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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Pune start-up triples its business by helping universities hold online exams

Born in a single-room flat, WeShine completes a decade amid the pandemic when taking an exam comes with new challenges

Written by Dipanita Nath | Pune |
Updated: July 21, 2021 11:23:51 am
In the last year-and-a-half, the company has more than tripled its business, scaled team size from 70 people to more than 200 and established its presence across 11 states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides Maharashtra.(Representational image)

When the Savitribai Phule Pune University conducted its semester exams in mid-July, a start-up from the city was enabling its online process. WeShine Tech has created a suite of applications that automates the examination processes, from student enrolment and question paper management to on-screen marking and result processing.

In the last year-and-a-half, the company has more than tripled its business, scaled team size from 70 people to more than 200 and established its presence across 11 states, including Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides Maharashtra.

“The traditional university system was following processes that were three or four decades old and it was a challenge to push them towards something that was more technology driven rather than people or process driven. The change would have happened eventually but the pandemic has accelerated the adaptation of technology in these traditional universities to less than 18 months,” says Anupam Mangudkar, who founded WeShine Tech, along with Utkarsh Mangudkar and Ramkrishna Kulkarni, in a one-bedroom apartment a decade ago.

When the lockdown began in March 2020, WeShine was among the few startups that correctly assessed the future. It anticipated that exams would move to an online format and made changes to their internal systems and processes. “We tweaked the platform by adding several integrity features whereby students could sit at home and take exams, thus moving from a controlled environment to an uncontrolled one. We had to make sure that our system works perfectly with the lowest infrastructure requirement, such as inexpensive android phones with a 2G connection and uneven internet connectivity,” says Utkarsh.

The company is currently working with several state institutes, such as Mumbai University, Goa University and Gujarat Technical University.

“The service goes beyond writing an exam. Earlier, students needed to travel to submit application forms and fulfil their requirements. Question paper setters would have to go to the university physically to work. All these services have been added to the examination suite, in the form of an online application form and a system by which question papers are delivered online by paper setters,” he adds.

The post-vaccinated world might not see as many online exams but the company expects there to be “some kind of a continuous assessment model where people will partially conduct exams online”. “We are focussing on scaling the examination software to enable universities to seamlessly examine lakhs of students,” says Anupam.

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