In conversation with Sumeet Verma, CEO & Co-founder, KopyKitab about how education technology segment is going through a massive transformation accelerated due to the pandemic.
How do you tackle the education system through virtual learning?
The education system, undoubtedly, has evolved dramatically with a massive shift towards virtual learning. This is revolutionising our education system as it supports a better-connected and more collaborative future for education.
Furthermore, the government and stakeholders of the education system have appreciated the fact that it is time to give the Indian education sector a tech boost. Support from the government to make online education mainstream is giving a much needed fillip to the entire industry.
Students today are looking for technology driven, flexible and are looking for convenient options for themselves. KopyKitab, a personalised & virtual learning platform, is helping them manage their entire learning journey from content to coaches to help them achieve their goal of cracking good grades & subsequently landing a good career. What we are offering is need-driven from the students with the convenience of a single click. KopyKitab covers 8% of the addressable market, combining the latest technological tools with customizability, making learning effective for students.
What role does KopyKitab play in the student’s higher education journey?
Higher education is a significant vertical for students as it is the foundation for the future, they envision for themselves. There are plenty of ed-tech offerings in the K-12 space, however they can be fragmented. What students truly need is the right guidance and direction towards achieving their professional goals- helping them with the big picture and undertaking the smaller steps leading to it. We understand the journey that students undertake and offer them exactly what they need, so it’s all pull and not push.
The foundations upon which institutions of higher education are built is a peer to peer learning – the idea that students learn effectively through interaction, collaboration, and discussion with other students than they do through individual study. In the current covid-19 pandemic, using our most critical and latest technology, which is Peer to Peer learning with systematic learning options and video connectivity, has created a highly optimised beneficial learning environment for students. The growth is expected to rise more with the increased use of technology.
We have over 6 million app downloads and 5 million registered users. KopyKitab certainly seems to be resonating with students coming from a diverse set of backgrounds. KopyKitab is uniquely placed to change the complete landscape of higher education. We are delivering a new form of learning architecture to students and trying to make the learning experience an interactive and enriching one for them. Students seem to be getting more comfortable in using our tech services and virtual connectivity.
How did Covid19 change the education paradigm forever?
The integration of technology into our lives was a process in the making since the past few years, however, covid-19 accelerated the integration at a pace that was simply unfathomable. The Pandemic changed the fundamental way in which we consume most of our services, if not all, including health care, media and education to name a few. We believe that going forward digital will have to be the main answer for all education verticals, moreover, colleges/institutes and schools will be at the forefront of adapting to this change. We have already witnessed the changes in consumption patterns in education with digital content increasingly steering the wheel. This, in turn, will impact the education sector in a big way as it will open up access to education for students in tier II and III towns as well.
There was already a surge in devices and cheaper data but covid amplified it, more specifically in the education sector. It has resulted in a great shift in consumer behaviour i.e. both teacher and students. It’s a new norm to have a class, meeting or conference virtually now and as a result the education has got a better reach of quality to every region & every student now.
How has your journey been?
My entrepreneurial journey with KopyKitab started in 2013. If the two of us (both the co-founders) co-relate our educational journey being from a tier-II town, not much has changed from our time till date. During our time the industry was yet to go through a technological disruption of this magnitude, and students from small towns had relatively limited access as compared to our peers in tier I and metros. The struggle with the whole learning process in the higher education vertical- be it textbooks, tutorials and notes, for students living in tier II and tier III towns was prominent, and two decades later, not much has changed.
We identified a problem that needed to be addressed and, in the process, tapped into a multi-billion market opportunity and launched KopyKitab to primarily help students manage their entire learning life cycle. The idea behind this virtual learning platform that facilitates on-the-go learning was to democratise access to education that we faced growing up in India’s obscure towns. We ensure right relevancy supported by a technology platform with learning suites, comprising of e-books, notes, course videos, practice tests, coaching in a bite-sized format that enables the students to access highly customised bundles of learning materials. Knowledge is departed through live tutorials by faculties from top Institutions across India to ensure a very high-quality engagement.
What are your long term plans?
We have acquired students organically and have understood what they need; hence our focus is always to provide services which will benefit them. We continually work towards an ecosystem around the students to engage them and are increasing offerings to our growing student base with new services & products. We aim to address the underserved market of higher education and reach our target of acquiring around 10 million users by the year-end.
Are you witnessing any trends during this Covid-19 lockdown?
If there is one monumental shift that no industry could escape or look past, it is the instantaneous dependency on technology. The Education sector is no exception.
Some of the trends that we have noticed:
- Despite making a lot of our study material free of cost with our #Gharbethepadho campaign, we saw a clear pattern in students not shying away from paying for more premium content which was far more suited to their requirements. Money stopped being an imposing factor over quality.
- We witnessed a massive growth with students pursuing their undergrad studies boosting KopyKitab’s revenue by 3x as compared to the previous year since the lockdown.We are also seeing leading coaching classes opting for video conferencing tools to continue the education of their enrolled students.
- Over time, there has been an ease established amongst students, teachers and parents to embrace online education. Just like businesses, students also had to adapt to virtual classrooms without much preparation to go by, but if data and our traction numbers are any yardstick to go by, we have witnessed 6 times more traffic & 3.5X growth on app downloads & 24.4 min of avg reading time per visit/ session, that showcases they have adopted online education quite well.
What is your USP?
Our business model at its core is a solution oriented one. We’re functioning with an aim to solve a very eminent problem for majority of the students in India- accessibility and ease in learning. What KopyKitab offers, is created out of the needs of the students. We believe that we understand our target market very well. We aim to function towards making the lives of students much simpler when it comes to something as fundamental as being able to study what they desire and secure a fulfilling job.