Two tutors start up BookStreet to solve a very Indian problem - Organising exam papers
Sandeep Laxman and Archana Lal have both been tutors. Sandeep is an IIT Delhi alumnus who used to teach students of grade 11, 12 and engineering while Archana is a CA who taught finance related topics. In both the areas, they noticed a key pain point- Students asking for solutions to past exam papers.
Why? This is probably an Indian problem, but teachers everywhere tend to set question papers from those asked in the previous years. If a student goes through the papers of the past few years, he or she would be well prepared to face the impending test. Not a very good way to study perhaps but this is how the system has evolved and it is here to stay until we see a massive revamp in how we look at education. And thus came into existence BookStreet.
BookStreet is a Slideshare of solved exam papers for undergraduate courses. It's a marketplace where any one - a professor, a student, or an ex-student - can write solutions (using their proprietary editor) to past exam papers of a subject of his choice and sell it through the platform to students. Also a part of the IQ Bootcamp, the duo decided to keep the platform completely digital because they are of the opinion that 10 years from now, students will no longer use the dead tree edition to study from.
The company has been in private beta for the past two months and has launched only this week. “Being tutors we kind of understand how students think. Hence, our entire approach was based on behaviour of students. Students complained that eye strain is the major factor, we therefore built proprietary technology in to our product to minimise the eye strain. This boosted time spent on studying from our books,” says Sandeep. Students can star important questions or add notes, something students do as their normal behaviour.
Bookstreet started off by sending links to 2 solution books to one student. Within 24 hours, 50% of his class had signed up and fast forward up till today, the platform has almost 600 sign ups. Bookstreet claims that there are 70 million undergraduate and graduate students in India of which over 30 million have online Facebook accounts. Their hopes are high; the bootstrapped team of 3 have already taken a tough decision of rejecting an offer to get into the JFDI.Asia accelerator (more on that here).
Bookstreet also claims to have already evoked investor interest but is tight-lipped about immediate plans. Bookstreet has a good idea at hand and has the potential to grow among the Indian youth but it is still very early days to pass any verdict on the effectiveness of the adoption.
Check out the product: bookstreet.in.
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