Edtech In India Is Still In Its Formative Years: Ashutosh Kumar, Testbook

In an exclusive chat with BW Education, Ashutosh Kumar, CEO & Co-founder, Testbook, spoke about the firm and more.

How has the pandemic affected your business? 

Each and every sector of the Indian economy is struggling to get back up on its feet. With the threat of the pandemic still looming around, many businesses are looking at digitization as a long term solution to disruptions. The past few months have been very challenging for the whole world and the entire work methods and processes have changed. In our Government Job preparation category, demand dipped a little bit at the beginning of the lockdown due to many examinations getting cancelled, but it started bouncing back from the month of May 2020 which led to ~80% growth in the last three months. Students' engagement has also improved a lot. Our course enrolment has gone up by 200% and study hours by 86% currently.   

What kind of infrastructural changes have been made considering the current situation? 

There weren’t many infrastructural changes required as we already had a ‘work from home’ policy and most of the work processes are platform-driven. We did have to work a little bit on the remote Onboarding and Training side which is working very smoothly now. 

Provide some statistics regarding the traffic - pre and post COVID. 

The education system, especially schools, colleges and universities across the country have been severely impacted due to the ongoing situation. Various entrance exams and recruitment exams have also been postponed across the country. Even though all the government examinations got postponed, we got 2 folds monthly enrolments on our platform last month. So, the traffic has been almost similar to the Pre-COVID times but course enrolments have gone up by 200%. In fact, Course enrolments across Banking, SSC, Railways, Police, Teaching, Defence, GATE and Engineering exams have gone up. 

What suggestions do you have for students whose exams have been postponed amid Coronavirus? 

Exams are highly competitive and students must consider this lockdown time as a bonus to work on their weak areas and get ahead in the race. While jobs are at risk and the working population is looking for safer and secure options in the industry, one sector that is being highlighted in these tough times is the Government sector. With 122 million people losing their jobs during the pandemic, a career in the government sector brings hope in the lives of people with definite job security. Going ahead, getting a government job is going to be tougher as everyone would try their luck here. Hence, they can refer to online solutions like those offered by Testbook to continue their undisrupted learning and take advantage of the situation.  

Do you think India is prepared enough for a digital transformation in the education sector? 

India is getting prepared. Edtech in India is still in its formative years. We have even less than 3% of students learning online today. India is a vast country and a lot of effort would be required on technology as well as skilling our current and future teachers to make them capable in digital teaching mode. But we would definitely see a super accelerated growth and opportunity in this sector in the next few years. 

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