While blackboard teaching is gradually taking a backseat in US and western economies, India is also not far behind as online education market size is set to grow to $ 40 billion by 2017 from the present $ 20 billion (read: Why (Digital) Education is the new Ecommerce).
ProfessorBuddy is a Mumbai based online exam portal that enables students to appear for multiple choice question (MCQ) centric mock exams. The startup offers login to students through their coaching institutes and equips professor with a backend login which allows them to keep a track of student’s progress report and provides analytics reports as well.
While most of the current portals are aimed at students, ProfessorBuddy’s claimed differentiation (apart from providing conceptual and skill based analysis) is that they focus on professors as well (hence the name).
Professorbuddy equips professors with an unique Dashboard which offers them with a detailed Buddy(Student) Report. The Dashboard is integrated with features such as individual analytics of students; upload notes for a batch and batch certificates. For students, we provide skill level and conceptual analysis. Basically our differentiating point is the cutting edge analytics & reports we provide to students and professor.
Presently, ProfessorBuddy offers two courses Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and Company Secretaryship (CS) foundation Course. CPT is designed in the pattern of entry level test for engineering, medical and other professional courses, while the CS foundation programme being the entry level to the company secretaryship course and gateway to the profession of company secretaries.
The venture is started by twin brothers Purav and Pratik Kothari. Highlighting the interest of professors and coaching classes in ProfessorBuddy, Purav mentions that “Since we have launched in August we have personally met close to 90 professor of coaching classes and feedback received from them was very encouraging. We have successfully tied up with few classes and expecting a huge number for June attempt for CPT and CS Foundation course”.
ProfessorBuddy allows users to pay via bank account transfer, however it is working on increasing its payment avenues (i.e. PG integration). In addition, the company also distributes courses through offline stores and has tied up with few stores in Mumbai. For students based out of Mumbai, ProfessorBuddy couriers their course including welcome kit on the day of payment itself.
As of now, the venture is being bootstrapped by founders and aims to release apps for Android, BlackBerry iPhone and iPad – to provide wider accessibility. Mentioning about future plans, Purav said “Going ahead our target will be to create MCQ exams subject wise for students in Secondary and Higher Secondary (SSC, HSC, CBSE, and ICSE). Later, we also plan to conduct and evaluate written test series for coaching classes for all levels and professional entrance exams”. Apart from Maharashtra, ProfessorBuddy plans to distribute its courses through offline stores in Rajasthan and Ahmedabad (Gujarat).
Estimates by management consultancy Technopak pegs the current e-learning market in India at $150 million, growing at 15% CAGR. The major players include Tutorvista, Extramarks, Mathguru, Studyplaces, 100 percentile and iProf. The K12 market has been witnessing a lot of activity and most e-learning businesses are focusing on tutoring and enhancement of student learning experience and performance (via analytics).