With Edutor products, Ram Gollamudi and his associates hope to make education more interactive and fun for students across the country.
Prasanna Boni, Ramesh Karra, Ram Gollamudi, all alumni of IIT Madras, along with Sravan Nasipuram, got together to turn what was impossible into possible. Their dream was to build an interactive learning solution on touch devices for students to make studying intuitive, enjoyable and fun. Their objective was to help millions of students discover and learn more and make e-learning affordable. That is how Edutor came about.
“The idea was to help students learn better with these devices. We want to build our platform on tablets as they are portable, easy to carry, intuitive and at the same time personal. Students can carry this wherever they want and can be a portable tool for effective learning,” says Ram Gollamudi.
Talking about his entrepreneurial journey, Ram said, “After passing out from IIT, Madras, I left for the US and did my MS from Iowa State University followed by an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. After working with multiple technology start up companies for 14 years I returned to India. Once here, I wanted to do something on my own. I discussed ideas with other co-founders to venture in to business in April 2010.”
Ram adds, “A strong enterprise cannot be built by a single individual. There is a lot of effort needed from individuals with multiple skill sets to make things possible, which we are trying to do at Edutor.”
The company has developed a first generation product, Edutor Advantage Home Learning Device and deployed it to 2,500 students from class III to class X in 2011. “We launched Augmented Classroom Solution this year to integrate learning material as per school syllabus in touch screen devices. This includes digitised textbooks, multi-media material, interactive concept-maps and assessment. For instance, there is a seamless communication between teachers and student. They can easily share content with students with the click of a button,” he says.
The company develops 30 per cent of the content in-house and the rest is got from various content developers. “We want to bring the best of content, which is developed for different platforms like PC and smart boards. We have a tie-up with Next education, Pearson and text book publishers for the content,” Ram says.
Talking about challenges, he says, “It was always challenging to attract and convince potential employees with our vision and to make them grow along with the company. Educating students, teachers and parents about the strengths of e-learning and the product is another big challenge.”“Another fear parents have is that their children will spend their time playing games on the tablets. But a tablet can be customised to access only those sites that parents want their children to,” he explains.
The company also offers features like Soduku, Kindle, interactive textbooks, Cambridge dictionary, encyclopedia Britannica, question bank and some yoga and cricket material.“The tablet works seamlessly offline and gets updated through cloud whenever the student goes online. This also helps monitor a child’s progress,” he says.
The company is not merely looking for a breakeven but to reach a larger customer base. “Our goal is to reach 10 million students in the next 5-6 years.We make some money for every tablet sold, but the amount of investment put in is much more. We are checking, if we can use the Aakash 3 for our content and work with the government to make this product affordable for more students,” he says.
- Product Price: `8,000 with one year subscription
- Subscription cost: `1,500 to `3,000 (IIT)
- Offered from: Class III to class XII
- Syllabus: SSC, ICSE, CBSE, IGCSE
- First generation product deployed: 40 schools
- Second generation product deployed: 12 schools and institutes
- Target: 70 schools next year
- Students using product: 5,000