This Bengaluru based EdTech startup is building a generation of smart thinkers by delivering a personalized learning path for school aged children by teaching them to create tech products by applying coding, robotics, smart devices, and AI.
As EdTech is starting to reach the masses, school aged children also need personalized attention to keep up in an ever-changing world. WizKlub builds cognitive excellence for school children through its research-based programs for 5–14-year-olds, delivered on its AI powered tech platform.
Their HOTS Program develops higher order thinking skills to ensure that every child is a smart reader and an adept problem solver.
The WizKlub SmartTech Program, a first-of-its-kind for children as young as six years old, builds lifelong skills and confidence to create tech products by applying coding, robotics, smart devices, and AI.
The Tech Panda spoke to Amit Bansal, CEO and Founder of WizKlub about their startup journey and their philosophy on EdTech.
´The only way you can ensure that every child or learner performs to potential is by offering education using technology´
“Technology is what can solve the problem of providing quality education at scale. In the education world, it is a well-accepted fact that each learner is unique. Each learner has different attributes such as areas of interest, aptitude, learning styles, motivation, and pace of learning. The holy grail is personalization, where each learner has a unique learning path, depending on the learner’s attributes,” he says.
“If one has to offer this personalization in the traditional world, it would be prohibitively expensive. The only way you can ensure that every child or learner performs to potential is by offering education using technology,” he adds.
The WizKlub Philosophy
While any field can leverage technology to gain efficiency and lower costs, Bansal believes, if used well, ´technology in education leads to better efficiency in terms of higher learner efficacy and also lowers the cost of delivery.´
The physical infrastructure heavy institutions like the school and colleges are also using technology, and in times to come, would be using more and more tech to improve learner’s outcome at lower costs
“I don’t see EdTech and traditional education as two separate worlds. The physical infrastructure heavy institutions like the school and colleges are also using technology, and in times to come, would be using more and more tech to improve learner’s outcome at lower costs,” he explains.
“The EdTech companies that don’t need the physical infra could either be providing tech solutions to these schools and colleges or have direct-to-learner offerings. Over a period of time, the learner would be using technology solutions either integrated with their school/college or directly by companies,” he adds.
Bansal is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of startup experience across three EdTech ventures; and 10 years of corporate experience across strategy, business development, technology, product management and marketing for consumer and enterprise technology products across India and North America. His earlier ventures include Xcelerator and PurpleLeap.
WizKlub is the third venture in education for this team. The earlier two ventures were in the higher education space where they worked with over 50,000 engineering students across India.
Unfortunately, our schooling system is still focused on curriculum, instead of focusing on core aptitude that is required to make a child a smart learner and adept problem solver
“We realized that with students at that stage, while we could create impact by skilling students on specific tools, the basic aptitude of a student is pretty much set and can be impacted in a limited way. So, if a student does not have coding aptitude, one cannot be trained to become a good coder,” he explains.
More research brought to light that the core aptitude of a person, which defines one’s suitability for different career roles, is defined in the first 13-14 years.
“And unfortunately, our schooling system is still focused on curriculum, instead of focusing on core aptitude that is required to make a child a smart learner and adept problem solver. We decided to address this issue by providing a scientific program to build these skills at the right age. WizKlub has an 83% efficacy rate, which is quite remarkable for a learning product,” he says proudly.
The WizKlub USP
Bansal says that the strength of their company is using technology innovatively to impart a great learning experience for the children. The core team has been in the field of education for over a decade and has a deep understanding of how to deliver high quality learning experiences at scale.
WizKlub targets the K-12 market, which can be segmented into two segments. One segment caters to the curriculum support (Math, Science) and has players like Byju’s, Topper, Vedantu, etc. Most parents in this segment start looking for solutions in grade 7-8. The other is the early years segment, where the parent is looking for programs beyond the school curriculum.
We focus on preparing a kid holistically with underlying skills like logical, creative, and critical thinking, and a tech perspective that will allow them to create solutions to complex problems in their future
This segment is by and large fragmented and suffers from a lack of quality solutions. WizKlub is catering to the early years market and is offering affordable solutions that impart quality experience at scale.
“We focus on preparing a kid holistically with underlying skills like logical, creative, and critical thinking, and a tech perspective that will allow them to create solutions to complex problems in their future. Our programs are designed to build future-ready skills, bring out the best in every child. At WizKlub, we evoke possibility, ease of learning, wonder and curiosity, so kids gain new insights and a new lens of perception and possibility,” he says.
On the business front, the startup has 300+ centres in Bengaluru and claims to have progressed 5000+ children through its programs. It offers programs on a subscription model and is on track to on-board 10,000+ children by 2021. The startup has raised INR 15 crore from Incubate Fund India (Japan) and Insitor Impact Asia Fund (Singapore) and renowned angels.
Bansal believes that the biggest challenge for most startups is the lack of a clearly defined problem statement.
The organization is only as good as the average team member of the organization
“Most people try to force fit a technology solution to a market without really understanding the problem they are trying to solve. It becomes extremely difficult to get a product-market fit in the absence of a clearly defined problem that the venture is solving,” he says.
Once you get to a product market fit, he says, the next challenge is to scale the business by marketing the product with sound unit economics.
“We have engaged our target customers through a series of events and initiatives that help them understand the value proposition of the product. We have adopted a mix of affiliate, direct to consumer, and B2B marketing to reach out to our target audience in a profitable manner,” he adds.
Read more: The Tech in EdTech: What the Future Holds
He also emphasizes that while the vision and hard work of founding team members is a starting point for any venture, no venture can scale if the founding team is not able to nurture a great team in their respective fields.
“The organization is only as good as the average team member of the organization. One must have a good product that is solving a real problem. A great team with adequate resources can scale the product in terms of distribution and delivery. Just throwing more resources does not necessarily translate into success,” he concludes.