Improving English in India – VoLT

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India with his advances in Science, Technology, Medicine, is becoming one of the most important countries in the world. But yet, we lack in communicational skills.

English being an international language has become imperative for any business class. Still, a huge proportion of Indians find it difficult to communicate in English.

Being a non-native language, many Indian students face difficulties in understanding the finer points of English grammar and vocabulary. VoLT short for ‘Vocabulary Learning Techniques’ is a mobile app developed by IIT alumni, who faced and overcame the problems of learning a non-native language in the first place.

Techaloo got an opportunity to talk with Mr. Abhishek, Founder @VoLT. Let see what he has to share with us today.

Techaloo: When did you start your journey?
Abhishek: After finishing my schooling in my hometown Sunam, a small town in Punjab, I cleared IIT-JEE in 2005 and joined IIT-BHU. Then I went on to work at various institutions like Resonance, Aakash, Pace, Sinhal etc. as a Chemistry faculty for IIT aspirants. Along with all this happened ‘VoLT – Vocabulary Learning Techniques’.

Techaloo: What is VoLT?
Abhishek: VoLT, an acronym for Vocabulary Learning Techniques, is a book and an android app which provides the reader with various innovative techniques to remember difficult English words. In VoLT we have tried to associate difficult but important English words with normal life events, funny stories, pictures and other self-tested highly effective techniques which surely help the reader to learn and retain while enjoying the whole process.

main-qimg-8b220fad0516d32378bb5aea950fcfd1It has proved to be very effective for students appearing for competitive exams such as CAT, GRE, GMAT, SSC, Bank PO etc. VoLT book is a bestseller Vocabulary book and is available on various online portals. VoLT android app has been downloaded by more than 1,50,000 people in less than 4 months with a feedback rating of 4.6 out of 5 and it is a totally free app.

Techaloo: How did this idea come to your mind?
Abhishek: During my college days, I was rather good in my core engineering subjects but I lacked in English speaking and vocabulary. English, being a non-native language didn’t come easily to me. I knew that to thrive in corporate world, a good command over English was essential. I did everything I could to improve my English including reading English newspapers, magazines and watching documentaries. But it becomes demotivating when you have to constantly refer to a dictionary.

Being a psychology enthusiast, one day I came across the concept of associations. What it means is that you link existing information to what you’re trying to learn. It improves retention and recall ability. I started writing words and small notes in a journal for my reference Turns out, that I made a whole lot of them and that’s how VoLT happened. .

Techaloo: What motivated you to move into Entrepreneurship?
Abhieshek: Like I said before, I had a scant vocabulary during my college days and faced a lot of problems because of my English. Through VoLT, we aim at helping people who face difficulties because of language constraints. This has been my motivation since day one.

Techaloo: What hurdles did you face while starting?
Abhishek:
After writing the book version of VoLT, I approached a leading Indian publishing head and shared my book with him. He was impressed and showed interest in publishing the book. But he wanted the book to be a financial success and hence wanted to put a very high price tag on the book. We wanted it to be social success and wanted to keep the price to the bare minimum.

Then my brother and I decided to set up our own publishing house – RR Publications – and we published the book ‘VoLT – Vocabulary Learning Techniques’. As first-time publishers we faced multiple challenges. Getting the best print quality at optimum price, finding distributors, partnering with online portals etc. was not that easy. But finally through this book we reached and helped a large number of people and all the pain was worth it.

main-qimg-280979c5d8cac1dc5eef1329ed9d7071 (1)Techaloo: What was your vision/ mission for VoLT?
Abhishek: Through VoLT we want to allay the fear of English language from the psyche of Indian masses.

Techaloo: Tell us something about features in VoLT?
Abhishek: The UI of the app is very simple and easy to use. Our most special feature is the “Memory Key” where the concept of association is implied. Every word is associated with a funny story/ anecdote/ life event etc. This technique helps in remembering the words. Also there is a unique picture associated with every word. Audio Pronunciation, Synonyms, Antonyms and Usages are also given for each word.

There is an option of bookmarking any word and the bookmarked words are shown in “Revise words” option. A grid view option is there to have a look at all the words and by the search feature you can search any particular word too. An innovative sharing option is also there in which you can share the link of the app along with the screenshot of any word.

Techaloo: How are you different from other players in the market?
Abhishek: There are numerous apps for English Vocabulary in the market, but it is our unique memory keys and associated pictures that are most effective. Also we have a very simple UI and the app is very easy to use. We have put in a lot of effort to create new techniques for remembering each and every word and the app is available for free. It truly helps people remember the meanings and I think that makes us different.

Techaloo: How has the response been till now?
Abhishek: The app has over 1.5 lakh downloads in less than 4 months. The book also got a great response. We receive a good number of mails and reviews daily from the users who appreciate our work.

Techaloo: What are your plans for next 1 year?
Abhishek: We are adding more and more words to our app on a regular basis. We are planning to add various other features like Tests, Short Videos etc. to make learning more easy, effective and fun.

Techaloo: What message would you like to give to people planning to start their ventures?
Abhishek: Persistence is the key. So just keep going if you believe in your idea. If it solves a real problem then it will be surely appreciated.

Techaloo: What do you think about Techaloo?
Abhishek: I think it is a brilliant idea. This is an era of startups and keeping people aware about the stories of different startups and their progress is a much needed work. It gives inspiration to many young entrepreneurs. Also there are various useful resources available for entrepreneurs and it is a very good platform for job seekers too.

I would like to thank Techaloo for giving me this opportunity to share our story.

Download VoLT today

Meet the founders:

Abhishek

abhishek

Nishek

nishek

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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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