Genext Students: Students’ Delight
Genext Students connects highly trained teachers with students with an aim to impart better after-school education. And it is succeeding
Photo Credit : Umesh Goswami
If there has been one big gap in the field of education, it’s finding the perfect home tutor for school-going students. This is where Genext Students steps in. This online platform screens and trains tutors and connects them with students and their parents in five cities such as Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Lucknow. For the tutors, who are called ‘tutorpreneurs,’ Genext helps in enhancing their teaching skills and improving their livelihood, while for students, it offers access to the best learning material and teachers.
Though India is a huge country with approximately 300 million students, the access and infrastructure of education is found wanting. During the initial years when the business was founded, Ali Asgar Kagzi and Asad Daud focused on creating content and monetising it through online teaching. However, it was difficult to get students to sit in front of their computer screens and learn on their own. Gennext Students then focused on training home tutors in the art of imparting quality education.
With the change in its business model, making teachers its central focus, this online tutor-student connecting platform saw its fortunes change. Today, this online platform has over 6,000 teachers, and has conducted over 45,000 hours of tutoring to 1.4 million students. Revenues, which were negligible before this shift took place, leapfrogged to Rs 1.2 crore in the last 15 months.
“We have a continuing relationship with parents and tutors. We provide the whole after-school education. We have tied up with content publishers, counselling service providers, and interest camps. We have realised that assisted learning is the way ahead. Our platform is unique because it brings in all the stakeholders, and the tutors on the same platform. Everyone is linked with each other and can see what is happening and interact with each other,” says founder Ali Asgar Kagzi who was inspired by the advanced technological training methods during his student days at the London School of Economics.
Now the firm is looking at scaling up completely through technology; it has signed up with IBM’s Global Entrepreneur programme. The platform is looking at using artificial intelligence and other data analytics tools to screen, profile and train teachers. “We are doing proficiency scores on language and other areas of interest, and taking all this information to find out the best fix for students. Plus, the tutor has our content. We also carry out diagnostic tests on students and find areas of improvements.”
Further, data mining allows Genext Students to improve the weak areas of students. For instance, it has found that students in Pune and Lucknow fare worse in English compared to kids in Mumbai and Bangalore, while math comes easily for Bangalore students. So data mining creates additional focus topics that can improve a student’s grades.
An additional leverage of technology is the ability of Genext Students to keep operations lean, yet scale up in different cities. The platform, for instance, runs its operations with a 22-person team solely from Mumbai, while being present online in five cities.
Genext Students raised Rs 1.2 crore through a crowdfunding platform in mid-2016, then raised another round of Rs 3.75 crore from high networth individuals and corporate investors, which will help it expand its horizons into other cities.
The company is now looking at increasing its presence across the entire country. “We are aiming to expand into 40-50 cities by 2021, and looking to expand to about 80,000 tutors, and facilitating around 4.5 million tutoring sessions. So, if someone is looking for home tuitions, they will not look at a particular tutor, but at Genext Students. But, we also don’t want to limit ourselves to tutoring. We are looking at other interest areas such as counselling, summer camps, and so on in the after school space.”
If Genext Students is able to connect more students to the right teachers, no one will be more happier than the parents.