SuperProfs: Preparing students to lead in tech savvy world
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With growing rage of technology among young minds, online education has become a new rage. The tech savvy youth are now relining on technology for even their higher education. More and more students now-a-days are opting e-learning platform to imbibe knowledge to ease access to the quality education in affordable price.
Previously, the concept of online education in India was not as popular as in other countries. With the advancement of technology, numerous national and international educational institutions have come forward with their online courses.
These courses contain several study materials that are helpful for the students and allowing them to study from any corner of the world. For these, a very nominal amount is charged, which is easily affordable by any category of student- be lower income group, medium, upper-medium and of course higher class.
Joining the brigade is a Bengaluru-based SuperProfs.com, an online platform offering live and recorded classes from India’s best professors who would extend their helping hands to crack any competitive exams easily online. This will help students prepare and crack any exam, anywhere, anytime.
As of date, SuperProfs.com has over 75,000 registered students and about 200 Indian professors on-board to teach courses for CA, CS, IIT-JEE, GATE and UPSC/IAS.
The online platform has developed a proprietary technology which allows High-Definition (HD) quality video streaming at extremely low bandwidths, which means students can watch the classes even at as-low-as 100 Kbps network speed (typical 2G connection).
SuperProfs have now brought the same disruptive technology to a native mobile app for best viewing experience.
To develop better understanding about Superprofs.com’s development, its objective and how it is helping students to achieve high quality higher education, Entrepreneur India interacted with Piyush Agrawal, CEO and Co – founder of Superprofs.com.
Tell us about SuperProfs.com.
SuperProfs is India’s largest online platform which brings live and recorded classes of country’s Best Professors for competitive exams online, so that students can prepare for their exams, anywhere, anytime. As of date, we have over 90,000 registered students and around 200 professors, teaching courses for CA, CS, IIT-JEE, GATE and UPSC/IAS. We have also developed a proprietary technology which allows HD quality video streaming at extremely low bandwidths, which means students, can watch the classes even at as-low-as 100 Kbps network speed (typical 2G connection). We have recently launched a mobile app ‘SuperProfs’ which will further empower students to study for their exams, on the go!
What was the objective behind starting SuperProfs.com? What market need or gap you are trying to bridge?
In India, nearly 1 crore students appear for various competitive exams like IIT-JEE, IAS, GATE, NEET etc., every year. And this number is only increasing year-after-year. However, only a small fraction of these students have access to good quality coaching. There are geographical and financial constraints that prevent students, especially the ones who are not from metro cities, to receive the best possible coaching. We believed that technology could resolve these issues and bridge the gap between teachers and students.
Kindly throw some light on your revenue and business model.
We identify and partner with India’s best Professors who provide coaching for various competitive exams. We then work with them and bring their classes online using our proprietary technology. We also do whatever is necessary to make students aware of these online courses and ensure enrolments into the same. For every student’s enrolment, the course fee is then shared between the Professor and SuperProfs on a revenue-share basis.
What challenges did you faced in terms of taking you product to the market, convincing your customer about its benefit, etc?
When SuperProfs was launched, we started with only online classes for CA exams. We received an extremely positive response from the students. We then had to work very hard and make sure there was seamless communication between teachers and students. We had to ensure that we replicated the classroom environment in every way possible. Gradually we launched courses for many more exams like CS, CMA, GATE and JEE one after the other.
How big is online education market in India? How do you see SuperProfs.com growing in coming years (future road map)?
Currently, the exam coaching market in India is a $8 billion industry. And only a tiny fraction of this market has been tapped by the online education market so far. SuperProfs has the advantage of being one of the early players in this market and our superior technology helps us deliver better service to students. A few years down the lane, we could well be serving courses to 5 crore students.
What is your geographical reach in India?
Currently we have over 90,000 students registered with us and they hail from every corner of the country - metro cities, tier II & III cities. We even have some students from neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, U.A.E and the other gulf countries.
What makes your organization unique, from others dealing in the same sector?
Our in-house technology for delivery of HD video classes at low bandwidth is one major factor that gives us an edge in the online education market. Also, our courses are hand-picked and curated and updated as per latest syllabus modifications. We have a number of mentors who make sure students receive personalized attention and clear all their doubts. Exclusive study material is also provided to students in the form of e-books. Over and above all of this, we have extremely flexible subscription plans where students can pay a very nominal monthly fee and access all courses.
How does SuperProfs.com select its professors?
We have a dedicated Academics team who do extensive field research and identify the top Professors for every segment of exam preparation from every prominent city of India. We then approach them for a partnership with us. Sometimes students recommend the best Professors in their cities and we pursue such referrals too. So far we have obtained extremely positive response from the Professors too.
How does this app provide a consistent experience regardless of the quality of the Internet connection
Our company has developed a core technology, which allows live streaming of HD quality classroom sessions at extremely low bandwidths (as low as 100 Kbps / 2G speeds), thereby making it possible for students from remote areas or on the move to become part of any classroom. Further our mobile app allows students to download the videos and watch them offline so that any fluctuations in the internet connectivity doesn’t affect their user experience.
To what extend SuperProfs is reliable in terms of proving high quality education and prepare students for their exams?
At SuperProfs we make sure that we tie up with only the best Professors for exam coaching from various regions of the country. We work closely with these professors and ensure that we replicate their real-life classrooms online. Textbooks are provided to students and so are assessments to test students’ understanding of the subjects. We have created Q&A Forums and Live Webinar sessions to make sure teachers and students can interact with each other.
Recently you have also launched a mobile app. So how does it work and how it will benefit the students to prepare themselves for their exams?
Our mobile app gives students complete access to course videos on their mobiles with all features that are available on the web-app - e-books, Q&A forums, assessments etc. The added advantage of the mobile app is that students can now download the lecture videos and watch them offline, whenever they want! Because of this, students can now watch lectures even when they are not connected to internet. This will help students manage their time better and prepare better for their exams even if internet connectivity is not reliable.
What is the response of the students in context to you recently launched mobile app?
Our mobile app has received extremely positive reviews from our first set of users. Students especially like the fact that they can now watch lecture videos offline using the app - this would help people who don’t have very reliable internet connections. It has been just about a month since we launched the app and we already have over 10,000 downloads. We are likely to cross 50,000 downloads in the next few weeks!