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On Growth Strategy: 5 Lessons From REPTO

Founded by Ishtiyak Sheyam, REPTO, a Dhaka-based online education startup, has built a revenue-first company from scratch. Online education is a challenging market for a myriad of reasons. But Sheyam and his team at REPTO have managed to get past these perceived limitations in the market. Over the past three years, REPTO has raised several rounds of investment, while consistently growing its revenue. Today, it has over 150 courses on its platform, over 68,000 students adding 500 new users daily and generating tens of lakhs in revenue per month.

As I mentioned earlier, online education is a difficult market in Bangladesh. There are many challenges. Free content, a lack of willingness to pay for an online course, lack of quality content and star trainers and so on.

Despite the obstacles, REPTO has meaningfully grown its business, improving its chances of success in the long run. And the strategies and tactics, REPTO used to achieve that growth, are something that many internet companies can replicate to grow their business.

Here are a couple of strategies REPTO has used to grow its business that you can try in your own internet business. Enter Ishtiyak Sheyam.

1. Work for the growth

"Whatever growth we have achieved over the past years, we have worked for it. Online education is a challenging market. It is challenging for even advanced market and for us, it is even more so.

From the beginning, we have deliberately thought about growth and tried hard to come up with ideas to grow the business."

2. Use connectors and influencers in your industry

"We have worked with popular trainers, who have a follower base who would like to take his or her courses. It has helped us build awareness in the market and leverage the popularity of our trainers. That has been a super helpful strategy in the early days to create awareness about us in the market."

3. Free always works

"Then we have allowed people to take our premium courses for free for a certain period. For instance, you could access a graphic design course for free for seven days. It has helped us to attract new users and improve conversion."

4. Never ignore search

"We have used affiliate marketing tool, which has enabled us to spread our words and also get a lot of traffic from Google."

5. Focus on the real metrics

"We have worked hard to build awareness and reach to more people. We did not spend much on vanity metrics such as FB likes and stuff. Instead, we worked hard to develop real traction.

We spent money only to sell, no other purposes. We paid all our focus on sales, instead of promoting for the sake of promotion."

6. Use your limitations to your advantage

"Money has been a limitation for us, and we had to be wise regarding spending money. Whatever money we invested, we wanted to make sure that it gave us some return. We always calculate how much return we could get from spending one penny. Our average basket size is about BDT 2600, and our paid customer acquisition cost is about BDT 200. We have been trying to build a referral network, which has been our priority all the time."

This is an excerpt from our interview with REPTO founder Ishtiyak Sheyam, read the full story here.

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