The days are gone, when students used to be dependent on classes, notes, question banks for studies during exams or other parts of the year. The growing internet penetration has put in its shades on education as well, where now students want everything to be on cloud, be it notes or a class session on Google Hangout. It is prevailing not only in the developed countries but also in the developing countries like India. According to Ken Research, Online education industry size in India is said to be about $2 Bn right now and is expected to cross $4 Bn by the year 2015.
With players like iProf, Extramarks.com, Edmodo.com, Grockit.com, Wiziq.com already present in the elearning space, there is another startup i.e. Mytestbuddy.com which is trying to become one set destination for students and teachers when it comes to online education.
Developed as a companion for medical students and evolved into a social networking web portal for students across the spheres for competitive examinations, now Mytestbuddy has become an essential tool for the teachers to provide effective tool for online teaching and creating distance learning courses.
Mytestbuddy has created a social learning network for students and teachers with a marketplace concept. The portal allows any expert / teacher / instructor to create an online course and list it on the marketplace either for free or at a premium price. Whereas on the other side, students can access a variety of educational contents from a single platform on any tech device like mobiles/tabs(android) or through web.
Furthermore, teachers can even create courses in regional languages like Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali,Tamil and Punjabi, adding to the USP of the platform.
It also offers its social learning platform to schools, educational institutions and coaching classes over the cloud so that they can create an E-Class, conduct online tests/exams, share notes, articles, assignments, etc and even shares the reports with their parents.
Mera Test Bazaar
Recently, it has launched ‘Mera Test Bazaar’ which allows teachers to create online courses – video lecture series, test series etc. It provides a simple yet effective teaching medium where teachers create online courses as per their needs and sell them to students across India. Within one month of the launch of ‘Mera Test Bazaar’, the website has got 300 registered online teachers who are creating online courses for it.
Market Focus & Demographics
Mytestbuddy.com currently is mainly focused towards the Indian market, 90% of its traffic and 85% of the registered users are from India .”It has over 64,000+ registered users from 79 countries across the world”, says the company. Apart from Indian students, Philippines and UAE are other two major countries from where students come to study on the platform.
In India when it comes to geographical demographics, majority of its users are from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, with more than 70% of premium members coming from small towns spread across India from Assam to Kerala. It has a base in Gujarat and its germinator programme and other outreach program such as sales and marketing internship has helped the student bodies to get in 50+ colleges in Gujarat and Maharastra.
Mytestbuddy Internships – A way to earn more users
It is a fun program based on the concept of Learn N Earn. Under the program, registered students can opt to become Mytestbuddy.com ambassadors, and can refer it to friends and get certain referral commission and the discounts for using friends discount coupons.
It charges teachers for creating and uploading their courses depending on their needs and the kind of customization they want. Teachers can even sell their courses to students, it charges 20% commission on the sales of courses on Mera Test Bazar.
Challenges in Building Up
“Starting up is full of challenges and one has to be in love with what he/she is doing, to be able to face all the difficulties that one is faced with. We, at Mytestbuddy.com, have seen many ups and downs, we have been rejected and we have been accepted. Being bootstrapped just adds to your woes, but then again it validates the fact that you believe in what you are doing and that is what matters”, says Dr Deep.
Finding the right people and partners which help in fueling the growth of the company is the major issue that the company is facing.
The platform has now grown from 5,000 users in 2012-13 to 55,000 users, 2 Schools and 10 coaching classes. Currently, it has about 100+ registered teachers mostly from Gujarat, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai who are creating courses on its platform.
For future, the team is working on to make its current offering more seamless, better in user interface and is also planning to launch Android and iOS app.