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How a Pune edtech startup went from selling 40 licences per month to 400 during Covid

Proctur provides solutions to digitise educational institutions, especially useful to those offering coaching, has a user-base of more than 2,500 institutes, 15,000 teachers and 10 lakh students.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Pune |
August 10, 2021 9:48:26 am
Nishant Agarwal

According to sales figures for 2020-21, Pune-based edtech startup Proctur, which provides solutions to digitise educational institutions, has grown 10 times last year. “One year back, we were selling 30-40 licences per month but now it is 350-400 licences per month,” says Nishant Agarwal, founder.

Proctur, especially useful to those offering coaching, has a user-base of more than 2,500 institutes, 15,000 teachers and 10 lakh students. Since the time it was founded in 2015, the company found that this sector was hesitant to adopt new technologies. During the Covid-induced lockdown, however, everything changed and Proctur’s product became very prominent in the market.

“Our solutions mainly cover two aspects— operations, which deals with fees and attendance, among others, and education, which is related to conducting tests and so on. As Covid crisis began, everyone started relying on online solutions,” says Agarwal.

According to a report of the India Brand Equity Foundation in June 2021, India has among the largest networks of higher education institutions in the world, with more than 260 million (26 crore) students enrolled in more than 1.5 million (15 lakh) schools and approximately 39,000 colleges, primarily dominated by the private sector. Around 28.1 per cent of India’s population was in the age group of 0-14 years in 2015-16 and the spending in the higher-education sector is expected to reach Rs 2,32,500 crore in the next 10 years.

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Agarwal says that the coaching industry is still nascent in India. “Only 25 per cent of the youth population has access to private coaching facilities,” he says. The pandemic might have given a fillip to the business but it also hinted at a downturn since many coaching centres shut down as schools and colleges did away with exams. A lot of small coaching centres also buckled as branded online education companies became popular. “A large number of people lost their jobs and businesses. Coaching is seen as something that is not mandatory,” he says.

Proctur, a bootstrapped venture, is now working on providing value-added services, such as a blended platform whereby institutes can manage offline and online teaching seamlessly. Agarwal anticipates that in the post-Covid market, a lot of coaching might continue to be online, especially operational aspects even if live teaching returns. “A lot of students we surveyed definitely want to return to coaching institutions. Probably, students who are serious about their studies would prefer online lessons as they would want to save time and study at home. But, 70-80 per cent students want to go to coaching centres because there is personal attention from teachers as well as the chance to socialise. Teachers, too, feel that it is necessary to see the students,” he adds.

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