INTERVIEW: Madhuri Dixit and Dr Shriram Nene are looking to raise funds for their online dance school and a new healthtech venture
- Dance With Madhuri has grown five times during lockdown, their health tech startup set to launch soon; the duo is also looking to raise funds through strategic partners.
- In an interview with Business Insider, the Bollywood star and her doctor husband share their plans to grow their entrepreneurial ventures.
- They are also looking at introducing acting, scriptwriting, gourmet cooking, music lessons, and more.
With their edutech venture, Dance With Madhuri, having grown five times during lockdown, and their health tech startup set to launch soon, the duo is also looking to raise funds through strategic partners.
So, when the couple moved back to India in 2011, they were quick to recognize the need for dance education in the last mile and accessible healthcare for all. “At that time, there were barely 150 million internet users, today there are almost 600 million users,” said Dr Nene.
For Madhuri, dance has always been her passion, so the first product – Dance With Madhuri, came about with the idea to teach dance in a fun and social way and create a global village for culture. Within three months, they created the infrastructure online, outsourced everything with just three in-house employees. And when they finally launched in February 2013, they realised there was a huge need – their servers crashed on the first day of launch. “Within a year, we had six million page views and 200,000 users,” said Dr Nene.
But cut to 2020, and their business has grown five times. And now, they are exploring more avenues. “We are looking at introducing acting, scriptwriting, gourmet cooking, music, and more,” said Dixit-Nene.
As lockdown began, the choreography schools shut down as well. Dance With Madhuri reached out to choreographers behind the schools to build their classes on its platform. “We have now also launched live classes where users can learn and be critiqued online as well,” said Dr Nene.
‘As a little girl, never imagined dance would be online’
But had the dance icon ever imagined the art being taught this way? “Maybe when I was little, I never imagined one can learn dance from a screen. But even on the reality shows where I have been a judge, I used to ask the contestants, where did you learn, and they would answer – the Internet. That just reaffirmed my faith in this idea,” she said.
In the next five years, she hopes to offer certification courses through the school as well.
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