This 20-Something Founder is Democratising Education the OTT Way
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It was towards the end of 2018 when the fresh out of college 20-something Akanksha Chaturvedi decided to build a platform that will provide quality education at an affordable price to students across economic backgrounds. Further, by democratizing education, she aimed to improve India’s ranking on the global education index. This led to the birth of education technology (edtech) startup Eduauraa.
Explaining the two-pronged objective, the founder and CEO says: “In India, nearly 85 per cent population earns below INR 8 lakh annual income, yet expenses of a private school, which fare better in terms of quality education, of a single child have risen from INR 55,000 in 2005 to INR 1.25 lakh in 2015. Limited access to quality education in India has led to a surge in tuition culture, which accounts for 15 per cent of the total expenditure on private education and about 12 per cent of the average family income going towards tuitions.”
Eduauraa is trying to close this gap by providing the best quality education at affordable price points so that every child gets a level playing field. The company is creating an engaging learning experience with the help of a team of teachers from the country’s top 10 schools, subject matter experts, visualizers, animators, editors and directors.
She continues: “India’s current rank of 112 out of 188 countries on the global education index and an Indian youth ranked second last among the 73 countries that participated in the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), speaks volumes about the accessibility of quality education. We want to change this.”
Making Education Affordable the OTT Way
It was during her post-graduation at University of Columbia when Chaturvedi realised that education and healthcare, which according to her are the two pillars of any economy, are waiting to be disrupted by technology in India.
“I recognized the shift of technology in entertainment having grown up watching VCR and CD formats. Today, movies have become more accessible with the onset of OTT (over-the-top) platforms. This gave me the idea to devise a similar effective way to standardise quality education,” she recalls.
“If OTT platforms can provide access to world-class entertainment at INR 999, why can’t the same be done for education.”
Eduauraa is an e-learning platform that uses technology to enhance the learning experience of school curriculum for students. It is affiliated with educational boards of seven states, ICSE and CBSE catering to PCMB (Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology) syllabus of classes 6-10 and provides content in both Hindi and English languages.
The platform produces learning content in the form of interactive videos with 3D and 2D animations, e-books, MindMaps, Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs), long and short questions and past papers and uses artificial intelligence (AI) for performance monitoring reports and voice recognition.
Following OTT platform’s competitive yearly subscription methods, Eduauraa offers subscription packages ranging from INR 999 per year to INR 2,499 per year. Typically, similar packs offered by other edtech platforms are priced anywhere between INR 15,000 and INR 2 lakh per year.
In February last year, the company striked a strategic tie-up with OTT platform ZEE to leverage its distribution network. “When we got Zee on board, we were able to reach 100 million households with a click. For the first time, we can see entertainment and education together under one platform,” says Chaturvedi. The platform’s services can be accessed on the Zee5 premium platform.
The Mumbai-headquartered company claims to have 1.18 lakh active users in the last 30 days with a total of 8.58 app downloads.
Efforts to curate content for 11th and 12th grades followed by competitive exams like IIT, JEE and NEET are underway, says Chaturvedi. “Additionally, we are working on materials and offerings for civil services/IAS exams that see over 50 lakh to 1 crore applicants every year.”
On being asked about her experience as a female founder so far, Chaturvedi says it has been a challenging journey. “When I started there were already well established players in the space, dominated by men founders with an average age of about 40. I started my company when I was 22, so in a way I have doubly shattered the proverbial glass ceiling.”