Understanding the need for digitalization in education system, a group of engineering and IT students devised a plan to provide online courses which features syllabus and non-syllabus based courses and interactive features like forum and a wiki. Read this interview of Mr. Subash Neupane who came up with the idea for “Hamro Pathsala” with his friends Mr. Bibek Panthi, and Mr. Prabin Bhattarai to know their story.
How did you come up with the concept?
All three of us were interested in programming since childhood and personally, I always wanted to learn programming. However the course that I wanted to pursue wasn’t available in Nepal so I bought the online course from Udemy. Though I had a deep interest in programming, I was still struggling to adapt to their method of learning. That’s when I realized that the online courses like edx, udemy, coursera are not very feasible for Nepal. So, we thought of creating an online learning community for Nepal and came up with “Hamro Pathsala”. The forum can be used by students to ask questions to the tutors and the wiki can be used by tutors to write articles on crucial topics that can be beneficial to students.
Who is your target customer?
We are targeting students from Nepal who have completed their grade 10. We are trying to focus on “pre-entrance preparation” courses because people from Kathmandu always get a kick start for these kinds of preparation but people from out of valley do not have the resources for it.
How do you plan to market your service?
We are going to approach colleges first. We will have presentations and online advertisements to make people aware of the services we provide.
What kind of reaction are you getting for this start up?
We’ve not started our course yet but the forum and wiki are already out. It has been 4-5 months since we started the forum and wiki and we have received great response. Without any marketing we have got 84 interests so far which is a pretty good number.
What social problem are you trying to address with your business?
We are focusing on quality and inexpensive education for all. Normally, the tuition charges are very high. So, we are planning to have three levels of courses – Beginners, Intermediary, and Expert. As of now, we have decided to charge Rs.700 per level which is affordable for students. The tutors will get 40-50% of the total income on monthly or yearly basis. They will record the lessons and won’t have to keep coming back to teach. This makes it cost effective.
Do you foresee any challenges for your business?
I think getting people to trust our service is a major challenge because online education is still a new concept for students in Nepal and it will take some time to change their perception.
If you win “Yunus Social Business Challenge”, what will you use the seed fund for?
The first thing we’d do with the seed fund is, upgrade our hosting. We are still amateurs so, we will hire professional developer as a team member, and of course, for we will use it for marketing and getting tutors.
Subash Neupane can be reached at email@example.com