an entrepreneur I was fortunate to cover a wide array of industries.

I wanted to alleviate the challenges such as lack of proper guidance, support, or financial means that many have to overcome in order to pursue higher education. Through our venture, we cater to the needs of those seeking academic opportunities abroad. We guide our students through the application process, particularly on the test preparation. Our team continues to play a supporting role in scholarship and visa application processes.

I have learned that the entrepreneurial world is a challenging and at times unforgiving place.  Hence, having the support system makes a significant difference in handling the issues and I am very fortunate to have a very supportive partner in business and life. Another valuable lesson in optimising results and achieving your mission is to have a well-functioning team with an open communication line.

“Growth is a by-product of successfully delivered services and products, and satisfied customers”

What Have Been Some Of The Most Critical Milestones Achieved By The Firm So Far?

Nothing gives me more pleasure and a sense of purpose than seeing or knowing that we helped someone accomplish something that they once thought was out of reach. We have been a part of many journeys that led to Harvard, Stanford, Wharton and other IVY League schools across the globe. To date we have helped obtain five million dollars in scholarships, successfully trained 8600 students to achieve target scores on various tests and developed hundreds of high-quality test preparation tools.

How Do You Keep Yourself Well Aligned With The Periodic Evolutions And Changes Taking Place In The Industry? Also, What Are Some Critical Aspects Of Leadership That Have Helped You Chart A Successful Career Path?

To stay current with technology, I read news, articles, podcasts, and listen to industry experts. Spending more time online to learn of the latest innovative developments is a great way to keep up with the global tech evolution.

I found active listening to be a great skill in understanding, pinpointing and harnessing the team's strengths. Through listening I can communicate and convey my vision for the company as well as my hopes for India's future education system. Recently, I became an active member of STEP where I speak on entrepreneurship and provide experience related mentorship to other aspiring women Entrepreneurs.

I want to create space for new ideas and I believe that the likelihood for a more enriched outcome, product and results overall would be greater when you are in the presence of diversity, both in perspective and experience.

Rashmi Gowda, Co-Founder & COO, Scoreleap

Rashmi is the co-founder of Scoreleap, an edtech startup that specializes in test prep. Having had the opportunity and international experience at Harvard herself, Rashmi intends to apply her leadership skills across politics and multilateral organizations to help students fulfill their academic aspirations. Currently servicing as the COO at Scoreleap she brings in rich experience in Strategy, Fund Raising, Business Operations & Product Management.

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