StartupTalky presents Recap'22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
B2B EdTech refers to educational technology solutions that are designed for businesses rather than individual consumers. This includes software and services that help companies train their employees, manage their learning and development programs, and improve their overall organizational performance.
Lack of standardization, data regulation, and privacy, lower digital literacy and digital infrastructure, and competition from established players are major hindrances to the B2B EdTech industry in India.
The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the B2B EdTech industry in India is expected to be around 20–25% from 2021 to 2026. This growth can be attributed to factors such as the increasing adoption of technology in the workplace, the growing demand for corporate training solutions, and the increasing availability of digital infrastructure and internet connectivity in India.
For this Interview, we invited Amit Kapoor, Co-founder of Eupheus Learning, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the EdTech industry.
StartupTalky: Amit, what does your company do? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Amit: Eupheus Learning is positioned as the ‘largest, school-focused distribution platform in India’ and is already present in “One out of Four Premium Private Schools of India” in five years of starting operations.
The B2B EdTech firm is bridging the gap between in-class and at-home learning by offering pedagogically differentiated, technology-led solutions. With its Classroom-first and Curriculum-focused approach, it aims to reach 10 million kids in India through its curriculum and specially curated educational offerings in Kinaesthetic Learning, Reading Enhancement, STEM/STEAM, and English language learning via exclusive tie-ups with award-winning education technology companies from across the world. Unique personalized remedial solutions for students have created differentiation for the company in this highly competitive and contested education market.
Vision: To be the lighthouse of transformation in Schools. We will be the change makers inside schools by transforming them to become 21st Century Schools and democratizing access to quality education for students. We will do so by empowering schools with learning solutions and technology through content and operating systems. Because we feel that an empowered school is a great breeding point for a happier student.
StartupTalky: What is/are the USP/s of your products?
Amit: Firstly, a wide catalog of curricular and supplemental content mapped to CBSE and ICSE boards. With differentiated pedagogies and personal attention to each student. Second, 21st Century Skills learning program via exclusive tie-up with award-winning global Edtech companies. And finally, 21st Century School OS (operating software), a unified platform for content management, learning management, and ERP on a single sign-on for Schools. Also, modules aligned to key mandates of NEP 2020, for e.g., we have introduced "progress report" in place of "report cards" for schools.
StartupTalky: How has the ed-tech industry changed in recent years, and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Amit: The curriculum and technology space for K-12 has undergone a transformational change during a pandemic. Schools considered the safest place for learning were tested during the lockdown. The learning aids (textbooks) didn’t reach students on time, the learning management was disrupted leading to a grave learning loss for students and schools lost students since there wasn’t a comprehensive communication platform leading to a business loss for schools.
The interventions required can be summarised through 3 broad points:
- Textbooks will continue to be the main source of learning for students, however, today, the same textbook needs a whole lot of well-researched learning aids – audio, video, reference links, an online platform for practice, etc.
- Personalized learning solutions are required for students inside the classroom as well. Since no two students are the same, hence, the same lecture or practice test for a classroom of 40 students will not work.
- An integrated platform that helps in content dissemination, learning management as well as school management on a single sign-on.
While many publishers have started to work in this direction, Eupheus Learning since the start was busy building this platform and network of solutions. The curricular and supplemental learning content is fully digitized as well. They are loaded onto a 21 st Century School OS which is a unique platform for content, learning management, and school management on a single sign-on.
Besides this, our new offering from ClassKlap has a proprietary personalized remedial solution to deliver personal learning goals for each student inside a classroom. No wonder then, that Eupheus Learning has been championing the change in the K-12 learning space.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in the ed-tech industry?
Amit: Founding team of Eupheus Learning has a rich background in the K-12 education sector along with a rich network of key stakeholders in education design and technology. It also has a large sales and editorial staff which is in constant touch with users of solutions. Together, it acts as a source of rich information to pre-empt trends and transformational changes in the sector.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?
Amit: Eupheus Learning keeps a watchful eye on ‘profitability’, ‘margins’, ‘conversion’, ‘customer acquisition cost’, and ‘retention’.
StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year and how did you overcome them?
Amit: Regaining the growth momentum and profitability were our key challenges. Innovating and acquiring solutions for our existing and prospective new customers kept our growth momentum focus and our speed-to-market helped ensure profitability.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Amit: Different strategies for marketing:
- Insight-led solutions development.
- Direct Sales force: Eupheus has a strong on-ground sales force covering 120 cities with a footprint of 20,000 schools. This gives us exposure to schools on a daily basis.
- Dealer network: Over and above our direct sales channel through our sales force, we have scores of dealers who help us connect with schools for transactions and servicing.
- Communication channel: Over and above our social media channels, we hold webinars for teachers and students to create awareness about our supplemental offerings including various competitions – “Olympiad” and “Coding Competition”. The messaging platforms adopted by schools are leveraged to amplify communication on these webinars and competitions.
- PR and Corporate Communication: We create multiple media opportunities to engage with targeted journalists, councils, and digital platforms to amplify our presence.
Growth hack: Ensure speed to market by “not creating everything in-house". Curate, Co-create, or Acquire and Deploy.
StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?
- SAP for ERP
- AWS for cloud computing
- HR-One for HR management
- Eupheus-One is our proprietary CRM tool.
StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?
Amit: Eupheus Learning is focused on the premium, mid-premium, and affordable private schools in India, and today, there are close to 125,000 such schools. We have our reach into about 20,000 schools today out of which 7,500 schools use our solutions. Hence, from a future growth potential standpoint, there is ample opportunity. Also, since our solutions are mapped to CBSE and ICSE schools in India, we can convert schools that are following or are aligned to any of these 2 boards in the global landscape.
NEP 2020 policy is truly transformational and all schools, state-board aligned or otherwise, will have to elevate their infrastructure and capabilities to operate. And here’s an opportunity that exists for companies like ours.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?
- The transparency of the learning system experienced by students and parents during the pandemic has become a standard expectation today. Hence, how will schools build a network to provide a continuum of learning with thorough progress tracks for students? Fortunately, school leaders are more open today to experiment and they need a quality solution at an affordable price point.
- Schools operating environment is becoming dynamic too with the introduction of NEP 2020 and they will need credible partners to guide them.
Our thesis has only become strengthened with the introduction of NEP 2020 and hence we are well-equipped to address the key needs of our school partners. Since its inception, we have been innovating on curriculum with technology being an enabler. Our focus is to bridge the gap between in-classroom and at-home learning has been the bedrock of our content and technology solutions for schools.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, product, and team base in the future?
- Add more sales professionals to add more customers.
- Be on top of trends to collaborate on solutions/products for customers.
- Accelerate our existing human resource practices to gain team members’ trust and loyalty.
StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with people reading this article who wants to get into entrepreneurship.
Amit: In the EdTech space, the B2B model is profitable and rewarding.
We thank Amit Kapoor for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.