In 2016, the RO6 intake was starting the MBA, followed, an year later, by the RO7 intake. With diverse background but a similar wish to be a better leader, like all our intakes, the students took a new step in their transformation journey.
The journey progressed differently for each of them, but for Carmen (RO6), Costina and Alex (RO7), it also meant a common goal. This took the shape of Edus.ro, a digital platform dedicated to Romanian public and private schools to manage their online activity.
We recently spoke to Costina to find out more about Edus and their future plans.
Tell us a bit about Edus, what does the platform do and how did you come up with the idea?
Edus.ro is a digital platform, based on three functional pillars: online classes and library, homework and tests and attendance and grade mark book. These three pillars manage to successfully move the entire process of teaching and studying in the digital area, from live teaching and sharing materials to evaluation and grading.
The idea came up a few years ago when we were students and had the opportunity to start using technology in our daily activity, projects, communication with teachers and colleagues, digital gradebook, and attendance. It was a new and very nice experience as students and we asked ourselves why we didn’t know about these tools in our previous education cycles. In that moment, the idea was born.
What happened next, how did it progress from idea to launch? How long did it take to create the platform with all functionalities?
In 2016, Alex Șelaru had an already mature consultancy company for public Romanian institutions, including schools. So, the new idea had the perfect opportunity to be tested on real clients. The main identified need was to somehow simplify the communication between teachers and parents, and of course, student’s performance in class. At that point we developed the first version of EDUS.ro digital grade book and attendance register in less than one year.
This was followed by 2 years of slow sales due to different limitations the public sector was having. But, in 2020, due to the pandemic context, the demand for online school platform sharply increased. On a very uncertain background, EDUS.ro developed and increased a lot: we added two essential functionalities on the platform in less than 6 months: online courses module and homework and tests module. We reshaped our team and our communication, which translated into a portfolio of more than 600 enrolled schools at the end of 2020.
I know you built the platform with your MBA colleagues. What roles do you each have in the project?
We are a team of nearly 20 members, activating in IT development, sales, digital marketing, consultancy, finance, support, and operations.
Among this amazing team, three of us graduated the MBA program and other two attended Fast Track Management Program at MSM Romania. Alexandru Șelaru is the Owner & CEO, I am the Product Manager and Carmen is the Business Development and eLearning Manager. Oana Slabu (Operations Manager) and Ana Gutu (Sales Manager) have both graduated Fast Track Management Program.
What made you take this new path? What do you think is a must have for an entrepreneur?
The desire to improve the world – If you have a business idea that can solve a problem for a lot of people, you already are on the right track.
The ability to deal with failure – An entrepreneur must know that failure is not final, just like success is not final. The real failure is not to learn from all these experiences.
The need to work with smart people – It is very important for a young entrepreneur to be surrounded smart teammates. There will be a lot of moments when they will have to answer questions like what to do next and how to do it.
What are your objectives for the future of the project?
Our goal is to become the main provider of software solutions for the Romanian educational system in its digitalization process, by delivering the friendliest management, evaluation, and communication software solution on the market, thus bringing teachers, parents, and students together for the first time on a single digital platform.
EDUS overarching mission should be to put the students first and to give every each of them the chance to explore their educational potential.
What are your thoughts about entrepreneurship so far? What is the best and not so great about it?
What I find amazing is that when working as an entrepreneur your mind is always utilized. Every single business decision involves a lot of responsibility and keeps your mind busy, from the initial concept and branding, to the growth and goal setting. This leads also to another amazing thing. The fact that as an entrepreneur, you get to constantly learn. You are always learning lessons, sometimes the hard way. It is a priceless education that you cannot get in a classroom.
What is sometimes hard to deal with is not being so emotional in taking some decisions. It is not easy to not think with your heart and to be fully rational in some situations. The entrepreneur is the one that has grown the project, from the idea and concept to business. It is like planting a tree in the backyard of your home, watching it every day grow, hoping to enjoy its beautiful crown one day in the future.
How do you think the EMBA impacted your professional and personal life? Is there anything you apply now?
Of course, the EMBA program has a powerful impact on both professional and personal life. The fact is that you cannot enjoy it right after. Some time may pass, some new occasions may appear, and you suddenly deal with all of this in a better and more natural way.
2020 was definitely the year when I had the chance to practice mostly everything that I have learned during the EMBA. I had to deal with uncertainty and change management, plan resources to reach goals and make financial projections, deal with frustration, and identify motivation techniques, overpass cultural behaviors that kept things on hold, implement digital transformation of a lot of work processes, apply statistics to better understand the economic environment. All these in one year! 2020 was a special year indeed!
Do you have any advice for future entrepreneurs?
Start to challenge yourself. Have faith in your idea and your way of thinking. No one succeeds immediately, and everyone was once a beginner. As a matter of fact, in entrepreneurship we are always beginners 😊.
If you liked reading this article, why not explore other alumni stories from our blog? And if you liked it a lot, know that you can also become an EMBA student in our future intake – find out more about our programs.