FreeShiksha : An initiative towards free education for IIT-JEE aspirants

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Increased commercialization in present era has forced the quality education out of the reach of common middle class. And so has the professional coaching for all the big ticket exams in India become in affordable to many deserving aspirants.
Freeshiksha, promoted by a team of BITS-Pilani Graduates is an endeavor to provide the education with the help of basic audio-visual tutorials and study materials along with the contemporary trends. The entire effort with the cutting edge excellence comes to the aspirant absolutely FREE with the click of a mouse.
The team is available constantly to counsel, clear doubts, answers questions, motivate and hold hand of any aspirant soliciting help.

There are only 20 channels in India which are recognized by YouTube as “Education Partner”. FreeShiksha is one of them.

Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit chat with Nishant, co-founder at Freeshiksha. Let see what he has to share with us.

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
Nishant : We founded FreeShiksha in Jan, 2012. In college, I and my Partner Karan Khandelwal had participated in some B-Plan strategizing events and we did really well. We wanted to continue this association with an actual side business. It was just 6 months after we had graduated when we started to think seriously about the prospects of digging into a start up. We found our jobs quite mundane. Thus, a low investment start-up was something that kept us excited and motivated about our future.

Techaloo : Where are you based out of?
Nishant : We are based out of New Delhi.

Techaloo : How did Idea come to your mind?
Nishant : It was a boon in disguise. I was having lot of free time in the initial days of joining a software company. I was always keenly interested in the potential of the internet. The Idea did not strike to me in a whisker. I brainstormed a lot. We explored lot of options of making money on the internet. We found that open source tool were far more successful than the paid tools. I thought YouTube would be a great means to reach out to the people. Since, I myself prepared for engineering entrance exams, it was logical for me to think in the e-education sector. That’s when I and my partner decided to make free tutorials for JEE aspirants. 10 lakh people appear for JEE mains. Very few are able to afford the costly coaching classes. And with internet usage and internet speed improving in India we believed we had a good viewer segment.

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting FreeShiksha?
Nishant :

Mission: Our mission is to contribute to the attainment of Universal Education, by finding and building the missing pieces of the e-learning technology puzzle.

Vision: When we are able to provide enough means for the attainment of Universal education; when every child in India despite his or her financial condition, will be able to attain free and quality education, we will consider our goal attained.

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Nishant : As it is a part time business, it has always been difficult to upload videos regularly. IIT JEE has a vast syllabus; covering the whole syllabus in videos itself is a huge challenge.  Many Coaching institutes have started channels which provide few tutorials on JEE related topics, thus we have many competitors on YouTube now. Viewership goes down immediately if we do not refresh the content. Since both of us are not into it full time, we have to squeeze out time from our busy lives for fuelling FreeShiksha. We have to take care of activities like content creation on YouTube, maintenance of website, social media marketing and online email counseling.

Techaloo : Tell us something more about “FreeShiksha”.
Nishant : Freeshiksha is an endeavor to provide the education with the help of basic audio-visual tutorials and study materials along with the contemporary trends. The entire effort with the cutting edge excellence comes to the aspirant absolutely FREE.

We started FreeShiksha YouTube channel with an intention of only helping out JEE aspirants by uploading tutorials and guidance related videos. Now, we have also moved to other domains like CAT, GMAT etc. We also wish to cover many other domains.

FreeShiksha gained the status of YouTube partner in August 2012. It was also accepted as an Education partner by YouTube in May, 2013.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding? Or Are you planning for the same?
Nishant : We are funding FreeShiksha on our own. We believe we can continue to do that for some more time. We have not found a need for external funding.

Techaloo : What is your partnership strategy?
Nishant : We are willing to partner with passionate teachers who wish to contribute quality educational videos.

Tehcaloo : What topics are you covering as of now?
Nishant : As of now, we have more than 140 videos running on YouTube channel which cover helpful tips and guidance for IIT JEE aspirants. Videos also cover tutorials and tricks to crack tricky and important areas of subjects like Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Our videos cover in detail, topics such as calculus, physical Chemistry, mechanics, gravitation, etc

Techaloo : What is the Sherlock Holmes series?
Nishant : Sherlock Holmes series is a playlist of tricky puzzles. We introduced this series to engage more viewers. The idea was to induce some fun element with learning.

Techaloo : How is the response till now?
Nishant : We regularly get appreciation emails from aspirants. We are regularly invited by YouTube in Google’s office for partner meet ups. We have gained 1500+ subscribers in a short span of time and we are growing with 100+ subscribers every month. We remain quite busy answering to aspirants’ queries on email. Most of the aspirants ask us to upload more videos covering more and more syllabus of IIT JEE. That’s one area we need to work on.

Techaloo : Are you planning for any mobile app as well?
Nishant : Yes, we are working on it.

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
Nishant : Only 20 education channels in India are YouTube partners. We want to become the best educational channel in India and compete with the likes of Khanacademy.

Tehcaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
Nishant : Techaloo.com is a great platform to share a start-up story. As an entrepreneur, I find a huge reservoir of stories to refer to and learn from.

Meet the team :

 nishant

Nishant ConsulHe is 25 years old. He graduated from Bits-Pilani in 2011. He is currently working as a Consultant in Mahindra, Bristlecone. He is very passionate about social media marketing. He has been the master mind of multiple online start-ups. He is also a sports lover. He represented Bits-Pilani in Chess and Cricket

 karan

 Karan KhandelwalHe is also 25 years old. He graduated from Bits-Pilani in Electronics and Electrical Engineering in 2011.  He is currently working in Sapient as a software developer. He is passionate about dancing and acting. He loves animated presentations and video making.

 

Explore FreeShiksha:

Website :www.freeshiksha.co.in

YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/FreeShikshaVideos

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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