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Meet The Team

Raj Valli
Founder & CEO

  • 20+ Years in K-12 Education Non-Profit Work
  • Former Head of Strategy, M&A, & CMO for $5B NYSE Company
  • MS, MS, MBA from IIT Madras, India; Univ. of Virginia; & Univ. of Maryland
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Certified Six Sigma Black Belt
  • Advisor & Mentor to multiple growth companies

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Raj Valli and I founded Thinkster. I am a data and statistics guy at heart. As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, I helped multi-billion dollar companies save money by making sure that their products and services will be of the highest quality. Six Sigma means having less than 3.4 defects per 1 million pieces of anything you produce - engines, coffee cups, your shirt...tutoring….anything! That’s outstanding almost defect-free quality!

I have worked for major multi-billion dollar corporations leading functional areas in marketing, finance, operations, strategy, and M&A, across Aerospace, Automotive, Life Sciences, Chemicals, Materials, Pharmaceuticals, Industrial Controls, BioTech, Services, and Software.

I have spent 20+ years volunteering my time to help provide basic education for underprivileged children.

Several years ago, my daughters were using a worksheets based math learning program (like Kumon, Mathnasium) to help accelerate their math learning.

I was frustrated by the lack of progress they were having in truly understanding math concepts. They were getting really good in the process of solving math problems in a very formulaic way without really understanding why they were doing what they were doing.

I looked everywhere for a math program that would let my daughter’s learn math for life and not just for a test or completing homework. I wanted a guaranteed approach to learning math. Not hope. But GUARANTEED! Like, Six-Sigma defect-free! I knew that if they had a real strong foundation in math, it would take them places. I found nothing other than a few books on the topic or needed to hire an excellent math tutor for $100/hour.

I decided to take matters into my own hands and looked for efficient and fool-proof ways of getting students to learn not only math, but develop a strong foundation in problem solving skills but also help them improve their critical thinking and logical reasoning skills. In short, I wanted them to develop the capacity to unpack and solve ANY problems in life - not just math problems.

My strategy worked so well, that it got my daughters to ace math in middle and high school and eventually also got them into the top Ivy League school and University.

I had other friends who were in a similar situation and were looking for a better math learning program.

So we decided to join hands and start Thinkster to help others with the method and now we service thousands of customers in 30+ countries.

Rupa Gurumurthy
Business Development Leader

Entrepreneur, Experienced Product & Operations Lead with expertise in e-commerce and B2C Start Up Co-founder

  • I was a Thinkster parent before joining the company full time.
  • Have two young kids and noticed Thinkster’s math program working extremely well with them. Son went from 77th percentile in 2016 to 91st percentile in the math MAP state test scores in 2019. This kind of outstanding progress is the reason why I joined Thinkster as soon as I had the opportunity to.
  • I founded a tech based toy rental company and have worked in multi-billion dollar tech companies in both financial payments as well as software services businesses. All of them delivered amazing value to end consumers using technology. I knew that Thinkster will become THE technology company that could change the way learning is delivered - with a guarantee.

Sumi Chakraborty
Director, Tutoring Services

ex-Kumon Center Franchise Owner 10+ Years in Education Space

  • I am a mother of two daughters. Older daughter was doing high school math in elementary school, but scores on her State Tests told a different story. I noticed that she was unable to apply herself to word problems and critical thinking skills. So, I searched word problems online and bought workbooks to get her added exposure
  • I also used to be a tutoring center franchisee. Parents at the center had similar challenges. Some students were not doing as well on school tests because they didn’t practice enough word problems. Parents found it a struggle to commute to the center with other family commitments.
  • was amazed by the limitlessness of what Thinkster could do and joined the company. I love that we can make learning happen with the guarantee that you will get results!.

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