Believes, Vamsi Krishna, Founder and CEO of Vedantu in an email interaction with Ekta Srivastava, Education Technology…
Vamsi Krishna is Co-Founder & CEO of Vedantu, a leading ed-tech start-up into LIVE Online Tutoring. Vamsi has co-founded Vedantu along with his three friends, Anand Prakash, Saurabh Saxena and Pulkit Jain. These are childhood friends who founded their first educational venture in 2006 called Lakshya, a Test Prep company in North India which got acquired by MTEducare, a listed company, in 2012. Vedantu is their second venture together in education. Vamsi is an alumnus of IIT-Bombay and has been a teacher for more than 5 years. As CEO of Vedantu, Vamsi primarily looks after the strategy and overseas critical functions like Branding, Marketing, and Recruitment. An amateur photographer and a poker player, you can find him clicking or bluffing in his free time.
Please tell us something about Vedantu, its concept, and journey so far.
Vedantu is a Live Online tutoring platform which aims to personalize and democratize learning. Our primary focus is from grades 6th to 12th in CBSE & ICSE curriculums. On Vedantu, a student can select from a huge pool of quality teachers, who provide LIVE teaching to students in an interactive manner using Vedantu’s proprietary Whiteboard, Audio and Video (WAVE) technology. The WAVE technology makes online learning fun and hassle free and enables teaching sessions even at a low bandwidth.
Vedantu addresses the basic problem of generalization and one-size-fits-all prevalent in the education sector today. Vedantu was conceptualized to bring Personalization back into education. We imagine a world where a student is at the centre of learning again, where a teacher will teach according to a student’s need, pace and level and where learning graduates from 1-to-Many to 1-to-1.
Vedantu is a venture which was started by four friends – Vamsi Krishna, Saurabh Saxena, Pulkit Jain and Anand Prakash. All four of us share a deep passion for imparting quality education to students; together we have taught and mentored more than 10,000 students and trained more than 200 teachers in our previous education venture. Today, Vedantu has grown tremendously with more than 350 teachers and 11,000 students on its platform.
You have been a mentor for education start-ups and orgs in India. How do you find the field now, after the technology boost given by the government?
Last year, Edtech sector got a major boost in terms of investments for digital classrooms, use of whiteboards, interactive software, technology devices like wearables and tablets, etc. and we expect this continue in the long term. However, internet connectivity outside of top 20 cities still remains a challenge for online education. Improved connectivity will significantly boost the education sector and ensure learning reaches even the farthest parts of the country. With the current government’s ‘Digital India’ campaign, dream of connected India will soon become a reality. A digitally empowered society with the right infrastructure in place, can go a long way in providing the right tools and techniques for digital learning.
Do you think India has adequate technology usage and adoption in the education sector? What more can be done in your opinion?
In the past few years, Indian classrooms have witnessed a surge in technology adoption – with smart classrooms, hardware and software additions, more computer labs, etc. Moreover, the government is promoting innovation in schools and pushing for technology adoption. The overall education sector is witnessing a transformation with several ed-tech players garnering the attention of schools, parents and teachers alike to provide high quality learning to students although this may not be adequate. India is the third largest online education market in the world which is estimated to grow at a tremendous CAGR of approximately 19% during 2016-2020. This offers a huge opportunity to every entity – government, schools and higher education institutes and private players to enhance both quality and access to education.
Do you think eLearning can help in educational progress in a vast country like India?
E-learning certainly helps in the level of education, literacy and economic development in a country like India. The increase in internet connectivity has been an important catalyst for the growth of e-Learning. With the number of internet users in India expected to reach 250 million, access to quality education is a reality. At Vedantu, we bring together teachers and students on a single platform to enable LIVE learning between them. Our sole mission is to create a world of learning which ‘Personalized & Democratized’ is. Personalized in terms of better experience than groups and classes, and democratized in choice-in terms of teacher, time, schedule and most importantly level of education.
The transformation from classroom learning and tuitions to non-traditional online learning aids is not easy. What challenges did you face?
In India, online tutoring is still a very novel concept. Parents and students in most parts of the society still believe in classroom teaching – the 1-to-many model. To break this mind set and to highlight the importance and effectiveness of live personalized teaching/learning was one of the major challenges. The second aspect is building a cutting-edge technology platform that’s built from the ground up for facilitating 1-to-1 live online teaching, learning. We worked to develop a great technology platform called WAVE – whiteboard audio video environment which makes learning online a fun and interactive experience. The platform enables teaching sessions even at low-bandwidth.