COVID-19 has affected different sections of society in various ways. Out of all sections, students are most affected as schools and coaching classes are closed and the pressure of studies and exams are nearby. Coaching classes are facing a similar situation as they are ready to provide the right guidance to their students but they can’t find a way out.
In this context, we had the pleasure of interviewing Gaurav Parashar, Founder of Exambazaar. He has completed his Engineering in Computer Science from IIT Mumbai. Post this; he has also graduated from IIM Bengaluru with an MBA. He has worked as an Analyst with Deutsche Bank for 2 years and also worked with Goldman Sachs for 6 years. He and co-founder Saloni Kandelwal believe that education is the key to successful and holistic development in our country.
Please brief us about the Exambazaar and its inception.
Exambazaar is an online platform where students can enroll themselves in online and offline coaching classes. We assist in around 16 streams and 50+ exam preparations. Exambazaar has tied up with around 250 coaching classes pan India. So basically, we work like a marketplace where we help the two parties meet i.e. student and coaching classes.
Our main USP is that if a student enrolls in any coaching class through us, we offer them a price that is much better than the walk-in price. While for the coaching class we provide them with a niche platform to form direct communication with their client.
Exambazaar is an online platform where students can enroll themselves into online and offline coaching classes.
Coming to the inception of Exambazaar, well the idea clicked after we started getting a lot of queries regarding coaching classes. Saloni (Co-founder, Exambazaar) and I were getting a lot of questions from students about which coaching class to join, or where to study. Thus, we realized that this is an unexplored section of the market. Another key that triggered the idea of creating Exambazaar was the hefty fees charged by coaching classes these days. Exambazaar came into existence with the intention to provide affordable coaching classes to students. Today we are serving around 3,00,000 students per month with Exambazaar. We are helping them with the coaching classes, preparation tips, etc.
What is the reason behind the company’s long-standing success?
Any company is assumed to be successful if it is able to deliver its promise to even one client. Here the clients are students, so the main agenda was “Student’s first policy”. The aim of Exambazaar is to help the students, sort out the confusion faced by them regarding their exams. This meant thinking like students.
So, we first figured out the problems faced by them and posted solutions based on that. For example, for the students who are preparing for the IIT JEE exams, the main source of practice is the previous year’s questions. Therefore, we collected the last 10 years’ papers of IIT JEE and made them available to them.
Why should one choose Exambazaar? What makes it unique?
We provide the best coaching offers for our students. Toppr, DBMCI, Engineers Academy, and Motion Education are a few of our partnerships. Exambazaar also provides premium products to its student’s thorough exam eligibility and previous year question papers.
Now if we talk from the perspective of a coaching class, then we are providing them with a platform where they can find their clients. In the current COVID-19 crisis we are also aiming to help them in providing online coaching to their existing students.
What Exambazaar provides to users, tell us about your unique offerings.
We are a one-stop solution to students who want to explore a few of their coaching investments.
In the current crisis, students are flocking towards online coaching for their preparations. Exambazaar is providing at least 50% off on top online coaching like Toppers.
The other thing, I would like to mention is that Exambazaar provides unbiased advice. We offer students the things that would suit them, their qualifications for acing an exam. Rather than providing a conventional answer, we love to offer them the things that will suit their needs. For example, if a student is weak in physics but good in all other subjects. We will suggest to him the options of classes that pay extra attention to the subject or who have specialized faculty for physics.
How do you decide to take Exambazaar a step further in the field of education technology?
The current time has in a way opened a door for technology to enter the education market. Exambazaar has been working as a platform that makes coaching classes visible to students. Apart from this, we have been working together with our partners to offer a test series for a particular examination or arranging doubt-solving sessions for them.
With the COVID-19 situation, now we would want everything to be delivered at our doorsteps. Online coaching is going to be the next big thing for the coaching class that they would need to adopt in the next couple of years. So, now we are helping our partner’s classes in delivering live classes to their students.
How is the Ed-Tech necessary in the current scenario across the world?
The COVID-19 lockdown has accelerated a boom in the online teaching sector. Streaming online has a lot of benefits for the students and the teachers as well. From a student’s perspective, they will find it very easy to stream online and attend their classes.
But it will be helpful for the teachers too, for example, if a star teacher has been teaching only the top batches in the offline coaching citing time constraints. Post shifting online he can cover a lot more students in that limited time than before.
Another thing that will witness a change is the lectures and doubt solving sessions. Earlier a teacher was delivering a lecture as well as taking up doubts simultaneously in the offline class. Although now, there would be separate classes for doubts. This is a good thing for the students as it will lead to declutter the chaos and give more attention to studies.
What do you think are the responsibilities of online knowledge providers?
Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.Henry Ford
The first is security, the data of the student needs to be safe and secured. Also, the service provider has to personalize their offering for different students. The focus of Ed-tech in the current scenario would be to standardize education. The major litmus test for the coaching would be to provide and maintain the quality of education they are delivering online.
Can you please brief us about your professional experience in the field of Ed-Tech?
Earlier I have not been a part of the education sector as I was working in the finance market. Although post-Exambazaar, I got an opportunity to closely work with the education sector. I have been in the Ed-Tech market for the past 3 years and I must say that it is a fantastic experience. I have received a lot of positive reviews from students for our offerings. I mean I also had many interactions with teachers who are doing a great job in providing the service to the students.
How has the digitization changed the traditional way of the learning process?
Nothing can replace the traditional way of learning it is a completely different way. Face-to-face interaction with your teacher helps in solving your 50% doubts. I don’t think that Google classroom can solve all the problems of students. I had an interaction with some students regarding the drastic change in the learning process post-COVID. All of them repeated that they will be way happier to join an offline coaching post lockdown.
Please tell us about your team.
We have a fantastic team with Exambazaar working on different specializations. We have different people working on Business Development, Content Creations, etc for the students. We have a separate team that works as a counselor to the students as well.