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Our Story

CrackVerbal was conceived with the same intention as most startups – “to build a better mousetrap”.

Our founder, Arun Jagannathan, had been training students for GMAT, GRE and CAT at various test-prep companies for many years. However, he was frustrated at teaching preparatory courses designed for Americans to an Indian audience. So in 2006, he started CrackVerbal to teach Indians in a unique way that made sense to them.

Since our inception a decade ago, we have rapidly evolved into a leading test-prep company, focusing on the entire application journey – from the time students start preparing for the GMAT/GRE, to the time they get into a program of their choice.

What is the story behind the name

Way back in 2006, Arun was very active on various online forums such as PagalGuy and BeatTheGmat, and had gained a sizeable following of GMAT aspirants who loved his straightforward approach. He used to routinely be asked to meet up with members on an informal basis so that he could share his knowledge.

Such meet-ups started getting a sizeable turnout – around 15-20 students eager to listen to the “free” advice that was dispensed over coffee and khaara bath (as upma is called in Bengaluru). The thread usually started with how Arun was going to  help them “Crack the Verbal section on the GMAT” – the idea behind the name of the company.

Truth be told, the idea of starting a company did not even occur to him. However, gradually, he began to realise that his time would be better valued if he started charging his students. And this is how CrackVerbal took form in October 2006, with 6 students in a workshop in Bangalore.

Our Founding Team


Arun Jagannathan


arun jagannathan Founder and CEO at CrackVerbal, Arun brings to the table expert insights from many years of corporate experience as a delivery manager.

At CrackVerbal, he heads the academics and marketing functions and also works at the helm of the Admissions Consulting team. Over his 15-year stint as a GMAT trainer and Admissions Coach, Arun has accrued immense knowledge of the higher education arena and an extensive network amongst AdComs and higher-education aspirants who went on to make a mark in the corporate world. He draws on this rich perspective as he steers CrackVerbal to raise the bar in the world of Test-prep and Admissions Consulting.

Shreekala Kurup


Shreekala KurupShreekala, Co-Founder and COO at CrackVerbal, has a strong background in operations (PMP, Six Sigma), accrued during her 7-year stint with Hewlett-Packard, where she worked in client-facing roles for marquee customers.

She is a fellow of the ISB Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurs program and is a mentor to many women entrepreneurs. She is also a regular speaker at undergraduate college events, where she walks students through various career options open to them. At CrackVerbal, she heads the Sales and the Operations functions, and channels her corporate experience and knowledge of education abroad to help clients analyse their options and frame their applications.

What does our logo symbolise

All along, our guiding principle has remained the same – to act as a bridge between exceptional faculty who love to mentor and extraordinary achievers who want to be mentored. The CrackVerbal logo symbolises this.

CrackVerbal logo

The symbol represents a bridge depicting how knowledge paves the way to success. It is also a representation of one side of an open book, expressing flexibility, reliability and innovation – the corner stones of CrackVerbal.

Why we excel at what we do

At CrackVerbal, we believe that keeping the student at the core of our efforts will be the only way to ensure our success. Whether it be our GRE flashcards, our exclusive student forum, or the fact that our enterprising teachers took to technology early in the game & started taking online classes – we have always put the needs of our students first.

Early on, realising that Indian students struggle to ace standardized tests such as the GMAT & the GRE because typical training programs for these tests cater to a native English population, we created a radically unique set of techniques specifically for Indian students.

We pride ourselves on having a very high net promoter score – almost 70% of students who join CrackVerbal are those who have heard about us from other students.

We are extremely proud of our 3000+ strong family of students living their dream of pursuing a world-class education from top schools across the globe!

What differentiates us

We ensure that you are taught only by the finest trainers in the industry.

Our instructors don’t teach English or Math. They teach the test i.e. GMAT / GRE.

We have a very selective process & rigorous training for instructors. Typically 1 out of 10 people who apply for a faculty position at CrackVerbal make the cut – many of whom have scored in the 99th %ile of the GMAT / GRE, or have earned their spurs from top schools such as ISB, Oxford, and Duke, to name a few.

We pay two times higher than the industry average to ensure we attract and retain the best quality faculty at CrackVerbal. Our training process is rigorous too – including attending live sessions, individual session debriefs with Arun, mock sessions, and watching over 50+ hours of training videos. Typically only 1 out of every 3 who qualify make it through this stage.

Our People

We pride ourselves on the people who do amazing work at CrackVerbal!

We are a motley bunch of folks – we have in our midst instructors, engineers, marketers, writers, salespeople and various other interesting folks who share the CrackVerbal vision and values and come together to build the future of CrackVerbal!


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