Online education

Online education critical for India’s socio-economic growth: Abhishek Chola

Dataquest talks to Abhishek Chola, founder of Just Learn and later Just Rojgar solutions a job portal and technology platform for upskilling job seekers, with a vision to create an enterprise that can foresee and meet the staffing requirement of organizations. Just Learn and Just Rojgar handle large-scale projects with a focus on employability, career counseling, online education, and content development.

DQ: What made you launch Just Learn, an online learning platform?

Abhishek Chola: We launched Just Learn to provide education and skilling online to make people employable. Continuing to deliver online education to constantly upgrade people on the requirements of industry is very critical for the socio-economic growth of our country. The Food Industry Capacity & Skill Initiative (FICSI) is a good case in point about the need for something like this. We are working very closely with the FICSI, a sector skill council under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. FICSI is using the Just Learn platform to deliver content, conduct exams, and offer certificates for Food Courses. And FICSI’s target is to register more than 1 lac beneficiaries within a year.

DQ: What are Just Learn’s vision and mission?

Abhishek Chola: Just Learn’s vision is to connect millions of aspirants across the globe with employability-enhancing online learning solutions.

DQ: What is the IT infrastructure you are using to make Just Learn reliable, robust and secure?

Abhishek Chola: For the kind of services we are delivering, we need a strong backbone. For instance, we are working with Ambuja Cement Foundation since July 2020. They have 27 vocational training centres across India where they provide vocational training in classrooms. We have now digitised their training centres, and over 10,000 plus beneficiaries have already been trained with Just Learn till March 2021. All beneficiaries belong to remote areas of India and the level of education is 10th class and above. Most of them use their parents’ mobile to connect with the Just Learn Platform. We have 3 layer data security, thus all the content uploaded by clients is 100% secure. We also have a partnership with Macmillan Education India and obtained CMMI Level 3 certification.

DQ: How do you differentiate Just Learn with some of the established names like Udemy, Upgrad, Kitaboo, Byjus, Educomp and others?                                                                                                                          

Abhishek Chola: They are not our competitors as Just Learn is a pioneer in providing online education for vocational skills.

DQ: Do you work directly with customers or do you have or plan to have channel partners to increase reach and feet on the street?

Abhishek Chola: We are working with institutions, corporates, and government institutes to reach out to the end learners. In Delhi, we are working with the Tech Mahindra Foundation, where they are delivering content, training, and live classes to Delhi MCD school teachers for English training on the Just Learn Platform. Before Just Learn, they used to train teachers offline. We are also developing our channel partners in India & overseas to increase our reach, especially in rural and semi-urban areas.

DQ: Why should users come to paid online learning platforms when free online learning apps are available?

Abhishek Chola: We are working with universities, skill institutes, CSRs projects, NGOs, and corporates too, where our online courses are offered free of cost to end learners.

DQ: What was Justlearn’s revenue in FY 2021, and what is your expected projection for the next 2 years?

Abhishek Chola: We launched Just Learn in the second half of 2020, and in just over 7 months in FY 2021, our revenue was Rs 1 crore. For FY 2022, we are targeting Rs 10 crore plus revenue, and hope to touch Rs 50 crore by FY 2023. I would like to share with you that Ambuja Cement Foundation contract has been extended for 2021-22 with a target to provide training and certificates to 12000 plus beneficiaries.

DQ: What are the challenges companies like yours face? And how do you handle those challenges?

Abhishek Chola: As our learners come from rural areas & with low internet bandwidth, Just Learn mobile app is continuously emerging to work in low internet bandwidth regions, and we are continually making our technology robust. Through our Just Learn App, a learner can access content in offline mode also. For the Tripura Government project, we delivered an online English course to girls along with Macmillan Education. The course was blended to make it a two-way communication with trainer & trainee. All beneficiaries are active and access the course content, live classes, and repositories. As it was a special project, we delivered online education through live classes to 5000 girls.

DQ: Who are some of your other customers, and how are you helping them?

Abhishek Chola: Besides the ones I talked about earlier, there are lots of other great examples of organizations using our Just Learn platform for imparting skills. The Aaji Care Foundation is using Just Learn to deliver training to GDA (???) health sector staff. Now, when they come to Just Learn, it’s easy for them to train more people as compared to earlier when they did offline training with limited participants. Similarly, the Rubber Skill Development Council (RSDC) is using Just Learn to deliver their vocational courses training through online mode. We have also partnered with the UNICEF PHFI project where they are delivering online education on menstrual health & nutrition to the village girls and women of Uttar Pradesh. In this case, we also developed content modules for them.

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