Meet Aditi Avasthi, ‘Chief Embiber’, who founded embibe in 2012. Embibe is a Mumbai-based ed-tech startup that combines technology and data sciences, and helps students prepare better for competitive complex exams (MCCE) like JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT and CET/AIPMT.
Embibe is the outcome of Aditi’s personal experience with the competitive exam system. In 1999, Aditi appeared for the IIT-JEE, but did not clear it. She felt it was because she did not study chemistry as much she should have.
“Embibe has been created to personalize the crucial mentoring and academic guidance needed by young people in India – a country where one number can define your access to college. It is very important for every student to feel that he/she got an equal shot at the exam.”
Embibe recently raised funding worth $4 million from investors Kalaari Capital and venture fund Lightbox.
We caught up with Aditi to know more about embibe.
YS: What was the pain point you were trying to resolve with embibe?
Aditi: There are two uniform pain points that impact all students – underachieving regardless of their level and not having enough time. Parents suffer from not knowing what to do while teachers do not have the ability to scale or provide personal attention to the extent they would like to. Quality and access are also major concerns. There is a lot that’s being invested, but not much data driven prioritisation or diagnosis is being done to direct these resources efficiently.
We want every student to feel that his/her personal weaknesses are being highlighted — academically or behaviourally. Embibe’s actionable analytics engine has been designed to capture exact student weaknesses centered around critical exam performance metrics like speed, accuracy, time management, attempt planning, stamina and also addresses psychological factors like confidence.
YS: How has the journey been so far?
Aditi: It’s been quite a ride. Although we still feel we are scratching the surface. The primary elements that have defined this journey have been the constant contact with people, which includes teachers, students and parents.
Right from using the lean method, travelling to 15 cities and meeting students, parents and teachers to formulate the first prototype, has led to an evolved product that has proved to be useful to students across ability levels.
YS: What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Aditi: One of the major challenges was turning people’s attention away from content to the analytics problem. A lot of parents and teachers still view internet and social media as ‘distractions’ when it comes to education. It is imperative to understand that internet is also a critical medium for information. Teachers in India are slowly realising the value and use of digital and technology in our education system.
YS: What keeps you motivated?
Aditi: The possibility of giving young people a better trajectory. You come across certain people who do not realize their full potential or aim low. It is fun to try and show them the various possibilities of making it big.
YS: Could you share an unforgettable moment or anecdote in your startup journey.
Aditi: The team was in the middle of a big debate around something when our admin person came and said, “There is someone here to see you.” We walked out and saw a couple. They were the parents of a student who is now in BITS Goa. The student had insisted that they come and say thank you to us with sweets.
We ask ourselves every single day:What more can we measure to improve the score that defines young people’s lives?