With the realisation that schooling in India had not changed much in the preceding decades, Manoj Thandassery, Co-Founder, Curiositi, says that their venture is increasing the use of technology and innovation to make learning fun and impactful
What were the various reasons behind starting Curiositi?
Curiositi was founded by professionals who had worked overseas for several years. On their return, they discovered that schooling in India had not changed much in the preceding decades. While the infrastructure of schools had improved significantly, the classroom experience was no different. The founders then brainstormed on how the classroom experience could be uplifted, to create a much more interesting and impactful environment.
What are the various difficulties and hurdles encountered in doing business on ground level?
Selling to schools is difficult due to the multiple stakeholders that one needs to meet and convince. There is the school principal, the concerned subject teachers and the management. In some cases, one has to present and take approval from the PTA committee as well. However, we received a boost in late 2014, when Unitus Seed Fund (USF-an Impact Venture Capital Fund) invested in us along with high profile angel investors. USF investors include Bill Gates and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. In addition to the funding, we have benefited tremendously from the guidance provided by these experienced investors.
What is the market size of the services offered by you in India at present?
There are approximately 1.5 million schools in India, of which 400,000 are approximately private schools. We offer solutions to these private schools.
What are the major benefits for the organisations or individuals adopting your solutions?
We offer education solutions for Science and for Maths. For Science, we have created a portfolio of 100 science activity kits that are mapped to the various science concepts taught in school. We offer these as part of a customised programme to schools, to help transform their learning of science. Rather than just learning from text books, students now have the excitement of using these activity kits to actually explore concepts, perform experiments and build working models. Science therefore comes alive in these schools, and the response of students and teachers to the programme is overwhelming. The programme is also highly affordable.
Our Math product is the world’s first tablet based, text book mapped, personalised Math practice solution for schools. Students now get to practice Maths using the tablet, and it is like having a 1:1 student teacher ratio during the class. The tablet asks questions based on the student’s ability, immediately corrects the problem if the student makes a mistake and helps him or her do better by practice. The solution also provides teachers with a dashboard of student performance, so that they can observe if certain topics were not well understood, and make corrections.
What is the vision of your company for the next two years?
We will continue to deliver compelling educational solutions, by increasing the use of technology and innovation. Our goal is to make learning fun and impactful.
In order to enhance your company’s visibility, what are the various methods that you are using?
We conduct events and marketing campaigns. We also do demos of the product at schools.
How you can differentiate you services from your competitors?Our products are clearly designed to be engaging and easy to administer. These aspects separate our product from the competition.