Established in 2008, the portal (www.simplylearnt.com) has already seen over 2000 user registrations, which reinforces the untapped scope in the online educational space.
Deliberating on the point further, Tarun says “The current internet penetration within the country is small in overall percentage terms. However, in absolute terms this number would be greater than the population of some of the other European countries. Given our country's crumbling educational infrastructure, over crowded classrooms and lack of quality teachers with no visible signs of change in the near-term, eLearning is definitely going to be the solution in the future.”
The strategy at SimplyLearnt is to formulate enough number of content partnerships, traffic partnerships and establish alternate revenue channels till the time eLearning becomes a reality in this country. Having said that, the eight member team based out of Noida also admit that online content transactions are challenging and are being managed by the team with initiatives like offline coupon transactions, cash on delivery and purchase via their partners amongst others.
Says Tarun “The biggest challenge has been to convince educational institutes to partner with no one like us. The only way out has been to knock on as many doors as possible – in the end you will be able to sell your story to some people and in the process learn a lot about the marketplace.”
Having taken a web services approach to the product also means that the team is gearing up to sell Simply Learnt courses, tests, test series and other offerings on other websites and computing devices. “Sticking onto the corporate habits of assuming that opportunities would knock on your door has been one of the mistakes we made and learnt from” admits the entrepreneur who is also much aware of the media attention they have received for their innovation that they have brought in the education sector.
Tarun’s firm belief in the future of eLearning comes from his solid experience in the online space as well as an education venture by the name Building Blocks. SimplyLearnt being funded by Tarun’s personal savings, its revenues come through a percentage cut on every transaction.
Though refusing to talk about growth in percentage terms because of the short time they have been around, Tarun stands firmly by his ideas and has his future goals set on a defined vision – ‘doing at least 1000 transactions on a monthly basis in 2010 translating into a topline of one crore.‘
With plans to launch virtual study groups, the team is confident of bringing users back to website on a continuous basis. The same characteristic confidence defines Tarun’s claim to never have felt the need to take up a regular job while being lured to see his ideas come to life.
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs “Don’t just dream, just do it – its worth the experience.”