PhysicsWallah has witnessed 100% growth in online business, says Alakh Pandey

Students now favour a hybrid approach, engaging in both online and offline methods for learning, said Alakh Pandey.

PhysicsWallah has witnessed 100% growth in online business, says Alakh Pandey

Saturday September 23, 2023,

3 min Read

PhysicsWallah (PW) has witnessed 100% growth in its online business this year (FY23), even with students moving to offline channel, according to Founder and CEO Alakh Pandey.

Students now favour a hybrid approach, engaging in both online and offline methods for learning, said Pandey, in a fireside chat with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, at TechSparks 2023.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, students expressed a desire for offline learning options, prompting edtech companies to establish a physical presence. Physics Wallah also expanded into the offline space last year.

However, PW's venture into offline learning hurt its Net Promoter Score (NPS), according to Pandey, who mentioned that the company reduced its pace of offline expansion in FY23 to improve its NPS.

NPS is a crucial metric for companies, providing insight into a customer's perception of their brand and is often linked to revenue growth.

Pandey emphasised that the projections made by many edtech companies during COVID-19 were overly optimistic, leading to a dichotomy where edtech companies built on sound principles are currently functioning smoothly as the pandemic-driven boom subsides, whereas others are facing challenges.

Nonetheless, PW is facing its own set of challenges with the influx of numerous new edtech companies focusing on democratising education, noted Pandey, who added, “It presents a challenge for us, but it’s a positive one, as it keeps us on our toes.”

While PW is monitoring other edtech companies, it's also closely observing their strategies and initiatives. As a result, the company is engaging in AI-related advancements and developments.

“We’ll have to wait and see how things will work out. But 2023 is the year of AI,” PW CEO said, adding that it is working on an Alakh AI tool. 

According to Pandey, if PW ever needs to train an AI model, it won't require external assistance as it can utilise its abundant data for training purposes. Currently, its app attracts two million students daily, spending an average of 80 minutes on the platform, he shared.

Shradha Sharma, Alakh Pandey

Shradha Sharma and Alakh Pandey at TechSparks 2023.

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Affordability and jobs

Speaking of affordability, Pandey referred to a person named Rahul Kumar, whom he had a chance encounter with earlier today outside his hotel. Four years after completing his 12th grade, he continues his studies through PW's Yakeen batch while managing a modestly paying job.

According to Panday, the company has brought “one revolution” by addressing affordability concerns in the test-prep sector, providing products and services at notably reduced prices compared to its rivals. 

Presently, its attention is directed towards the "next revolution"—helping people in securing jobs, Pandey said, adding that over the past year, the edtech firm has been focusing on skilling.

Skilling isn't merely an additional focus for PW; instead, it represents a core area for the company's future expansion, spanning both online and offline channels, Vishwa Mohan, CIO of PW and Sudhanshu Kumar, CEO of PW Skills, had told YourStory, last month.

The company provided a glimpse into its proactive strategy in July through the launch of PW Institute of Innovation (PW IOI), which comes under the umbrella of PW Skills.

PW, which began its journey as a YouTube channel created by Pandey in 2016, holds a unique position as the only profitable edtech unicorn in India. It expects to score a third consecutive year of profitability in FY 2022-23.

(The copy was updated to correct the average time spent on the platform.)

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti