How Applane is making life easy for parents and teachers
Ankit and Ragini Ahuja, working parents, often had to wait for a long time at the bus stop for the school bus, twice a day. They would often struggle to do so, owing to busy nature of their work, and then feel guilty about paying too less attention to the activities and performance of their child in school. However, technology is lessening their burden by providing solutions like real-time tracking systems for school buses, online tracking of attendance, and reports on various activities of children in school.
Applane Solutions has introduced an application for parents to track school buses in real time. It has also introduced a set of solutions called ‘enterprise resource planning’ (ERP) to schools, to manage functions like examination and evaluation, student attendance, academic structure and lesson management etc.
Yogesh Agarwal, 38, a commerce graduate and a technophile, started his career with an IT-based solution company, family-run. He worked there for over a decade. During these years, he deliberated over the need for cloud-based technology and systems in the education sector.
In May 2012, he launched Applane Solutions, with an in-house investment of around Rs 2 crore. ERP is software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business. It also facilitates automation of many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.
He launched the company to target the area of education. “Though a lot of companies have introduced this ERP system in various sectors, the Indian education sector has always been overlooked. This urged us to step into this market and help schools and colleges match world-class education delivery systems,” said Agarwal.
He added that Applane provides solutions based on the requirements of Indian schools. Keeping in mind the cost-conscious nature of Indian schools, this system has been built on Google’s cloud servers. Hence, schools need not to invest in any peripherals like servers etc. All they need is a computer with internet connectivity to use this service.
The broad use of the product in schools and colleges vouches for the wide popularity of the ERP system. Currently, more than 300 schools are running on Applane. “Applane’s applicability to the Indian education landscape can be testified by the fact that it was recently chosen by CBSE for being the most comprehensive CBSE complaint software,” added Agarwal.
The company has also observed good monetary growth in the last three years. During the year 2012-2013, the annual turnover of the company stood at around 40 lakhs. This fiscal year, it expects be around Rs 5 crore. “We are working hard to double the turnover in the next two years,” said Agarwal.
However, the journey was not easy. When Applane entered the market, many schools and colleges had had some bad experiences with technological solutions. The education sector displayed reluctance to adopt this new ERP system. It took the company some months to convince clients, and establish a market.
The company has set its foot on the ground, but has many competitors Now, there are many companies which are offering ERP system. The only way Applane can survive in the market is by updating itself with new technology, and offering up something new to clients. Nevertheless, the market has expanded, so increased competition is justified.
“We keep ourselves up-to-date with new apps and technology. Recently, we have launched real-time vehicle tracking applications. We offer this technology to schools and parents. With this application, location of school vehicles can easily be tracked,” said Agarwal.
He added that Applane Solutions is redefining itself to provide the best service possible to clients. “We see ourselves keeping on growing in coming future,” said Agarwal.