Husband-wife duo help CA aspirants through online courses: Pace2race
Technology and Internet have been playing major role in our lives be it education, entertainment, shopping etc. In developing nations such as India, technology can accelerate the proliferation of education and learning classes to marginalised and poor in remote areas. With a mission to help CA aspirants (CPT, IPCC, and Final), Pace2race launched an online platform covering all aspect of CA course (i.e. study, practice, and then evaluation). The startup was founded by husband and wife duo – Prabhat and Kavita Mittal in 2012. Prabhat is a Chartered Accountant and MBA from ISB and has more than 8 years of professional stints in areas of risk management and business planning across brands like Citibank and Standard Chartered, while Kavita is also a practising CA.
Evolution of Pace2race
Pace2race started as a brick and mortar coaching institute for CA students; and, in short span of one year, it has touched upon students across all levels of CA (i.e. CPT, IPCC, and Final). “We started with an aim to provide quality coaching to CA students at an economical price and to help them throughout their CA journey,” says Prabhat.
During its course of journey, Pace2race realized that with a physical model it can’t reach masses and help students across the country (especially in remote locations). It was then the company had decided to put halt on giving physical classes and focus completely on online video classes. Idea for Pace2race clicked when Mittal was pursuing MBA from ISB in 2011. “My younger sister was a CA final student then and she had to take coaching classes for the same and while discussing with her I realized that cost of coaching has gone beyond the roof. On an average students pay INR 15,000 to 20,000 for one subject and that too in a class of 500+ in an auditorium. Seeing this scenario, I strongly realized the need of cost effective and quality coaching classes,” adds Prabhat.
Major features and traction
Currently, Pace2race offers free video tutorials, mock test papers including discussion forum and resources. It also allows download of its online material and students can easily take Pace2race’s courses even sans internet connectivity. It covers all facets of courses (i.e. study, practice and then evaluation), so that students don’t need to rely on other sources when taking any of the company’s courses.
So far the company has been able to help more than 1,000 students through its various course programs. “Our online courses are getting really good response and we had more than 500 enrollments in the first month itself and now we are getting multiple requests for new online courses from our students,” says Kavita. Besides this Pace2race has about 15,000 followers on social media and its blog.
Challenges and overcome
The biggest challenge in online video classes is to convince students to pay for the classes as it isn’t at all a preferred model in India. Another big issue is piracy, as it is easy to record the online material.
Pace2race decided to give all its tutorial and learning classes material for free. “Free material will help in immediate adoption (which we are already witnessing) and build trust for future in us as well as other online coaching providers,” adds Prabhat. At present the company doesn’t plan to monetize its platform in any ways other than advertising. “In the long run we will work out premium memberships to combine different types of exercises with the video tutorials,” says Kavita.
It has created a discussion forum where students can ask their queries and faculties on the board can answer them directly. As of now Pace2race hadn’t spent much on advertising but it has been able to garner decent traction.
In the next few years the startup plans to cover other financial courses like CFA and ACCA as far as its video catalogue is concerned. “Besides this we also plan to remodel our platform to bring in the integrated social and professional networking features for our students,” concludes Prabhat.
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