Mr. Punith Raj Co-founder and CEO, Seminarroom spoke with CXOToday about the Seminarroom’s journey and the idea behind the start-up, tapping into the potential of tier II and tier III cities in the education sector, and how Seminarroom is helping enable learning for students in a more practical and fun way and Focusing on experience-based learning and being industry ready for post-K12 education.
- How is Seminarroom bridging the skill gap from a classroom to joining the industry?
At Seminarroom, we are working towards building a liaison between Academia and Industry. Seminarroom provides industry expert sessions to stimulate student learning and provide experience through case-based methods for graduate and postgraduate students. Seminarroom is focused on elevating learning with an approach that is academically aligned and industry-oriented.
Subjects taught at higher education institutions are simplified and elaborated using practical application, which we elaborate with the help of industry specialists. We design three sessions to explore industry applicability through case studies, upcoming trends, and career opportunities for each subject. Through these sessions, Seminarroom strives to increase students’ academic interest and performance by giving them access to industry updates, opportunities, and the necessary skills to enter the field of their choice.
2. What are the opportunities and potential for case-based learning and why should universities and students seriously consider it?
The Industries today are fast-paced and constantly evolving. Institutions must now adopt cutting-edge teaching methods if they want to compete in the market. Additionally, increasing pupils’ academic engagement and keeping it in line with industry needs is a constant struggle.
Institutions are working hard to provide students with real-time industrial applications so they can acquire this exposure, but they are having trouble finding the suitable professionals to educate them. To address issues relating to industry application, future trends, and career prospects tailored to the subject matter taught at the particular Institution, Seminarroom assists institutions in connecting with the appropriate specialists. The end-to-end solutions offered by Seminarroom helped institutions with this issue.
3. Seminarroom’s experience in identifying the potential in tier II and tier III cities for the Edu tech space
As of today, Seminarroom is already providing its services in various Tier II and Tier III cities of India. Considering the student-faculty ratio, lack of good infrastructure and exposure, Seminarroom sessions have been appreciated by students and faculties as it gives them a platform to interact with the industry experts.
In addition to tailoring these sessions to the curriculum of the Institutions, Seminarroom has begun offering these sessions in local languages, making it a no-brainer for Institutions to subscribe for them.
Till date, Seminarroom has onboarded 500+ Industry Experts and uniquely mapped each expert to different subjects offered at Institutions. While addressing these challenges, it has also developed a software platform to make it easier for institutions to manage essential admin-related hassles, such as branding, attendance, analytics, and several crucial reports.
- How has being incubated by CoCreate ventures and PESU Venture labs helped in building Seminarroom?
Seminarroom started with the focus on elevating learning with an approach that is academically aligned and industry-oriented. After a rigorous assessment by venture analysts for potential, Seminarroom was incubated by PESU Venture Labs, a venture studio in partnership with PES University & CoCreate Ventures.
PESU Venture Labs and Co-create Ventures have been a backbone for Seminarroom. Since incubation, we have had access to great mentorship, technology and branding. They have been instrumental in taking our idea to the potential market. Since our first step in this space, we have now been able to onboard over 25000+ students in a short span of time.
- Why is Edu-tech still an attractive space for investors?
Despite the number of players in the ed-tech space, the market opportunity is still vast. As per india-briefing.com, as of June 2022, India has a total of seven ed-tech unicorns. Industry experts expect the Indian ed-tech industry to reach a valuation of US$30 Billion by 2025.
Currently, the ed-tech industry in India mainly focuses on or has solutions concentrated in the K12 segment, test preparation, online certification, and skill Development. There is a huge opportunity in the Higher education space which is still untapped at a micro level.
With education as one of UNs sustainable development goals, and with hybrid education models becoming increasingly necessary and being in demand since pandemic, this space is currently booming to move up and keep up with the global trends.
- How Seminarroom is helping enable learning for students in a more practical and fun way?
One of the key issues or woes that students express is about how certain theoretical concepts are relevant to real life situations. In academic discourse, practical applications of theory based learning are hardly explained. Seminarroom’s expertise bridges the gap between the concept and the practical use.
For instance, most students learn pythagoras theorem in business mathematics but the running joke is that where do we actually use it? Our industry experts from food delivery companies show and explain how the theorem is used in real-time application to manage its delivery fleet. By introducing such an approach Seminarroom has been successful in not only bringing in industry applications but also improving/sparking academic interest among students.
We have numerous examples of how our Industry Expert brings in industry applications in fun and innovative ways to students. While they do so, they also impart knowledge on upcoming and latest trends of the industry helping students to prepare better for academics and industry expectations. Along with providing industry expert sessions across subjects, Seminarroom also provides live project and case studies for those subjects and certificate courses with internship opportunities.
- The need for experience-based learning and being industry ready for post-K12 education?
The huge gap that Higher education is facing today, is unemployability even for students even with high grades in academics. This pushes the industry to come forward and contribute to academics. According to ManGroup’s report of Talent Shortage 2020, 63% companies in India report shortage of talent employees, mainly in IT, engineering services and Sales. With the fast paced and dynamic work environment, there is an expectation mismatch when it comes to skill level needed in the industry versus what freshers would have learnt in colleges or universities.
The ‘National Employability Report for Engineers 2019’ put out by a job assessment platform Aspiring Minds, has shown that over 80% of engineers in India are unfit to take up any job in the knowledge economy. Only 2.5% of engineers in India possess artificial intelligence skills while only 5.5% are qualified with basic programming abilities.
These statistics project a despairing figure of only 1.5% engineers in India being fit for new-age jobs. With an increasing number of fresh graduates and the increasing number of skilled job opportunities, scaling skill training for custom profiles remains a challenge. This is where experiential learning, mentoring, and industry apprenticeship are highly important for University students at Graduation.
Companies and leaders at the CXO level understand this gap and know the importance of bridging it. We have gotten great response from the industry experts to help academics to match the pace at which Industry works. As of today, we have signed with 1000+ CXOs who voluntarily want to help our young generations.
With increasing competition and demand for skilled resources,students are often unclear about the opportunities, skills and trends of the market, this is where Seminarroom programs give them access to industry experts to interact and help in their careers.
8. What are the upcoming trends in the ed-tech space?
The ed-tech space is moving at a rapid pace especially since the onset of the recent pandemic. Learning and teaching has both evolved to meet newer standards needed in the industry and balance the hybrid curriculum model. Practical – case study oriented learning and learner centric approach rather than curriculum based is paving the way for technological advancements in the sector as well.
- AI-Enabled Adaptive and game based learning and assessments with integration of VR, AR, ML in daily learning
Game based learning and assessments are a flexible, customizable and student-centered approach to learning – with three separate teaching environments, three different classroom integration methods, and three different teaching professionals. It has been revolutionary in the learning space as well as in ed-tech, promoting inclusivity and productivity. According to Emergen Research, the 2021 market size for Game-based learning was USD 10.88 Bn. and has expected potential growth of a revenue CAGR of 19.5%, by 2030.
The primary driver of this exponential market revenue growth is the quickening speed of technological development in the ed-tech sector (i.e., the integration of VR, AI, ML, and AR in the classroom). According to Global Market Insights Inc., the adoption of AI in the education sector alone is anticipated to reach market growth exceeding USD 80 Bn. by 2030, undergoing a much-anticipated transformation of the learning environment in response to the surge in demand for online learning platforms brought on by the pandemic.
- Blockchain in EdTech to bring in digital transformation of every classroom
The global market has observed a significant positive shift in attitudes towards the digitization of the learning space in recent years. Online learning platforms and digital integration of teaching practices in the physical classroom space has shown up to be an untapped goldmine of resources and market potential, backed by a surge in mobile technology compliant educational expenditure. The addition of digital instructional aids and tech-driven educational tools, such as blockchain integration in ed-tech is expected to magnify the market potential henceforth in the upcoming years.
Digital integration in the ed-tech space is expected to transform learning and assist students of all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and geographical regions. In the near future, advanced technology such as AI, ML, VR, AR will drive the digital education market, revolutionizing education through game-based learning, hybrid learning models, and mobile-based learning: an attractive take on education, and one that is a lucrative environment ripe for investment and exponential growth.