Education has always been underserved in India. Despite the best efforts by the government and private institutions, receiving a quality education is still a challenge.
Two years ago, Rohit Manglik, an alumnus of NIT Surathkal, who was then working in Bangalore, on a visit to his hometown in Farrukhabad, Uttar Pradesh and observed the helplessness of students. He saw them grappling with issues to get a right guidance in education.
He thought that in the era of internet where nearly everything is accessible online, talented students were suffering because there wasn’t a one-stop platform to cater their diverse needs. So, he started an online platform EduGorilla with a tagline “Ask Anything”.
EduGorilla has a humble beginning from a modest town of Farrukhabad. Over the past couple of years, it evolved into a full stack platform for students. With a bouquet of offerings, currently, it provides free counseling, study materials, answers from specialists on their career queries and educational articles catering to primary as well as higher education.
“Our objective is to become an obvious platform for several needs of the student community. For the students who are in catch 22 situation while choosing right career stream, EduGorilla has more than 180 career maps which covers vital pieces of information spanning across various streams,” said Manglik, Founder, and CEO, EduGorilla.
Full stack model: Mantra for organic growth
In the past two years of operation, the total number of users on the platform has reached up to 3 million. Full stack model helped us to grow organically. EduGorilla weeds out the pain for students to surf several destinations while searching information, study material and counseling amongst others, explained Manglik.
The portal updates on the latest news helps aspirants to select the apt test coaching for particular exams.
Besides, the platform enables users to download more than 74,000 study material from the marketplace and 180 plus career streams have been analyzed in depth to make it an informed platform. “We look forward to achieving 1 million visitors every month in the next couple of years.”
To accelerate growth, EduGorilla is researching on new concepts so that students make better decisions. It is devising rating card system to tell students “what’s better at a glance.” This will include personality and psychometric tests, vlogs and other methods.
The use of technology has evolved over time at Edugorilla. During the early launch, the platform used little technology. However, it currently uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to get better-refined results from the web. It also has a fully-automated section called Trends which constantly updates itself 24X7 with the latest news and updates from the education industry.
Revenue model: Advertising and branding solution to educators
The platform makes money through a mix of advertisement and academic counseling. It helps educational institutes build their brands by providing them advertisement options. Then, we have a best-way-benefits-all model.
If users query about a course, academic counselors at the platform suggest relevant educational institute for a particular stream.
“Our counselors also provide students coupons, using which they get exclusive discounts. This way, we earn pre-decided revenue from the educational institute, students get discounts and educational institutes get admissions in bulk. In a similar fashion, if students buy study material from our marketplace, they get discounts and we earn pre-decided revenues,” said Manglik.
No pain no gain: Maintaining growth curve is challenging
Despite the best efforts by the platform, it is still very difficult to crack the market because of various reasons. Internet connectivity, language barrier, unavailability of study materials in different languages other than English and breaking the conventional method of learning are some of the issues which come as obstructions as far as growth is concerned.
The platform is, however, challenging the odds and using various hacks and has further plans for expansion.
A mix of premium and freemium models: Way forward for edtech platforms
Online education in India will see approximately 8X growth in the next five years and has a potential to touch $1.96 billion by 2021, according to a report by Google, KPMG.
The magnanimity of the market can be gauged with the fact that even YouTube is planning to make a huge investment in learning and education content. The online video platform is planning to launch a standalone app for education.
Interestingly, over the past couple of years, subscription-based offerings are gaining grounds with competition aspirants. Platforms including Unacademy, NeoStencils, OnlineTyari, Topprs and Byju’s are seeing quick adoption of paid courses.
Given that paid format in online education would be slated to touch 9.5 million by 2021, emerging edtech platforms based on freemium model also set to embrace the hybrid model (freemium + premium).