English learning platform STEP sees 200% surge in number of users

Annapurani V Chennai | Updated on May 29, 2020 Published on May 29, 2020

Parents, teachers, students, professionals increasingly comfortable with online learning, says company

One of the many changes that the lockdown has brought about is increasing acceptance of learning online. Ed-tech start-ups have been seeing a massive increase in their user base over the past couple of months.

STEP, an English language learning and certification platform from the Hindu Group, has seen its monthly user acquisition surge by 200 per cent.

“We used to acquire 10,000-15,000 users each month. Now we are acquiring 35,000-40,000 users monthly,” said its business head, Pundi Sriram. There has been a dramatic spike in their user engagement, too. It used to be 9-12 minutes before, but the time spent by a user has grown to 30-35 minutes now, he added.

Varied age groups

The platform has offerings for various age groups — ranging from kids to college students, to teachers and working professionals. It also provides different formats to match the consumer’s learning style including one-on-one calls with a personalised English coach, scheduled live online classes and on-demand online videos.

Prior to the lockdown, the videos used to be shot at the studio, but now, the team has been shooting at home, getting innovative with workarounds. Consumers have been equally supportive, Sriram said.

He also noted that teachers are now opening up to the idea of learning online and children at home are also completing the courses at a rate they were not used to before.

Interactive environment

There is greater participation from children as they are becoming more comfortable with this new world of interacting digitally, he said. “They are now chatting (in the chat window), asking questions. We are able to create and manage a much more interactive environment,” he added.

STEP also has an app that has over one million downloads in Google Play. In two weeks, the team is planning to launch live video sessions between kids and coaches (that are currently audio only), which will also be recorded and be available for parents' review.

With parents looking to be more involved in their kids’ online learning journey, the team also has been giving them updates on their learning schedules, and progress feedback, since last week, Sriram said.

As schools, colleges and coaching centres are closed due to the lockdown, and with most companies mandating work from home for their employees, online learning is picking up fast in the country. While working professionals are looking to upskill themselves, college and school students are making up for the lost time by enrolling for classes online.

“There has been a clear mindset shift among parents and the fact that learning is possible online is now ingrained into the system,” Sriram said.

Published on May 29, 2020
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