6. What is the biggest need for your startup?
We feel that proper market access through strong channels is the biggest need for our startup now. We already have a great product that is making waves and has renowned clients like the Indian School of Business, the National Police Academy using it. The challenge is to reach more clients faster. With a limited team size we don’t have that marketing might. Hence we are constantly on the lookout for channel partners to promote and sell Creatist.
7. What are the improvements a pedagogical model like flipped classroom can bring to Indian education?
We believe that the flipped classroom has a huge role to play in the Indian education scenario, which has been dominant with the one-size-fits-all approach to education. The model has a proven success in enhancing student understanding and retention by allowing instructors to focus on students individually. With active learning frameworks, the classroom is made engaging, interactive and fun. In the same way that it has done in the US, we believe that the flipped classroom model can drastically bring down the drop out rates here in India.
8. Tell us about your team, who do you have supporting you? How did this start?
There are three people at the helm of affairs.
Subhash Chanda heads the product planning, execution and operations. With more than 10 years of experience in organizations like the Defence R&D Organization, Aricent Technologies, Texas Instruments, Alcatel-Lucent, he brings in the professionalism to develop a structured product-driven team.
Joydeep Roy Choudhury heads technology. With more than 20 years of experience in technology companies like PacketVideo, Gemplus, VideoActive Corp and with 3 international Patents already under his belt Joydeep brings in the innovation in technology to address business needs.
Shouvik Dhar heads the business development and channel sales. With an experience of 5 years in the Defence R&D Organization, a business degree from the Indian School of Business and having been an entrepreneur ever since, Shouvik brings in the expertise to rope in crucial channel partners and expanding the team to help the organization grow. We have a team of 5 young developers who have supported the heads brilliantly in executing such a great product.
Shouvik and Subhash started Career Aces, a training organization that trained more that 5000 graduate students in 8 cities in Andhra Pradesh. Their experiences revealed the need for a platform that unifies the entire learning process, right from content delivery to enhancing classroom experience to ensuring student understanding through analytics. With Joydeep joining the team, they set out to develop such a tool and in the process solved a number of glaring pain points that teachers had. Months of development and close interaction with instructors from 30 different domains culminated in the birth of Creatist.
9. What/Who motivates you? Any thought leader or companies with innovation, which you follow for success? Whether in the EdTech space or in general?
As a team, we derive inspiration from a number of sources or people. Salman Khan from Khan Academy and Pranav Mistry are people we have always followed. The concept of Creatist came from the massive adoption of the flipped classroom that the Khan Academy sparked. Watching Salman connect with students like the way he does got us started to think of a solution like Creatist when we were instructors ourselves. We follow Pranav for his unflinching focus on using technology as a tool to enhance user experiences. Technology should never complicate processes. That made us focus on solving the issues that might deter people to use Creatist in the first place.
10. What are the biggest challenges of your edtech startup?
There are so many players in the edtech scenario that our clients get confused on what to choose and why.
Invariably it becomes very important for us to project how Creatist is different from other systems and that was what we started doing from day one. But inertia among clients is a huge hindrance. That is one of the biggest challenges to overcome. But to overcome that we need to publicize more, get effective channels, grow a decent sales force and a technology team to meet client demands and funds to do all that. All these challenges are all related and any general startup would face these.
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