Bhopal Who Dropped IIT-Kharagpur and Founded Quesky And Became Successful


While most students dream of taking up medical, engineering or law professions when they are in school, Madhya Pradesh’s Ankur Pandey always knew he wanted to become an entrepreneur. However, coming from a family of engineers, Pandey robotically chose to pursue a non-medical course after class 10 and began his preparation for Joint Entrance Examination for Engineering (JEE) simultaneously. His interest in Physics hooked him to the preparation and his entrepreneurial dream took a backseat.

“I was an average student in school. Thus getting into an IIT was a distant dream but I vigorously worked hard to qualify for the JEE. As a result, although I was able to clear the entrance exam, I barely passed my class 12,” Pandey said.

A resident of Bhopal, Pandey completed his schooling from the same city and prepared for JEE on his own. In 2011, he cleared JEE but he took some time to decide between a better institute and a course.

“Before coming to a final decision, I consulted with my family members, teachers and even former IITians on which college or course should I choose. Most of them suggested to prefer institute over a branch and that’s how I joined IIT-Kharagpur to study industrial and systems engineering,” Pandey said.

“Within a few weeks of being at IIT, I knew I made the right decision. The campus had a vibrant environment with supportive faculty and seniors. The institute had a business club where budding entrepreneurs discussed ideas and many co-founded start-ups. The dream I had set aside to pursue engineering then got a platform and I began interning with several start-ups right from the first year,” he added.

After working with many companies as an intern and consultant, Pandey launched his own ed-tech start-up, Quesky, in the third year of college. This is when he realised his passion for entrepreneurship and by the fourth year of his degree, he made up his mind to quit college and work full-time on his edtech startup.

“I was sure about my decision to drop out. However, this didn’t sit well with my family. They pursued me into continuing my education and working on the start-up simultaneously. But my decision was made and I quit my engineering career in 2014,” he explained.

In 2015, he shut his ed-tech startup and co-founded a fintech brand Signzy where he was trusted with creating a software team from the scratch. Signzy is a video-KYC and Digital new customer onboarding solution provider to banks, insurance companies and other new economy companies.

Being a founder of two start-ups without holding any professional degree, Pandey believes that a person’s passion and skills are more useful than their education.

“To those who are preparing for JEE or any other entrance exam, I will suggest that choose an institute that will give you the right exposure to polish your skills. In today’s tech-savvy world, gaining education is not a difficult task but building connections will help you in the long run. This can only be achieved when you land up in any premier institution,” he emphasised.


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