Kaju, the alien character animated by Nayi Disha for primary level students, will soon knock on your doors. Seeing interest from parents, the start-up plans to sell the product directly to homes.

Kaju gives kids safe tips and introduces basics in science and maths, covering various aspects of primary education.

“Now we are selling the product to schools only to introduce educational concepts to children. But we are getting enquiries from parents, too, as they are vexed with the TV characters that actually teach children certain unwanted things. Kaju never does bad things,” Kushal Bhagia, Co-Founder of the two-year-old Nayi Disha, told Business Line .

Started by two BITS-Pilani (Goa campus) graduates Bhagia and Kartik Aneja, Nayi Disha builds educational content for primary schools using the proprietary character Kaju. The all-pervasive Kaju makes the kids pay attention to the basics using play-way methods.

“We have sold the product to 50 schools in 10 cities. Initially, we are targeting school chains as we found it easier to convince one management to get multiple orders,” he said.

Global foray

The Mumbai-based start-up is planning to raise the first round of venture fund in the next few weeks to support its plan to go global. It will raise ₹2-4 crore to take the product to the US, Africa and South Asia.

“We have just achieved break-even. But we need funds to take the product to the countries that offer a good scope,” Bhagia, who is on a business trip to Hyderabad, said.

Asked about the multitude of solutions available in the digital educational media space, he said their firm differentiates itself from others in the way it introduces the concepts.

“Almost all of them use 2-D animation and do little to make the content interactive. But we use 3-D animation and with the deployment of Microsoft’s Kinect, we make the kids part of the show. If they jump, Kaju jumps on the screen, picking up on their movements through powerful sensors.”

The duo had founded a social media marketing start-up soon after their graduation. But the venture in the services segment had not excited them and turned their focus to a product venture. “We are a team of seven people working on the content and marketing,” Bhagia said.

Nayi Disha, however, wants to tap the distribution channels to spread the word quickly and to save the effort. “We see good opportunities in countries like Singapore and Malaysia. We are in talks with some African players to deploy the product there,” he added.

Nayi Disha charges ₹35,000 for the hardware and ₹6,299 a month for content and installation. The content can only complement the class-room teaching and cannot substitute it, the company adds.

“We have seen parents long for good role-model characters such as Kaju as opposed to the TV idols that actually promote unwanted behaviours. As a policy, we don’t let Kaju do bad things,” Bhagia said.