It could have been an easy stairway to the top for Arun Muthukumar at Cisco Systems, but it was a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) assignment back then, that motivated him to shed his MNC attire and dive into the world of entrepreneurship.
Arun said that one of the most defining moments was sitting at the back row of one of his classrooms and watching students, who were sitting on the floor, attending classes and listening to a good teacher. “It dawned on me that this is something that can really work and can we do this in a broader way!” he recalls.
Arun decided to implement technology in education with Linkstreet, which is a learning and collaboration platform for businesses and organizations whose clients include IIM-Bangalore, ISB (Indian School of Business), Asia School of Business, Cyient, Central Square Foundation, Portea Medical, Columbia Asia Hospital and more. Linkstreet broadly has about 30 odd customers and more than 30,000 users.
In an interview with Entrepreneur India Arun spoke about the benefits of connecting schools in every nook and corner of the country with good teachers in India using technology modems like whiteboard, video conferencing and more!
Ditch a campus, a 20 acre land should suffice!
While the education ministry in India is keen on setting up a cluster or IITs and IIMs in the country, Arun thinks the system really doesn’t need 200 acre campus ! “One can go vertical by using just a meagre 20 acre space to start a new campus. This whole thinking and methodology needs to change by implementing technology such as video learning.
Edtech is Hot and a Tough Sector!
“Edutech is a tough space. Any hot, new space has its own set of challenges, particularly in education. I think at the highest level, studying is not a fun thing to do. It is not the same as entertainment or shopping! At school level, despite being aware of the fact that it’s important for our careers , given a chance I would rather do something else rather than studying. So there is a sense of inertia right there!”
Arun expressed that it’s not the easiest thing to get a student to sit down and study by viewing a video or listening to an audio piece. Also the focus on placement driven education has taken a toll over learning, he adds.
At Linkstreet, the company’s aim is to make learning and teaching more efficient via technology and make it more viable -- are the two big trends that they founders want to help institutes and companies deal with.
The company’s product Linkstreet Pro is an end-to-end solution that enables anyone, from an institution all the way to an individual to share their knowledge in the form of courses, webinars, live online classes and more. They can hence create an e-commerce catalogue and put it up on your profile and people can come of this platform and buy them.