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Ishan Gupta On Starting Up And 18 Months Of EduKart – StartupCentral

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Delhi-based Earth Education Valley launched EduKart, an online education platform, in November 2011 and has since seen more than 8,000 enrollments for free and paid courses offered by the site. The company offers both short certification courses and degree programmes for which it has partnered with institutions such as the London School of Business & Finance, Indian and Mobile Association of India, Mahatma Gandhi University and Retailers Association in India. The model is similar to Mountain View, California-based online education company Coursera, except that not all courses at EduKart are free.

Last week, we chatted with Ishan Gupta, CEO of EduKart, on the company’s progress so far, how the business model is evolving and where it expects to be in 12 months. Scroll down for a summary of the interview (in the video):

  • Ishan Gupta and Mayank Gupta have been buddies since they were engineering undergraduates at Delhi University. This was through an education company that Ishan started while on campus (Mayank joined the company). They subsequently went their separate ways to Stanford University and IIM Kozhikode respectively and then worked at multiple places (Facebook, One97 Communications, Educomp, Studyplaces) before teaming up again in 2011 for EduKart.
  • The idea for EduKart was formed out of what the founders saw as a burning need “to democratize education in India and bring more flexibility into the system”. For instance, if a student is pursuing an engineering degree and wants to look at a course in digital marketing there aren’t too many options to do that within the existing university system. Gupta and Gupta decided to solve that problem with EduKart.
  • The company was incorporated in April 2011 and EduKart was launched in November that year.
  • The platform that is currently live is a result of three iterations in the past one and a half years.
  • Selling courses is one thing but to keep students engaged, and re-enroll for new courses, the company offers features such as mock examinations, weekend webinars and unlimited doubt solving support, and over time plans to introduce alumni meetups to build the community.
  • The company currently has a team of 25 people and 40 franchise partners across the country.
  • Courses offered on the platform are priced start at Rs 1,000 and can go up to Rs 1 lakh-plus.
  • The company has raised a couple of rounds for funding from angel investors. The quantum of funds raised and the names of the angel investors were not disclosed. However, the company’s website lists One97 founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma as a board member. The company expects to look at raising a Series A round of funding a year down the line.
  • It is hoping to almost double enrollments in the next 12 months. More high-value courses, rather than short term certification programmes, are on the cards. It is also looking to grow its franchisee base substantially. Franchisees typically pay the company a Rs 70,000 fee to sign up and another Rs 30,000 as refundable security. EduKart trains the franchisee, covers all collateral costs and the franchisee gets a revenue share on every course sold.

Featured image credit: EduKart

This post was originally published here.

(c) StartupCentral 2013

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