Education is not only a problem in rural India but is also a matter of concern in urban areas. Even after spending tons of money, people usually don’t get quality education and after spending years and years in colleges and schools, most of them don’t even get jobs. Over the years we’ve all seen a discrepancy between the quality of graduates and the requirement in the industry. There’s an urgent need to scale up the quality of education provided to us, the basics need to be strong. Moreover, education and employment go hand-in-hand, after all one’s individual educational fulfilment will always be directly be proportional to their gainful employment. McKinsey’s Education to Employment report highlights that 1) 75 million youth are unemployed, 2) Half of youth are not sure that their post secondary education has improved their chances of finding a job 3) Almost 40 percent of employers say a lack of skills is the main reason for entry-level vacancies. To empower the education and employment sector in India Campus Interaction came into being.
Founded by Jerome Josephraj in 2014, the startup is a Private Social Platform allowing Universities to share and engage with students like a social media platform but all in a private space. Jerome has more than 20 years of experience working as Software Developer, Project and Program Manager for large IT forms in UK including UBS, Perot Systems, Cantor and Ford. Before starting Campus Interaction, he had a service based business developing Web and Mobile projects for several companies in UK. The head-office of the company is in Essex, while it’s India based office is located in Chennai.
Talking to Jerome he stated that the biggest challenge in this business was to keep students engaged in the process of learning. He further added, “We found out 80 percent of colleges in India are in rural areas. We’re providing animated videos particularly around cognitive skills and programming languages.” Why animated videos? Humans now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish (9 seconds), that’s when videos come to play instead of text.
- Local Language: The company is producing videos in local languages as majority of the population in countryside do not understand english properly. After understanding the concept the company also makes sure the users are learning the same concept in English too. So by the time they graduate they’ll would have improved their command in the English language to a workable level.
- Engagement and Assessment: If not the biggest, then one of the biggest problem in this sector is one time engagement and there is very little assessment after that engagement.The company has designed courses for students from the start of their 1st year. Expectation is that students will spend 30 minutes in front of a PC (or Mobile phone) every week going through their courses and assessment. Monthly reports are sent to students and college management on their progress.
- Employ-Box: The known problem in India is of the infrastructure of internet, talking specifically of the engineering colleges in rural areas, most of them don’t have a high speed Internet connection that could stream videos or download them. The company came up with Employ-Box to address these infrastructure issues. The box can be connected to college LAN enabling students to view videos via LAN without any dependency on the Internet (Offline).
- Pre-Employability Test (PET): To further strengthen a student’s assessment, they conduct Pre-Employability Test for colleges to gauge their student’s ‘Employment Readiness’. The test assesses student’s Cognitive, English Language and Technical Skills. These test reports are sent to the companies and analysed by the university for each student individually.
The company is also planning to launch Virtual Reality app by the end of this year to improve one-on-one conversation during an interview.
Monetisation & Traction
The company is offering two basic plans, one is free of cost which can be accessed by any individual and the other one is premium in which the college has to pay a certain amount of fee to have additional features like PET, Employ Box, workshops with companies.
“Last year we had 70,000 students signing up on our platform and this year we expect close to 200,000,” Jerome added. The company claims to have tied with over 80+ colleges and 25+ companies with a user base of over 85,000.
Funding & Market
The company had previously raised $70,000 in seed round from an Angel Investor based in UK. The company is further looking to raise $500,000 and so is in talks with investors based in England.
According to marketsandmarkets, “The Global education technology market is expected to grow from USD 43.27 Billion in 2015 to USD 93.76 Billion to 2020, at a CAGR of 16.72% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2020.”