Education in India is transforming at a rapid pace. Digital adoption in the education space has happened exponentially. Discussing this with Mohammed Zeeshan is the CEO and Co-Founder of MyCaptain, an online mentoring platform, SMEStreet found some key insightful trends in the edutech space. Zeeshan brings a societal mindset shift when it comes to Careers in India and all across the World, and MyCaptain is a step towards this. He comes from a B.Tech Mechanical Engineering background and has a keen interest in Policy, Education, and Impact.
Here are the edited excerpts:
Q. Please let us know the entrepreneurial journey of you, from the ideation to start My captain and till now the success company has achieved?
MyCaptain began in 2013 when myself and my friends — students themselves at that time — realised that they had all been forced into engineering when they had other interests. “I wanted to be an astronomer, one friend wanted to be a writer/journalist, another an economist,” recalls Zeeshan. They soon discovered that most of their college mates felt the same way. They also noticed that this was a problem that students across the country faced and that those who wanted to do something apart from engineering, medicine or law did not know where to go or how to do it. Many struggled to find guidance and were unable to find a platform that would help them grow and acquire the required skills. So the group of 19-year-olds decided to try to make a difference.
Q. What impact did the pandemic give to your edutech company?
Our vision is to enable every human to pursue Careers they love. And keeping this vision in mind, one of our core strategies has been to appeal to the aspirations of the learners. This would mean our ideal communication and message would be something like ‘Become a Blogger’ or ‘Become an Entrepreneur’ or ‘Become a Published author’. In the initial days, we were apprehensive to use such copies directly in our advertising because the thesis was that it won’t attract the users who were primarily probably looking for certifications or more functional marketing. But our lead quality, conversion rates and everything in the middle of the funnel got better as soon as we adopted this messaging and communication!
3. What are the learnings as an entrepreneur you have learnt during the pandemic?
Like most e-learning platforms, MyCaptain has witnessed a surge in new users amid the pandemic, with enrolments more than doubling in the initial few months. COVID began closer to the summer when most people were looking for new interests to focus on. This boosted our growth. However, post-July, we noticed that this began to flatline. Naturally, this meant that COVID alone cannot bring in the users and we would have to use this opportunity to build from here. We hope to be able to add at least 90 courses in the year ahead and to shift from beginner courses to more advanced three- to six-month programmes that will not only facilitate internships but also placements for jobs. We have begun tying up with organisations from various sectors such as The Minimalist, Filter Copy and others to run the courses enabling them to partner directly with industries.
Q. What are the future plans and growth plans of Mycaptain?
Heading towards impacting 1M+ students in India and helping create a societal mindset shift in India towards alternate careers, Also, expand MyCaptain internationally in the MENA, SEA, and European regions and helping people get jobs and build Careers in alternate fields by directly facilitating jobs and placements in such fields.
Q. Recently, MyCaptain collaborated with FilterCopy for a social media course, could you throw some insights about the course?
MyCaptain is foraying into helping students and learners make a Career in offbeat fields. One of these fields is Social Media Management, the demand for which is high in India but very few actually provide learning with Industry experts in the same. That’s why we have decided to join hands with FilterCopy for an advanced course that will not only provide the best industry-standard learning for students but also outcomes in the form of guaranteed job interviews and hence jobs.
Q. Seeing the current scenarios, there is a certain possibility for a lockdown to happen, are there any plans that MyCaptain will provide to the enrollees for this wave of lockdown?
Yes, there is a certain possibility for a lockdown to happen. In that scenario, we will be increasing our Online advertising budgets and focus a lot on our Pro Courses as well. We see that conversion rates increase massively and saw the same last year as well. Also, the number of courses students subscribe to also increases as we move into a lockdown situation. This is because students want to learn and spend some time on productive things during the day and gain an edge over their peers. It also gives them a good amount of time to explore their interests.
Q. Which course among the 35 courses gave the maximum business? What interests the enrollees the most?