Once Failed IIT Entrance, Her Start-Up Now Helps Thousands Get Their Dream College

In today’s competitive world, where everyone is a part of a rat race, students have tremendous pressure to prove their worth. There is a tough fight for employment because of the rapid growth in population and scarcity of resources. People leave no stones unturned to get a secured life, with a good paying job and educational qualifications.

Every year, countless students get admission in various coaching classes to get through top engineering and medical colleges in the country. However, only a handful of them get selected in these institutions. Parents invest all their hard-earned money on various coaching classes. When their child is unable to get through the entrance test, it gets difficult both for them and the student to understand the reason behind their failure.

Aditi Avasthi, founder of online test preparation portal Embibe, went through the same. In the year 1999, she couldn’t get through IIT-JEE. She realized that she has to work more on chemistry but had no one to guide her. Back then, Aditi could not do anything about it. However, she wanted to find out a way to help other students to understand their shortcomings and get proper guidance.

With the regret of not getting through IIT, Aditi went to Chicago. She got an MBA degree and started working with consulting firms like Ben and Co., and Barclays. During the course of her job, she got an opportunity to work for mobile commerce and payment space in the US and Africa. She got many opportunities in the global job market, but Aditi chose to come back to India.

In the year 2007, she toured 15 cities of India and met many students and teachers from various coaching classes. After interacting with them, she realized that the coaching centres were providing audio-video classrooms to thousands of students at once, making it a business. The question that remained in her mind was how can the teachers understand a student’s personal weakness and strength if they do not teach them personally? On top of that, the students blindly attended these coaching classes remaining unaware of their weaknesses, speed, and accuracy.

In digital learning, Aditi found solution to this problem. She decided to conduct an online test for these students. The analyst will review the answer sheets and give review to them individually — telling how much time the student has taken to answer, ways to reduce the time, common mistakes made in problem solving and the subject they have to work hard on. Once the students are aware of their shortcomings, they can work on it, which will make them more confident for the entrance exams.

In the year 2007, Aditi, with her savings and loans from her friends and relatives, established the online test preparation portal Embibe. After seeing tremendous possibilities, Kalaari Capital and Lightbox ventures invested Rs 24 Crore in Embibe in December 2013. Today, more than three lakh students appear for the Embibe online test. After each test, Embibe’s team of 70 analyst tells the students about their weaknesses and how to overcome them.

Aditi had a hard time convincing students and their parents that understanding a student’s progress and weakness is more important than the coaching materials. Till date, parents and teachers consider internet and social media dangerous for education, which is a powerful medium of information.

Aditi says that incorporating digital technology to Indian education system will make it world class. She also tells that coaching centres charge Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh whereas, Embibe prepares the students for these entrance exams for one-third of the amount. The best thing about Aditi’s venture is that it doesn’t require any classroom or teachers, which makes the capital expenditure less.

Very soon, Aditi is going to make the test free of cost and the students will only have to pay the analysis fee. Her future agenda includes online test for STD 8, 9, and 10. She says, Embibe’s analysis for JEE students is 92 percent accurate.

Today, when students are working day and night to get through the top institutions, such initiative to understand a student’s strengths and weaknesses is commendable. We need more people like Aditi to guide them to attain success. Today, when digitalization is taking the front foot, initiatives like these can bring in a huge change.

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