Mayank Jain founded Ezyschooling in the year 2017. In the past 3 years, Ezuschooling has helped 8000+ parents and 100+ schools in the admissions process by facilitating them with his tech-enabled support system. Mayank is a Delhi Technological University alumnus, where he also served as the president of the college’s entrepreneurship cell.
How do you think the scenario of the Indian education system is going to change post-COVID-19?
Everything will be moving online post-COVID-19, including the education sector, with an increased focus on the development of e-learning platforms. The shift has already begun. When I’d just started Ezyschooling, no school was accepting online forms for admissions because everything was offline. Now, even schools from tier-2 and tier-3 cities are approaching us to assist them in moving their admissions process online. For example, schools in remote parts of Uttar Pradesh that don’t even have a steady internet connection are seeking to make the move. However, the issue of the presence of the required infrastructure in tier-2 and tier-3 cities persists.
What is the mentality of parents in India while applying for schools? Do they prefer popularity over the quality of education or is it vice versa?
All parents are different. Fortunately, in recent times, there has been a shift in the popularity over inspecting-individual-parameters sort of mindset that most parents used to have. Earlier, most parents used to straight away opt for reputable schools like the D.P.S franchise and didn’t deem it necessary to evaluate the school on its merits. Now, they are more concerned about their child’s security, the quality of education they are receiving, and opportunities to pursue co-curricular activities. It’s a great opportunity for less popular schools to grow. I believe that in the coming times, the less popular schools may benefit by making co-curricular activities their USP.
What inspired you to come up with a platform like Ezyschooling? How welcoming were schools to the prospect of taking their admissions process online?
My brother faced many difficulties while trying to admit his child to a good school, wherein he spent over a week applying to just a handful of schools. Unlike the college admissions process, which is much faster since colleges have a standard procedure and accept applications online, I was quite surprised to know that the admissions process for schools was completely offline, and parents had to wait in long queues to apply to each school individually. In a nutshell, this realization is how I came up with Ezyschooling. When I had just launched Ezyschooling, I visited around 100 schools within 2 months, and not even a single school accepted our proposal. I then realized that if you’re selling something, you have to emphasize on the value that you’re providing. I then modified my pitch deck accordingly, post which 35 schools agreed to collaborate with us. As of today, 150 schools are working with us.
What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs now that you’ve been through the entire journey?
There are three main things to keep in mind from the very beginning. Firstly, focus on revenue generation from day zero; you must remember that only your target market will pay you if you generate value for them. However, if you provide your services for free, you’ll be taken for granted. Secondly, hire the right people as hiring the wrong people will become a liability for your startup in the long run. Lastly, have a lean startup model: there should be fewer full-time employees, but more interns and part-time workers.
The best time to launch a startup is while you are in college, as there are several free resources available to students. Moreover, college is the best platform to validate your idea with the help of the professors of the university. The next hurdle for a startup is money. Most startups need financing to hire people. However, if you are in college, there are more chances to convince people to work with you in exchange for a certificate or equity.
Do you see the pandemic as an opportunity, since in this period, online platforms are getting a lot more consideration?
A business opportunity as lucrative as the COVID pandemic last presented itself during the 2008 recession; this, in my opinion, is the best time to launch a startup as more and more people are moving their operations online. Moreover, people are facing many problems due to reduced mobility. If you can identify them and come up with a solution, you should create a minimum viable product, validate it and continue with it after the pandemic. My start-up is hit hard, financially, by COVID because our revenue streams are mostly from schools. However, there is a silver lining here. Post-COVID, every learning institution will realize the importance of going online, and this will give me a chance to acquire more schools into the Ezyschooling ecosystem.