EdTech is revolutionizing in every aspect and helping all the students continuously in tackling the Covid-19 crisis. Taking into consideration the current pandemic, millions of learners across the world are turning towards the edtech platform in the absence of schools, colleges and coaching classes. Due to the continuous uncertainty revolving around the Covid-19 crisis, students are opting to explore the digital methods and ways of learning.
Testbook is said to be on a mission to reshape the process of how students prepare online for competitive exams. Ashutosh Kumar, Co-founder, Testbook, tells us more. Excerpts:
DQ: How is edtech now revolutionizing and people across globe are shifting towards edtech platforms? What is the scope for students opting for government jobs exams?
Ashutosh Kumar: The current scenario is escorting the EdTech industry and evolving the acceptance of different aspects like technological innovations gradually with the time. The impact of the Pandemic is affecting all the businesses worldwide especially the travel and tourism industry, hospitality, logistics financial services industry, etc.
The current stage has disabled all economic activities leading to closure, shut down, job losses and unemployment. However, there are a few sectors like pharmaceuticals, fintech and edtech which have not been as badly impacted as the others. The global pandemic has set in motion a long-lasting consequence on the approach of adopting the technological and digitised learning medium.
People lately have started realising and adopting the concept of digital learning and are actually shifting towards digital platforms in terms of learning. There is a massive demand and surge for high–quality online experiences with all businesses at all levels working to create new solutions for online lessons.
According to UNESCO monitoring, more than 100 countries have closed their educational institutions, impacting half of the world’s student population. While elaborating on the scope of students opting for government jobs part, Government jobs are still the most preferred options for most of the people in India, reason being Job security, power and other perks.
The latest government jobs offered have seen a better response from the public due to the unsecured job style of the private sectors. About 90 million people in India apply for government jobs each year. Currently, the public-sector test preparation market is said to be at $5 billion and is one of the largest sectors in the world.
Testbook – an edtech start-up in the test preparation market for Government job exams has been looking at a very product and outcome – driven approach focussed on students. That’s the reason, the company has been able to produce 7X better result as compare to normal selections rate which is even less than 1%.
Testbook has produced more than 37,000 selections across different-different government jobs in the last 3 years with 7% success rate. Loss of private jobs has just left the people with the alternative to opt for government jobs today.
DQ: How has been the growth of Testbook amidst this Covid-19 pandemic? Also, elaborate on Testbook Pass.
Ashutosh Kumar: At present, about 70% of the content consumption of the startup is happening on mobile phones. In the beginning, when the first phase of the lockdown was announced, we had made all our online courses completely free till 31st March, which saw overwhelming responses and engagement. Over 7 lakh transactions happened in 10 days.
On the basis of the great response that we got, we launched “Testbook Pass” to support millions of students studying from home during the coronavirus lockdown to prepare for more than 100 government job exams sitting at home.
The Testbook Pass provides complete access to 100+ online courses, 4,000+ mock test, 1,000+ practice quizzes, 500+ video tricks and 2,000+ study notes at just Rs. 149/- per month. All the students and government job aspirants can easily study from home, as we have reduced the price of our online courses by over 95% taking the current situation into consideration.
DQ: How is Testbook focusing and benefiting from tier–2 and tier–3 cities?
Ashutosh Kumar: The tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India are usually faced with a lot of issues in terms of adopting all the technological aspects and staying ahead with the changing times. These cities comparatively have less amount of private job opportunities, plus, the smaller town inhabitants always prefer having a secured job. People over there usually opt and prefer government jobs, and hence, we see a huge spike.
Due to the lack of technological assistance, tier 2 and tier 3 cities lack coping up with online courses and live lectures. Almost 70% of our userbase hails from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. We have built blended acquisition channels (Online + Offline) to reach out to tier 2, tier 3 students, wherein, we work with multiple partners in smaller towns.
We have observed that students from smaller towns did not show much interest despite the major exams moving to online platforms. So, we came up with the idea of giving out Vouchers just the way telecom companies give out pre-paid cards at a very affordable cost. The pass works like a recharge voucher that students could buy for cash and use on the website or App to give their tests.
We have built multiple technological solutions to tackle patchy internet issues in smaller town. Just like Netflix, Students can download video lectures through the Testbook application and watch as many times as they want without buffering offline. Similarly, to practice the mock tests, students just need internet for few seconds, and they can easily get access throughout.
DQ: How is technology today the enabler in the education sector?
Ashutosh Kumar: Technology is rapidly changing the educational environment and challenging students to adapt accordingly. With the availability of Internet, regular use of smartphones, Social media etc, the concept of digital learning sees a high surge today. Despite the regular methods, amalgamating the technology lends students the opportunity and a chance not only to learn a particular subject, but to also develop and adopt skills beyond the classroom learning.
Whenever technology is fused in and balanced appropriately with the curriculum and needs of the students, it often leads to a better, positive and effective result. The edtech industry is aided by virtual assistants and videos, deep learning, artificial intelligence tools, virtual reality and learning analytics to give the best user experience to students.
DQ: The economy is crashing big time. Big companies are firing thousands of employees to survive during this tough time of coronavirus. Even after the lockdown opens up, it’s going to take enough time for the economy to recover and get back on the track. Hence, there is going to be a dearth of private job opportunities in the market. In this scenario, how will millions of job seekers prefer government jobs?
Ashutosh Kumar: The current pandemic has definitely resulted in tsunami of job losses across the world. The economy is totally shaken up and the amount of people losing jobs is increasing. The unemployment tracker survey released by Centre for the Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE), states that about 12 crore Indians have lost employment over the last two weeks and almost about one-third of the country’s population, which is 25 crore households could be facing a livelihood crisis right now.
Many companies have been in loss and employees have been fired even without prior notice. So, there is definitely a dearth of private job opportunities in the market and people are definitely going to turn towards government jobs opportunities and grasp in more secure and safer option in terms of employment.
After a couple of quarters, when unemployment will be at its peak, the government will have to come up with multiple job vacancies to keep economy in better shape, which is definitely a good sign. Competition will be much tougher than it used to be, as everyone’s eye balls will be on that.