By The End Of 2022, We Are Expecting To Onboard Over 50 Lakh Students: Vingish Vijay, Founder and Curator of 90+ My Tuition App

We want to particularly help students who are below average and make them learn in an effective manner through digital visualisations which then help them score better and help them cross the threshold of being just an average student.

By The End Of 2022, We Are Expecting To Onboard Over 50 Lakh Students: Vingish Vijay, Founder and Curator of 90+ My Tuition App
By The End Of 2022, We Are Expecting To Onboard Over 50 Lakh Students: Vingish Vijay, Founder and Curator of 90+ My Tuition App

How 90+ My Tuition App has increased its presence in India in just one year. What strategies are in the works to increase its presence in 2022?

Our app was created with the needs of students in mind. The Indian education system is very results-oriented, which is understandable given the country's high competition. To get into a decent college, one must have at least 90+ marks. As a result, one of the first questions we had while imagining the startup was how we could help students learn and perform better in order to get higher grades in exams. We conducted extensive research for over three years to understand the market and this demand. We did a pilot launch in Kerala and based on the feedback received we planned to expand further.

These three years of research, planning, and execution, I believe, were responsible for our instant popularity in the state of Kerala. Our textbook-oriented courses taught through digital animation drew a lot of learners to our app. This built a base allowing us for a full-fledged launch in May 2020. This was the time when we introduced South star Jayaram as our ambassador and released a TVC with him. Within a short span of one year, the app attained a user base of 4.5 lakh students.

We went on to raise a Series A round of USD 5 mn dollars from Pearl Investment LLC, a Dubai based business group which helped us to expand our business further across key Indian cities. We launched curriculums of 13 different State Education Boards along with CBSE curriculum within the year of the pandemic.

After receiving a great response within the country, we have now expanded in GCC countries, for CBSE students. We are confident that we will receive a great response in GCC countries that house over 8 million Indians.

We plan to tie up with schools, where the stakeholders like teachers and principals use our app and then based on their experience recommend it to students. We want to grow an organic influencer base for our app through this move.

How many students are affiliated with the platform and what have their responses been? What is the number of students the brand is expecting to add by the end of 2022?

Currently, we have over 5 lakh student users, with that number set to rise to by the end of 2022. We've received heartening responses from our users across all state boards.

We are able to foresee a great spike in the number of student subscribers. By the end of 2022, we are expecting over 50 Lakh students to be part of 90+ My Tuition App.

Our offering has been widely accepted by our target group due to our simple philosophy of making learning fun and that too in an affordable way. We have tried to solve a basic problem of lack of quality textbook-oriented and education board content. This is the reason why we have been able to build a community of more than 5 lakh students within a short span of time.

The platform has collaborated with Indian cricketer Rishabh Pant as its National Brand Ambassador. How is this association helping the brand in its growth journey? Are you planning to add more faces as brand ambassadors?

Rishabh Pant has been one of the greatest value added to 90+ My Tuition App. As our product ventured to the national level, we required a rising influencer that reflected the values of our company. Rishabh Pant being young, helped to largely influence our young target audience. A 25% growth in overall sales was seen after Rishabh Pant was on boarded as a 90+ My Tuition App Ambassador.

When we were limited to the state of Kerala, our brand was represented by Padma awardee South movie star Jayaram. We also have Trisha Krishan, who is known as the Queen of South India, as our brand ambassador for 90+ Top Rank which is another offering by our company.

Could you tell me a little bit about your tutors?

The tutors are one of the foundations on which 90+ My Tuition app has been built. It is the most important part of our sector, to find the best teachers who can simplify subject contents. We are hiring massively for tutors to support our expansion plans to multiple boards and regional languages. We currently have more than 200 teachers selected from top universities and great visual creativity currently working with us. Creative in the sense that they are able to visualize and deliver the subject contents that are quickly graspable by the students.

What are your funding and expansion plans? Would you like to shed some light on existing and upcoming investors who will be participating in further rounds of funding?

In 2021, we raised our Series A round of USD 5 mn from a Dubai based business group. This helped us in expanding the business across India. Also, we expanded to GCC countries.

In 2022, we are looking at raising up to USD 120-150 mn in multiple tranches. We are in talks with global marquee investors who like some US-based VC firms that have invested in various unicorns in India in food delivery, Insurance Tech, Health Tech space. While we are also in talks with a Europe based VC Firm and multiple Indian VC firms.

Tell us about customer acquisition across multiple state boards.

As the brand is well known all across India, customer acquisition is expected to rise 10-fold in the next three months alone. We have a well-structured Student Activation Program (SAP) laid out for customer acquisition. Here the students will be able to access the complete subjects and features for 15 days, during which the happy users are converted into our customers.

What sets you apart from your competitors, and how difficult is it to establish a brand new business amid huge competition?

I think our offering is pretty straightforward. We have digitised tutions that are textbook-oriented and education board focused, be it CBSE or any other state. The edtech segment is currently more focused on concept building content that prepares students for competitive exams to post 10+2. We, on the other hand, are focused on helping students achieve amazing scores in school-based assessments. Also, we are very competitive in terms of pricing with respect to other market players. We want to particularly help students who are below average and make them learn in an effective manner through digital visualisations which then help them score better and help them cross the threshold of being just an average student.

It is definitely not easy to establish a new business especially when there are already existing players that have become huge in due course of time. The only way to survive is to differentiate and that is what we are focused on.

What distinguishes one company from another in such a competitive market, is the approach they take and the concept they present to the customer; they must address pain points faced by customers and the solution offered must be convincing enough for the customer to make a purchase decision.

How much revenue/valuation are you looking to record this year?

We are expecting a valuation of half a billion-dollar by this year. We always aim for the highest possible scenario. We have kept a goal of two times last year’s revenue and we will seem to be on track for the same!

What are the new projects that are in the pipeline for 90+ My Tuition App?

We are looking at expansion in multiple locations internationally and within India. We plan to add courses that will be taught in regional languages in sync with NEP 2020 which highlights the need for teaching in regional languages. In Kerala, the syllabus was taught in Malayalam. We would like to further strengthen this by adding other regional languages followed by respective state boards.

Having been recently launched at the national level, we are currently working on the infrastructure expansion plans. Simultaneously we have announced our entry into the GCC countries. It is a very crucial stage for 90+ My Tuition App. We have also launched 90+ Top Rank in Kerala, an app for competitive exams, starting with a course for PSC.

How are you looking at 2022?

It will be a crucial year for us. We are looking at multiple facets. Firstly, we are scouting for more investments to flow into our app. On the other hand, we have plans to strengthen our talent pool by growing it by a whopping 700% by the end of FY 22-23. Further to that, we are expanding domestically and internationally. All of these come with a different set of challenges and we are ready to take on these challenges.

We are technically still in a pandemic and this is a golden hour for the edtech industry. To be relevant in an already overcrowded market, we are focused to differentiate ourselves through our offerings as much as possible.

What is the shareholding of 90+ My Tuition App in tier 2-3 markets?

We can only say about the Kerala market because all other states are just opened. We have a 12.5 % market share in the Kerala market.

Tell us about the 90+ My Tuition App and the mind behind its inception?

The app was conceived after the initiation of research into the digital tuition concept in 2015. We wanted to replace physical tuition and our motto was to provide students with a best-in-class tuition app in an affordable way. We started the company in a phased manner. Initially, we launched ourselves in Kerala in the year 2018 and catered to the needs of Kerala State Board students. The 2018 launch was more of a test launch or pilot launch.

Prior to our Kerala launch, we were extensively focused on testing our product and after collating all the feedback from our target group we launched in Kerala. Even after the launch, we continued testing our product. Our research gave us insights on what students and parents really want. Most of the edtech apps that were and are present in the market focus on developing concepts for high standard competitive exams like IIT-JEE, NEET and so on. These apps were relevant to students who were average performers or top performers of their class. But what about those students who were performing below average? We were determined that in order to make the below-average students transition to the top of their class, we need to focus on the basic textbook of a particular curriculum and from there began our quest to develop 90+ My Tuition App which is for every student irrespective of their academic prowess.

Performance has always been important to students and their parents. Through this project, we have attempted to simplify the courses and make them syllabus and textbook oriented in order to enable students to better comprehend the subjects at school and achieve more than 90+ in school assessments. Our goal is to transform India's learning results for school-aged children by combining digital visualisation and teaching in a cost-effective manner.

What has been the journey for you as an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur’s journey is always laden with unambiguous situations. And, it is perhaps this unambiguity that gives any entrepreneur a great thrill as by our very nature we enjoy being in challenging situations that help us solve problems which can range from being generic to being very complex. Founding a startup in edtech has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. It is a field with many unexplored dimensions. Expanding across the country and in GCC in such a short span of time has been a Himalayan challenge but the learning has been immense and something that we all as a team are proud of.

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