The OKS Group was founded in 1987 by Vinit Khanna and since then, the company has developed into a large outsourcing company with operations across Europe, North America and Asia. Different OKS verticals work in the areas of legal, financial, medical and educational outsourcing.
Aditya Tripathi, the Co-founder and CEO of MarkSharks, comes with 20 years of experience in marketing, sales, business development and content creation with media organizations, including the India Today Group, Hindustan Times, the Outlook Group and Discovery Networks. The group has now ventured into products and launched MarkSharks, a self-paced learning ecosystem on touch based devices (tablets and smartphones).
“We are passionate about education and with MarkSharks are building a system that will overcome the inefficiencies of the current education system by teaching students effectively via mobile devices,” says Aditya. While there are many hardware and platform solutions used in education – computers, tablets, smartboards and LMSs, CMSs and assessment systems, the team at MarkSharks believes that unless there is a change in the way e-Learning content is created, education will never see a revolution.
Acting on this point, OKS is building a system that will consist of content that will reside locally on a tablet or smartphone (so as not to require constant connectivity and high use of data) and a cloud-based platform that will allow learners to interact with each-other via notes and discussion forums, performance benchmarking, access to question banks and tutors, etc.
MarkSharks is building Maths and Science content with the current instructional design exactly following the Indian CBSE curriculum for classes VI to XII. Going ahead, the intention is to repackage the content for other Indian and overseas boards as well. The content is designed specifically for touch-based mobile devices and harnesses features such as multi-touch, cameras, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and audio to get students excited about learning. Here are a couple of demo videos:
A demo app has been launched to demonstrate the nature and quality of content with a view to testing it with users and potential investors. “We envisage MarkSharks as a supplemental learning product that will be used by students who are going to school, but are not learning effectively and are looking for something that will equip them to do better in their tests and exams,” says Aditya. The “anytime, anywhere” learning system will be self-paced and comprehensive so as not to require any teacher-led intervention.
Education as a sector has seen a lot of activity (see the latest Edustars) and MarkSharks wants to make a dent with a product that is a superior way of delivering relevant content. “By creating a very affordable product that can be deployed on low-cost Android mobile devices, the target market is very broad. We expect to reach millions of school students across the country. Initially, the language of instruction will be English because it is the aspirational language, but we are building our content so that customizing it to other languages is easy,” says Aditya. Additionally, MarkSharks is also looking at distributing their content via the initiatives of central and several state governments (distributing tablet computers to millions of low-income students).
Based out of New Delhi, the MarkSharks team is currently 25-people strong with an additional 20 people advising on pedagogy, technology and other aspects. With the initial feedback rolling in for the beta application, MarkSharks is working on the product to come out with a more polished version before they go out and market it heavily.