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10 tips for Edutech startups to become a growth hacker Before you even build your product, make sure that you are adding some real value to your customers.

By Piyush Agarwal

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India is considered to be one of the fastest growing economies and the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. It is estimated that India will have around 11,500 startups by 2020. The e-learning market in India is slowly capturing the crux of good quality education with an estimated growth of $40 billion by 2017. With a market size growth of 20 per cent CAGR as of 2019, technology mediated differential instruction models will soon become leading sources for skill based and supplement training bridging the gap in need for quality education and creating employment to lakhs of educated personnel. Entrepreneurs need to tap into this huge opportunity lying ahead.

Here are 10 tips for Edutech startups to become a growth hacker:

1. Know your customers

There's a whole wide range of Edutech products that one can build today. It is important that you know who your end customer is. It could be schools, colleges, coaching institutes, students, teachers and so on. It is not wise to try and cater to everyone. Be very clear on who your key customer is and then focus all your energies on that.

2. Be clear about the value addition of your product

Before you even build your product, make sure that you are adding some real value to your customers. If necessary, go out and talk to some of your potential customers and that will give you clear ideas to work with.

3. Do a thorough field-study

While coming up with a business plan, do not rely on numbers and statistics published by others. More often than not, they could be misleading. You need to know whether your product has potential buyers or not. So build a prototype quickly and take it to the market. You will then get very real and constructive feedback which is very useful.

4. Keep it real

One thing that most startups do is to try and reach for the skies. Everyone wants to do something that is cool, different and complicated. And in the process few people focus on reality. In Edutech sector, we are building products for educators and/or students and they are very realistic folks. Hyperbole and exaggeration will always impact you negatively in this sector.

5. Keep it simple

A very key point to remember when you build an Edutech product - you should be able to explain to any layman what your product does. Do not worry about making a fancy and complicated product. There may be one thousand brilliant ideas that you will come up with to build or enhance your product, but always remember to be logical when you make your final choices.

6. Deliver on your promises

When you are building an Edutech product, you are shouldering a great responsibility. Your product/solution is devised to help people with their studies, their career and future. If you make a mistake, you cannot walk away from it. So be careful about what you promise and make sure that you always deliver on them.

7. Focus on customer support/success

As an Edutech startup, you are likely to come across customers, who are not very familiar with handling technology. You will have to build a very strong customer support team who will guide them and help them use your product well.

8. Get referrals from existing customers

In the education sector, the easiest way to reach out to new people is through your own happy and satisfied customers. Word-of-mouth works really well and you should tap into it for effective marketing.

9. Make sure your technology is reliable

Your core-strength as an Edutech company should be technology. You have to make sure that you build a reliable product that can scale well even when the number of users increase. You need to ensure that your product is using state-of-the-art tools and technology.

10. Stay updated about changes in the education market

This is perhaps vital to any start-up, not just an Edutech start-up. You need to stay aware of developments in the industry in which you are. And more importantly you need to be flexible and learn to change with the wind. You may have built a brilliant product, but you also need to be aware of whether you've built the right product and if not, you need to change it fast!

Piyush Agarwal

CEO and Founder, Superprofs.

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