According to a report by NASSCOM, internet users in India will reach 73 crores by 2020. India has become the largest market for e-learning after the United States, a report by UK-India Business Council suggests. And the same grew at a rate of 17.4 per cent between 2013 and 2019, twice as rapid as the global average.
This huge opportunity in the edtech sector continues to grow as the rural population adopts the online world rapidly. A lot of entrepreneurs are aware of the opportunities ahead and therefore, a lot of startups are being launched which caters to the specific needs of the Indian education problems.
GuruQ is one such startup that connects students with the right tutors. Founded by Minal Anand in 2017, the Delhi-based edtech startup assembles at one place the best tutors after vetting them through a multi-level process. The startup provides tutors with the latest teaching methodologies and keeps them updated with international approaches in contributing to better learning.
GuruQ recently raised ₹2.5 crores in pre-series A funding from a group of High Networth Individuals (HNIs). The startup will use the freshly raised capital to upgrade the website with several never seen before and innovative features. Moreover, the funds will be used to accelerate business growth.
Since its inception, the startup has certified over 1,500 tutors in Delhi NCR on its platform. Though GuruQ was focused on Delhi NCR initially it has significant plans to expand to other major cities. In fact, the startup has already begun providing online tuitions all across the nation as online tutoring transcends all physical boundaries. Recently, GuruQ expanded to Punjab and Haryana.
During her college in the United States, Minal witnessed a dramatic difference in the education system. Schools in India are making considerable efforts to provide quality education. But the teacher-to-student ratio is alarming. Based on current metrics, a teacher cannot dedicate quality time to every student. And this increases the need for extra-schooling aka tuitions.
Minal’s quest for doing something innovative as well as her concern for the education scenario in India motivated her to dive deeper, understand the challenges and find an entity that would revolutionize home tuitions. And GuruQ was born.
The platform is focused around helping students to make most of their limited time and resources by using the various search parameters provided on the dashboard. The unique design of the digital platform makes it easy for both students and teachers to connect with each other.
By measuring five keys of excellence – learner-centric, tech-powered, convenience-focused, quality-driven and tutor-oriented, the startup is expanding quickly and making learning easy, fast and effective. Students can compare tutors on key parameters before choosing one. The platform lets students broadcast their learning requirement in details and the tutors can respond to them.
Tutors also get benefits like a better reach, increased income and timely payments. GuruQ certifies certain tutors and this certification helps them leverage and boast about their work. Moreover, tutors can teach Pan India through online classes. The digital platform helps them to schedule classes and manage timetables.
When asked about how she effectively markets her products and services, Minal says, “Marketing primarily comprises branding and lead generation, with the latter being more resource-intensive. Therefore, since our inception, branding has been our focal point. We have undertaken various types of branding to give a spur to our brand. Co-branding is one such initiative to ensure that our brand can leverage the power of our partners’ brands.”
There are many players in the online education sector. GuruQ differs not just in the solution but also the way it approaches the problem. Their market research revealed many pain points that their target audiences face and the startup has planned 101 ways in which the problem can be taken care of. To be crisp, GuruQ has noted down 21 features and benefits that will ease out the pain of the customers. The startup will launch them in a phase-wise manner.
“We have created varied sub-brands such as GuruQGyaan (an initiative for skill development among students and teachers) to position ourselves as a facilitator of quality learning. We have also created an incentive-based strategy targeted towards influencers who hold sway over our target audience. Additionally, we are cross-selling and upselling to our captive audience to further our goal of becoming a one-stop solution for education,” she added.
GuruQ organizes GuruQGyaan seminars to enhance tutor skills with the support in subjects like English, Economics and Mathematics. The experts in these fields assist tutors in learning quality tutoring skills and subject proficiency. Furthermore, each tutor learns how to effectively evaluate the students based on their level of understanding. The sessions include experience sharing, case studies and discussions on best practices prevailing in the industry.
If you are an entrepreneur, you might understand the challenges one has to face to build an empire. So was for Minal. The journey so far has been one of exploration and experimentation for her. Within five months of operations, the startup completely revamped their entire digital infrastructure including the website and the dashboard. Minal overcame the challenges in the processes, technology and design by focusing on the experience they were able to provide by integrating the various ingredients of operations.
So, please let us know what do you learn from Minal’s journey to success in the comments?