We plan to expand the outreach of the product offering beyond just metro cities and into tier 1 and tier 2 cities of the country : Ms Payal Gaba, Founder, and CEO of BeyondSkool
In an interview with BW Disrupt,Ms Payal Gaba, Founder, and CEO of BeyondSkool talks about the inception of the company, experiences during the lockdown, future growth prospects and more.
1.Brief us about your business model. How did you get the idea for this business?
BeyondSkool is a first-of-its-kind live online upskilling academy for kids focussed on building Higher Order Thinking Skills such as critical thinking, logical reasoning, innovation, and communication through Upskilling rather than Tutoring. We primarily cater to parents who believe in a structured approach to learning for better outcomes and wish to kickstart their child’s multi-faceted growth at an early age. I truly believe that both knowledge and skills are vital to ensure holistic education for children. While the existing education system provides subject knowledge, it lacks in building the necessary skills required to apply this knowledge to ‘Think and Create’. That is the gap that BeyondSkool aims to bridge.
Throughout my career, I’ve been associated with several large multinational corporations as well as early-stage startups and have had one key learning – it is the vision and purpose that goes a long way in building a lifetime. That’s what led me to take the plunge and do what I really believe in, i.e., creating a solution that adds tremendous value to each child’s learning and education. Through BeyondSkool, we look to transform ‘Learners’ into ‘Creators’.
2. How are you different from the existing competitors?
BeyondSkool is a first-of-its-kind live online upskilling academy for kids that helps in upskilling children with Higher Order Thinking Skills for holistic cognitive development of the child’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ), and Creative Quotient (CQ). What truly sets us apart is our approach to Upskilling and not Tutoring. We go way beyond knowledge to enable children to ‘Think and Create’.
3. What are the funding status and the monetization models?
We have received seed funding of USD 2 million that we plan to deploy towards expanding the product offering, bolstering our technology integration, and scaling business operations. our product offering is in the K12 segment whereas our monetization is primarily through the learning fees of our ‘Integrated Upskilling Certification Programme’.
4.What challenges are you facing in running your business?
Given that our business operations have just begun to gain momentum, at this point in time we only see a massive opportunity which we plan to maximize and establish the brand BeyondSkool as a ‘Category First’ brand.
5. What are the traction details (like users and other achievements of the company)?
Started operations in August 2020, with formally launching services in November 2020, in a matter of just three months we have interacted with over 2000 parents, conducted over 1800 child hours of classes and onboarding over 40+ passionate educators on our platform.
6. How do you look at expansion?
We plan to expand the outreach of the product offering beyond just metro cities and into tier 1 and tier 2 cities of the country. Given the non-discretionary nature of the product, we have a vision that every school going child should add one hour of BeyondSkool and boost the power of their learning.
7. What are your marketing plans?
From a marketing standpoint, our objective is to build a highly credible and strong brand proposition with a vision to make BeyondSkool a mandatory part of each child’s education. In our customer acquisition strategy, we plan to deploy a mix of Marketing Channels along with some unique affiliate channels.
8.What has been the biggest learning so far?
Our customer interaction is extensive, and this has helped us garner some key insights. For example, when exposed to fresh concepts and a new learning approach, children depict self-motivation to learn new things. Also, parents often look for avenues to expose their child to a width of Learning and in-depth expertise. The K12 segment of learning and education is witnessing new trends that are about the development of skills pertaining to technology, communication, STEM, etc. Besides this, in a fast-paced world that demands continuous upskilling, creation-based learning is becoming the ultimate goal of education.
9.What are the market size and opportunities?
There is massive scope for upskilling the future professionals of tomorrow. Ed-tech and upskilling platforms are the few segments that have registered explosive growth over the past year. Particularly with a glaring gap between what new-worlds careers demand and our childrens’ skills, there is a huge opportunity to take this product across the country and beyond.
10.How did you manage your services/manufacturing during a lockdown?
Although the pandemic disrupted businesses across the world, it did not slow our passion for building BeyondSkool. With people confined to their homes due to the lockdowns, schools being temporarily closed, and multiple restrictions on movement and physical meetings, we maximized our usage of technology to build our business and gain an edge.
From building teams across verticals developing learning content, and further creating a platform for customer engagement and onboarding, we made the entire end-to-end process possible within a few months. BeyondSkool was founded with a 2-member team and currently stands strong with 40+ experienced and qualified edupreneurs.
11.How has your company adjusted to the new normal?
Since BeyondSkool was founded during the pandemic, we built our platform in such a way that there is maximum utilization of technology. BeyondSkool is designed to cater to children in a completely digital manner. Our company was born during the new normal so there were no special alterations required.
12.Have you witnessed any major changes in the business sector in the post-COVID scenario?
One of the most notable transformations is the surge in demand for upskilling and online learning. The segment is growing exponentially, and we are expecting a steady rise in demand. Beyond school learning will be sought after by parents to facilitate early learning and development in their children to ensure they are shaped into highly skilled, future-ready professionals.
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