Director and Co-Founder, KNEWCLEUS
In the education industry in India, the adoption of technology among schools is in a nascent stage. Founded in the year May 2011, Bangalore-based KNEWCLEUS is primarily an engagement platform that maximizes students' potential by enabling collaboration between principals, teachers, parents, students and educational content providers. Its R&D labs help design solutions to improve learning outcomes for students.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, B.Jayashankar, Director and Co-Founder, KNEWCLEUS, discusses about the requirement of innovative IT solutions in the Indian education industry:
What led you to kick start Knewcleus?
The idea for a parent-teacher engagement platform was the result of KNEWCLEUS founders’ own struggle with the lack of timely information from schools where their children were studying. Parent-teacher interactions were usually limited to an occasional poorly organised PTM, which did not provide any insights about how their children were faring in school. And to the top of it, every parent teacher meet was inefficient as teachers rarely had information at their finger tips. In the modern world, where everything is communicated in real time, schools largely remained an exception. Their search for a better communication system between schools and parents led to the inception of KNEWCLEUS.
You have 17 years of extensive experience in various fields like advertising, marketing, internet and software, so how do you utilise this experience in Knewcleus?
Today, most start-ups that I meet or read about have founders whose core strength is technology. Knewcleus is probably one of the few start-ups where the founder is not a techie! We believe this factor has helped us succeed in our market. In the education industry in India, schools are just beginning to adopt technology. The key to success in this market is how well you 'sell your concept'. I learnt the art of concept selling in advertising and today that helps us position and sell the concept of Knewcleus better.
What opportunities and challenges do you see in the education industry?
The opportunity is immense. The adoption of technology in schools is close to zero! This means that we still have lakhs of schools living in the digital dark age. Our belief is that by 2025 this situation will be dramatically different. The next 10 year is about helping schools adopt technology.
What was your seed capital? From where did you raised funds?
Our funding requiremnt is generally met through internal accrual. In addition, we had taken $400,000 as investment from various angel investors.
What will be your message to the youngsters who want to become entrepreneur in the education industry?
The education Industry needs a lot of innovative solutions and India is probably the frontier where our unique private school model and huge size leaves room for a lot of innovation. Entrepreneurs in this Industry need to be aware that this change will happen slowly, probably over a decade. They must be prepared, both mentally and financially, to ride this out.
Can you please give a snapshot of Knewcleus as education management software? What kind of changes the software is expected to bring in the education system?
Knewcleus is primarily an engagement platform that maximizes students' potential by enabling collaboration between principals, teachers, parents, students and educational content providers. We provide reasons to engage for all stakeholders in a school. For teachers, we structure their assessments, improve productivity and accuracy and train them to work in a paperless world. For parents and students, we give them the ability to track, monitor student performance and allow them to engage with teachers and administrators. For administrators, we give a bird’s eye view of school performance, standardise assessment structure and in the long run, improve parent satisfaction. We believe engaging parents has a direct and significant impact on student performance. Knewcleus hopes to usher in the era of parent engagement in Indian schools.
Today the education industry is booming with plethora of players available in this industry, so what is your competitive edge?
Our biggest edge is that we built our software, processes and people to finish implementation in schools within 48 hours. We then remain focused on support to drive engagement. We measure our success not by the count of schools, or billing but by how engaged our users are.
What is your business roadmap for this year?
We are expanding our sales force to more cities in India. We hope to engage over half million users in the next 12 months.
How do you see the future of the education in the next ten years?
In the next 10 years, India will be the world’s largest digital education market. Every school, teacher and parent will have access to digital systems. We will continue to see a lot of experimentation in schools. There will be experimentations by the education boards, the government, school administrators and parents. Various technology fads may come and go, but only those that have 'proven' influence on student learning will survive. To succeed in this industry, you need to have a solution which meets parent, teacher and student expectations at the same time!