Infinity Learn is one of the fastest-growing EdTech in India, backed by a leading education group Sri Chaitanya.
Led by people with the purpose to become global leaders in digital learning the platform has achieved 1 million+ registered users and 100K+ paid users on the platform in a span of 8 months since commercial launch and aims to add another 1M during the academic period Apr-June.
To understand the vision and more about the secret sauce for such rapid growth we interacted with Infinity Learn's CEO, Ujjwal Singh.
Ujjwal, who has experienced family-run schools, has always found Indian education exciting. After his last stint at Pearson, where he was involved in foreign operations losing the Indian touch, he started exploring a few conversations. The discussions he had with Dr. B S Rao, Chairman at Sri Chaitanya Group stood out.
In July 2021, he joined the Infinity Learn team to contribute & commercially launch the platform. His aim to build a fantastic B2C edtech company instead of just the digital division of Sri Chaitanya resonated amongst the leadership, and the expansion started.
"A huge amount of success and learning is available within the Sri Chaitanya Group, which we leverage a lot, especially on the 'how' part rather than the student base part. In an EdTech company, the core should be academics and who would know better about this than a group with hundreds of schools, 50k+ teachers and lakhs of students.", he said.
"The access to group's network, its backing and learning surely helps. For any edtech startup, 100k students taking the test at a time is a milestone far in the timeline, but for us, it happened in the third month.", he added.
Learners on the platform have solved over 100K+ doubts so far through their "Doubts 24X7 App" (with under 5 mins turnaround time) and have attempted over 10 million+ questions. The platform offers robust 500K+ questions in its question bank with over 300K+ solutions (including vernacular content being created in-house).
When asked about the best use case of technology in the student's learning journey, he shared how getting access to dream teachers and improving their reach in tier 3 and beyond (across the pyramid and not only for a few) is the best use case.
Ujjwal also highlighted how hybrid learning will sustain in a post COVID world. He believes personal touchpoints and physical handholding are equally important, for which the group has 700+ campuses, and is going to touch 1000 soon with 40-50 new schools that were added last month.
"Before starting an edtech business, our main question was 'what is it that we will be able to do better than anyone else over the tech platform?'. That's where the secret sauce of helping learners to move from point A to B in their learning or test prep journey and experience of 30-40 years doing that job came into play. Thought was simple - to change the physical classroom to technology but keep the secret sauce common.", he shared.
The group claims to successfully support close to 25%, i.e. 9000 out of the 40,000 IIT candidates who crack the exam in the ecosystem. This is only possible by exactly knowing what is required to clear a high-stakes exam.
"With technology and our unique position in academics, we are able to present 'what to study', 'when to study which part'. And after every exam, when we decode the data on the digital platform, we are able to find out where the lacuna is.", he added.
The group believes that an education company has a responsibility to move the learner forward and to put the learner on the path of progress. When students use such an edtech and are able to do what they weren't before, they love it. That creates a big difference.
Speaking on the recent Teacherr acquisition, Ujjwal mentioned that the addition was a strategic move with an idea to extend teacher onboarding, payments, and dashboard services in addition to offering a student-doubt clearing product.
"While we were doing well on the student side, and working on how to get the teacher side right, we met passionate entrepreneurs from Teacherr who wanted to work with a larger ecosystem, and this integration happened," he said.
He says, to fast track content, co-curricular and broader K-10 play the lookout for like-minded people who can come together to help the learners is on, and there are two to three more acquisitions in the pipeline that we can hear about in the coming months.
Talking about trends, Ujjwal predicts that user-generated content will be far more acceptable which will have an impact on the edtech industry. A clear use case can be the ability to explain certain things in bite-sized micro-content.
He also believes that with each passing day, the power will come to the learner, with more and more choices -what, where & when to learn. This, in turn, will help improve the ecosystem, as in the case when the learners choose something they are interested in, they would engage at their own pace and won't mind spending more and more time.
In general, commenting on the test prep industry, Ujjwal drew an analogy of a car race where you need very high accuracy at very high speeds. You can't afford to make mistakes while doing things fast with high stakes.
He believes that society can't survive without test prep, and it is here to stay. This is also being proven by what is happening on the test-prep side, as new tests like CUCET – a centralised admissions exam with standardised parameters – are fuelling more and more test prep platforms.
When asked about the future of test prep being completely online vs hybrid, Ujjwal predicts that "Testing will remain online to be able to bring inputs online, be able to work on data and learner support. Also, 'Learning at a Masterclass level' will remain online, knowing the fact that we can't have super teachers delivering physically beyond a particular scale."
"What will remain in hybrid is “personalized help and support”, where when a learner is unable to do something, they can book a slot, go and meet a teacher who can handhold them and then the learner can go back to self-learning. This is how we envision hybrid in the long run.", he mentioned.
In tier 3 onwards, infrastructure and bandwidth is also a concern, so even to consume basic learning content, an offline centre model can help bridge the gap, he concluded.