On Thursday, edtech platform Vedantu – part of the unicorn club, along with Byju’s, Unacademy, UpGrad and Eruditus – introduced Augmented Interactive (Ai) LIVE technology to its online classroom for students studying in the sixth grade and above. Vamsi Krishna, CEO and co-founder of Vedantu, told FE that Ai LIVE is a fundamental disruption not only for Vedantu, but for the entire edtech industry. “A long-term, one-year course in all subjects of Vedantu, which previously cost Rs 24,000-25,000 (which itself is lower than the offline price), will now be offered at such a low price than Rs 5,000,” he said. “It’s a price disruption in the world of edtech; calculated in rupees per hour, we have reduced our paid courses from Rs 60-70 per hour to as little as Rs 10 per hour.
Vedantu offers free and paid online courses (in addition to school education) for K12 students, as well as preparation for competitions such as IIT-JEE, NEET, etc.
While Vedantu also offers free live online courses, for some time Krishna and other co-founders have been debating how to make his paid courses (which are more impactful and results-oriented) more affordable for the masses. “All edtech companies in India combined only cater to 5% of students (when it comes to paid courses that supplement school education and competition coaching),” Krishna said. “The reason for this is that even the Rs 25,000 a year we were charging – and that was quite competitive – was unaffordable for many. Ai LIVE will give serious students, especially from Bharat, greater access to quality education.
Under Ai LIVE, what Vedantu has done is to automate some sessions of a live interactive course to reduce operating costs. “A live online course is made up of four elements: a teacher who teaches concepts; students ask questions and the teacher answers; interaction; then the teacher who motivates and engages with the students,” Krishna said. “We understood that all the components can be automated, so the ‘teaching the concept’ part we’ve automated by taking content from top teachers, and even though the teacher-student interaction will be live, we’ve used the voice recognition technology with AI and ML to generate personalized voice messages that can dispel some basic student doubts.”
Krishna added that Vedantu has been testing this model for 8-9 months and has not seen any drop in engagement. “We have ensured that there is no compromise on the quality of teaching, yet students pay a fraction of what they would pay in an offline classroom,” he said. declared. “For context, a JEE course that costs more than Rs 1 lakh per year in offline coaching courses will only cost Rs 5,000 per year at Vedantu.” Last year, Vedantu welcomed over 200,000 paying students, a 300% growth from the previous year.
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