‘Parents and Students Want Not Just a Tutor, But a Very Good Tutor’ - Says Ashish Sirohi, Co-Founder & CEO, Eduwizards
The startup offers top Indian tutors the advantage of providing online tutoring to international students – via website and now Live Tutors App – and earning in dollars to supplement their income from Indian home tuition students.
With a vision of providing a marketplace platform for students to connect with tutors and vice-versa, Ashish Sirohi, Co-Founder and CEO, Eduwizards talks exclusively with BW Disrupt sharing the idea and concept behind his Edtech Company. With in- house innovative and cutting edge technology providing students an efficient and superior online experience, let’s explore more on what Eduwizards has to offer and how they are using the latest technology to bridge the gap between students and tutors.
Q. How this idea of bridging the gap between students and tutors came to your mind?
Eduwizards model was founded on my experience regarding what students and tutors want. Having been involved with tutoring most of my life – group and one-on-one tutoring – I understood the criticality of good tutoring. What is this criticality? A cab driver can get you from point A to B with little differentiation but a better tutor can mean better marks, the critical difference between average, good and outstanding. Students and parents realize this and want the best tutor. So Eduwizards was started as a website to provide students the best tutors, openly ranked and reviewed by students and parents. On the tutor side, we wanted that tutors should be able to keep the bulk of the earnings and excellent tutors should be able to earn more than mediocre tutors.
Q. How does the platform work? How do you connect with the students and tutors?
We provide a marketplace platform for students to connect with tutors. Tutors submit detailed information and after review they can be approved to be live and searchable. They charge their own price and can charge different prices for different subjects and levels. Students can choose the tutors themselves, after reviewing their details, or our staff can find the right tutor for them. We collect payments from students for tuition sessions, keep our commission, and pass the rest to the tutor.
We have NCERT solutions app for all subjects & classes and practice tests for Maths and Science subjects for various classes, Medical and Engineering entrance. We are working on building substantial more testing for individual classes as well as GK and Aptitude.
Q. If you were to share 3 major USP’s of Eduwizards, what will they be?
(1) In addition to tutoring we have a complete Ecosystem which becomes available to students who take home tuitions or online tutoring with us. All our online testing and practice exams are free for students who take regular tutoring from Eduwizards tutors. Other students have to pay for these. We have NCERT solutions App for all classes and subjects. We also have practice tests for Maths and Science subjects for various classes, Medical and Engineering entrance, and are building substantial more Testing for individual classes as well as GK and Aptitude. All our online testing now will be adaptive, using international-standard Item Response Theory (IRT) Adaptive Testing. Students who take regular tutoring with Eduwizards will also have free use of the Live Tutors App for help 24X7, which is a paid App we have launched for USA and Indian students.
(2) We offer top Indian tutors the advantage of providing online tutoring to international students – via website and now Live Tutors App – and earning in dollars to supplement their income from Indian home tuition students. Our App also has Instant Question & Answer, which allows tutors to earn by giving written answers.
(3) We are an Edtech company with technology as our USP. Using our technological superiority, we are concentrating on international leadership in App-based Online Tutoring, and have launched App-based Online Tutoring for both USA and Indian students. Our App has whiteboard with voice which is a key feature that students want. Other players don't even have App-based whiteboard, let alone whiteboard with voice.
Q. India has very unorganized private tuitions segment. What are your major contributions towards making it organized?
Parents and students want not just a tutor but a very good tutor. To find excellent tutors they rely on word-of-mouth, which can be very time-consuming, highly inefficient and subjective. Our platform allows one to quickly and objectively identify best tutors by viewing reviews provided by parents and students who have taken tuitions with that tutor, along with tutor's profile, educational details and hourly charges. Tutors also want to charge more if they are better and they have reviews to prove it, they are able to increase price while also increasing volume. An emerging excellent tutor can get quick and objective recognition through Eduwizards system, which could have taken very long if tutor were to rely on word-of-mouth to build up.
Q. What are the technologies’ that you are using in this space?
We have built our own Whiteboard-with-voice built using WebRTC technology. It has crystal clear voice even at low bandwidth of 100 kbps and solves the problem of low bandwidth or fluctuating bandwidth causing voice in Online Tutoring to deteriorate. Internationally, adaptive assessment is based on advanced technology called Item Response Theory (IRT). Such adaptive testing is genuine personalized testing; each student sees a different set of questions depending on his level. The world's technologically advanced education companies have begun offering IRT Adaptive to students as a Practice Tool for all exams, and Eduwizards is now offering Indian students this same advantage in test practice. With Test Practice using IRT Adaptive, students aiming for a top rank do not have to repeatedly waste a lot of their time in practicing and solving questions that are easy or average.
We have also been continuous updating of our back-end technologies to drive maximum efficiency for a high-retention India tutoring execution.
Q. How do you measure the efficiency of your platform?
We believe the eventual true measure of such a platform is by paid sessions. Eduwizards always has – from day one – earned our commission on what students pays for each tuition session. We give a student a free demo session but no further discounts to students or tutors. 80% percent of the total tutoring sessions have been paid sessions. Paid sessions have a correlation with sessions by repeat students (since only the first session is free demo). 90% of the tutoring sessions have been from repeat students. Our efficiency is being driven by our making students and tutors aware that we have a lot more to offer them than others.
But efficiency measure must include comparison with others in the same business, and such measure confirms that we are doing great. (We give Urbanclap comparison below).Our efficiency lies also in performing tasks at a low cost. We are acquiring tutors across Indian cities at 10% of the cost of what our competitors are spending to reach tutors.
Q. As per you, how will this space of online tutoring shape up in India?
We offer students the choice of Offline (face-to-face) tutoring or Online Tutoring. On our India website presently, 98% of students are choosing face-to-face home tuition and 2% are choosing online tuition. Obviously Online Tuition will grow but we believe the India growth will be via App-based by-the-minute Instant Online Tutoring. We are on track to become the leader is such App-based tutoring in both India and USA.
Q. There are some other players as well in this domain. If not Eduwizards, which player you think is following an organized approach?
There is no Tutoring Platform in India comparable to Eduwizards so we stand above education verticals that are also in the business of providing home and online tutors. The challengers are the well-funded horizontals who provide all services: plumbers, wedding photographers, tutors et al. Horizontals will have a hard time retaining students or tutors because they have no other benefits to them, and numbers from horizontals are beginning to reflect this reality.
We are an Ed tech company backed by in house innovative and cutting edge technology and provide students an efficient and superior online experience. Using our innovative technology, we are concentrating on international leadership in App-based Online Tutoring and recently we have launched App-based Online Tutoring for both USA and Indian students. Our App has whiteboard with voice which is a key feature that students want. Other players don't even have App-based whiteboard, let alone whiteboard with voice.
Further, from the experience in other markets such as USA and China who have been pioneers in this field, we know that for tutoring services horizontals don't win, and it is dedicated education websites that rule tutoring. Parents do not want tutors to be mingled with electricians and cleaners. In India we believe in the concept of education being different than other services and almost sacred, so horizontals will not be the winning tutoring choice for Indian parents looking for a tutor.
Q. What are your expansion plans?
We want to be the leading Tutoring Platform in India for both Home Tuitions and Online Tuitions and are well on our way. We cover 50 cities but we want to have tutors available for all subjects and across all pin codes in these cities.
We are, from start, building a sustainable business with revenues from commissions, rather than growing by giving free connections. We want to grow fast to secure permanent India leadership.
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