IIT Mumbai alumni start free online community learning platformSindhu Kashyap
Today, India is considered to be one of the main hubs for online education businesses and startups. Whether it is tutorials, courses, or skill training, online education is picking up at a fast pace in the country. With Narendra Modi’s skill up India campaign, there are more organisations venturing into the space of online education and skill training. One such recent startup is TrueSchool. How do they distinguish themselves from the many big and small players in the country?
Trueschool was started by an IIT Mumbai alumnus who believes that there currently is a vast disparity between what is taught in educational institutes and what organisations demand. The team believes that college students today lack the much needed skills that make them employable. “We faced it firsthand in our company interviews during placements,” says Ranjit Kumar, the Co-founder of Trueschool.
Moreover, he adds that students who are not very conversant in English have a hard time learning a skill as they lack the essential tools. Therefore, Trueschool was started to be a one-stop solution to all the learning needs a student could have. It aims to solve all the mentioned problems by providing skill enhancement content, as well.
The beginning and the journey
The four Founders, Ranjit, Sanjeev, Gaurav and Saurabh, are all alumni of IIT Mumbai; and that is where Trueschool was born. However, it was a while before the four could get back and actually work on the idea. Hailing from different backgrounds, the four co-founders felt that they could bring in their diverse expertise into the field.
Before joining IIT, Ranjit was working in 09 Solutions in analytics. Sanjeev was involved in teaching - he in fact, left a job in the overseas to pursue his passion for teaching. Gaurav was working with Caterpillar and Saurabh was in the financial services division of Ernst and Young.
“It took us a while to finalize the idea and team. We had started with the idea that we would make our own content for different topics. However we realized that it will be better to curate content from experts as there is plenty of quality content on internet,” says Ranjit.
After a lot of background work, research, and hunting for the right kind of content and work, Trueschool was launched in March this year. Currently, the site has over 500 courses and 16,000 video tutorials of subjects ranging from engineering and programming to the social sciences.
Market and differentiators
A community driven platform, Trueschool targets young college students, first time job seekers and “others who want to improve their skills for better job perspective. We encourage students to discuss what they’ve learnt so that it provides multiple perspectives to each problem.”
“This is an integral part of learning, which is missing in all other platforms today. We are working on our practice platform as well so that students can practice what they have learnt right here. Currently, all of our courses are free,” says Ranjit.
The team is also planning to have courses in different Indian languages. According to Ranjit, they already have many courses in Hindi. “We want to create equal opportunities for people from different linguistic backgrounds,” adds Ranjit.
Reports suggest that Asia is the highest market for self-paced learning in the country, with 17.3 per cent of market shares.
In India, alone the online education sector is estimated to be close to $3 billion. This number will be close to 8.1 billion by 2020; thus many reports suggest that today online learning also as a great platform for re-skilling. Studies further state that India and China will also lead the growth in several roles relating to project management, in the future.
The trend in e-learning is working across a multi-platform angle; not just using a web platform. In fact, experts believe that mobile training is going to be one of the biggest game-changers in the coming years. Another approach that is fast picking up is the blended learning platform that combines classroom teaching methods with online learning. Another big growth is seen in the game-centric form of ‘gamification’.
Some of the top players in the field include Vedantu, Edureka, Coursera, and Skill Up India. Commenting on growth, Ranjit says “We already have over 500 users and people engaging in our platform on a daily basis. Since it is a community-driven platform, people can exchange notes, understand perspectives and even learn new things.”