How do you see the EdTech space evolving over the next 4-5 years? The COVID19 pandemic did the impossible – it pushed people to embrace technology and digitisation as many ways as possible. And this has opened a tremendous opportunity for businesses across industries. It allowed us to reimagine the education landscape and align it to keep pace with the dynamic economic and business environment. And it also served as testimony to the fact that technology can help students even in the remotest part of the country gain access to quality education.
As a nation, it is imperative that we build the ecosystem to make this happen. As envisaged in the National Education Policy (NEP 2020), the digital shift aligns extremely well with emerging tech, and I strongly believe that we will witness a huge surge in digital adoption in education.
In the EdTech space, parents are now more open to children learning online. Students can now sit anywhere and have access to a plethora of learning options, opening the world for them. In the smaller towns, we see that people are more willing to adapt to different forms of gaining access to education. I strongly believe that this is where EdTech companies will and should focus on bringing the smaller towns into the mainstream.
With schools looking to reopen, do you think people will continue to opt for online learning mediums?
Covid-19 has shown learners, be it adults or children, the incredible benefits of learning online. Over the next couple of years, as schools re-open, I estimate that they will not run in the former fully physical model but a hybrid phygital model. Learners and parents have also benefitted immensely from learning online – getting access to the best tutors from around the country (particularly metros), building awareness on best learning practices and getting all of this at much affordable prices due to scalable technology – which would not have been otherwise possible. Having had a taste for this, I highly doubt learners will stop or reduce learning online.
Tell us about LearnHat.
LearnHat is a LIVE learning platform for ‘Bharat’ – providing interactive online tuitions for ICSE, CBSE and several State Boards across India, for students across the K-12 segment. We also provide upskilling courses such as Spoken English for adult and children learners. Our value proposition is delivering all the sessions/courses (except English learning) in regional languages – making it easier and more convenient for students to learn. We also limit each class to eight students to encourage two-way communication and interaction. Over 2000 students are already learning on the platform, and the number is growing each day.
Our research has shown us that in the majority of Indian households, parents communicate with their children in their native language, more so in the small towns and villages of India, so naturally, children are more comfortable with this. Therefore, we wanted to extend this to education to make learning more fun, engaging, and a meaningful experience.
We already have over 400 teachers across India on our platform as tutors for math, science, English, and social sciences. The teachers use a combination of coaching methods, pedagogy, game-based learning, and in-house developed technology to deliver lessons.
We want to make learning engaging, scalable, and affordable for all. Students benefit with classes starting just Rs. 75 per session*.
What are your growth and expansion plans?
LearnHatwas established to serve ‘Bharat’ by providing high-quality, affordable live education to K-12 and adult learners across diverse economic and geographical categories. Students in tier 2 and 3 cities have a strong desire to learn and grow professionally, however; they do not have enough options to help them grow. This is where we want to make a difference.
We aim to soon have students across every state in India – currently over 2000 students are already learning on our platform, and we want to grow this number to over 50,000 by the end of this fiscal.
We also want to expand to offer more courses such as coding, foreign languages, accounting and financial management, and other life skills segment.
What is the market opportunity you see in India?
Our Prime Minister in his address on Independence Day this year emphasized on breaking down linguistic barriers to allow everyone to progress. Hence, we see an opportunity for us to tap into a market of 5-6m students across India and bridge the gap linguistic gap and nurture talent in the hinterland of the country and provide them with opportunities similar to learners in the metros.