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How Legacy Writer S. Chand Leveraged Startup Partnerships For Its Multi-Product Edtech Play


With over eight a long time of expertise within the Indian training sector, S. Chand is gunning for edtech success with three merchandise

Whereas Mylestone focusses on faculties and establishments, it’s different merchandise Learnflix and SmartK are targetted at college students in pre-school and first faculties

Moreover investing within the likes of Testbook, Ignitor and Smartivity Labs, S.Chand has additionally grown its enterprise via strategic partnerships with these startups

Anybody who has spent some years within the Indian training system has benefited from the reasonably priced and accessible textbooks and guides printed by S. Chand. 

With over 12,000 titles within the faculty and training class printed final yr and over 50 Mn books offered, the publishing arm of S. Chand Group is a serious pressure within the Indian textbook market. Based by Shyamlal Gupta, it has grow to be a family identify and most college students could be acquainted with the model and the pedigree. However does that assure success for S. Chand within the bustling edtech market? 

Chand’s multipronged edtech strategy is pretty new and naturally there are a lot of questions — why did a number one Indian instructional writer enter the digital training house and the way it will compete in opposition to heavily-funded, tech-centric startups. 

Talking to Inc42, Vinay Sharma, enterprise head of digital companies at S. Chand, mentioned it’s a pure transition. As a content material firm, the logical transfer was to go from offering content material in bodily media to multimedia within the digital house, which is quick turning into extra prevalent amongst customers within the present instances. 

“We have created decades of expertise and understanding of the Indian education sector. We have top quality content, and a huge distribution network along with an incredible brand that is recognised for its high-quality educational content. We want to leverage these strengths to transition from only being a publishing leader to a complete content services leader,” Sharma added. 

Chand at the moment has three digital merchandise together with a hybrid faculty training resolution Mylestone, student-focused studying software Learnflix, and pre-school centric resolution SmartK (but to be launched). And past this, the corporate has invested in edtech startups at varied levels and throughout segments. Its portfolio contains a number of edtech startups together with check prep startup Testbook, Ignitor, Flipclass, and Smartivity Labs. In line with Sharma, Ignitor has constructed its experience in creating platforms that may ship varied content material codecs and assessments on cellular units, S. Chand’s Learnflix app has even leveraged Ignitor’s platform to supply its content material digitally.

Chand is concentrating on faculties and college students with its edtech merchandise and can also be taking a look at at-home studying kits, just like Smartitivity Labs. 

Mylestone: Digital Providing For Colleges

Launched in 2016, S. Chand’s Mylestone platform is a hybrid curriculum resolution for faculties which incorporates textbooks, workbooks, digital content material, trainer coaching manuals and evaluation instruments  — basically every little thing that college wants to supply distant training. The product is concentrated on serving faculties in Tier 2 and Tier three cities the place the corporate supplies them with full course of, instruments, and trainer coaching and assist to make sure they’re able to ship high quality training and obtain the precise studying outcomes. 

Publish Covid-19, Mylestone has additionally been built-in with video conferencing facility and faculty curriculum, textbooks and guides, trainer schedule and coaching have been introduced on-line. Additionally, the corporate’s in-house tutorial marketing consultant staff which helps shoppers within the implementation of the curriculum has created new lesson plans and are working with academics to assist them conduct on-line courses. 

“This was a huge step-up from our hybrid curriculum to a completely online curriculum —- this is something which we would have done in a year’s time, but thanks to covid-19 we were able to do it in a month’s time,” mentioned Sharma. 

Mylestone is at the moment working with 400 faculties, 6K academics, and 1.5 Lakh college students. Additional, relying on the grade, Mylestone is priced at between INR 1400 – INR 4000 per pupil, and the college has to pay INR 1 Lakh for curriculum implementation and trainer coaching that the S. Chand’s inhouse staff supplies. 

Learnflix: Digital Providing For College students

The second a part of the equation is the Learnflix app, which affords maths and science studying modules primarily based on CBSE syllabus for college kids in courses 6 to 10. A number of the options of Learnflix embody limitless apply checks, animated movies, quizzes, revision notes/summaries, pattern papers, in-depth centered and actionable evaluation, ebooks, personalised studying journey, and treatments to grasp growth areas. 

Focused in school college students, Learnflix is at the moment priced at INR 1,999 per class per yr (for courses 6 – 8) and INR 2,499 per class per yr (for courses 9 – 10).  S. Chand has positioned Learnflix as an reasonably priced digital training product, in step with the model’s legacy of providing reasonably priced books. 

“It has always been our vision to provide quality education at an affordable price. Even back in 1939, S. Chand started with a vision to provide Indian author books to students at a very affordable price. Keeping up with that trend, we have priced Learnflix at one-tenth of our competitors’ (like BYJU’S and Toppr) products,” mentioned Sharma. 

The third vertical inside the S. Chand edtech play is SmartK, a pre-school in a field idea together with interactive instructional toys, curriculum, multimedia content material, trainer handbook, pill PC and a quickly to be launched cellular app. It’s a balanced video games and activity-based program which supplies a stimulating surroundings for the language, mental, social-emotional and bodily growth of the kid. 

Strategic Partnerships For The Future

Speaking about future plans, Sharma mentioned that the corporate’s plan has at all times been to supply an end-to-end training resolution to its clients whether or not it’s faculty, trainer, or pupil. “We will make sure that we’re providing them our content and education product across various formats like books, ebooks, mobile apps along with all content types including written, multimedia, assessments etc,” he added. 

Many expect the training sector to maneuver in direction of a hybrid mannequin the place college students may have a mix of offline and on-line interactions — new fashions will come up as hybrid studying positive factors adoption. For S. Chand, the investments it has made in edtech platforms are seen as synergies. S. Chand has plans to launch a digital product within the check prep section. Given the group’s present market share in check prep books and investments in Testbook, this launch is predicted to occur quickly, he added. 

S. Chand & Firm had invested within the Pre-Sequence A funding spherical of Testbook in 2016. Additional, the corporate had additionally invested about $three Mn in instructional toys firm Smartivity Labs and holds 23.29% shares in it on a completely diluted foundation. Smartivity Labs specialises in STEM (science, know-how, engineering, and math) instructional DIY toys, augmented reality-enabled actions, and internet-connected toys. Such instructional toys are additionally a serious a part of S. Chand’s pre-school product SmartK. 

Chand says it helps its portfolio via strategic tie-ups like bundling Testbook’s on-line check prep choices with S. Chand’s R. S Aggarwal sequence of textbooks. Increasing on this partnership, Testbook cofounder Ashutosh Kumar mentioned that S. Chand has been instrumental in taking the startup’s model and identify to distant corners of India via the textbooks. 

“We bundled Testbook Pass subscriptions to more than 2.5 Mn books of a renowned author R.S Aggarwal (under S. Chand publication). With majority of our users coming from smaller towns of India where it was very difficult to reach audiences through digital channels but this strategy worked pretty well,” Testbook cofounder Kumar added. 

Began in 1939, S. Chand has seen over 80 years of transformation and shifts within the Indian training system, and it’s taking its time spreading the edtech empire, even because it balances its core enterprise with a pan-India distribution and gross sales community consisting of over 5K distributors and sellers. To make the change to digital, it’s taking the sensible strategy of searching for companions. “We do have synergies with the investee companies, we help them with our strength and we also leverage their strengths,” mentioned Sharma.




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