Test preparation is a huge market in India. The tutoring business is pegged to grow to INR 75,600 crores by 2014-15, and this segment is very lucrative for startups to get into because people (read parents) are willing to pay for it. There are multiple entrance tests taken by hundreds and thousands of students across India and even if you're able to help students crack a particular segment, you've got a respectable market to grab. And this is exactly what these bunch of IIT alumni, who themselves cracked supposedly the toughest exam on earth, IIT-JEE, have set out to do. Ashutosh Kumar and Narendra Agrawal are IIT Bombay alumni of 2012 batch who came up with the idea and vision behind Testbook that helps students crack GATE.
Within a month of launch, the team has been able to reach out to more than 13,000 students who've used the product. “We have been able to tap both online and offline networks in around 70 colleges all over India to reach out to GATE aspirants,” says Ashutosh. Along with the duo, there are three members from IIT Delhi heading the tech front while seven in the marketing and business development front. This kind of a formation has become pretty common with Housing setting the trend where 12 co-founders took the real estate market by storm.
The portal has been widely accepted among GATE aspirants and around 2000 students have shared it across various social media platforms. “The product has an inherent marketing and publicity element. Students are inviting their friends, through our integrated facebook invite system, to compare their performances and create competitiveness,” says Narendra. The space is competitive with players like Examify which is backed by Vishal Gondal and 100marks, a Morpheus Gang company, which have been trying to make a mark alongside the offline giants (Bansal's of the world) who can very well enter the online market.
“Most of our competitors focus on content and give little value to analytics. The thorough analytics is immensely useful for students to track, analyze and improve their performance and efficiency. We are not only providing quality content but also combining it with innovation and technology to streamline the entire learning process,” says Ashutosh. The team is currently working on various fronts and plans to cover all major exams in the next 12 months. The product is completely free as of now. They also believe that with increasing internet penetration and most of the exams shifting to online mode from conventional paper-based pattern, a market size of 10+ million users is very near.
The team is off to a good start and is looking to raise an angel round. “We have got some interested investors but our primary focus lies in improving the product further and launch the site for new exams,” says Ashutosh. The IITs have a good alumni network that supports startups and one should expect to hear more from this upcoming ed-tech startup.