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HelloClass aims to provide better learning experience for students through personalised, accessible and affordable tutoring

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Interview of Prakash Rengarajan, Co-Founder and CEO, HelloClass and Bhaskar Raju
Konduru, Co-Founder and CTO, HelloClass

HelloClass- a tutoring service that
provides tutors at home, online and in the app. Prakash Rengarajan and Bhaskar
Raju Konduru ​founded HelloClass in 2015 to address the issue of accessibility
of quality education in our country. The Ed-Tech start-up seamlessly connects
students and teachers through its mobile app, thereby facilitating knowledge
sharing and query resolution. With over​ ​3500 experienced and qualified
tutors, HelloClass is a great app for not just those living in metros, but also
those who stay in the interiors of the country and do not have easy access to
quality home tutors.







ST: When did
you decide to take the path of ‘entrepreneurship’?
Prakash
Rengarajan:
Having done schooling from
multiple places like Hubli, Bhubaneswar, and Delhi, across multiple state
boards including ICSE, and CBSE; I found it very difficult to cope with my
studies. The lack of proper guidance made me miss out on learning the basic
fundamental principles during my schooling years. I further learnt about the
struggles faced by students from different locations concerning access to
quality teachers and learning outlets during my Bachelors in Engineering course
at the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela. I feel the commitment to
make quality education accessible to each and every student 24/7 irrespective
of his/her geographical location was rooted in my childhood and I was always
interested in technology and finding ways of how it can act as a great enabler
in solving real world problems.

Prakash Rengarajan, Co-Founder and CEO, HelloClass 
Bhaskar Raju Konduru: I
grew up in a village in Andhra Pradesh where the unavailability of continuous
electricity was a daily challenge. Going against all the odds, I completed my Engineering
from JNTU, Hyderabad and then went on to peruse a
Master’s Degree in E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce from Naspers Academy in
Dubai, UAE. It was the drive to do work on something meaningful and impactful
and make a difference to the society that drove me towards HelloClass. I
firmly
believe in education as a core enabler to get ahead in life.




Driven by the same vision to address the acute problem of access
to quality education in the country, Prakash and I joined hands in 2015 and
founded HelloClass. With support from K. Ganesh and Meena Ganesh’s
entrepreneurial launchpad Growth Story, Hello Class began its journey to make
quality education accessible to one and all in India. With HelloClass, we
intend to streamline the online and on-ground tutoring market, which is largely
unorganised in our country.

Bhaskar Raju Konduru, Co-Founder and CTO, HelloClass
ST: Please tell
us about your venture.
We founded HelloClass with the aim of
creating a better learning experience for students through personalised,
accessible and affordable tutoring. Our motto is
‘Let’s teach. Let’s
learn. Let’s help everybody bring out their true potential’. We believe that
education should be accessible to all children, irrespective of their
geographical presence or time. We wish to change the way education is delivered
in India and contribute to a promising future.
By
joining HelloClass, students can get access to tutoring services at home,
online or on their mobile. We
use technology to facilitate each student to learn from the best possible tutor
available for the subject. Enrolled participants can opt for a host of tailored
individual services such as personal home tutoring, 24×7 doubt clearance and
learning assistance, and other basic as well as advanced tutoring requirements.
Students can also maximise their learning outcomes by creating and maintaining a
personalised study plan and timetable on the platform.
HelloClass is also
beneficial for tutors, for it helps them reach out to and teach students in the
most effective way. All our registered tutors are provided appropriate teaching
aids like relevant content and practice questions. HelloClass also helps manage
their schedules and facilitates the transfer of payments seamlessly. With
HelloClass, tutors can focus purely on teaching and connect to a large number
of students while having the flexibility to teach students as per their convenience.
Currently, we have over 3500 experienced and qualified tutors with us. HelloClass
home tutoring services are available in Bangalore at present whereas the online
tutoring and app based tutoring services are available all India.
The
HelloClass app is available on iOS, Android and the web as well.




ST: What
opportunities do you see in this sector?
According to a report by the UK-India Business Council,
India is the largest market for e-learning after the US and is expected to grow
at 17.4% annually between 2013 and 2018, which is double the global average.
The scope of online education in the country is vast and continues to grow with
increasing internet
penetration. As per a recent report by Nasscom, web users in the country are
expected to more than double to 730 million by 2020.
India has more than 30 crore students, and at the same
time, we are faced with an acute shortage of quality teaching professionals. A
study by UNESCO showed that there is a shortfall of over two million K-12
schoolteachers in the year 2015 alone. HelloClass strives to create an
environment that not only offers solutions but meets the highest of standards
in the best ways possible.
More than 50% of HelloClass users hail from small towns such
as Muzzafarpur, Jahanabad, Jaipur, Bundi, Beed District, Jalgaon, etc. We cover
about 80% of the Indian districts.
ST: Did you
face any challenge in your entrepreneurship journey?
Every business has its share of challenges.
One of the greatest challenges we faced

as an ed-tech startup in India was reaching out to remote audiences. The better
the infrastructure and internet connectivity, the easier it is to provide
online education to students in that area. Another challenge was getting good
tutors. We overcame this by getting working professionals and students with an
aptitude for teaching join us in our endeavours.
The biggest
challenge was to convince parents to go with a service provider like us instead
of looking for a tutor through their network or on their own. But once they try
the service, they love it and refer more people to us. The fact that the
HelloClass app has received over 1.5 lakh downloads on the App Store and Play
Store in a short span of time affirms that people have accepted us well.
ST:  What are your plans for next two years?
We
are progressively expanding our reach, and in the past four months itself, we
have tutored more than 40,000 students. This is equivalent to 1000+ classrooms
offline. We are rated 4.3 On Google Play and over 65% people have rated us 5/5.
We
are looking at scaling the home tutoring service to 2 more cities in the next
two months. At the same time, we are planning to add more subjects and
languages to the web- and app-based tutoring as well.
ST: How do you
motivate yourself?

The
main source of our motivation is when we see changes in the lives of students
whom we work with. Our service helps students achieve their goals and the
appreciation and love that we get from students and parents is the core thing
that keeps us going.

Interviewed by Startup Terminal Bureau

TECHXLR8 Asia