EdTech is a competitive industry today with many big players, all of whom are dedicated to making the lives of students and teachers easier and more productive. Academics is taken very seriously in Kerala and in recent years parents and students are both looking out for effective yet stress-free ways of learning. BrainsPrep is an app that provides content for students in their regional language. They provide students with everything they need to help them with their school learning. In conversation with Jithin Rajiv, co-founder of BrainsPrep, we learn more about the app and its story!
Tell us about BrainsPrep
BrainsPrep (formerly BrainsApp) is a web and mobile based school learning app providing live coaching, animated videos, study materials and doubt support for school students in their regional language.
Our core focus is providing an aﬀordable easy to use platform that helps students to learn and easily prepare for their school exams.
We are the first Kerala Syllabus learning app started in August 2017.
Currently there are 20000+ school students from Kerala using BrainsPrep for learning.
What inspired you to begin BrainsPrep? What is the story behind it ?
Jithin’s father Rajeevan wished to create a learning app for their coaching institute named Brains (Since 1977) to provide study materials to their students. So, Jithin started BrainsPrep in his bedroom as a side project for his father’s institute. It was never meant to be started as a startup. The app was liked by the students and they used the app for their school exam preparation.
At that time, with the entry of Jio’s 4G network revolution, we saw a huge potential for starting a learning app for Kerala Syllabus students. Jithin discussed the idea of starting a learning app with his high school friend Vyshak while walking through the streets of Calicut.
After some long discussions , the trio oﬃcially registered the company under the name “Microflik Technologies Private Limited” with an investment by Rajeevan.
We had a humble beginning. First the product was created at Jithin’s bedroom , then our first oﬃce was in Jithin’s father’s coaching institute, now we are in a separate oﬃce space working to make our dream a reality.
When speaking about our beginnings, it is necessary to talk about Prajeesh Sir and Adarsh Sir. They helped us a lot from the beginning of BrainsPrep. We are really thankful to Prajeesh Sir, our parents, BrainsPrep Teachers & Students for helping us in an immense way during our startup journey.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
- Retired Headmaster
- Having more than 40 years of teaching experience
- Now running a well reputed coaching institute which was established in 1977.
- Published many books on Chemistry & English Grammar
- Handling Academics at BrainsPrep.
- 8+ years of experience in Software development
- Created 100+ web apps , mobile apps & games
- Worked as growth hacker at Quest App
- Previously run a mobile gaming brand named Microflik Games.
- Studied B.Tech , Computer Science
- Handling Product Development & Business Management.
- Studied B.Tech , Electronics and communication
- Working as a coordinator of Ashraya Foundation (Kerala based NGO)
- Coordinated many big events
- Worked at KSEB
- Handling Operations & Marketing.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Our startup is based at Areekkad, a small town in Calicut, Kerala which is not popular for any startups or software companies. In fact , we may be the first software startup company started there.
Why we chose this place ?
Because our first oﬃce was in a classroom at Rajeevan’s coaching institute. We worked for more than 1 year to complete our initial video contents. After 1 and a half years, we moved to a separate space attached to that institute.
As we had less exposure to the startup ecosystem, we even moved to Kochi, the startup hub of Kerala with the help of our Mentor Sijo Kuruvilla George (Founding CEO , Startup Village). Sijo, Jibin (CEO, Flipmotion Technologies Pvt. Ltd) & Sreerag(Startup Sales Coach & Consultant)’s insights and valuable advice were of great help for us. We tried few tweaks and experiments based on his advice which gave us a clear picture of our market.
But we faced two challenges in Kochi. As we were an online learning platform, we needed a strong teacher’s panel in the initial days. The second challenge was, we required a dedicated oﬃce space for conducting , shooting and editing our classes. So we had to return to our home land where both of these challenges can be addressed.
At Areekkad, during these years , we have built a strong network of teachers and content creators.
Ed tech is a hot space now with many big players like Byjus. How do you plan to create your niche in the industry?
If Google is the synonym for Search , BrainsPrep aims to be the synonym for school learning.
We believe that Byju’s has done an incredible job in making fall in love with learning. But we believe that animated videos are not just enough for students to learn and prepare for their school exams. Students need Study Materials, live Classes taught by experienced teachers, instant doubt resolution, homework help, animated conceptual videos and revision classes. All these are provided by us. We have everything a student needs for their school learning. The biggest highlight is students get all these facilities at just Rs.299 per month.
Exams are one of the major events in every student’s life. It is a surprise that even if many big players are in Edtech, no one ever found a solution to help students to easily prepare for their exams. We are making it easier for students to prepare for their exams through our platform.
Some of our major advantages are listed below :
- Our well experienced teachers teach each and every concept in the syllabus in exam focused approach.
- We provide Daily Live Classes in their regional language.
- We provide separate classes for English & Malayalam medium students.
- Weekly Interactive Doubt Sections.
- 20K+ strong teachers and students community to clear a student’s doubts.
- Answers to Textbook Exercises.
- Chapter-wise Question Bank.
- Previous Year & Sample Question Papers.
- Daily Exams and Assignments after live Class.
- Mock Exams.
- Real time progress report.
- Revision Classes & Notes.
- Accessed through both smartphones and computers.
- Price starts at Just Rs.299 for a month.
How do you use social media to reach your target market?
We were a bit late to the social media marketing strategy. Because most of our customers came from organic search via google play, google search and friends referrals. So we were more focused on the product building strategy.
Currently we are focusing Facebook for reaching out directly to parents and YouTube for reaching students.
What are the new features you’re working on? What are your goals for Brainsprep in the coming years?
To provide the best classes to students across India, we need to build a platform that helps teachers to teach from home. Our future goals include :
- Making our learning platform accessible to students from different states.
- Building the best online coaching platform where school students can depend for learning, exam preparation, study materials and doubt resolution.
- Providing on demand educational services through our app.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you’re looking to raise?
We are a bootstrapped company. We are looking for best investment opportunities to make BrainsPrep accessible to more students from different school boards. By raising a funding, we have two objectives :
- Expanding to more state boards and classes.
- Building a more sustainable platform to conduct classes from teacher’s home.
What is the process of recruiting teachers at Brainsprep? Do they go through any special training before working with you?
All of our teachers having 5-40 years of teaching experience. Our selection process is pretty simple but we always look for A players.
- First candidates, send us an email with their resume. If they meet our minimum requirements, we ask them to send us a demo class.
- If the demo class is good, we invite them to attend an interview session which consists of two stages.
A : Panel discussion
B : 45 Minutes Demo Class
- If our expert panel is satisfied with the quality of the class taken, we show this class to our selected students and teachers to gather feedback. If everything seems to be good, we move forward with the hiring process.
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