Dynamic-preneur: AltEd Pro – Ravi CA, EGMP 2008

IIMB alumnus Mr. Ravi CA is regarded as a very creative and hands-on manager. After leaving his corporate job, Ravi made the decision to follow his passion for music and other business endeavours. A self-taught multi-instrumentalist and composer with a variety of artistic pursuits, his life journey and experience nothing short of inspirational.

Ravi dons many hats, including that of a management consultant, voice actor, music producer, and educator. His most recent project, ALTED, focuses on people development programs. He is the founder of the Raga School of Music and Medad Media Studio. Additionally, he has also produced multiple original instrumental music albums under the artist name of Instrumental Conversations.

Ravi strongly believes in outcome-driven continuous learning! And his favorite quote is, “Every failure is a failure of anticipation”!

Please tell us something about yourself.

My mother used to remark that I always move, that I have wheels under my feet. Even now, even though I may appear to be sitting quietly, my mind is constantly working. As a child, I had a natural curiosity, which inspired me to explore and learn. As a result, life has never been dull, and this is how I intend to live.

My corporate journey started from a “garage”. A fresh graduate from NIIT, I was eager to observe, absorb and learn. In actuality, Mr. Amar Nath, an IIMB alum, gave me my first full-time job opportunity. He taught me the principles of management. My two decades in the business have been nothing short of an adventure and a source of great of learning. My last corporate responsbility was a leadership role at RelQ, which is now acquired by EDS.

I had planned my retirement from corporate world from very early on, it wasn’t an overnight thought. Five years prior to my exit, I had planned my exit and my entrepreneurial transition. I was aware that careful planning and preparation were essential to my business idea’s success. Since money is not a need for me, I do not define success in terms of financial gain. This has made the entrepreneurial journey joyful rather than terrifying.

In 2008, I founded RaGa School of Music, which is still going strong today. We have mentored close to 25,000 students. Both of my other businesses, Instrumental Conversations and Medad Media, are active in their respective fields.

AltEd Pro, my latest project, is kind of my giving back to the society. he expectations of their employers may not always be understood by many people, especially the younger generation. The younger generation is intelligent and capable of using technology much more effectively, but in my opinion they lack the necessary abilities to grow.

Tell us more about AltEd, how did it all begin?

I have always planned ahead and organised my time since I was a small child. In 2008, when I finally made the leap, I established RaGa School of Music. I realised as I advanced in the field that I would eventually have to leave it behind and begin something new. I truly believe in evolution and ongoing education. Therefore, when my son took over RaGa and Medad Media, I made the decision to start afresh with AltEd.

I began AltEd in 2019, the motto at AltEd is to mentor people in the area of applied knowledge, skills and thinking. Despite the fact that it is a platform for everyone because everyone can profit from it, my target audience is the younger generation. My goal with AltEd is to close the knowledge gap between traditional education and the practical skills needed to succeed. I’m attempting to improve people’s abilities through my own experiences and learnings.

Our method is mainly workshop-based. Participants who have accepted responsibility for their own growth and are eager to have complete control over the talents they want to hone rather than attending training programmes that someone else forced them into.

RaGa School of Music, is a project very close to your heart. Please tell us more about it.

Back in 2008, when I moved out of a typical corporate career in IT to pursue my dream of making original instrumental music, the vision I had was to tread on a path of self-discovery and continuous learning. Of course, I could not just afford to pre-maturely retire at the age of 42 then. Hence, sustenance income was important too. It was also clear that when there was no guarantee that a pot of gold awaited me once my music was out. After all, a piece of art does not exactly fall into the essential goods category and besides, appreciation and value for art is very subjective. My primary passion had to be supported by secondary related areas of interest – teaching and helping others succeed in their journey of art. I did (and continue to) have many other interests outside of music, hence, I decided to give myself ten years to focus on music. Needed the time to mainly get better with my music skills (I am self-taught), learn more about the industry, learn studio design and production.

My wife, Gayathri, and I decided to start with Raga School of Music. A venture which continues till date. With focus on delivering music education. We started with guitar, keyboard and veena and then by 2012 had drums, tabla and vocal classes. As on date, we believe close to 25,000 students have benefited. Today this entire operation is online, though we downsized over the years since other initiatives demanded more of my time and art is not the kind of space where you can simply scale by expanding the team. Dedication and passion play a big role in quality of service.

It was logical for me to think of retailing and servicing musical instruments as part of what we did, so in 2009, I set up Music Gear. And in 2012 when I thought I was ready, I setup my recording / audio production studio. My first original instrumental music album was produced and released in December, 2013. Only after we had done a few other commercial productions for other clients. By 2018 I felt I had achieved what I set out to do – 5 full album releases of my own, had personally taught over 8000 students how to play guitar and had also sold and serviced instruments for a few thousand happy customers. My ten year window to focus on music was up and it was time for me to shift focus to my next area of interest. My son, Rahul, had meanwhile completed his education and had joined the studio venture which was registered as a separate entity called Medad Media. In 2019, I started the AltEd initiative to focus on people development – another area of interest which I had kept aside when I decided to focus full time on music.

What role has IIMB played in your work and personal journey?

I completed the EGMP at IIMB in 2008. The course and my time at the institute were both great experiences for me. I hold this experience dear to my heart. I was nominated by DELL, my then emplyer, for the EGMP programme as reward for excellence at work. I always wanted to look inside the institute whenever I was passing by to see the campus. I found the atmosphere absolutely apt for learning and transformational ideas . The calm of the campus had a undercurrent of genius at work.

My training was practical and was created for working professionals to troubleshoot at work, which is what I appreciated about it. The instructors’ intelligence in designing their different curricula so meticulously left me quite pleased. The case studies we conducted in class were my favourites.I am still in touch with many from the institute.

The fact that I was already in a transitional position when I was a student at IIMB greatly aided me in establishing myself and evaluating my future business ambitions.

You can get in touch with Ravi on ContactAlted@gmail.com