According to industry experts, customised learning path and personalised content are to be the way forward for Gen-next children . While the rapid change in technology coupled with innovation and lush hybrid tools is playing a major role in shaping e-learning in the country, lack of proper infrastructure, ample content and quality teachers in physical schools have given rise to start-ups such as Tutorvista, iProf, Edukart, Aurus, Attano, Meritnation.com and Udacity. These firms formed in the last 3-4 years, operate in the K-12 space; they provide rich content and also make study materials affordable. Recently, Aurus Network Infotech Pvt Ltd, a cloud-based SaaS solutions company for lecture capturing and publishing, recently raised an undisclosed amount from Indian Angel Network (IAN). Mumbai-based Angels Network has also invested in Carveniche.
“Within the K-12 space, most e-learning businesses are focusing on tutoring and enhancement of student learning experience and performance. Some of the new start-ups are also leveraging social media tools to attract young learners,” said Enayet Kabir, Associate Vice-President, Technopak Advisory. The K-12 e-learning in India is pegged at $150 million and is growing at 15 per cent CAGR. Meritnation.com, founded by Pavan Chauhan in 2009, goes by the slogan “school made easy.” The InfoEgde funded firm leverages technology to identify and understand each student’s specific learning needs and provide them customised content. The company has so far invested around Rs 30 crore in creating content. “The beauty of e-learning is that it supplements classroom teaching in an interesting manner. While in metros, classrooms are being made more interactive with videos and live streaming, the opportunity lies in small towns, where there is lack of proper schools,” said Chauhan, who started this venture straight after passing out of IIM, Bangalore.
So far, the firm has been able to attract 37 lakh students, of which, 8-10 per cent is from overseas. The company provides content for all subjects at just Rs 4,000 per annum subscription, compared to Rs 25,000 spend for two subjects in coaching centres. Another firm Attano.com, started in 2011, is taking e-books beyond digitisation. Funded by Helion Ventures, it is a leading market place with e-content from pre-school to engineering. The platform has one lakh students using its content, which can be downloaded across platforms, be it android, iPad or Windows. Students can underline, write notes, comment, and highlight, bookmark as they do in a paperback book. “While personalised education is the future, the biggest challenge before us is to get to the right target audience,” said Soumya Banerjee, CEO, Attano. The company has spent Rs 6 crore in content so far.
-Hindu Business Line