Shweta Das, 21, describes herself as a ‘student and an entrepreneur who understands the needs of students’. It was through her own research, during the surge of online classes that began last year thanks to the pandemic, that she founded Gyaansutra.
Started in May 2020, this portal aims to provide academic help to students from nursery to those pursuing a degree course in college. The portal currently has 30 tutors on-board.
Speaking to The Better India, Shweta says, “I found that students and parents were struggling to make sense of online classes and were looking for additional support. The classes available were costly and each class cost about Rs 1000 a month.” The one thing that deterred parents were the exorbitant fees that many online classes charged, and this is the pain point that Shweta wanted to address.
“I wanted to create a portal that appealed to both parents and also the tutors. The price point was what made it attractive for both parties involved,” says Shweta. The portal also provides jobs to many graduates and undergraduates, who are looking for jobs and have a passion for teaching.
What’s unique about Gyaansutra?
The portal works on a decentralised model, meaning each tutor conducts classes from the comforts of their own home and are based all across India. “While we have tutors from all across, my immediate concern is to help students from the Eastern zone. I find that because of monetary concerns, students are not able to tap into their full potential,” says Shweta. Given that Shweta herself is from Jamshedpur, she says she understands some of the problems that students face.
Once students pick their tutor, they make a payment for the number of classes they wish to sign up for, and once done the tutor reaches out to the students and takes the classes forward. Speaking about the plans available, Shweta says, “Depending on the number of classes and subjects being opted for, classes begin from Rs 300 onwards for a month.” Students can opt to learn math, physics, chemistry, spoken english, economics, accounts, and quantitative studies for students pursuing Bachelors in Commerce and Bachelors in Business Administration.
Having started with an investment of Rs 2000 to get the domain name and an additional miscellaneous expense of Rs 3000, Shweta says that she began with not more than Rs 5000.
Gyaansutra currently has over 1000 students enrolled with the platform. Speaking about how the revenue sharing takes place between the portal and the tutors, Shweta says, “The portal receives a commission of Rs 100 per student and the rest of the amount goes to the tutor directly. We have managed to become profitable and that is a huge motivation to keep growing.”
Students can opt for one-on-one classes as well as be a part of a larger group, however, the charges remain the same for students. These online classes are conducted on the Google meet platform.
“I loved the accounts class with Sir Sukhendu. I learnt many new concepts in such an easy manner. His way of explaining concepts is perfect and the class notes are extremely useful,” says Faiza Siddique, a student of Jamshedpur Women’s College.
While Shweta has been approached by other companies to collaborate with them, she says, “I want to wait a while longer, get better exposure, and then take this forward in a bigger way. My intention now is to help as many students as possible to get on the platform and take away the notion that education is expensive and unaffordable.”
If you wish to check this platform and enroll for any course, click here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)