Kiran Dham, edtech firm Globus Infocom had a humble start. The company now clocks a turnover of Rs 208 crore .
It takes a lot of guts to take the first step toward entrepreneurship, especially at a very young age. Kiran Dham was only 24 years old when she launched a business to sell projectors in 2001.
Kiran launched Globus Infocom, an edtech company with the help of her husband Ashish Dham. Globus Infocom clocked a turnover of Rs 208 crore in FY 2019-20. Recalling the humble beginnings of the company, Kiran says, “Ashish had previously worked in a firm where he was handling the sales of projectors.”
Globus Infocom first sold projectors and display screens before expanding into other products and services. Today, the company provides digital learning solutions and has established hundreds of digital language laboratories and smart classrooms throughout the country.
Kiran claims that in the first year, they sold 200 projectors to BSNL. Until 2010, the quantity of projectors sold to BSNL doubled every year. The display screens (or data walls, as they were known back then) were installed in army and police control centres.
Kiran and Ashish began with just the two of them and grew their company to 20 employees in six months. They now have 250 employees and their office is in a three-story building in Noida that they own.
Since the Covid lockdown, business has soared, with the company’s revenue more than doubling from Rs 100 crore in FY 2019-20 to Rs 208 crore in FY 2020-21. The good fortune has continued this year, and Kiran is optimistic about reaching Rs 350 crore in FY 2021-22.
Tejpal Singh, Kiran’s father, is a musician. Tejpal and his brother Surinder Singh are known as Singh Bandhu, and they are exponents of Hindustani classical music and Sikh music (shabad kirtan).
Kiran, the youngest of three siblings, graduated from St Thomas School, Mandir Marg, Delhi, in 1993 with an 83 percent grade point average. She planned to pursue medicine and spent a year preparing for the medical entrance exam, but she did not pass. Kiran then earned a Bachelor of Science in Botany Honors from Hindu College (Delhi University). She also completed an MBA from Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan in New Delhi, with a major in Human Resources.
Kiran met her future husband, Ashish, in 1998. She says, “We met through a mutual acquaintance, gradually clicked, went about for a little while, and Ashish immediately proposed to me.”
Ashish was born in the Indian city of Dehradun. He was raised all throughout India because his father, Trilok Nath Dham, worked as a Broadcast Engineer for All India Radio. He graduated from St. Xavier’s Delhi with an 83 percent I “”1989.” In 1994, he began working for a firm that sold projectors. He had attained the level of Area Sales Manager when he left the company in 1999, the same year he married Kiran.
Kiran had her first kid, a son, in 2000, and her second four years later. “We have great parents who have always been there for us.
She explains, “I took a hiatus between 2006 and 2009 to focus on my children. When I returned, the company had begun to slow down for a variety of reasons (including the global recession). The company’s revenue dropped from Rs 78 crore in 2007 to Rs 11 crore in 2012. In 2008, the company had 300 employees; by 2013, it had reduced to 40.”
Kiran assessed the situation. After conducting customer surveys for research, she decided not to follow the rat race, but to start with innovative solutions.
In other words, Kiran redesigned the company to meet the market’s shifting needs, and it proved to be a game changer. Since then the company has been providing schools with digital language labs and smart classrooms.
To increase the quality of teaching and learning, we focused on technology. And the firm expanded, from simply providing computers and projectors to subsequently setting up entire units in a user-friendly manner so that teachers could easily use them.
They started selling everything from processors to keyboards to biometric attendance devices. The company’s turnover reached Rs 100 crore in 2016, but remained stable for the next few years till the corona virus pandemic hit the world.
The entire world was shut down, and India was no exception. According to Kiran, who grabbed the opportunity to rapidly grow, schools had no choice but to transition to online medium.
As they were already in contact with educational institutions, they had a ready-made database to market their services and solutions. More institutions learned about their services through word-of-mouth and intensive marketing and web promotions by the company.
Kiran Dham explains, “We provided schools with a platform where teachers could teach the way they do in school, and assessments could also be administered online. We collaborated extensively in the K12 space, setting up digital labs. Such classrooms were unheard of in distant districts of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Gujarat. We have put nearly 5,000 digital language labs (English, Hindi, and Sanskrit) across the country to develop communication abilities.
Globus also offers the instructional materials for these labs.”