Disrupting the K8 tuitions market with micro-franchisee, affordable math learning programs
In India, approximately 35 per cent of the school-going population is below the age of 15. However, there is significant research that indicates that a vast majority of schools fail to effectively address childrens’ personalized learning requirements. Among the many challenges, unfavourable teacher to student ratio, lack of adequate and continuous teacher training and heterogeneous learning needs continue to plague the system. Research indicates that these very challenges are pushing nearly 87 per cent of primary school children and up to 95 per cent high school students to receive private tutoring (across key metro cities). India’s private tuition industry has witnessed a 35 per cent growth from 2008-13.
Yet, this sector too is rife with problems. A highly- fragmented market with unstandardized teaching methodology, non-certified tutors, lack of progress tracking systems result in dismal learning outcomes. There is a critical need for homogenous, high-quality programs that can cater to particularly the low and middle-income students across both, rural and urban settings. India’s after-school learning market needs to witness disruption and consolidation.
Founded in 2013, Bengaluru-based Cuemath is an after-school math enrichment program that is revolutionising the way math is experienced by both educators and students. Based on adaptive and gamified learning, Cuemath partners with qualified women tutors who facilitate the entire pre-designed curriculum. These women tutors, while primarily being homemakers, are also seeking meaningful employment opportunities that allow them to maintain a balance between work and home.
Using a multi-mode format (worksheets, tabs and physical models), Cuemath has adopted a “learning-by-doing” methodology to tackle math learning at three levels – (a) School math – fundamental curricular learning (b) Mental aptitude – building the child’s mental swiftness in calculation and non-calculation skills (c) Creative reasoning – the ability to solve open-ended/unseen problems. Thus, Cuemath’s standardized methodology and certified tutors ensure extensive coverage of math, aptitude and creative reasoning.
A highly-scalable and capital efficient model, Cuemath has already empowered over 1,200 teachers across six cities who are successfully running home-based learning centres. At least 70 per cent of the Cuemath teachers break even within 90 days and more than 25,000 women have shown interest in the program.
The company is creating a significant impact at two levels – on one hand, it is making quality and personalised after-school math learning, accessible and affordable for the masses and on the other, it is empowering educated homemakers to become financially independent.
Cuemath recently raised Series A of $4 million from Sequoia Capital and Unitus Seed Fund in March 2016 for scaling, building the technology platform and strengthening the team. The company aims to have 50, 000 micro franchisees that can cater to at least 1,000,000 students by 2018.
About the Founders
Manan Khurma, Co-Founder & CEO
Manan is an acclaimed Mathematics author with Pearson Education and McGraw Hill. He also has significant entrepreneurial experience in the education sector. Prior to Cuemath, Manan co-founded Locus Education, an IIT test preparation business. Locus Education has trained over 10, 000 students in a short span of 6 years. The company was later acquired in 2010 NHElite, a Shriram subsidiary. Manan holds a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Delhi.
Jagjit Khurma, Co-Founder & COO
In a career spanning over three decades, Jagjit has taught thousands of students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Equipped with a PhD in Chemistry from University of Otago, New Zealand, Jagjit’s domain experts include latest trends in teaching and learning methodologies as well as best practices in curriculum development.