Edtech startup CogitoHub helps students solve the big career question
Bootstrapped CogitoHub is an online assessment and talent management company working in the education sector, with two primary product offerings – CogitoHub and Talentel.
At a Glance
Founder: Kunal Sandhu
Year it was founded: 2014
Where it is based: New Delhi
The problem it solves: Provides online assessment for students, and talent management for teachers
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Students are often confused when it comes to making the right decision for their future. Whether it is choosing the right subject, extra-curricular activity, or planning their career, a student’s journey is fraught with decisions and choices that play a big role in shaping his or her future.
With multiple options available, how does one take an informed decision? Keeping this dilemma in mind, Kunal Sandhu started CogitoHub in 2014 to help students.
CogitoHub is a specialised assessment platform working in the education sector. The company also recently launched its talent acquisition and management verticle to help schools and educational institutes get and manage the best teaching talent. The teacher assessment platform is called Talentel.
CogitoHub helps students from grades eight to 12 with options about subjects and college courses based on their interests and aptitudes. It does this using technologies like predictive analytics, advanced algorithms, and Machine Learning to create contextual outcomes.
Kunal says, “Our assessment approach and personalised recommendations are based on a patented algorithm that classifies students across a combination of profiles, by testing them on four parameters - behaviour, ability, motivation and interests.”
It uses various means of analysis to evaluate students' behaviour to understand personality traits and benchmark their aptitude with peers, and map future industry requirements. It also takes into account various interests and career themes and academic performance of students.
How does it work?
A student has to register and pay online for an assessment, depending on which grade he or she is in. They have to then take the relevant assessment, which evaluates the student on various parameters.
“A single page dashboard and report are generated within 24 hours, and the user may choose to get counseling on it through the team of professionals."
Cogitohub has partnered with various schools and career counseling companies in India, and Dubai. “We have recently partnered with the GEMS Modern Academy in Dubai, and will soon be venturing into Singapore for the assessment of students. Most part of our business comes through these B2B tie-ups,” says Kunal.
When asked if the assessment takes into consideration the opinions of a student's parents and teachers, Kunal says, “While assessing the student we don't really take in the parents' input because of the coloured output it might show. Only the true strength and capability of the student are considered in the assessment. Besides, we can counsel them basis the output at a later stage.”
The company’s other offering, Talentel, aims to empower teachers (and the school administration team) to recognise their potential by being assessed on competencies and measure their performance. “This is done through alignment workshops, and administered on a ‘Technology Enabled Talent Management Platform,” says Kunal.
The teachers are given login IDs to track their performance, timely assessment, and rewards and recognition.
Idea behind the platform
Seeing the rapid evolution and adoption of technology in the education sector, Kunal felt the need for a platform like CogitoHub. “While designing the student assessment product, I realised there was a similar need to use a contextual framework-driven approach to help them identify and align their goals and enhance their capability, which gave birth to the product,” says Kunal.
Prior to starting CogitoHub, Kunal worked with Unilever, Accenture and PepsiCo. The electronics engineer from Delhi Technological University, holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from XLRI, Jamshedpur.
The education sector in India is fraught with challenges. Longer adoption cycles are a norm and CogitoHub was no exception. “We have created two new categories – student assessments, and teacher talent management. The student assessments are localised, where scale has happened within this category,” says Kunal.
CogitoHub claims that over 2,000 teachers across different schools in India use the Talentel platform, while the student assessment programme has over 35,000 users across India, the Middle East, and South East Asia.
The fees for educators are customised based on the service requirement, and average around Rs 20,000 per person. Students are charged between Rs 2,500 and Rs 7,500.
Talking about CogitoHub's revenues, Kunal says, “We have made roughly half-a-million dollars in revenues every year through both the platforms. These days, an increasingly large number of people are showing interest directly through our website, thereby increasing our B2C revenues as well.”
CogitoHub has a core team of six members including Kunal, along with a number of consulting HR specialists, psychologists, engineers and software developers.
According to a Statista report, the e-learning market worldwide is forecast to surpass $243 billion by 2022. A considerable share of faculty worldwide has shown willingness to support less traditional and digital education models. About 65 percent of faculty support the use of open educational resources (OERs) in teaching, and 63 percent support the competency-based education system.
The overall market size of CogitoHub, both B2B and B2C, within South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East, is estimated at 200 million students, spending over $100 a year per student.
Talking about what sets CogitoHub apart, Kunal says, “It is our framework and algorithms. We have created a unique combination of a strong framework and algorithm-driven patented approach. Apart from publishing several credible research papers on the same, we have also developed a unique student digital code and teacher digital code.”
Bootstrapped so far, the company is actively looking to raise funds in the future.
The company plans to scale CogitoHub B2C to make an impact in solving a student’s dilemma about their future. Whereas Talentel will have a more engagement-driven model of growth, deep diving to solve the talent management needs of educational institutions.
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