[Startup Bharat] Lucknow-based EduGorilla’s AI algorithm is helping students prepare for competitive exams

EduGorilla has built a self-learning Artificial Intelligence algorithm that determines the operational profitability of various competitive examinations.
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A few years ago, Rohit Manglik, an NITK Surathkal graduate, saw how majority of his school friends in his hometown, Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh, were struggling to receive the same level of educational guidance that he received from his alma mater.

This gave him the idea to do something to help students achieve their career goals. After working for reputed companies such as Oracle, JP Morgan and D.E, and trying his luck with two startup ventures, Rohit launched EduGorilla in December 2016 along with his friend Shashwat Vikram.

The startup was started with the vision to make exam preparation easy for students and guide them. The edtech startup offers multilanguage online mock tests to students for competitive exams at affordable prices.

“It goes without saying how imperative mock tests are to prepare for any kind of examination. While mock tests are easily available for national-level examinations such as Civil Services, both online and offline, the market for mock tests for state-level government recruitment examinations is still in its nascent stage,” Rohit tells YourStory.

The Lucknow startup, which started with just two employees, now has over 155 employees, and is present in five cities namely Delhi, Jaipur, Indore, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow.

Why EduGorilla?

A report by Research and Markets forecast that the test preparation market in India is growing at a CAGR of 15.72 percent during the period 2018-2022.

EduGorilla, which competes with the likes of Adda247, Testbook, and Pariksha, says other players in the market comprise mostly of physical test book providers on the local level who very often fail to provide content that is intrinsic to the examination.

Rohit says the state governments generally release notifications for recruitment examinations about 45 days prior to it.

Team at EduGorilla

“The local test booklet publishers need around 25-30 days to analyse the demand for the mock tests, hire subject experts who are fluent in the regional language, and then initiate the printing and distribution process. This leaves a window of just 15 days for the retailers to obtain it and then sell it to the students. The journey of a test book - from the printing press of the publisher to the table of the student takes longer than anticipated,” he says.

Rohit adds that students get just around 10 days to practice test booklets of the latest edition, and most often, the test books lose their relevance. This is especially the case for state-level government examinations.

EduGorilla aims to disrupt the unorganised market by applying better economical tactics and using technology to fast-track the process of curating mock tests,” he says.

AI-powered platform

The startup has built a self-learning Artificial Intelligence algorithm that determines the operational profitability of various competitive examinations.

This analyses two key variables – a dynamic variable identifying the type of opening, the number of vacancies, and under which state government and department a particular examination falls. The second variable maps the trends in this regard like Google search, ecommerce portals, and its portal for the content/publications. This assessment helps EduGorilla to identify the primary focus examinations

Subsequently, EduGorilla claims to generate the test preparation content and mock tests for a particular exam in just 48 hours (which normally takes around 25-30 days) through automated workflow. Its AI-powered software automatically converts the test content to a book format that can be purchased via ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart.

The startup operates on a subscription-based model in the B2C space with monthly or yearly offerings in the price bracket of Rs 99-Rs 699. 

Catering to career needs

“The focus of EduGorilla since its early days has been to be the one-stop solution to the career needs of students. Offline counselling cafés, directory listing of schools and coaching centres, and mock tests were among our offerings. Over the years, we have pivoted the focus to offer online test series and practice tests for state-level and less conventional competitive entrance examinations,” explains Rohit.

Today, the startup claims to have over 59,000 listed coaching centres and over 8,40,000 listed schools, including Pariksha Adda, Centurion Academy, and Career Capital.

“On an average, we get over 16,00,000 visitors every month and we have over 20,00,000 subscribers. Our app has been downloaded over 10,000 times. Since inception, we have seen 37 percent growth on a month-over-month basis,” says the co-founder.

The current COVID-19 crisis has brought up the significance of digital education, which the students have utilised to learn and practice to prepare for the examinations that are being held.

EduGorilla reaped advantages of the digital revolution induced by the pandemic and witnessed a 100 percent surge in sales, and an average increase in daily active users from 40,000 to 60,000 during the pandemic.

Plans ahead

At present, the startup offers mock tests in five languages - English, Kannada, Gujarati, Hindi, and Bengali. It is now looking forward to reach six to seven lakh daily active users, and plans to expand to nine other languages and cities.

Rohit says, “We are also looking to solve students’ doubts as well as offer audio-visual solutions to them and make learning more mobile and interactive. In the coming years, EduGorilla will also encapsulate video courses in its umbrella and leverage connected living via integration with Alexa, Siri, and Google Home.”

Edited by Megha Reddy

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