The current education system in place has been often blamed for being limiting offering students, limited career options. In the recent times, educational institutions have been responding to these complaints by offering online courses to students who can be physically present in classrooms. The Indian startup ecosystem has also been playing its part in helping educational institutions and students alike with various platforms. Interestingly, here’s a student startup that is working on helping students learn what they want.
In the BITSIAN/IITian lingo, the word 'Phodu' means genius. Being BITSians, the trio Nikhil Daga, Siddharth Biyani and Anurag Prasad decided to name their startup, Phodphad which is a place where anyone wanting to learn can become a genius and disrupt the status quo. Phodphad . is an online learning platform that aggregates all the video courses available online and structures them for e-learners.
Phodphad began as Unibits which was a trivial version of the current website which was then built by Nilkhil Daga in his second year Later, this team saw the increasing demand for online education which leading to an increase in the number of content providers. Though the number of content providers increased, it only left the learners confused especially with less information about the best content that is available online. In a way to bridge the gap between the teachers and the learners Phodphad was launched. “With Phodphad we aim to bring all online content (free as well as paid) at one place with excellent user experience so that the users can fulfill their learning desires,” explains Anurag. . The idea was incepted back in May 2010. But the site was fully functional after September last year.Targeted towards online learners, content providers and institutions like colleges and coaching institutes, Phodphad focuses on aggregation as their USP. They argue that the other players in this space provide self-made content while the aggregators that exist are expensive making them unsuitable for the Indian market. Apart from aggregation, Phodphad uses web crawling techniques that ensure scalability. Being bootstrapped, this startup has been focused on organic marketing efforts relying mainly on social media and word of mouth.
Currently, Phodphad offers 400+ from MIT, UC Berkley, IITs etc. through one platform. Apart from the challenges of time management and lack of funds, it has also been difficult for the team to scale from 400 to 40,000 courses. Nevertheless, this team is bent on making it happen. They will be soon introducing course recommendations using machine learning techniques. In the next 100 days, Phodphad is going to be a platform where individual instructors can upload their video lectures for the students to buy them.
“We aim to make Phodphad the best place to learn and teach online. We will soon be introducing certification which will later be combined with online placements about 2-3 years down the line. We aim to make Phodphad into an online Campus,” shares Anurag.
As for missing all the fun as students, these guys have no regrets about making those sacrifices. They only seem to focus on the positives so far. “As a student entrepreneur, you have the liberty to experiment with things freely. There aren't too many responsibilities to take care of at this stage. The thrill of doing something new is immense,” concludes Anurag.
StudentStory.in wishes team Phodphad the best in all their endeavours.
Author credit: Anna Dias