Dr Shaan Patel of Prep Expert On How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Collaboration Technologies: Promoting greater collaboration among students and teachers through tools that facilitate communication and project management. At Prep Expert, we have implemented a number of solutions that has made it easier for tutors and students to communicate and collaborate.

Digital transformation has become a crucial component for businesses striving to stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. As technology continues to shape industries and redefine business models, companies must adapt and leverage digital tools and strategies to unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation. In this interview series, we aim to explore various aspects of digital transformation, including best practices, challenges, success stories, and expert insights. We are talking to thought leaders, industry experts, entrepreneurs, technology innovators, and executives who have firsthand experience in driving digital transformation initiatives within their organizations. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Shaan Patel, MD, MBA.

Dr. Shaan Patel, MD, MBA is the Founder & CEO of Prep Expert, a perfect SAT scorer, and author of Prep Expert Digital SAT Playbook: Winning Strategies To Achieve Your Dream Score. Prep Expert is a leading education company that has helped over 100,000 students improve their SAT & ACT scores, receive admission into top universities, and win over $100 million in college scholarships.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I’m Dr. Shaan Patel, the founder of Prep Expert. My journey began in a modest motel in Las Vegas, where I grew up. Inspired by my parents’ hard work and dedication, I aimed high and managed to increase my own SAT score from average to perfect, which not only changed my life but also led me to start Prep Expert. My goal was to help other students achieve their own remarkable improvements through Prep Expert. As seen on Shark Tank, Prep Expert offers online SAT & ACT courses, 1-on-1 academic tutoring, and college admissions consulting.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

One of the funniest mistakes I made early on involved misunderstanding the scale of digital advertising. I remember setting a daily Google Ads budget without realizing that I had actually set it to run indefinitely. The bill was quite a surprise! This taught me a crucial lesson in attention to detail, especially in the realms of budgeting and digital marketing.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m particularly grateful for Mark Cuban, who invested in Prep Expert after I appeared on “Shark Tank.” His guidance has been invaluable not only in scaling the business but also in navigating the entrepreneurial challenges that come with rapid growth. Mark taught me the importance of resilience and innovation in entrepreneurship. One story I can share is recently when Mark Cuban invited me to co-host an entrepreneurship panel for the Obama Foundation with him. We both share a common mission to inspire young people to become entrepreneurs, and even co-wrote a book called Kid Startup to help kids do just that.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

A significant influence on me was the book Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It resonated with me because it focuses on the importance of agility and responsiveness in developing a business. Applying its principles helped me to iterate on teaching methods and course offerings effectively, making Prep Expert responsive to student needs and market changes.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

Currently, I’m working on expanding our digital learning platforms to include more AI-driven tools that personalize learning experiences for students. These advancements are not just about improving test scores but also about making learning more accessible and efficient, which can have a profound impact on educational outcomes globally.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. Digital transformation can mean many things to many people, from your perspective, how do you define digital transformation in your industry?

In the education sector, digital transformation involves using technology to fundamentally change how students learn and how instructors teach. For Prep Expert, this means leveraging data analytics to customize learning plans and employing online platforms to reach a global audience.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

Educational institutions stand to benefit immensely. By adopting digital solutions, they can enhance learning experiences, reach more students, and provide better accessibility through remote learning environments.

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

Integrating new technologies can be daunting due to costs, training needs, and resistance to change. At Prep Expert, we help mitigate these challenges by offering phased implementation plans, comprehensive training for instructors, and ongoing support to ensure technology is used effectively.

Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”?

  1. Enhanced Personalization: Using AI to tailor educational content to individual student needs, improving outcomes and engagement. At Prep Expert, we are now using A.I. to help pinpoint the weak areas that students need the most help with in test preparation.
  2. Data-Driven Decisions: Implementing analytics to better understand student performance and refine teaching methods and materials. At Prep Expert, we try to make data-driven decisions around curriculum, and the only way to do that is to track and analyze everything.
  3. Scalability: Utilizing cloud solutions to expand offerings globally without the need for extensive physical infrastructure. At Prep Expert, we made the decision to close all of our brick-and-mortar locations after the pandemic. This ended up being a great decision as it is much easier to scale online courses than physical locations.
  4. Increased Accessibility: Offering more online courses and resources, making education more accessible to those who cannot attend traditional classes. Similar to the above, transitioning to fully online courses has helped Prep Expert reach more students than ever, and made our course curriculum content more accessible.
  5. Collaboration Technologies: Promoting greater collaboration among students and teachers through tools that facilitate communication and project management. At Prep Expert, we have implemented a number of solutions that has made it easier for tutors and students to communicate and collaborate.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

To foster a culture of innovation, companies should encourage risk-taking without fear of failure, promote continuous learning, and maintain open lines of communication for new ideas. It’s about creating an environment where innovation is not just a buzzword but an actionable ethos.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” This has been relevant throughout my life, as my efforts in improving my SAT scores and building my business have shown me that persistence and hard work often pave the way to opportunities and success.

How can our readers further follow your work?

Readers can follow my work and latest updates on the Prep Expert website and through our social media channels. We regularly post educational tips, success stories, and new course announcements to help students everywhere achieve their test prep goals. Learn more at prepexpert.com

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.