This Delhi-based startup is trying to make a difference in the Indian education system by organizing the tutoring sector.
In India, most students learn at home and many with tutors. School is more of an overall rounded experience and students do learn in school, but mostly every student has a tutor at home.
Private tutoring is not a new phenomenon in India. According to a study by the Institute for the Study of Labor, students in urban areas and private schools are not only more likely to take private tutoring but also spend more on private tutoring. They also find that demand for private tutoring is inelastic at each stage of schooling, implying that private tutoring is a necessary good in the household consumption basket.
It has always been a big challenge for Indian parents to find the right tutor for their children. Tutor searching has always been hard to do. GuruQ, an online and home tutoring platform that helps students connect with the ‘right’ tutors, are trying to solve these problems by organizing the tutoring section.
The Tech Panda spoke to Minal Anand, CEO and Co-founder of GuruQ about their startup journey and her views on the EdTech sector.
If one is getting education from tutors, I believe it is better to learn from good qualified and verified tutors
“Finding a tutor may not be in budget or the best ones are already booked. With GuruQ, we are trying to organize the tutoring sector by allowing students to choose the right tutor from India’s top tutors. Access to all tutors under one platform within one’s budget. The students can even book bulk classes at a discounted price,” she says.
The recent Union Budget announcement has had several perks for the education industry, including more than 15,000 schools to be qualitatively strengthened to include all components of the National Education Policy (NEP). Anand believes that the NEP will work in the long-term.
We are trying to organize the tutoring sector by allowing students to choose the right tutor from India’s top tutors
“I believe every part of the education policy is much needed and much required. It provides a lot of freedom to Indian students, looking at the earlier system being too rigid. Students really didn’t have many options to choose from. It is now routed more into practicality rather than theory. What I liked the best was the introduction of mother tongue to be taught till class 5 which I think is very necessary for every child to learn,” she says.
As a result of COVID-enforced lockdowns last year, when schools were out of commission, several new EdTech startups cropped up to fill the gaps. Parents and students were forced to adopt online education, a concept not in demand before COVID.
However, Anand says, EdTech startups in India do face some challenges, the first and foremost being surviving in the industry while looking for scalability and sustainability.
Many EdTech platforms lack critical inputs from teachers, as well as transparency
“Many EdTech platforms lack critical inputs from teachers, as well as transparency. Without having a deeper insight into how students learn and how classroom technology impacts learning outcomes, it is tough to address these challenges. Furthermore, we can confidently say that most EdTech startups lack proper UI and UX. This makes it hard for the end users to understand and grasp the system,” she says.
Keeping pace with the momentum shift towards e-learning, GuruQ was founded in Delhi in 2016 by Anand. She started the platform with the aim of organizing the tutoring sector, seeing that in India, students are constantly looking for good tutors.
“If one is getting education from tutors, I believe it is better to learn from good qualified and verified tutors. Hence, that was the goal to organize the tutoring sector and have a verified organization that provides tutors to students, so that students are not left in a purge and they can learn from the best tutors available,” she says.
What They Do
Classes are offered via both online and offline mode. Tutors are available for K-12 students, and students who wish to crack competitive exams such as CLAT, NEET, JEE Main and Advanced. Students who wish to study foreign languages, like German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, and Chinese, as well as students who want to crack entrance exams to study in foreign universities, can join.
The platform has a number of innovative technological features like ‘Find the Right Tutor’, ‘Post Your Tuition Need’, ‘Scheduler’ and ‘Instant Class’. It has launched its app to make the entire process of finding the ‘right tutor’ more convenient, easy and quick as well as to reach out to an even greater number of students and transcend geographical boundaries. Classes start from INR 200 per hour.
So far, the fully- integrated and user-friendly platform has inducted 40,000 + tutors and 60,000+ students. Anand informs that every month, they onboard around 1000+ students on their platform.
“With the new app launched, we are expecting to see a huge jump in the number of students registering with us on our platform,” Anand says.
Although the benefits of online learning are sure to stay, blended learning is again going to take centre stage in 2021
Having raised a series A funding of 2.5 crores from a group of HNIs in 2018.The personalized and customized attention given to students has ensured accolades coming its way.
Penetrating the South
Their tutors were initially based out of Delhi-NCR, Haryana, and Punjab. They have recently expanded their footprint and have now penetrated the south Indian markets and onboarded tutors from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Seeing an acute rise in the number of requests for expert tutors in IIT-JEE preparation from these two states, GuruQ is now bringing local language speaking tutors to help most students from the respective states feel more comfortable and connect with their mentors. Students from these states now have the options of learning from tutors who are adept in local dialects. They can now communicate in their native tongue if needed. The platform aims to expand to all the other South Indian states as well and to other parts of India.
In the future, GuruQ is planning to expand to every part of the Indian subcontinent and make sure they are able to supply good tutors even in the smallest cities and of course in the bigger cities. They are also planning to bring back home tutoring soon along with blended learning.
“We will continue to provide online classes to those in need, but also bring back home tuitions because that is what Indian parents and students prefer, having one-on-one conversation with proper safety measures. We are also looking for international expansion, and we are actively looking for fund-raising and are in talks with some people,” says Anand.
She predicts that for 2021, as soon as things get better, everyone is going to get back to blended learning and home learning.
“Although the benefits of online learning are sure to stay, blended learning is again going to take centre stage in 2021,” she concludes.