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2015-05-25

Edutor is more of a tech company than a content company: Co-founder Ramesh Karra

Edutor Technologies, a next gen EdTech solution, has introduced an Android-based solution on a platform called IGNITOR, which offers learning materials on Android-based tablet/PCs.

Edutor Technologies, a next gen EdTech solution, has introduced an Android-based solution on a platform called IGNITOR, which offers learning materials on Android-based tablet/PCs. Being a pioneer in tablet education, the firm has reached out to more than 30,000 students across 5 cities. In conversation with Entrepreneur India, Ramesh Karra, Co-founder, Edutor Technologies, shares the challenges, key trends in tablet education and his journey so far.

Kindly brief us about Edutor?

Edutor was established 5 years back, just after the iPad was launched. It was obvious that touchscreen devices like iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc were great at engaging children. We realised that this power of engagement could be used to offer great learning experiences and such devices would become more affordable and accessible. That’s when we decided to build technology that would help in leveraging such devices in education. We offer a digital platform called IGNITOR, which provides tablet education to students. It offers 1:1 deployment of tablets to students in schools.

Being one of players dealing in technology education, what all changes have you witnessed over the decade in education sector?

Ten years back, technology in education was about computer labs. That’s when the “smartclass” revolution began – technology entered the classrooms, which were equipped with Digital Whiteboards, Projectors etc. This was the phase of technology in the teacher’s hands – where teachers used technology to improve the teaching process in the classroom. Now, the next phase has begun – that of technology in the students’ hands. Students are being equipped with personal devices so that they can be given enriched and personalised learning experiences.

Kindly give us a brief about your business & revenue model?

Edutor is working on democratising this trend given the availability of good quality affordable devices i.e. tablets. Our key offering is IGNITOR Learning Platform. Our target customers are educational institutes – i.e. schools & colleges. We offer the software platform and relevant content bundle (digital textbooks, animations etc) to the institutes.

How Edutor is unique from others in the same sector?

First generation of education technology is a lot more about technology in the hands of teachers. Very few companies focus first on technology in the hands of students. We provide a horizontal platform and we work across the broad spectrum of institutions. We are more of a technology company than content company.

What are the challenges & opportunities related to tablet education?

Broadly, challenges are in three areas. Firstly, access to devices and potential to make these devices affordable. Second big challenge is teachers’ comfort level with technology and lastly, it is very important to design technologies and solutions that work in Indian context. 

What is your geographical expansion in India and where do you see yourself in next five years?

We are expanding in a big way across India. For the next 1-2 years, our main focus will be to spread across six metro cities. If you talk about international market, we are present in South Africa and Middle East. Five years from now, we will be going deeper in India.

With the new Govt initiative, do you witness a gush in demand of tablet education in the market?

We are not seeing a gush of demand yet, but definitely there are a lot more activities happening both on the government and private sector side. Government is coming up with many pilot projects to understand what works for the Indian market and we believe that will translate into large initiative.

What are the changes observed in the students by using digital education?

There is a spectrum. There are different types of learners. Some learners are extremely motivated and some are not so motivated. An immediate impact that we have witnessed is in case of those students who are living in remote location. Delivering distance learning programme with the help of tablets enable students sitting in remote location to experience best faculty and good quality teaching. Second is lightening the bag itself, they don’t need to carry bulky notebooks to schools. But most important is that tablet learning brings life to the boring concept of teaching and increases engagement of students in classrooms.

How fruitful is tablet education when compared to traditional learning?

Digital devices are an effective means of delivering education. There are many areas where digital medium helps delivering richer experience. Therefore, a large number of students engage with it and are enable to consume more. Today, every generation is more familiar with digital devices and the impact which digital devices can have is lot more significant than traditional education.

What are your future plans?

Going forward we see a rapid acceleration taking place because we see whole market primed for growth. Today, we serve 40,000 students and we hope to serve 1 million students in the next 3 years from now.

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