Success Stories

Success Stories Zipilipi

New Jersey USA, with presence in USA, India, and UAE

ZipiLipi, the first ever AI powered platform for assisting students with the complex and stressful college admissions process.

ZipiLipi quickly and intelligently analyzes and grade thousands of data points to give students a comprehensive understanding of their application process, including the application essay, suggesting them the right college based on their profile and their subject choices.

It will work with the students in their 3-4 journey in building their profile, giving them expert advice and guidance at each step saving them 100s of manhours and frustrating experiences of waiting for their counselors time and spending 1000s of dollars to get the advice.

Rajesh Ranjan


Excerpts of the interview with Rajesh Ranjan on his experience with 11.1 KM-S and mentoring

I felt very lonely. There was no one to talk to . I was doing a lot of things and no one to talk to brush my ideas on product strategy and road map of the company. Although I would go and meet my ex senior colleagues and some tech experts they were able to give solutions to the point as they did not have the larger picture of the company which was changing by the week.I was not sure whether I was in the right direction

For a few days I would work for 20 hrs a day and sometimes when there would be a major stumbling block I would feel low and there would be a slack period. Worst is I was not answerable to anybody.

I felt I needed a partner, and the need for a guide who can make me accountable. I needed someone to talk to when in joy or in distress

Since we have been part of large companies we knew how to run large organizations, however we wanted someone with us who had built his own company from scratch so that we do not commit the same mistakes and we knew that would mean time and cost savings to us.

The question that was bothering after the initial wins was how do I grow my business. Apart from US and Middle East we had started focusing on the Indian education market segment and that is when we wanted someone who had an insight into the Indian University ecosystem. Ideally he should be an entrepreneur as he would understand and guide us too.

Since Pawan my co-founder joined later the question was in what proportion do we distribute the equity shareholding of the company. Although we knew each other for more than 20 years, and were good friends both knew when it came to distribution of equity shareholding there would be a massive difference of opinion and so we were then seeking a referee and we found that in our Business mentor

When co-founders are friends, the basic working style is not be harsh on timelines/delivery with each other. And sometimes excuses of each other are taken at face value. Sooner or later that had to change and we realized that our Business Mentor could also act as a sort of Non Executive Chairman to manage us as co-founders.

Initially there were some apprehensions. We had a good synergy amongst co-founders and there was nice equation between us. We were wondering how will the Mentor behave, will he take side of one founder and create a rift between the two co-founders

Initially we were wondering if the Mentor would be analytical in his decision making process, than being emotional. Will be talking at the same plane/level as the two of us

Thank you all of our apprehensions were unfounded as the Mentor turned out to be very practical and went above board when strategizing, reviewing or advising

We wanted the Mentor to view the company from a higher plane, giving it a long term plan. When we started discussions with 11.1 KM-S we were expecting Mentor to be an insider outsider , a growth marketer, who would for example give dispassionate opinion on new territories, new product lines, potential market fitment of new products. The Business mentor should be connected to the company its products, services , clientele, partners and team

We as co-founders were always focused on meeting timelines set by us and fulfil our short term targets to ensure company’s operations are alive. However we felt we were missing out on the long term vision of the company. We felt the need for someone who can keep the big picture alive. We wanted 11.1 KM-S to be the timekeeper and keep reminding co-founders on areas that are getting ignored.

My fellow entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley had also advised not to engage a Mentor who just gives advice and walks away, and after 1 week comes back to give some more advice. We were sure we did not need an advisor but someone who would see the strategy being implemented