A recent report by the World Bank revealed that post-pandemic India’s learning poverty shot up to 70% from 55%. Due to this reason, the educational and digital gap in the nation has seemed to widen. Ed-tech firm Schoolnet Private Limited, claims to have collaborated with various state government and private schools to address the challenges of digital divide in the country. “Although working in tier 2 and tier 3 cities and villages are challenging in terms of resources and accessibility, 80% of India belongs to that category. Most of the government schools are in remote villages. To bring an ed-tech revolution democratically, collaboration between government and tech-industries is needed to help solve the issues,” RCM Reddy, MD, CEO, Schoolnet India, told FE Education.
Data from a recent survey conducted by the ed-tech firm revealed that approximately 90% of students study in government, affordable aided and unaided schools and belong to the middle and the bottom of the pyramid (MBOP) K-12 segment. Last November, Schoolnet signed a joint venture with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), in an effort to provide job oriented vocational training programmes to students. In addition, it has also launched a job-matching platform ‘Good Workers’ targeted blue collar workers, who are provided with jobs that match their skill sets. Further, Schoolnet in collaboration with IIT Bombay has developed K-YAN – a patent product which is community computer. It provides preloaded as well as customisable content to schools. “As part of the process of implementation of K-YAN, the Schoolnet first provides teacher training to the school followed by digital content lessons through the K-YAN device,” Reddy said. The company claims to have delivered more than 70,000 active devices in schools across the country.
Regulatory files accessed by business intelligence platform Tofler revealed that Schoolnet revenue from operation declined around 0.08% to Rs 391.74 crore in FY21 from Rs 392 crore in FY20. The company reported net profit of Rs 6.893 crore in FY21, from a net loss of Rs 150.25 crore in FY20. According to Reddy, in FY22 the company has mopped revenue worth Rs 400 crore revenue. However, he refused the divulge details on whether the company ended last fiscal year on a loss or profit. For FY23 the company claims to have set a target of Rs 600 crore revenue. Further it has set a revenue target of Rs 5,600 crore, for the next five year by FY27.
As mode of monetisation, Schoolnet claims to have collaborated with central and state governments schools as well as private schools for a contract of five years, under its ‘In-School Solutions (Digital Classrooms)’ programmes at a price point of Rs 15-20 lakh. As part of the deal, the company will receive 60% of the fee in the first year, followed by 40% in a staggered manner over the remaining four years. The ed-tech also runs Geneo.in, an after school personalised learning platform for learners and educators, which is available for Rs 5,000 per annum. The company claims to have acquired around one million subscribers in FY22 on the platform.
Schoolnet claims to work with state governments such as Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi and Andhra Pradesh. In December 2021, the company claims to have partnered with Rajasthan government’s Tribal Area Development Department for tribal education. “Post-pandemic, the dropout rate of Indian students has increased. To improve educational outcomes and classroom experience, it is important to emphasize foundational courses and use of technology in education,” Reddy said. Currently, the company claims to work with more than 40,000 schools in 200 districts across India, and plans to reach nearly one lakh schools by next five years.