Stage 1 endorsement rejected

  • The applicant has provided evidence of a book published in Nov 2020. The publication of a book is not sufficient evidence to demonstrate leadership within a sector without evidence of the success of the book, or how the publishing deal came about.

I have included details about the book, contract copy, and feedback through a letter of recommendation and snapshot of LinkedIn messages of leading industry experts.

  • The work history evidence over the past 10 years primarily consists of working at agencies or as a consultant. Neither Mindrops nor Valiance meet the definition of “digital technology sector” or “product-led digital technology companies” which are defined in the guidelines as: The “digital technology sector” or “product-led digital technology companies” are defined as businesses that provide a proprietary digital technical service/product/platform/hardware as their primary revenue source. The creation of software, processing/storage of data, or the creation/application of technical computing hardware is often a central aspect of their business model.
    [This excludes general consultancies, outsourcing and technology-related consultancy groups focused on process/service delivery or solutions/systems architecture. Such firms do not meet the guidelines, particularly those primarily serving large corporate or multinational corporate (MNC) customers.

They are considering my companies as agencies.

  • The applicant cites being editor on arjournal as evidence of leadership. arjournal published their first article onto their website in July-Aug 2020 and so have not had enough time to establish their reputation as leaders.

  • The applicant has supplied evidence of their Udemy training (beginning August 2020). As this work has been undertaken so close to this application it is difficult to assess how big of a contribution to the field it is making. Also Udemy training is not a significant marker as there are very low entry criteria to become a trainer.

I have included impact by showing 21000 students enrolled with a rating 4 out of 5.

Please advice on it

Hi Ssingla,

Sorry to hear about your rejection, mate. My advice is geared more towards a future application, rather than an immediate review appeal. I feel the primary reasons for your stage-1 rejection are ‘recency’ and ‘specialism not considered suitable’

By recency I mean - book published in Nov 2020, arjournal editor work in July-Aug 2020 and even Udemy work in Aug 2020. This might be easier to solve with passage of time making the evidence relevant, when the impact of your work can be evidenced. I advise you to branch out to a couple more initiatives (using Udemy as a platform) for training which might make your overall body of evidence stronger.

The specialism is a tricky bit and much more difficult to circumvent. This line in the Tech Nation guide may give some comfort (if it is applicable to your case): “Work at specific agencies may be considered if the agencies are extremely focused on product innovation in a specific industry and are well-recognized for their contributions to that industry”

I can see there is clearly solid base on which you can build and with a few tweaks can see this could well work out for you.

Best of luck

Hi @deepak,

Thanks for your feedback. I am a bit shocked as they are treating Valiance and Mindrops as agencies.

In reality, the company “Valiance”, at the core of its operation and revenue generations, lies the use of the latest technologies including Artificial intelligence. “Valiance Solutions” is also a data science & machine learning company from Noida, India that was founded in 2012. With about 42 employees on deck, they serve both small and mid-sized clients from various industries with anything related to artificial intelligence, business intelligence, big data consulting, systems integration, and cloud consulting. Their clients are American Express, Bain & Company, GE, Walt Disney, OLX and many more.

The same goes for Mindrops. Mindrops is in the business of developers in all types of information technology (IT) related software, mobile-related software, software-enabled services, and software tools and applications. It carries out research and development of computer software applications. They have made IT products for Perfitly, Anton Paar, Brown Bag, Activate, Delta Airlines. Both of these companies are typical digital technology companies.

I am a bit shocked, how come they are treated as agencies whereas their main revenue is through building tech products and tech services.

Also, for some documents such as news articles, media recognition, and speaker at specialized & mentoring events which I attached they have not given any feedback.

I am very very confused.


@SSingla, Sorry to say, after visiting websites of both the aforementioned companies, the first impression that can be taken is they are service based company. So, purely on the outlook, rejection seems in line with current norms for endorsement. I would suggest to focus more on your personal contribution and innovation. You seem to be able person. Commercial success of your book certainly can put you on high ground so reapplying afterwards would be a great thing to do.

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I don’t want to disappoint you but I just saw your Udemy course which has 21k enrollments but the price is 20$. This means you just made Udemy record of earning above 200k in just few months. Another possibility is you made the course free 1st and that’s how you attracted thousands of enrollments. After that, you switched the course to paid. Something is not making sense here.

Unfortunately, i concur with their assessment. Your work history is service based, not a product-lead tech company, which is the experience that tech nation is looking to attract.

Hi @zamana, Thank you for the message. From August 2020, onwards Udemy brought a new law any course above 1.5 hours needs to have a price. So I run every monthly 3 promotions which are the maximum promotions allowed by Udemy. In which, I keep the course price to zero. The reason for this course is knowledge-sharing not making money.

Hi @deepak @zamana @Mukesh_Adhvaryu @derek.h

I need some more piece of advice. I have worked for Siemens for 8 years wherein, I was building tech products for internal automation. Will this experience count in digital technology product-led.

Also reviewer, has made no objection to documents such as “Media Recognition proofs”, “Article written in big publication & media houses”, “Speaker at specialized & mentoring events” that were submitted to meet both mandatory and optional criteria.

They have not given any credit for those proofs.


@SSingla sorry I still cannot find any such new rule by Udemy introduced in August. It is not a surprise that none of your contributions and publications date back to more than 5 months. I did a little OSINT about you and I will totally side with Tech Nation. Having recent contribution might still be not a problem but unfortunately none of them were of high caliber. Seems like you did everything in past 5 months for Tech Nation application rather than actually contributing in your industry.


Please find below the hyperlink of Udemy.

“Free courses can only be a maximum of 2 hours in video length.”

The same can be confirmed from Udemy customer care as well and this rule of their came on 17th March 2020.

@SSingla even with your given link, the policy “Courses above 2 hours must be paid” started from 17th March while your 1st published date was 22nd August. So how can you have free course after 17th March which is 4.5 hours but according to you

Your statement is contradicting with Udemy’s policy. The only possibility is that the length of your course was less than 2 hours in August when you 1st published and that is why it was free and that is also why you attracted thousands of free enrollments.

I see your course was updated again in September so this is when you increased the length from less than 2 hours to 4.5 hours. This is how your course was “PAID” afterwards.


Course length from August is 4.5 hours and only quizzes added in September. In relation to price zero. I used their promotional coupons and as an instructor maximum, 3 promotional coupons are allowed and each coupon lasts for 3 days.

“Free 3 Day Unlimited” Coupon of “Udemy”

In this promotional coupon and price goes to 0 prices. It means I can run this promotion every month for 9 days.

This exactly my point is. If you make a PAID course FREE through promos for a limited time, then of course thousands of students will enroll it even if they do not belong to that industry.

Again, all your publications and work was done in last 5 months only which seem everything was done to prepare for Tech Nation application rather than the intention of actually contributing to the industry.