The potential of making education more accessible is immense these days with the proliferation of the Internet around the country. It is not surprising there is considerable interest being shown in the segment by both VCs and startups.
One of the companies that provides online education services is Liqvid which calls itself an e-learning company. Currently, their focus is on English Edge, their new product which aims at providing easy and accessible solutions to getting students, individuals and organizations to improve English usage with assistance from technology. The product has been tailored to modern consumption mediums like mobile, tablets in addition to PCs. The company claims that they already have a user base of 250,000 people who have been using their product. Some of their clients include HP, Future Group, British Council, IIT Delhi, Jamia Milia Islamia, JNU and even the Orissa Government.
We got in touch with Vivek Agarwal who is the CEO of the company and asked him some questions about the product and online education in general. Before Liqvid, Vivek was one of the founders of e-gurucool which was eventually sold off to NIIT.
1. What is the central idea behind Liqvid and English Edge?
The central idea to provide a solution for scalable learning i.e. provide a high quality learning experience to the learner wherever they are and at a price that they can afford. The key barrier to scalability has been availability of the right quality of teachers. Solutions provided by English Edge empower the teacher through software, a teaching process, technology and other aids to deliver a high quality learning experiences, thereby making a large number of students access high quality learning experiences.
2. You say that Liqvid will deliver personalized education? Could you please elaborate?
Personalization has several dimensions. There is level of proficiency – we have programs from elementary levels of proficiency to advanced levels. The learners can choose what levels of proficiency in Vocabulary and Grammar they want to attain and choose a program accordingly. Then we have several Indian languages from which the elementary level learners can choose their language of preference. The program has also been customised for the age of the learner, where the graphics etc have been accordingly provided. Then there is personalisation in terms of the requirements of the learner – where learner has access to specialised material depending on their area of interest – finance, IT, etc. Lastly, the learner can choose the mode of technology – LAN, internet or mobile.
3. Learning online is a much debated topic when it comes to MOOCs and other online courses? Can online education services be complementary to existing education services or can they rise on their own merit?
On-line learning will prosper where it is able to provide something that a learner is not able to access otherwise. There are several elements like Assessments, tracking and feedback which are best done on-line and can supplement existing education services. Then there are learners who otherwise do not have access or cannot find the time to do some courses that they want to do – they are very well served with on-line learning.
4 .Can you share with us your learnings in the sector from the time you started e-gurucool?
E-Learning has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years. The content is far richer and interactive. The technology has evolved phenomenally – social media, mobile, tablets, cloud, simulations, AI, video conferencing and the services have multiplied exponentially – tracking, feedback, hosted, social media, virtual classrooms, etc. And, of course, specifically to India, the internet and PC penetration have increased significantly.
5. What makes India a good market for online education services like yours?
India is a very large market with hundreds of millions of learners and with a large shortage of teachers, infrastructure and resources. Technology based learning is ideal for this market. We have an offering that is very specifically designed to the Indian market, in terms of content, pedagogy and technology and this is getting a great response.
6. Can you paint a picture of how the Indian education scenario will look in the near future?
In any scenario, technology will play a very significant role in all future scenarios. The other thing that will become more important will be the services – assessment, tracking, feedback, personalization – as opposed to just providing content and technology. Also, the market will move more and more toward degree programs and the players will increasingly get categorized either as Scale or niche players. Middle sized players without any specific differentiation will slowly become extinct.
Website | Liqvid
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