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BW Businessworld

Democratising Education

Observing that people wanted to learn online but did not necessarily have the infrastructure to do so, it opened its platform to educational institutions free of cost.

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More than 8.6 lakh daily active users, more than 3.5 lakh subscribers and 18,000-plus educators on the platform — these are only some of the numbers for Un- academy in 2020 that indicate that the education technology company was riding high on the digital wave amid the nationwide lockdown.

The year was among one of its busiest. It acquired online exam coaching platform Kreatryx and medical entrance exam preparation platform Prepladder. It took a major stake in Mastree and the custodianship of competitive programming website Codechef. It also launched Graphy to allow users to explore stories, ideas, books and original content through video, audio, images and quizzes. All these efforts were made towards the single direction of ‘democratising education’.

Initiatives Galore

Growth was coming in given the changes in the education ecosystem per se. The core mandate for the company’s chief marketing officer, Karan Shroff, therefore, was to first identify the challenges that students were facing, and also understand their study-at-home mindsets. Then follow this up with solutions that were aimed to empower and motivate them. With this in mind, Unacademy undertook several initiatives in the year.

It scaled up its live classes from about 70,000 to more than 100,000 in 2020. Observing that people wanted to learn online but did not necessarily have the infrastructure to do so, it opened its platform to educational institutions free of cost. Consequently, it scored high on both brand stickiness and brand love.

Being at home was especially challenging for students. Recognising this, and to motivating them further, Unacademy set up ‘Legends of Unacademy’. These were specially designed sessions, where celebrated names from sports and other genres spoke to students. More than 50,000 students attended the session that featured cricketer Virat Kohli, indicating the power of relevant content.

Another big investment the team undertook in the year was to become a partner with the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. According to Shroff, IPL is not only the most-watched property in India, but it also draws viewership from students, who are core to Unacademy’s target group. This association particularly helped the company to drive its top-of-mind awareness.