Earlier online was an option, now online is the only option: Chandraprakash Joshi of ixamBee

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July 05, 2021 12:15 AM

Joshi added that the interest in public sector jobs has increased a lot in the last one year, “because of the uncertainty in the private sector.”

It’s this promise of the online space that Chandraprakash Joshi, co-founder & CEO of ixamBee, wants to take to the entire country.

Let’s say a student from Meerut—or a smaller town in any part of India—wants to prepare for the entrance examination to get into the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard), she may or may not find the right faculty who teaches her agriculture in her neighbourhood. However, in the online space, it’s quite possible that she would be able to find many good teachers.

It’s this promise of the online space that Chandraprakash Joshi, co-founder & CEO of ixamBee, wants to take to the entire country.
The pandemic-induced lockdown has sped up his actions.

“Last financial year we recorded 100%-plus revenue growth, and specifically in the last five months we have grown 2.5 times in terms of revenue, reaching the ARR of Rs 6 crore,” he told FE. “More than 20 lakh students have gotten benefited from us.”

Joshi claims that ixamBee is the only online learning company in India that provides free mock tests for more than 80 entrance exams. “We operate the free-plus-premium (freemium) model,” he said. “We are not selling mock tests, but people who take courses on our platform get mock tests for free. We sell complete online learning courses, including recorded videos, notes, practice questions and live classes.”

These courses range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000, and ready students for railway exams, bank clerk and bank probationary officer exams, and exams for getting into bodies such as FCI, Nabard, RBI and Sebi, among others.

“Our average ticket size is Rs 8,000, and we have about 10,000 paid learners on the ixamBee platform,” he said. “We currently only cater to public sector job entrance exams. It’s a very large market and a lot of students come from small towns; they don’t have proper access to physical coaching facilities in their neighbourhood.”

Joshi added that the interest in public sector jobs has increased a lot in the last one year, “because of the uncertainty in the private sector.”

According to some reports, close to 5 crore students appear in public sector job entrance exams every year, “and that’s why we haven’t even covered a fraction of the overall market,” added Joshi. “This also means that we will comfortably grow for a few more years because a large section of the population has been untapped; we have not even captured 1% of the market right now.”

Going forward, Joshi said platforms such as ixamBee will see a lot of growth. “Earlier online was an option, now online is the only option.”

He will also focus on banking entrance exams for the time being because it’s an area where recruitment happens through the year. At the same time, ixamBee will venture into newer areas. “We may enter defence services entrance examination space in some time, including the NDA and the CDS. However, we don’t want to enter the UPSC civil services examination space, because that is a very crowded market,” Joshi said.

Another area of focus for ixamBee is state-level public sector exams. “From here on, we plan to go to state-level exams such as exams for police inspectors and teacher recruitment; that is a big area to be serviced, instead of UPSC civil services,” Joshi said. “One, the competition is less out there, and two, we will be able to serve a large number of students.”

As far as online versus offline coaching centres are concerned, Joshi added that the future will accommodate both the forms of training. “Both online and offline coaching centres will coexist; however, for the next one or two years online will thrive. That’s why this is the time for us to expand our business as much as we can,” he added.

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