ThinkerPlace Director Deepti Sharma on Shaping the Future of STEM Education

ThinkerPlace Director Deepti Sharma on Shaping the Future of STEM Education
Deepti Sharma, Director of ThinkerPlace
StartupTalky presents Recap'23, a series of in-depth interviews where we engage with founders and industry leaders to explore their growth in 2023 and their predictions for the future.

The STEM industry, comprising Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, fuels innovation and progress in our ever-evolving world. With a growing demand for skilled professionals, STEM fosters critical thinking and creativity, shaping the forefront of technological advancements. It stands as a key pillar, addressing global challenges and propelling us toward a brighter, more interconnected future.

STEM job growth is rising, with an 8% increase expected between 2017 and 2029. Since 1990, STEM employment has seen a remarkable 79% surge, and the momentum continues with a projected 10.8% growth from 2021 to 2031. This emphasizes the persistent demand for skilled STEM professionals, shaping the future workforce landscape.

In our recent interview for Recap'23, we connected with Deepti Sharma, Director of ThinkerPlace. We explored ThinkerPlace's influence in the STEM industry, diving into its challenges, approaches to customer expansion, future aspirations, and beyond.

StartupTalky: What does ThinkerPlace do? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?

Deepti Sharma: Our company aims to nurture intelligent minds who can extend their learning abilities and knowledge scope beyond the PURVIEW of their textbooks. Our vision is to equip students with tools to learn from real-world experiences, delving into new-age skills through our S.T.E.M-based Educational DIY Toys. These toys teach coding, automation, robotics, and more, empowering kids to learn beyond books.

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StartupTalky: What is/are the USP/s of ThinkerPlace?

Deepti Sharma: Our DIY Kits offer access to a Learning Management System, enabling kids to explore innovative skills like robotics, coding, automation, and IoT. These kits are much more than toys, allowing children to create gadgets, learn from interactive videos and 3D animations, and receive guidance from STEM experts.

StartupTalky: How has the STEM industry you are in changed in recent years, and how has ThinkerPlace adapted to these changes?

Deepti Sharma: STEM education is becoming increasingly important in India as the country seeks to become a leader in technology and innovation. We believe that there is a growing awareness of the need for STEM education, and we expect to see more schools and parents prioritizing this type of learning in the coming years. ThinkerPlace can play an important role in shaping the future of STEM-based education in India by creating high-quality products that are accessible to all children. We are committed to working closely with schools and educators to ensure that our products align with their curriculum and learning objectives, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve and innovate our products to meet the changing needs of students and educators. We believe that by providing children with engaging and effective STEM learning experiences, we can help prepare them for success in the digital age and contribute to the growth and development of India's innovation ecosystem.

Deepti Sharma: Our research team tracks new toy launches, conducts rigorous tests, and analyzes market trends to understand what resonates with children. This helps us understand our competition and plan our product roadmap and business strategy.

StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track to check the company's growth and performance?

Deepti Sharma: We track metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, repeat customers, and sales performance.

StartupTalky: What were the most significant challenges your company faced in the past year, and how did you overcome them?

Deepti Sharma: Adaptation to the changing educational landscape has been a major challenge. We've navigated this by innovating our products to align with the evolving needs of schools and educators.

StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack that you pulled off.

Deepti Sharma: Our marketing activities span across digital channels, workshops with schools to boost STEM awareness, and participation in events and school activities for direct audience interaction.

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StartupTalky: What are the important tools and software you use to run your business smoothly?

Deepti Sharma: We use tools like CRM software, accounting software, and Adobe Suite.

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?

Deepti Sharma: The future of STEM is bright. It is an in-demand stream in our country, and even the government is pushing STEM Learning for children with its new guidelines in the NEP 2020 (National Education Policy 2020). The new guidelines say schools and educational institutes must have a learning system that is more goal-oriented and practical. This will nurture the children toward concept-building and practical thinking. ThinkerPlace has been successful in implementing the same in several schools across the country.

StartupTalky extends its gratitude to Mrs. Deepti Sharma for dedicating her valuable time and generously sharing her insights with all of us.

Explore more Recap'23 Interviews here.

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