Technology has a great roleplay in shaping up the future of the education sector. Zamit as a platform is making strong inroads in the Indian education sector. In an exclusive interaction with Faiz Askari of SMEStreet, Zamit’s founder Aarul Malviya explained some major trends that are becoming visible in the Indian education sector and Zamit’s plans for this market.
Faiz- What is the vision behind Zamit? How do you look at the overall market & where do you see Zamit’s exclusivity in the market?
Aarul– The vision behind Zamit is to have a single-window platform where every stakeholder in the school ecosystem can find a product or service that they have a need for.
Zamit is exclusive in that it is the first EdTech solution where the end-user was involved in the creation of the ‘product’. So far, all tech solutions are created based on the perceived needs of schools and then taken to the end-users who are expected to use it in the way that technology gurus believe it should be used. This usually is not the best fit.
Zamit does not compete with other well recognized ‘LEARNING Apps’ because it is NOT a learning app. Zamit is a networking & resource app for students, parents, teachers, schools and school service providers which is interactive and a one-stop solution for school stakeholders.
Faiz- When we talk about the EdTech industry there are a lot of technological interventions like smart class, to student curriculum management. Having said that Byjus is one such eg. Your product is trying to get into space which is managed by unstructured players, the school management systems. There are regional companies who build the apps which work with the institution to institution. Are you trying to standardize that? If yes, how would you go about it? But if you’re trying to create a space where you would like to converge different schools and create a network of schools & then convert services around them, around their ecosystem, then what is your strategy for accomplishing that?
Aarul– Firstly, as mentioned by you there already exists products like Byjus which specializes in their own fields, with Zamit we’re trying to get all school stakeholders together and create a reliable platform which is participative and user-friendly. What you are talking about is customized ERP systems & possibly certain standardized learning solutions which are based on different curriculums available in India. That is like comparing apples & oranges. In the 21st century with unrestricted access to the internet every parent is constantly worried about the appropriateness of what his child has access to, that is where zamit is unique & provides resources, information and a pre whetted age-appropriate, safe cyber platform which every parent can safely ‘go to’ and know that their child is getting responsibly curated information, stories, activities and challenges in the learning and entertainment space. Scaling up globally & standardization will be the next logical step for us.
We are currently working on a product called ZCAS( zamit centralized admissions service).The objective of ZCAS is to simplify & standardize the admissions process for parents across the country. As you know this is currently a nightmare for parents.
Faiz-That’s a very very interesting & big market. Having experienced the current Indian schooling system as a parent, what we have observed in schools in India especially the international schools, they are quiet possessive when it comes to their revenue, they’re possessive in terms of their vendor relationships. No doubt it is an exceptional idea but it needs to have a strong localized approach because, in today’s Indian schools, they have somehow managed to restrict with the kind of vendors they would work. If you create an open market of schools and vendors, it will create a disturbance in the school’s revenue model which it has developed time to time?
Aarul– It all depends on the perspective, the way I see it is I’m providing a platform for schools to connect and find the best vendor without middlemen that may be unscrupulous. YES, all change does create an initial imbalance but as people find value in it, they are happy to adopt it.
As an example the ‘live streaming ‘ of school events when we launched it was looked at a bit wearily, till we recently hosted the live, the largest school basketball championship in the country on zamit (Ramjas School-RK Puram) 150 teams participated, 80-90 schools participated. Through this, we provided an opportunity for schools to promote themselves not just nationally but also to a global audience. Since then the requests are endless! Our ‘Search, rate, review’ your school is another feature that was immediately adopted by new parents as the begin to see genuine parent reviews and not just the school talking about its offerings on their websites. Our hope is that the usefulness and unbiased information on zamit will, in time talk for itself and our user base will multiply quickly. Currently, we’re also planning on introducing zamit Internship Program (ZIP) for the students in sync with their academics, assisting the schools to make the students future-ready.
Faiz- In terms of a network of schools that Zamit has worked with, Please give a brief on when & how did you go about it? What were the major milestones that were achieved by the brand?
Aarul– zamit is a product owned by MASH Virtual. It started 3-3.5yrs ago, it was our first product. We released the first version of Zamit in 2018. Following our aim of connecting school ecosystems, we started with assisting the schools with their needs. We recently hosted ZISA (Zamit International School Awards) which is another aspect of our product, about 100+ schools from all over India attended the awards and this was one of the major milestones in building a network of schools.
Faiz- Please share the 2020 plans for Zamit, goals set for the product if any.
Aarul– For 2020, Zamit plans to increase its user base. Besides this, we’re soon launching a brand-new product of our app ZCAS as mentioned earlier. It will be the 2nd year of ZISA (Zamit International School Awards) which will happen around September-October which is an annual award function hosted by us. Besides this, we are also working on a Zamit ambassador program (ZAP) in schools, that will assist us in keeping our databases & information updated in real-time. Another interesting program driven by the needs of the 21st century is the zamit internship program (ZIP). In this, we offer student upskilling, hands-on learning in a well- designed internship program that runs concurrently with their school summer & winter breaks.
Faiz- Are looking for funding? Are you a self-funded or bootstrapped organization?
Aarul– We’re self-funded
Faiz- In terms of revenue growth, any estimates or targets kept for this year?
Aarul– Right now, the aim of Zamit is to focus on getting more users, increasing our active user base. That is our biggest objective right now. Once we have got more users, that’s when we’ll plan on rolling out our revenue model, right now it’s bit early.