Education is the fundamental right to every citizen of the country. Along with education, holistic development of talents and hidden skill is quite critical for any individual. Harnessing this talent from a younger age can help decide their future in the best possible manner, especially with the technological aspect of things. The younger generation are quite enticed into learning newer things, and creating newer technological forefront is quite intuitive in its manner. However, many platforms let children over six years of age grow their fondness towards technology. But then WizKlub is thriving in changing this once and for all.
WizKlub is an ed-tech hub that provides children from the age of 6-16 years of age discover their love for coding, design, robotics, smart devices and much more. The platform has its array of programs that easily help children decide which path of technology is most suited for them. It has a holistic approach towards taking all curriculum, and these include the HOTS program, YPDP program, coding program and much more. Each course is targeted at bringing out the talent in your child. Speaking with Amit Basnal, the Founder & CEO, WizKlub, Bangalore Insider learned a lot about the company and have a brief conversation with them. Learn what they had to see from the interview excerpts provided below.
Give a brief info about your startup?
WizKlub is a Bengaluru based ed-tech startup, that builds cognitive and tech excellence for school children through its research-based programs for 5-16 year olds, delivered on its AI powered tech platform. WizKlub delivers a personalized learning path for every child for maximum efficacy. Our HOTS Program develops higher-order thinking skills to ensure that every child is a smart reader and an adept problem solver. The WizKlub SmartTech Program, a first-of-its-kind for children as young as 6 years, builds lifelong skills and confidence to create tech products by application of coding, design, robotics, and IoT smart devices. The startup has progressed 10000+ children through its programs.
What made you start up and what problem does WizKlub solve?
I think education is the most effective medium to transform the mind and bring positive changes on a global level. Every young mind must be nurtured to be an independent thinker, and a problem solving creator that can bring solutions and products for a better future.
WizKlub provides a holistic approach to building future skills that ensure cognitive and tech excellence.
WizKlub HOTS program empowers kids with superior Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) that help kids go beyond just memorizing and reproducing study curriculum whereas the tech program builds a unique perspective that helps kids look at the technology around them from the eyes of a creator than just as a passive consumer.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this?
I had been associated with two ed-tech ventures earlier, both of which were in the higher education space. We worked with over 50,000 engineering students across India as part of those two startups. We realized that at that age the basic aptitude of a student is pretty much set and can be impacted only upto a limit. Students at that age can be trained on using tools for a particular domain but if the underlying aptitude is missing, the person turns out to be an ineffective professional in that domain. Further research brought to light that the core aptitude of a person which defines one’s suitability for different career roles, is defined in the first 13-14 years. And unfortunately, our schooling system is still focused on curriculum and rote learning, instead of focusing on core aptitude that is required to make a child a smart learner and adept problem solver.
Where is your start-up based? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
We are based out of Bengaluru, the technology hub of India. We think it is the best place because of the ease of finding the right talent. Good weather round the year is icing on the cake 🙂
As a founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
The most important aspect that I spend most of my time and energy on is ensuring that the product is meeting customer needs in the most effective manner. I believe that the solutions must be accessible to all and not limited by geographical or budgetary constraints. We are constantly striving to make our solutions more affordable and more efficacious.
Who are your competitors and how are you better than them?
The ed-tech space has a lot of options to choose from and each one has a different focus area.
Our target, the k-12 market, can be segmented into two segments. One segment is that which caters to the curriculum support (Math, Science) and has companies like Byju’s, Topper, Vedantu etc. Most of the parents in this segment start looking for solutions in higher grades.
The other is the early years segment where the parent is looking for programs beyond the school curriculum to focus on extracurricular activities. This segment is fragmented and has a lack of quality solutions. WizKlub is catering to the early years market and is offering affordable solutions that impart quality experience at scale.
We focus on the holistic development of a kid by working towards honing the underlying skills like logical, creative, critical thinking and a tech perspective that would allow them to create solutions to complex problems in the future. WizKlub programs are designed to build future-ready skills and bring out the best in every child. At WizKlub, we evoke possibility, ease of learning, wonder and curiosity, so kids gain new insights and a new lens of perception and possibility.
The strength of the company is to use technology in innovative ways to impart a great learning experience for the children. The core team has been in the field of education for over a decade and has a deep understanding of how to deliver high quality learning experiences at scale.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a founder and how do you manage it?
Work does not feel like work when you enjoy what you are doing. This aspect by itself brings a lot of balance in life.
Getting quality time for the family is an important aspect and one needs to make a conscious decision to take care of that. When time is at a premium, one understands the importance of the same and allocates it wisely instead of wasting it in unproductive tasks like wasting time on social media or in front of the idiot box!
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If not then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
Yes, we have so far raised INR 15 crore from Incubate Fund India (Japan) and Insitor Impact Asia Fund (Singapore) and renowned angels. We would be raising growth capital to fuel our nxt stage of growth that would propel us to leadership position in the extra-curricular/co-curricular space for early years.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality
I am a fairly open and straight forward person and I don’t think people carry misconceptions about me. I have always believed in making people around me understand why I am doing what I am doing or proposing to do.
What gets you excited about this company?
The fact that we are impacting this generation of school going kids in such a positive way. These kids would be bringing joy for themselves as well as bring a better future for all of us. We are empowering these kids to be more!
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
A typical day starts at a leisurely pace. During the daily ablutions, I mentally go over the day in store and what needs to be accomplished through the day. I typically try to allocate time for important things that may not be urgent but need to be taken care of.
The first half is normally reserved for the reviews and other operational meetings. Most of these meetings in the first half tend to be internal meetings. The second half is where I spend time on aspects that would bring about non-linear growth in the company. This includes spending time on the product, customer, understanding of environment and space, alliances and partnerships.
I tend to take out time for some sporting activity (mostly one hour or badminton in normal times) early in the morning. I tend to wrap up the first installment of work by 7pm and spend some time with family till dinner. If there is any pending work, I attend to it late at night before I hit the bed.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
The core team has worked together in the previous edTech venture and knows each other really well. The core that binds this team together is the passion for education!