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Edtech Start-ups Making Consumers More Comfortable With Technology: Ali Asgar Kagzi, Co- founder, Genext Students

Ali Asgar Kagzi, Co- founder, Genext Students talks to BW Businessworld about the gaining prominence of e-learning and AI playing its role in education sector. (Edited Excerpts)

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To stay relevant in the internet age, there is an increased focus on continuous re-skilling. What are your views on this?

With the ever changing world, especially because of technology, re-skilling is absolutely important. This is even true in the case of tutors as training the trainers enhances the overall learning of the next generation. Hence, we at Genext Students conduct regular orientation and skills development workshops not just to update the skills of the tutors, but also to empower the one who are starting tutoring afresh.

Re-skilling also becomes imperative for a high growth ed-tech startup like ours as the team needs to constantly seek, learn & implement new & innovate techniques & skills necessary to scale-up.

How e-learning is getting its sheen back?

With the improvement in technological infrastructure and the thrust of ed-tech start-ups, the consumers at large are getting more & more acquainted & comfortable with using technology tools. People have also realized the importance of personalized learning, and have also started to offer online as well as offline based learning for maximum impact.

How govt. push for digital learning will further accentuate the growth of e-learning in India?

The current government has taken various notable steps to upgrade India digitally, right from improving the technology infrastructure to digitizing the way we learn. Many institutes have started to offer video recordings of their classes in order to reach & benefit as many students as possible. This has also motivated many to focus on ed-tech which will play a key role in India's digital future.

How Genext Students can transform the Indian education sector?

Genext Students creates an entire learning ecosystem for students, parents as well as the tutors, enabling them to connect with each other, learn in the best possible way and grow to their maximum potential. It facilitates the tutors to stimulate the holistic development of the student through highly personalized technology-driven solutions combining personal tutoring, content, tests, and analysis, thereby addressing the pressing need for quality education in the country. This one-of-its-kind platform also empowers educators & tutors to become entrepreneurs, and in turn, leads to the creation of a wave of ‘TUTORPRENEURS’ across the country. We are striving to bring a large-scale impact by convincing tutors to focus only on teaching and delivering quality education without bothering about the marketing, branding, assessment, analysis and administrative hassles. Thus, very efficiently, we are creating an organized education ecosystem of ‘tutorpreneurs’ where we are not just building a supply of teachers, but are also giving them a well-deserved opportunity of earning with respect and dignity - all through the power of robust technologies

How AI is been used in the system

Right from the time a Tutor is on-boarded, our AI based system helps them create a market relevant profile (e.g. fee recommendation, query & area flow, timing peak hours, etc.) to helping us assess & categorize them in order to match them with the right parent. Our Parent-Student-Tutor matching algorithm is another AI powered system which helps find the right tutor for the right child & parent, as per their preferences & learning needs. During the tutoring session as well, the Assessment & evaluation modules help tutors understand the child's current knowledge and learning gaps and suggest a robust measurable learning growth plan. Amount other things, we also use AI for understanding both the user's behavior & develop strategies to constantly improve our product & services.

What are the Future plans?

We at Genext Students aim to have 80,000+ TUTORPRENEURS onboard providing 10 million tutoring sessions by 2020. We aim to reach Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns along with Lucknow & Bengaluru where we have recently launched. Focus will be to help as many parent find the right tutor as possible, enhancing our technology & adding more features.

What are the new developments taking place in the industry?

We are further improving on the above mentioned AI and looking at tightly integrating the same by enhancing technology. We were one of the only ed-tech start-up selected by Start-up India for the recently helps India-China Investment Roadshow held at Beijing wherein we got to experience first hand the growth & impact of technology & the potential it has especially in a highly populated country like ours. Driven by these learning, we will be looking at boosting our future plans to achieve in 3-4 years, which China took over a decade to achieve.