The Indian EdTech community is witnessing amazing growth as EdTech startups solve for different needs of students and teachers.
With a passion for education reform, young founders are seeing opportunities in almost every part of the education industry.
In one such interaction with founders Ritesh Singh and Akshat Goel, we learned about Eckovation’s journey to build a social learning platform and the impact they created with the support of the education community. Here are some insights from the interview:
- What’s the best way to define Eckovation? What problems are you solving?
Eckovation is a social learning platform that connects educators and learners to ensure quality education for all. There are a limited number of quality teachers, and they can only interact with 100-150 students annually with a traditional teaching method. With Eckovation, the reach of quality teachers increases by 10, and, most importantly, learners can get a personalized and contextualized learning experience.
- How many people currently use Eckovation? How do you keep track of satisfaction and impact for users?
Eckovation has more than one million users across India, which includes 15,000 educators. The platform was launched in December 2015. Since then, we have seen success in all three segments: professional learning, test preparation, and school education.
In school education, Eckovation, along with the district administration of Banka, launched Unnayan Bank, a program focused on improving the passing percentage and attendance in government schools of Banka, Bihar. Before the project started, the passing percentage was 38% and attendance was 17%. After the start of the program, attendance increased to 53% and the passing percentage improved to 71%. The program received the Prime Minister’s Excellence award in 2018 from PM Narendra Modi. Since then, the project has been replicated in different states, including Jharkhand (Gyanodaya Godda), Assam (Abhyudaya Dhubri), and Arunachal Pradesh (Unnayan Namsai). With the success of the program, Bihar CM, Shri Nitish Kumar, announced a plan to replicate it in all government secondary schools of Bihar to reach more than 1.5 million students.
In the professional sector, Eckovation has more than 100 programs where more than 300,000 engineering students and other professionals are engaged. The program teaches in-demand skills in top industries.
In the test preparation segment, Eckovation produced toppers in CAT. In fact, the platform also has toppers as educators of the program. Chhav Gupta and other 100 percentilers lead webinars on the platform to inspire students. Ashank Dubey (100 percentile, 2017) has also used the platform for lessons of Quant.
- How did this start? Tell us about your background and your team.
We are friends from IIT Delhi and founded the company together. During our research, we discovered a large gap within education and the need for sustainable technological intervention. So, we built Eckovation, a social learning platform that can be used for communication wherever education is present.
We experienced opposite upbringings and school experiences, but when we met at IIT, we agreed on one point: many students are not getting the opportunity to learn from quality teachers. Without ensuring quality education to all, we as a country cannot perform well enough to secure a spot on the list of developed nations. Education has the power to provide sustainable growth to the whole society. These thoughts were the initial driver for the start of the education initiative.
Eckovation now has more than 150 people on the team with Ritesh Singh serving as CEO and Akshat Goel as CTO. From IIT Delhi, Apoorv Mishra joined Eckovation as CPO. Gocinda Das, also from IIT Delhi, is heading the customer happiness department. Richa Choudhary, from DTU-2014 batch, is leading the impact initiative of Eckovation, along with Ritesh, as the chief impact officer in the organization.
- What are Eckovation’s plans for the future?
Eckovation is growing with the average growth rate of 500% YoY. In the coming year, the target is expanding the reach of Eckovation in all states the way we have covered more than 5,000 schools and 2.5 million students of Bihar and Jharkhand. With national and international acknowledgment, there is a large pipeline of programs, which we will be launching this academic year. By the end of the year, there will be more than five million Eckovations user across the nation and the team will grow to more than 500 people.
- How has AWS EdStart impacted your success?
As a member of AWS EdStart, we benefit from connecting to innovative technology leaders around the globe, advanced tech support, and AWS Promotional Credits. AWS EdStart has provided us valuable resources that have helped us scale to over one million learners in India. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides reliable and scalable technology to onboard a large user base and connect to users in real-time.
- What’s your take on opportunities in the Indian online education market? What role does social learning play?
India is one seventh of the global population and ensuring quality education to all is still missing. This challenge translates into opportunity for the Indian online education market. We still have 50% of school students who are dropping before 9th standard. Reports are stating that 90% of engineering students are not up to the mark for doing a job. And, we have a limited number of quality teachers and institutions. If we are looking for scalable solutions to these problems, online education companies like Eckovation are using artificial intelligence to make learning both personalized and effective. With the social learning platform, it enhances the reach of quality teachers and at the same time builds the community of peer learning for better retention and engagement of learners.
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