Edtech startup Proctur aims to provide a one-stop solution for offline coaching classes in India
While e-learning and online coaching and tutorials have become mainstream today, many students still opt for offline training programmes. And helping the latter pull up their socks to face the competition onslaught from their online counterparts is Pune-based edtech startup, which is aiding coaching institutes to become more efficient.
After completing his MBA in Spain and getting back to India, Nishant Agarwal, noticed that his sister, who was a tutor at a coaching institute, always carried books and files with her to work. This made him wonder why offline coaching institutes were not automated or digitised yet. This was when he got the idea to bootstrap Proctur in November 2016.
“We started out with an ERP system for coaching classes, but later we realised that the industry is changing to an online mode of learning. We now help coaching classes to compete with the likes of Byju’s. We empower tutors, teachers, and trainers by growing their teaching practice with innovative digital solutions. Our platforms help them manage their institutes and conduct live classes,” Proctur CEO Nishant explains.
Empowering offline institutes
The startup offers four products. Proctur ERP helps manage the coaching institute by automating important functions like enquiry management, fees management, and admission management. Proctur e-learn helps a coaching institute consolidate all of its services, like selling test packages, conducting live classes, selling online courses, on one platform. Examdesk helps institutes conduct online tests, mock exams, and practice tests. Proctur Live enables coaching institutes of all sizes to conduct online live classes in an interactive manner.
“Many of our clients are able to save about 30 percent of their time after using our platforms. Many have also doubled their businesses using these platforms,” Nishant says.
Nishant holds an International MBA degree from IE Business School, Spain and did his engineering at Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, New Delhi in 2004. He has more than 14 years of cross-functional experience in leading companies. His earlier stints include working with Citibank Japan, Fidelity International, and Infosys. After his MBA, he got involved in the startup ecosystem and founded Legalink.jp, a legal firm for SMEs in Japan, and Kafedor, an online hospitality store offering superior quality products.
The Pune-based startup claims to have expanded its reach to more than 125 cities, and has more than 50 employees. Top cities for Proctur are Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, and Delhi.
Of challenges and finding its feet
Initially the startup found it challenging to hire talent and that was one of the reasons for the move from Delhi to Pune, where Nishant claims there is more readily available talent. The other challenge it faced during its initial days was onboarding clients, as Nishant says there were no such solutions at that time. To remove that barrier, Nishant and his team started training their clients on the use of technology and mobile apps.
Speaking about the market where it operates, Nishant says, “There are over one million coaching classes across India. We are a B2B company and we target mid- to large-size coaching classes and institutes.”
The revenue for the firm is through a subscription-based model. Proctur charges a fee that starts at Rs 15,000 per year and goes up to Rs 4 lakh - Rs 5 lakh per annum to its clients. It claims to have half a million students across institutes on its platform and witnessing 200 percent year-on-year growth in its revenue.
Nishant says, “We have 1,000-plus coaching classes and institutions across the country and about 8,000 teachers use our platform.” Some of the clients of the startup are TIME, SpeakWell Enterprises, Board infinity, and others.
On competition, Nishant ads, “We have different competitors for different product lines. Wiziq, Classplus, Classpro are some of the competitors that have similar product lines. No one competes with us in a true sense. While some firms provide exam solutions, others provide automation solutions, and other live interactive classes. But we provide complete end-to-end solutions to coaching classes and are a one-stop solution for them”.
As the startup is a young organisation with average working experience of two years, it is looking to hire senior people for various roles. Nishant adds that they are currently in talks with some investors for a fund raise.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)