Broadcast: ThinkVidya, a startup from Bangalore has created an online platform where Teachers and Tutors from across the field join online and provide information about their qualification, skills, years of experience, references from their earlier students, their preferred format and location for teaching.
Tête-à-tête with Rakesh Kalra, Co-Founder of ThinkVidya
Idea and Vision
To become India’s largest and most trusted destination to find individual & SMB tuition and training providers, who impart learning in individual, group or online format for academic and non-academic skills
What is your start-up story? Where did you get funding from?
There is an interesting story on how ThinkVidya.com came to an existence. Very few people know that it is actually a merger of 2 startups teacherji.in (founded by Santosh Kevlani) and 3pundits.com (founded by Rakesh Kalra). It is so unusual for 2 very early stage startups to get merged that Thinkvidya team was called in several forums to talk about their experience.
At Thinkvidya, we’re creating an India wide network that connects knowledge providers & knowledge seekers. Anyone who has the ability and willingness to share knowledge can join as a Tutor/teacher in the system. By creating this network we are attracting a lot of parents and students who are looking for such tutors & trainers. ThinkVidya platform provides all the tools & features to help these two entities connect with each other easily while ensuring privacy.
Currently the company is self funded by both the founders, i.e. Santosh & Rakesh.
What is your target market? What is your revenue earning plan or model? What’s cooking for enhancing user engagement?
We are moving towards becoming India’s largest network of Individual Tutors/trainers. We target Individuals who have an interest and capability to teach & share their knowledge. We have individuals from prestigious institutes like IITs, IISc, IIMs, NITs as well as companies like Accenture, Infosys, Wipro, IBM part of our Tutor network. On the seeker side, we target parents & students looking to join tuition or classes for academic/non-academic subject.
We do not charge any fee from seekers to find classes & tuition, however Tutors have an option to take our monthly premium subscription. This subscription allows them to get connected with a large number of students every month.
Thinkvidya.com also offers a listing of schools in 16 major Indian cities, with ability to search by area as well as syllabus and medium type. Members can also post reviews, ask questions and seek feedback about the school. One can also follow a school to get updated with discussions happening around the school on the website. All you need to do is to signup for alerts for admission in schools your choice.
Team is the bloodline of a startup. What’s your take?
For every startup having the right team in place is paramount and we are no different. Both the founders, Rakesh & Santosh together are the perfect combination for having right kind of skills on board. While Rakesh looks after Product & Technology, Santosh handles Marketing and Operations.
Rakesh – B.E. in Mechanial Engineering from PEC, Chandigarh. MS in Computer Science from Boston University, Boson. Previously VP of Engineering at Care.com, an online company in US to help families find babysitter and nannies. A technologist with strong business acumen, who has extensive experience in building software products and services from scratch.
Santosh – Btech in Electronics & Telecom Engineering from PCE, Nagpur.MBA in general management from IIT Bombay. A specialist in online businesses having rich Industry experience in online marketing, analytics, advertising, content, and operations. Worked with companies like Wipro, HP and AOL before starting ThinkVidya.com.
There are other employees in the company who are equally important in shaping the future of the company.
Any ideas you want to share from your startup briefcase?
Quite a few. One of things we learnt early in the game and that we follow religiously is to take data (numbers) driven approach. We have an A/B test platform where we try out different hypothesis and take the path based on the numbers. We monitor all important numbers on a regular basis for any course correction.
Any new releases from ThinkVidya?
Last week we launched a Courses marketplace platform where we allow anyone to buy or sell their courses through our platform. The platform allows the providers to add their course information on ThinkVidya and authorize ThinkVidya to accept payment on their behalf. The platform helps seekers to find interesting courses happening in their neighborhood by featuring them on the website and sending regular alerts based on their interest.
How do you think ThinkVidya is adding value to the startup eco-system?
Private tutoring is currently unorganized market in India. There are no large players and market has thousands of small home tuition agencies who are the interface between Individual tutors & students for a large part. The market also depends largely on word of mouth as there is no single and trustworthy source to find information about tutors & teachers for the skills you want.
In a short time period about 10,000 Individual Tutors & trainers have joined our platform that allows them direct access to students. On the other hand, students & parents are finding it easy to select the right tutor/trainers from several choices that platform provides.
In addition, it’s a wonderful platform that helps spread the knowledge and make the right connection when you need it.
ThinkVidya on Facebook
ThinkVidya on Twitter
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