1. Tell us about yourself?
I am Niteesh Kumar Upadhyay, I have done my LL.M. from WBNUJS, Kolkata. I am the founder of knowledgesteez.com and have also mentored several other endeavors. I am a part of the Editorial Boards of different journals of Legal Research and Study like Journal of Comprehensive Legal Research, West Minster Law Review and Dibrugarh Law Journal, Youth Policy Journal (U.K). I have received various scholarships in past including GAJE Turkey, ILEC New York, HAGUE Academy Netherlands, Gaje Mexico etc. In year 2015 I was awarded with title of social change maker 2015, Young Humanitarian Award 2017 , Youth for Human Rights Award 2017.
2. How did the idea for your business come about?
I was doing my LL.M., when I got this idea of launching a platform where a law student can find all the upcoming opportunities for himself. I started Knowledge Steez for providing a one stop solution for providing a numerous opportunities available to the law students.
3. Can you tell us about your venture Knowledge Steez?
Knowledge Steez was started in the year 2012 and it has walked past several milestones since then. The idea was to create a platform that would serve benefits in career and academic aspects to the students of law, social sciences stream, remotely located law colleges and the media field as well.
To introduce, Knowledge Steez attempts an effort in keeping students, researchers, scholars, academicians and teaching fraternity, updated with all the academic opportunities coming their way, in order to boost their career and promote much wider information dissemination. Knowledge steez core aim is to provide training to students and faculties about research , Human Rights and allied subjects.
It has recently got itself registered as Knowledge steezEduHub (LLP AAM 8237).
Knowledge steezEduHub has understood the value of multi disciplinary approach which comes along with law. It provides service not only in the field of law but also in field of Mass communication and Social sciences. Knowledge steezEduHub covers a wide aspect of law such as Human Rights, Intellectual Property Rights, Media Law, Cyber Law and related ones. SUMMER SCHOOLS and WINTER SCHOOLS, as an integral part of our service are organized in different countries, to mention the latest being with Daffodil International University Bangladesh. We are also in collaboration with universities such as IIT Kharagpur, Sharda University, Amity Law School, National Law Schools, as MEDIA PARTNERS. Knowledge steezEduHub is always on beck and call with all possible help for causes like protection of human rights , women rights , etc free of cost of NGOs. Knowledge steezEduHub has conducted around 100+ legal aid and awareness workshops in last few years on issues like gender justice, cyber awareness and Human Rights.
The Knowledge Steez also has a special concern focusing on the stereotypes prevailing in the society. Be it a women, an elderly, a men, a victim, any caste, creed or gender, everyone in the society posses right to live their life with equal respect and dignity. We at The Knowledge Steez, through our breaking stereotypes campaigns attempt at spreading awareness about the same that could further add to build a better place to live in with people who know what not to do and what not to tolerate.
knowledge steez conducted around 150+ workshops on gender rights , cyber awareness etc in last two years.
4. What are the challenges you faced till date and presently facing?
The challenges were many since beginning as I was a student when I started this venture and funding has always been a problem as we expand. Knowledge Steez is a voluntary organization.
5. What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
When I was pursuing my LL.B., there was no website which would provide details of all the upcoming opportunities like call for papers, conferences, scholarships, fellowships, job posts etc. and because of this I missed many opportunities. I was determined to provide a platform to the other law students so that the opportunities are easily accessible to everyone.
6. How did you raise funding for your venture?
In the initial years, all the expenses incurred in running the website were borne by me from my own pocket and at present too, we are working at no profit no loss basis.
7. How do you build a successful customer base?
We have been successful in establishing a great audience because the information provided by us is reliable and we provide information free of cost. When I was establishing this organization, I was very clear that the reliable information will be provided to audience from across the globe and free of cost.
8. What kind of culture exists in your organization, and how did you establish it?
We have always worked like a family. I take it as my responsibility that every team member feels at home and he/she is not merely an employee in our organization but a part of our family. We assist our team members in every possible manner for their over all growth.
9. How do you define success?
For me happiness is success
10. What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
My favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is the innovation which we are able to do. It not only allows me to experiment with the traditional methods and explore different areas but Knowledge Steez has also acted as a platform for various students/ reputed academicians to come forward and discuss and debate on the crucial aspects. We have conducted three world conferences, three national conferences, Summer School on Human Rights in Bangladesh and Winter School on Human Rights in Nepal and have partnered with over 200 events since 2012.
11. What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
There have been many such moments which were satisfying. We have been able to provide information and opportunities to the law students through our website and we have also conducted over 150 workshops on legal awareness. Every little effort which our team takes to spread awareness and to assist others in their legal rights brings satisfaction to me.
12. Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My inspiration has been my teacher, Prof. (Dr.) Manoj Kumar Sinha, Director, Indian Law Institute, New Delhi. He has always inspired me and I have always looked upto him
13. Any message for future entrepreneur
I just wish them good luck and my only advise is to innovative. There are ample opportunities to explore here.
For more details please visit http://www.knowledgesteez.com/