The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) placements for many are an opportunity to land a dream job and a handsome salary. However, four IIT pass outs decided to skip placements and instead launched a start up which would serve as an enabler for students preparing for government jobs in remote villages. The startup teaches students online and prepares them for examination in government jobs in any part of the country.
Four years after chasing their dream there are now 45 lakh active students who are associated with them across the country. There are 12 lakh students from Maharashtra who are preparing for government jobs and seeking help from them.
Ashutosh Kumar, CEO, and founder of the startup testbook.com says that they received their first investment after one and a half year after they launched the startup. “We started our journey in a small office at a rent of Rs 7000 in Kharghar in Navi Mumbai. We used to down the shutter of the office to continue our work during the night. Locals used to create trouble if we used to open the office at night,” reminisced Kumar.
Kumar hails from a small hamlet in Madhubani district in Bihar. He recalls his trial where he faced a lot of difficulties while preparing for the IIT entrance exams away from his village. “With a limited source of income in the family, it was very difficult to manage to study away from the home,” recalls Kumar. He added that as teaching is his passion, he decided to help students living in remote villages who cannot afford institutes who charge in lakhs for the exam preparation.
The fees for their service is Rs 500 to access their platform and to appear for mock tests and online teacher consultations. “Since there are villages where internet speed is slow and many students who cannot afford internet connection charges, we have a facility for offline too,” added Kumar.
The start-up has helped over 35,000 plus students to get a job in the government section. Furthermore, it also employed 300 youths, with an average age of 26 years in Kharghar in Navi Mumbai.
The brainchild of the testbook.com was Kumar, but it could not be possible without support of his fellow IIT friends Narendra Agarwal, Praveen Agarwal, and Manoj Munna. The testbook.com has received angel funding from well-known publisher S Chand and a couple of more investors.