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Zishaan Hayath Is Exploring the $100 Billion Education Industry through his Venture


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The Indian education market is expected to almost double to $180 billion by 2020, buoyed by the rapid expansion of the digital learning market and the world’s largest population in the age bracket of six to 17 years even as the sector continues to be plagued by poor infrastructure and a shortage of trained teachers.

According to a 2016 report by management consulting firm Technopak, India’s education market is valued at $100 billion currently while the digital learning market is estimated at $2 billion.

The digital learning market is expected to reach $5.7 billion by 2020 as the number of internet users is increasing. India’s internet user base is estimated to reach 550 million by 2020 with an approximately 40% penetration, a significant increase from the 35% currently, the report compiled in partnership with Simplilearn said.

Zishaan came up with the idea of after realizing that students in India were spending enormous amounts of money on coaching classes, where the student-teacher ratio would be highly skewed and every student would have a different pace of learning. Following thorough research, the education app, aimed at personalizing was brought into existence in 2013.

Presently catering to over 1.6 million registered students and helping them achieve their academic goals, Zishaan envisions making Toppr a leader in its space.

Toppr is headquartered in Mumbai and has a virtual presence across India. Mumbai was chosen due to the strong presence of business communities in the city. The development of Powai – a suburb in the North-East of Mumbai – in recent years has added value to the state for startups, which was instrumental in the decision to base the company here.

“SAIF Partners, Helion Venture Partners, and Fidelity Growth Partners India are our investors. We have raised above $10Mn from our investors,” says Zishaan when asked about previous investments.

Zishaan Hayath moved to Mumbai in 2000 to study at IIT Bombay. Post his graduation in 2005, he joined ITC Limited and then worked with Opera Solutions on strategy and operations projects for Fortune 100 clients in North America, Europe, and Asia. Zishaan was the first employee to be hired in Opera Solutions’ India office.

In April 2008, Zishaan co-founded a phone-commerce marketplace called Chaupaati Bazaar, one of the early companies in the Indian e-commerce space which was eventually acquired by India’s largest retailer, Future Group, in 2010. Post the acquisition; he became Vice President of the product category in the new entity.

Besides Toppr, Zishaan is also a serial angel investor. In his free time, which he barely gets, Zishaan loves to eat out and travel to other countries and learn more about their culture, history, lifestyle, and business markets.

“Take data-driven decisions. Experiment, learn and apply those learnings fast to find the best product-market fit. Focus on frugal innovations to bring down expenses in creating your product or service.” – Zishaan Hayath

Hemanth Goteti is the other co-founder of who was Head of Engineering at Prior to that, he has also served as Principal Engineer at Chaupaati Bazaar and an Engineer at Qlipmedia. He has also had other stints like Senior Associate, Software at Synechron and an Engineering Consultant at Ubiquiti Inc.

Toppr emphasizes on adaptive practice through machine learning algorithms, personalized tests, and goal-based pedagogy. Toppr provides students with accurate, personalized feedback to pinpoint areas of improvement.

With every question students attempt on Toppr, their speed, accuracy and goal completion is measured and taken into account to give them the next best question to attempt. It eliminates a lot of steps that don’t add much value such as searching for more questions, matching answers and calculating scores.

1.6 million students have registered on Toppr to take advantage of our deep structured content and powerful adaptive algorithms. Over 73 million questions have been answered, 5.7 million tests taken and 0.7 million doubts solved by experts on Toppr.

About their future plans, Zishaan says, “We aim to grow our sales presence in the coming months across major cities in India. We are strengthening our community to cater to a wider set of students.”

Toppr enables students to study comprehensively and perform at their best in CBSE, ICSE, and State Boards along with JEE, NEET and other competitive nationwide exams. It does so by organizing learning through four modules; video lectures, practice, tests and clearing doubts on chat.

These modules are built on more than one million learning pieces. Toppr gives students access to more than 1,500 hours of video lectures, concepts and study material created by India’s best teachers as well as over 3 lakh questions curated by rankers and academic experts. No matter when or where a student wants to learn, practice or even ask a doubt to a tutor, Toppr is available 24×7, instantly.

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