Client Showcase - Aaraat: Reinventing Education Using Technology

Education technology space is growing at a rapid pace in India. Online education is perceived as a good option for complementing the education network in India. With an increase in the consumption of content online, it is fast becoming a popular option.

Today, we interact with Suresh Avantsa, Founder and CEO of Aaraat ( Aaraat’s offerings include two products - a comprehensive learning management platform for delivering courses online, and an exclusive assessment platform that has the capability to deliver adaptive tests as well, and a content-based platform RankerEdge that offers online practice for various competitive exams.

FlexiBees has partnered extensively with Aaraat – one of the few companies with a completely remote team - to meet some of their talent needs including SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) for creating their courses, sales executives and digital marketing professionals.

In the current COVID-19 times, a lot of schools and educational institutes are going digital. So, at FlexiBees, we thought it would be a good time to speak with and get some insights and tips from Suresh.
What made you venture into Education Technology?
The education system in India is still fragmented and conventional. There are many opportunities in the area, including but not limited to K-12 education, upskilling of professionals and test prep platforms. Increasing consumption of video and online content in India only strengthened our belief in the opportunity.
We wanted to offer a convenient and affordable solution to small and medium institutes and enterprises. Through our talks with potential customers we found that they cannot spend much time setting up such solutions, have limited user base and hence limited budgets.
By early 2019, we came out with two products – a comprehensive learning management platform for delivering courses online and an exclusive exam and assessment platform that has the capability to deliver adaptive tests as well.

The online test preparation market in India is growing at a CAGR of 64% since 2016 as per various reports. We saw a gap in platforms providing quality practice tests to those preparing for competitive exams. We launched RankerEdge ( that offers online practice for various competitive exams including government exams.
What has been your journey and what are the biggest achievements that you accomplished?
Even when the product was in beta version, we were in talks with potential customers. This helped us finetune our business plans and pricing. We wanted it to be simple to use and affordable for the complex and vast Indian market.
We signed our first deal with one of the skill councils as their partners for offering online courses, but they didn’t start using the platform as they struggled to come up with their own content. It was a frustrating period, but subsequently we signed our first customer and thereafter we saw modest but steady growth. 

When we started giving demos of our assessment platform, quite a few potential clients also wanted ready hiring tests which they could quickly deploy. We saw an opportunity to deliver the platform and content for organisations that were looking to provide hiring assessments. We then started offering our content along with the platform.

We have a fantastic content team all over India which includes retired professors to seasoned trainers. They helped us put together a large content bank on RankerEdge for various competitive exams.

Shortly, we are going to come up with learning material that covers various topics for classes 3 to 8 in the form of text, image and video-based content. We used social media and digital marketing to reach out to India’s youth. As a result, we grew our user base at an average of 139% in 4 months as of March 2020.
How are you dealing with the new situation that has arisen due to Corona? What changes are you seeing, anything you have undertaken to meet the new challenge?
As a bootstrapped start-up, we wanted to keep our operations lean and mean and be prudent with our expenditure on infrastructure. Our resources are directed towards building a strong technology platform and high-quality content.

Additionally, we have been a 100% remote team from day one. Thus, the Corona situation actually did not throw any new challenge towards us. We continue to work the same way.

The only area that is affected is face-to-face meetings with our potential customers. But we all know this is temporary. We have improved our digital marketing strategy and are building a pipeline for our products.

On RankerEdge, there is a complete FREE Test Series for those looking to practise general aptitude.The course content that we will bring out soon will also be FREE.
I am a Founder & CEO of the company and look after everything related to technology and product development.
In the current crisis situation, we have seen an increase in the willingness to adopt technology for establishing reach and to ensure continued learning, due to the lockdown.
Though for many, investing in technology seems to be a short-term strategy, we are hopeful that they see long term benefits in blended learning models.
What made you opt for remote talent and FlexiBees and how has been your experience so far?
I have worked with fully remote teams for a long time now.
There are many talented women out there who were looking for a second innings in their careers. As a start-up, it made huge business sense to hire them, from the point of view of both productivity and cost. 

Start-ups usually find it tough to hire good talent that too, in a short span of time.
Another important aspect of encouraging a remote team would be to tap into talented resources that can be present anywhere geographically. The accompanying picture shows the reach of our team and we are proud to be associated with so many talented professionals pan-India.

FlexiBees specialises in bringing together such talented women who have chosen to work remotely.
While these women work for only 5 to 6 hours per day, anyone with an understanding of corporate lifestyle will tell you that if someone can put in such hours in an office setting, it is a big thing. And the women we work with, put in those hours without any distractions and are absolutely productive.
FlexiBees also solved another problem for us - short-term requirement of resources. For example, we wanted someone to work on a UI project to be completed in a few months. FlexiBees fulfilled this requirement quickly and the goals of the project were fully met.
FlexiBees has provided companies, both startups and established players, with part-time talent for many projects and roles; across a variety of functions & skill-sets like  Inside Sales, Business Development, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Public Relations, Investment Banking, Technology, Content Development, Writing, Graphic Design, etc. All these companies have benefited by being able to hire high quality talent at pricing optimised only for the hours of work they need.  With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to businesses trying new approaches, strategies, MVPs, etc, part-time and project-based talent, that are high-quality and affordable, can help. 
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