Digital solutions help quell the fear of difficulties
Sanjog Anand, co –founder, Rostrum Education speaks about his venture, and about challenges and opportunities for an edu-tech start up in India
Q. What inspired you to venture into edutech as your startup idea?
We understand the learning needs of every student and provide them with unparalleled support and resources so that they can excel at learning and ultimately secure an admission at their dream university. The problem of outside school, scattered help existed when I completed my graduation, the problem still persists and now it’s even worse since there are a lot of players in market.
The primary reason for venturing into education technology was time. Too much time is lost when a student travels from one place to another for various kinds of help including tuitions, university counseling, preparing for standardized tests etc. The main idea behind my startup was to provide all of those services either under one roof or at their home, online. I wanted make a reliable source of such services for the students keeping in mind the market.
We recognize that every student has a different capacity to learn.
Q. What are the hurdles that you faced/ are facing?
Our target market is niche hence I sometimes face trouble attracting (marketing) them to our services. Moreover, when it comes to dismantling our services that we provide in its wholeness like remedial services (tuitions), helping them with their internal assessments, SAT/ACT coaching, university counseling (including assisting the students with their applications), plus making the students meet with the alumns of their dream universities, all these services are scattered. There are so many individual competitors and have been for so many years that they have created their name in the market and its not easy to break away students from them. However when we do inform the parents and students of our services they do appreciate the fact the it does save a lot of hassle of bouncing from one place to another to get the proper guidance. Furthermore I do feel that its hard for students to switch from their existing external help to us simply because they have adjusted to the way it is.
Q. What are your learnings from this effort undertaken by you?
I was quite positive in the beginning thinking that students and parents would love an idea. However, it was quite a challenge to market ourselves. What I take from this is that we need to be more proactive in communicating our thoughts and making the target audience believe in us.
Q. What is the way forward?
To meet a lot of students and their parents one to one and in seminars. By going from door to door of schools, we would be able to put ourselves out there in a much effective way. We soon plan an expansion in different cities of India so that we amass local teachers and students, which then we would amalgamate to spread our reach globally. So that means a student living in India can be taught by a teacher living in London or Bangalore and the same can happen the other way around, making it a global network of students and teachers.
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