In an interview with BW Disrupt, Rohit Jain CEO and Co-Founder DUX Education talks about the company’s inception, funding status, expansion and more.
1. How did the idea come to start?
I have been teaching for the past 17 years. My passion for the education sector continued through my full-time jobs at Zoomcar and Ola. On the other hand, Udit had briefly taken up teaching when he was doing his CA. Though Udit did not stick to teaching, it remained a space that he always watched closely.
The point of concurrence for Udit and I was that education is one of the most basic human rights. Financial status shouldn’t determine anyone’s access to quality education. Secondly, the role of a teacher goes far beyond just delivering lectures. A teacher guides, pushes, motivates, and inspires the students.
We also believe that engagement is the soul of education. If teachers and students can’t forge a relationship in an engaging manner, education will always be incomplete. Last but certainly not least, we believe that continuous practice is the key to concept clarity.
The EdTech industry today is filled with either expensive, niche, or low engagement products. This is a parallel structure to what parents need and is one of the key reasons that 99% of the after-school tutoring market is unorganized.
DUX was born to bridge the gap between offline education and the EdTech industry. Our goal is to provide students with the best of both worlds by providing quality education through an engagement-heavy platform at affordable rates.
2. How does it work (step-by-step procedure)?
It’s a simple two-step process for the students:
Step 1: Attend a free trial class to understand how our teachers teach on the platform.
Step 2: Pay the fee to start your subscription.
We offer a full refund if a student doesn’t like the class within one week of joining. We only ask one question, “Where did we go wrong?”
3.What are the unique key points of your company? / How are you different from the existing competitors?
We strictly follow the school syllabus: Every parent wants their child to perform well in the school Unit Tests and the mid-term exams. Good results can also be a confidence booster for the students. We are the only platform in the country that follows the school syllabus to the T.
Live and interactive classes: Our classes are truly interactive. The student and teacher can see and talk to each other. This is important because a teacher needs to observe the students as their reactions reveal whether the students are grasping the lesson or not. Plus, students can raise their hand and ask the teacher a doubt mid-lecture. Therefore, having only 10 students in every class helps the cause.
Live feedback: One of the key objectives for us is to kill the distance factor in online education. How does a teacher make the student feel like they’re sitting across from each other when they’re from different cities? Therefore, we have created excellent systems and processes that allow teachers to check notebooks in the class and give live feedback. The monthly feedback, performance tracking, and sharing with parents also take place regularly. We go a step ahead to offer an open channel for communication between the teacher and parents. Teachers can now send feedback to the parents at any point in time using our technology platform. This feedback then gets triggered as a WhatsApp message.
Affordability: We aim to make education affordable for all. Our business needs to run efficiently, but we try to keep our CACs low and pass on these benefits to parents. Our package starts at just INR 500 per month per subject. That’s cheaper than your neighborhood tutor in most cases.
4. What is your funding status and monetization model?
We have closed our pre-seed round of funding. This round saw participation from Paritosh Gupta, who is a mentor to Udit and me. He is the former CFO and COO at Zoomcar and now VP Finance at Koho. This round also received funding from friends and family.
In terms of our monetization model, we firmly believe that the most complex task in the world is to keep things simple. Our monetization model is the same as it has been in the education sector for ages. We charge fees from the students based on the package they select. The students have the option to choose the package they like monthly, quarterly, or annual. They then pay basis the number of subjects they are taking.
5.What challenges are you facing in running your business?
The response from the existing students has been great. More than 70% of students have already renewed their contracts with us, and more will do so before the new session kicks in. However, the biggest challenge today is to cut through the noise in the market. The truth is that misinformed parents are being lured in by people who can make the loudest noise in the market. It’s after a while that said parents realize their mistake.
6.How has been the people’s response so far?
We have consistently received a 5-star rating from students and parents across all sessions. We gather ratings after every class to manage quality, and the NPS is greater than 80% today. We are fortunate that this translates into business for us.
80% of the students on our platform have registered via an organic referral. Out of which, 70% of the students have already renewed their contracts with us.
7.What are the traction details (like users, app downloads & other achievements of the company)?
80% of the users have come via an organic referral, and 70% have already agreed to renew their contracts with us. We are now gaining full accounts. Students who were earlier taking only Math have now taken all their required subjects with us.
8.How do you look at expansion?
The product easily transcends across geographies. We are present in 20+ cities across India. Our target is to cross 200+ cities by the end of the year. Our service is also used by students in the Middle East thanks to organic referrals.
Given that CBSE and ICSE are such widespread educational boards even outside the country, and the fact that our products offer engagement and affordability makes it appealing to all. We aim to be the first choice for after-school tutoring requirements for parents and students.
9.What are your marketing plans?
We are not sales-heavy. Hence we don’t do cold calling. Our idea of marketing is to appeal to the community. We want to scale up the experience for our students so that organic referrals keep on increasing. That’s the only way to keep CAC in check and remain grounded. We want to make sure that we provide the first-grade experience to all our students. Therefore, we don’t believe in buying customers by spending millions of dollars on traditional channels.
10.What have been your biggest learnings so far?
We have seen that engagement is the top priority for parents. They want a place where their children receive attention. Parents need a channel of communication with the teachers. Therefore, PTMs (Parents Teachers Meetings) are vital. Plus, personalized feedback from teachers is very critical to parents.
Another thing is that teachers cannot remain restricted to pre-written content. The lecture needs to be organic to be effective.
11.What is the market size and opportunity?
55% of the Indian students take tuitions, and that’s roughly 55 million students. 1million students would translate to 300 million USD today.
Source: Business World