We Are Expecting To Increase Our Parent Traffic To 10M by End Of This Year: Pawas Tyagi, Co-Founder, edustoke
We expect to grow both horizontally in terms of the number of services in our fold and vertically in each service offering.
Tell us about your expansion plans and what are Edustoke's plans on scaling admission support to 45 cities and realizing over 20000+ school admissions.
We are entering a very exciting phase of our journey and the next few months and the year, in general, is going to be momentous for us. With the corona induced lockdowns behind us (hopefully), we are gearing to expand the admission services both in scope and geographies. By the end of 2022, we would have served parents and schools in at least 45 cities. We are eyeing to increase our parent traffic to 10 million this year with more than 3000 school tie-ups for services enabling us to achieve at least 20000 admissions in the academic year 2022-23. The admission product would also get more intelligent with better features and enhanced user experience for parents and deeper more sophisticated admission and lead management for our schools. This year would also see us operationalizing and piloting at least five distinct services in K 12 sector – taking edustoke one step closer to realizing its vision of a one-stop platform for quality and affordable education.
How are you expecting the year 2022 to be for the EdTech and Education industry, especially for your type of model?
2022 would begin a new phase in the education sector in general primarily because of the pandemic induced disruptions in the last two years. Shutdowns and their fallouts have accelerated technology adoption in K12 by at least 5-10 years. Today schools, in general, are better equipped and trained and far less skeptical in using technology in all facets. Parents and students have also benefited from the explosion of online delivery bringing both quality and convenience at a fraction of cost. So, this momentum will continue. However, as things settle down there would also be pulled back and some tech initiatives that were poor forced substitutes because of circumstances and others that were just riding on the euphoria would also see the end quickly.
At Edustoke we have benefitted from accelerated technology adoption and the need for services has grown many folds. Increased use of online services by parents is going to drive up our engagement. However, we are also riding on the long term and more fundamental trends in schooling and education in general and they will continue to propel edustoke forward this year and many more years into the future.
According to you, what are the changing scenarios of schooling with the current situation?
There are two factors at play here. One is what changed in schools because of pandemics and two what near and medium terms factors at play that may fundamentally alter schools as we know them today.
Pandemic induced changes, I have already touched on – it has forced technology into schools and all facets of schools. Adoption to technology from online teaching to dissemination of information to collecting fees was not “an option” – it was the only available option during the last two years. This gate-crashing by technology has created a lot of converts, trained teachers/staff and changed behaviors all around to ensure that tech would be considerably more welcome in schools today than it was in 2019.
But schools are also undergoing a fundamental metamorphosis. It has now become clear that the systems designed two centuries ago would no longer be able to service the expectations, aspirations, and demands of the future. Technology has changed everything fundamentally and K12 education would have embraced it. Curriculums would have to be revamped – NEP is a good start. More flexibility must be built-in delivery structure, more options on what to study to what depth must be put on the table. 10-15 years from now schools should morph into the last mileposts for physical delivery of education, the hub of sports and games and local knowledge clubs.
How many students are currently affiliated with edustoke and what are the numbers edustoke is expecting by the end of 2022.
We help parents find schools for their children, so I would reword it as you may parents have used our website and how many have benefitted from our premium counseling service. Since its inception, 15 million parents have used our services. About 600,000 use it each month. This number is expected to touch a million in the next 2-3 months. Every day our counselors speak with over 500 parents to help them with their school searches - this number would also go significantly as we have an enhanced technology platform and all more counseling capacity in the coming months.
How has edustoke achieved unit profitability with revenue and what are the expectations?
Our admissions operations have been unit profitable from day one. With an experienced team leading the business we know that nothing gets done unless something is sold and sold at a profit. We have managed to do this in large part with a robust model, financial discipline during customer acquisition and keeping the costs under control.
What is edustoke's YoY Growth and expectations?
We expect to grow both horizontally in terms of the number of services in our fold and vertically in each service offering. We expect school admission to grow 5X in terms of parents served and similar multiples in revenues. We will also add five more services this year of which at least three should yield significant revenues.
What additional support does edustoke provide to their students who are affiliated with them?
Our counseling team helps parents with the complete process of knowing the requirements of parents and then generating the best possible shortlist of schools that meet the requirements – arranging interactions and visits to shortlisted schools helping with the online applications and payments as
Tell us about your funding plans in the upcoming future.
We have plans to fund a steep growth in the verticals that we know hold the best potential. Our engagement with clients and parents has shown us very clearly what the way forward is and hence we are gearing up to deploy enough capital over the next several months to ensure we can reach every parent in the top 65 cities and meet most of their K12 related requirements. We are also drawing plans to take offerings in the six countries soon.
Tell us about the story behind its inception. What is the core vision of the brand?
Edustoke was the result of several unique environmental factors and founders’ motivations and expertise coming together in early 2017. On the environmental side, the key drivers were:
i) Massive expansion of schooling and other service offerings in the K12 space and the need for such institutions and service providers to access markets
ii) The underlying need for parents to be more informed and aware of available options to get the best possible education /upbringing/development of their child. We as founders were very closely associated with the schools and K12 sector in general and were aware of the opportunities and challenges that were rife in K12. We wanted to start something that would enable parents and providers to benefit from this profusion of products and service offerings that have the potential to change K12 from the ground up.
Our core vision is to build an ecosystem that would “Enable and elevate access, quality and affordability of K12 education”.
What problem is edustoke solving and its unique offering?
Admission into a school is the first and necessary decision that parents must make concerning their child’s education. School is also the place where the child would spend most of her time in development years, parents will end up spending the most money. Hence the decision must be well thought through keeping in all the available options and the unique circumstances of the family. In this phase of our journey, Edustoke is striving to get that decision right for families. We are trying to bring to bear all possible technology and human expertise to make sure that parents can take the best possible decision and complete the admission in the most convenient way possible with financing options available if required.
How challenging has it been for you?
Like most initiatives nurturing Edustoke has also come with its set of challenges. From the administrative hassles of putting a company first employee on the ground to drumming up resources to keep sailing it has been a very exciting journey. However, we would not say that our challenges were in any way unique or more severe than any other enterprise at our stage. Since we have a relatively experienced team – operationalizing plans have been relatively quick. We had to learn a few things – software engineering and digital marketing weren’t really in the skill set of founders or top rung, but we quickly refreshed any remnants of old education and became reasonably good at that. Corona induced lockdowns and all the associated fallouts affected us – but here again, it was a mixed blessing. On side closure of schools did lead to admission deferrals and relatively weakened financial situation. Our school customers affected some decision making – but like all internet businesses the need for our services was only strengthened all over.
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