Although India is currently riding a growth wave, but more than 60% of our student population still has very limited access to learning and growth opportunities. Why? One of the reasons is that these rural students study in local languages at government schools, where as our supplemental and digital learning ecosystem is largely in english medium. Can we engage our rural millions into the digital fold by leveraging the reach of mobile technologies? iDream Education believes that we can, and access to digital education in local languages can be transformational for these underserved yet brilliant students.
Let’s meet and greet the founders behind iDream Education, doing some great work in customizing tablets for government schools as social edupreneurs.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
Our social ed-tech startup is named iDream Education. The name represents the dreams and aspirations of every child and education as a medium of achieving them.
2. Who is your target Audience/clients?
We work with government schools, private schools, NGOs, CSR and Foundations to implement student centric digital learning on tablets and mobile devices.
We have also recently launched iDream Learning App for students to access digital learning in local languages on parent’s android phones.
3. Where is your venture based (city, state, country) out of and what are your Geographical target areas?
We are based at Gurgaon and can setup Tab Labs and Learning Tablets for schools in English and local language mediums across all states in India. We specialize in setting up tablets for government schools across the country in any region and for all state boards.
4. What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or Services?
We are taking enjoyable and skill oriented digital learning to students in the language that they know and in a way that they enjoy. Our vision is to engage and excite the underserved students for learning and growth by leveraging the reach and acceptance of android and multimedia.
Tab Lab, is a plug & play tablet lab designed to setup & use tablets for schools with offline digital content in any language. It is designed as the best suited way of integrating digital learning for government schools. Tab Lab is extremely easy to use, needs minimal hardware maintenance, has no electricity or space dependence and offers rich content including multimedia, projects, digital books and practice in their language mediums.
Tab Lab ensures that the govt school teachers see the tablets as their assistants and break open the usage and impact barriers for digital education at government schools. In case where schools plan to give personal tablet to students, we customize the tablets for school use with reporting and learning outcomes access to the teachers and the management.
iDream Learning App has been designed to access digital content of all categories in English medium and local languages via android devices.
5. Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it come to existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Me and my partner Rohit had been working in ed-tech distribution and training for more than 5 years before we started iDream Education. During that time, both of us had an opportunity to work closely with government schools. That is when we realized that our rural and semi urban students have little access to quality digital content. Availability of local language content and easy to use digital learning hardware were the two gaps we saw.
On the other side, those were the times when mobile devices were fast reaching every corner of rural India and these last mile students were happily learning to access the web via google search and android apps. We fell in love with the idea of leveraging this familiarity to Google & android and take digital learning to students in the language they understand and in a way that they enjoy. We came together and seeded iDream Education.
6. Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Since we work on personalized social edtech, it’s a wide open field and needs many organizations like ours to serve our rural millions. We look at them as partners in together serving our target audience and not as competition.
In terms of differentiation, at iDream Education its a research for us to deepen our understanding of every component of hardware, platform, content, training and usage so as to break open the usage and impact barriers in edtech.
7. How did you hire your first team members? What skills do you want in your employees/team?
The initial team just came together by itself with a natural connect to the work and vision. Our first operations person, the content manager and the android developer, everyone aligned to the growth and enjoyment we find in our work.
As for skills in the team, we respect the virtues of clarity in purpose, mindful commitment & humility to learn.
8. What expansion plans are you looking for the next year?
Now when we have stabilized Tab Lab and experienced the ease of use and acceptance it brings to digital learning in schools, we plan to create a country wide outreach to Schools and the social sector.
In terms of partnerships, we are exploring possibilities of on boarding vision aligned partners and distributors for scalable outreach. We would also wish to associate with state governments, education consultants and CSR consultants who connect to the deeper value and research we bring for government schools.
9. Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
We are a self funded social startup and have been supported by organizations like Vodafone Foundation and Nasscom Foundation. Google India awarded us as SMB Heroes for Impacting Change through Digital.
Yes Bank Foundation also awarded us as one of the top 25 Social Impact Organizations in India for 2018.
We are open to infusing growth capital into iDream Education but through sources that align with the core principles of our work. Whether the funds come via social sector, CSR, Impact investors or directly from the customers, having a shared vision would be the base of conscious capital infusion and growth for us.
10. What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Working in social ed-tech, we faced two key challenges:
The first was how to design our solutions for easy adoption by first time digital users and local language learners. For this we draw inspiration from Google, which has brought democracy to digital access in the world.
Thereby, we built our solutions on the three founding principles of: Simplicity, Ease of Use and Universal Acceptance.
The second challenge for us was how to build credibility and business outreach. For us, the answer to this was going digital. As a first step, we created a beautiful website www.idreameducation.org and started posting information on TabLab and content on every aspect of digital learning. We also built a very active blog section on our website, where we started posting information on TabLab and content on every aspect of digital learning.
The digital content helped us become discoverable on google search and we started getting enquiries from schools, NGOs and foundations searching for personalized digital learning and local language digital content on tablets.
Next, we started using google ads and customized our campaigns to connect with the social sector and schools for their digital learning requirements.
11. Whom do you consider your source of inspiration?
At iDream Education we are deeply inspired by Google. We believe that Google and its solutions have brought in a digital democracy to the world in its true sense. Therefore whether it is the deep focus on their vision, the universal design principles or their amazing value marketing, we look upto Google for most of our learning and inspiration.
On personal front, Sameer Guglani the founder of Morpheus, India’s first business accelerator and now the founder of Oneness a conscious self-growth platform is a great source of inspiration. He drives an aspiration of integrating life, work and business to the fundamental richness of existence and evolution.
12. Tell us something about your education & family background.
Both me and my partner, Rohit Prakash are from middle class families, we did our B.Tech and then were batchmates during our MBA. Post that, I worked with Oracle in technology business development and Rohit worked with Marico in Sales.
13. Every entrepreneur strives for success, what does success mean to you?
We wish to see every student have equal access to learning and growth opportunities irrespective of their location, language, social and economic situation.
Staying focussed on this vision in all our work shall mean success to us at iDream Education.
14. Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website Of Your Business & Contact Person
Investopad, Plot no 18, 5th Floor
Institutional Area, Sector 32
Gurgaon – 122001
Email ID: [email protected]