Ashvini Jakhar along with Jerry Jose, his HEC Paris colleague had built Prozo, a comprehensive marketplace for all types of exam preparation material including books, e-learning content, study devices & tablets, coaching material, personal notes and mentorship programs. The key is to provide students one stop shop for all their academic needs.
The duo recently closed their seed round of funding of Rs 1.37 crore ($205,000) with angel investors. The education technology company aims to solve three pain points for over 5 million aspirants, who attempt various competitive exams every year - an opportunity worth Rs 15,000 crore. The issues at hand are of discoverability, selection and consumption of the right preparation materials for various exams.
Prozo offers a huge and holistic library of books, prep-tests, coaching material, tablets, study devices, e-learning programs, personal notes and mentorship programs to enable aspiring students to make the right choice and succeed in their exams. Once a student has access to Prozo, he/she can easily decide on the best resources for exam preparation. Here’s how Prozo helps aspiring students:
The site has granular level filters to enable users to discover the right content; be it exam preparation books, previous years solved papers, interview books, study devices, e-learning content, personal notes or distance learning programs. It provides unbiased ratings and reviews, along with recommended packages by Prozo. The selection of right content is also suggested through mentor blogs. Students can avail personal guidance from mentors who have recently cleared these exams.
All this facilitates selection of the best resources to prepare for exams, which is as per the learning style of an aspirant. One of the most unique propositions at Prozo is the mentorship program. The mentors undergo a four-tier diligent selection process of validation before being registered on the platform. This includes verification on mobile, social, email and through a campus ambassador (reference).
The mentorship programs are delivered by students, who have recently passed the exams with a high score. Currently, there are over 250 mentors on the platform from top institutes such as IIT-Delhi, IIT-Mumbai, IIT-Madras, IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, ISB, AIIMS, AFMC and Lady Harding Medical College. This is a pay-as-you-use model, which can be accessed by a student from anywhere, anytime. Students can view details about mentors, including their education, their work experience and reviews and ratings of other users prior to booking a mentorship session with them.
Currently, Prozo is catering to over 10 broad categories of exams including GMAT/GRE, Civil Services, Engineering, Medical, MBA, SSC/CGL, NDA/CDS, SAT, TOEFL/IELTS, SSC and Banking exams, and Class 10 & 12 exams.
The intensity of exams and the competition has grown tremendously over the last few years. The number of aspirants appearing for these exams has also been increasing every year, and the availability of a multitude of resources has made the decision-making process for students even more complex. Moreover, the advent of e-learning and m-learning has further disrupted this space.
There is a problem of plenty as well as diverse study resources today. That's where Prozo's distinguishing features such as ratings & reviews, Prozo recommended packages and the availability of mentorship programs comes into play, in order to help a student in making the right decisions. As a recommendation driven marketplace, Prozo intends to help students make the most informed decision when it comes to exam preparation resources.
Currently, the team at Prozo is ramping up its web interface to provide a better user experience and it is also introducing an Android-based mobile application that will help provide easy access via mobile platforms. Very soon, Prozo will also be aggregating admission consultants and career counselors to offer more to its users.
Some 8 months into their operations today, Prozo has more than 45 brands such as Aakash Institute, Brilliant Tutorials, Toppr.com, Meritnation, Learnpedia and Plancess selling their products through Prozo.
The unique peer-to-peer mentorship program has over 250 verified mentors helping students prepare better for exams. The site has well over 1 lakh unique visitors every month, and their revenues have doubled this quarter. A good number of returning users and happy buyers indicate that the story is shaping well.
(Inputs from Ashvini Jakhar, Founder, Prozo)