“We are on a mission to impact the career stability of more than 100 million youth in the country by providing a highly personalized learning and assessment platform.”
Ashutosh Kumar (CEO & Co-Founder, Testbook)
Incepted in 2014, Testbook is India’s best-in-class personalized learning and assessment platform for jobs in public and private sectors with a current user base of 27 million and more than 15,00,000 active paid subscribers. It is one of the fastest rising startups in the EdTech space and is poised to revolutionize the industry with its top-notch services.
Ashutosh Kumar, the Co-Founder & CEO of Testbook shared insights about Testbook, the services it provides, the USP, the reason behind its inception and the future plans of the company.
Please explain in brief about yourself and your company? How do you correlate with your company?
I am the Co-Founder & CEO of Testbook, a company on a mission to reshape the process of how students prepare online for competitive exams. It’s been 13 years since I am educating students. I started with “Get Vidya”, followed by Excelmentors along with teaching K12 kids for over 7 Years. Testbook is the result of over a decade of effort to do the best for every student, no matter what their economic condition is.
The Edtech startup, Testbook emerged from a vision to impact the career stability of more than 100 million youth in the country by providing a highly personalized learning and assessment platform for public and private sector jobs and with Testbook, I have been able to successfully fill the gap of personalized learning and dynamic assessment present in offline coaching.
Elaborate on the services offered by Testbook. What makes its services worth the investment?
Testbook has successfully built an App and Web-based platform with 2.7 crores registered users which provides complete job preparation to fresh job seekers who want to get employed with the government or private organizations.
Our platform has a total of 5 key components, viz. Job Discovery, Live Coaching, Mock Practice, Doubt Solving and Performance Tracking & Analytics that are tightly integrated with each other to provide a seamless one-stop learning experience.
The core value proposition of Testbook is Value for Money and High quality learning at an affordable price. 4.6 rating of Testbook App and 4.7 rating of its Content speak strongly on its quality of content and App-based learning experiences. The average Price of Live Learning courses at Testbook is just Rs. 3000/- and the price for Mock Practice is just Rs.1 per day.
Testbook is positioned very uniquely in the Edtech market with a focus on 70 million unemployed youth coming from small tier towns of India with its affordable & One Stop Learning solution. This makes Testbook the front runner in the $3.2Bn potential market.
Elaborate how the company came into being, its journey, and where it stands today.
Testbook aims at turning India’s examination-preparation landscape for public and private sector jobs into a tech-driven, automated system where students can learn at their own pace. Started by four alumni from IIT Bombay, Ashutosh Kumar, Manoj Munna, Praveen Agrawal and Narendra Agrawal, Testbook provides an innovation-driven, online personalized learning and assessment platform that has been instrumental in providing a full-stack portal to prepare for public and private sector employment from anywhere in the country.
The market leader in the $5 billion public sector exam preparation industry, Testbook serves more than 100 million applicants who vie for a fraction of available jobs with a success rate of 7% as compared to the national average of less than 1%. It has produced more than 50,246 selections during the past 4 years.
Currently, Testbook has a workforce of around 600, headquartered in Navi Mumbai. It has 27 million+ registered users and 1.5M+ active paid subscribers across the country who are utilizing the services to crack online examinations.
Testbook has successfully deployed the technology to provide seamless live video lecture streaming and mock test practice even without active internet which becomes a very powerful value proposition to students preparing on our platform from smaller towns and villages of India. Testbook has received Series B funding of $ 8.3M from Matrix Partners, Iron Pillar, AngelList India and Better Capital in January 2020. S.Chand publishers and Utsav Somani of AngelList had invested in the early years of incorporation.
Testbook has built and provided Bharat with a robust tech infrastructure to facilitate Live Interactive Learning through mobile devices. Every month more than 1.7 crore fresher job seekers visit Testbook for job preparation. We provide high-quality learning content in terms of Videos, Practice Questions, Study Notes, Previous Year Question Papers, and Mock Tests, which are available across 500+ government recruitment jobs and 5 new age private sector careers.
Testbook provides One-Stop App for the complete preparation of entry-level jobs across the Government and Private sectors. Three Key Products of Testbook are:
- Testbook Select – Live Coaching of Exam Preparation | 100% Interactive Live Classes | 5000+ Practice Questions in each course | Instant Doubt Solving Platform | 200+ Detailed Study Notes
- Testbook Pass – Subscription-based access of 52,000+ Mock Tests across 500+ Exams
- Testbook Skill Academy – Skill Career Programs which comes with a guaranteed 2 months of internship to help freshers learn professional skills and get entry-level jobs. Project Led Curriculum | Live Online Training | Job Placement Assistance
We have mastered getting organic growth with the help of our unique technology and content created especially for this. We have leveraged SEO as a primary growth channel to scale our Monthly Active Users (MAU) by 5X in 12 months. Furthermore, we also have a 100% SEO score for more than 99% of our 6 lakh+ web pages. We recently got placed in the top 100 websites of India by Alexa.
How do you differentiate your company from its competitors? Mention points of difference.
Govt. exam aspirants prepare simultaneously for 8-10 exams. Testbook became the first subscription-based learning platform when we innovated with Testbook Pass. Through Pass, we give students access to complete study material to prepare for 500+ exams at Rs. 1/- a day; unlike offline solutions where an aspirant needs to pay for every exam preparation separately. We launched Testbook to truly help democratize exam preparation for every Indian.
Testbook’s Unique Value Proposition is in bringing the offline preparation experience of an aspirant through coaching classes or books into a one-stop online solution at the most affordable cost in India, with an added advantage of personalized learning paths and attention.
Testbook has successfully deployed the technology to provide seamless live video lecture streaming and mock test practice even without active Internet connectivity, which has become a very powerful value proposition to students preparing from smaller towns and villages of India. This became a big pocket saving for the students.
Instant Doubt Solving platform is also integrated, unlike in offline modes where they had to wait for days and then travel kilometres to get their doubts cleared. The second strongest growth driver is Testbook’s massive number of selections in govt. jobs which create very strong word of mouth. It crossed 50,000 in 2021. The third growth factor is the strong NPS of 63.5 which strongly indicates the satisfaction level of users and referral growth.
What do you think is the biggest change that has happened in the EdTech industry? How is your company capitalizing on the same?
Mobile Phones have become an easily accessible electronic device present in everybody’s hand, which makes it easier for the learners to access content from anywhere in the world. Trust in online learning solutions has skyrocketed primarily because learners now are able to see how the successful candidates are taking big-time advantage of online learning solutions.
Testbook is capitalizing on this opportunity with its 4.6 rated Mobile App, which makes the learners learn from the top teachers and mentors of India and that too at 1/5th of the cost. Testbook has produced more than 50246 selections across government as well as private jobs which creates a very strong and organic word of mouth and subsequently helps in building trust into the brand.
How is your company contributing in building India a Global Talent Hub?
For the past 8 years, Testbook’s focus has been on nurturing the talent for government organizations in India. Whereas since the past 1 year, Testbook has expanded its training and learning services to upskilling like Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Software Development, etc which will contribute to meeting global talent demand from India.
Building and growing an EdTech business comes with its challenges. What challenges have Testbook faced and what steps did it take to overcome them?
Nothing great comes that easy. We have faced numerous challenges. Some of them are:
- Getting tier 2 & 3 students to adopt technological innovation
- Internet connectivity problems in small towns where we have a majority of our target audience
- Building high quality but affordable product
- The enormous gap between offline and online education
- Bringing change in consumer behaviour
The steps that were taken to overcome the challenges are:
- Built a very simple and easy to use App with a lot of unique technologies that provide personalized learning
- Built technologies to assist internet free learning
- Found tech-based solutions to operational problems and used SEO based marketing to acquire users, which helped in keeping the cost very low and ultimately facilitated high quality & affordable learning for the students
- Outcome-based approach while building the product resulted in the massive success of students which is helping us bring awareness around the positive sides of online learning over offline
In your opinion, what defines success?
In my opinion, reaching out to 40-50% of 70 million job seekers from smaller towns of India by leveraging Testbook to bring financial stability to their families would be a success.
What is the mission of Testbook? What is its long-term vision for this decade?
The mission of this platform is to impact the career stability of more than 100 million youth in the country by providing a highly personalized learning and assessment platform.
Edtech and JobTech will be an integral part of a system that will facilitate fair and merit-based single click employment in the country.
Mention the Awards and Milestones achieved by your company so far.
Testbook has been the recipient of many prestigious accolades. Some of the awards include:
- BW Young Entrepreneur Award 2021
- BW Emerging Business Award 2021
- Indian Achiever’s Award 2021
- World Education Award 2021
- Brands Impact – Education Excellence Award 2021
- Business World 2020 – 40 Under 40
- EdTech Review 2020 – Digital Learning Company of the Year
- EdTech Review 2020 – Emerging EdTech Startup of the Year
- Top 50 StartUp – Smart CEO
- YouTube Creator Award – Gold Play
- Top StartUp to Work – HR Sutra
- Cross-Channel Engage – Mint Superstar award by Web Engage