Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Dishant Gandhi: When the lockdown hit in early 2020, we realized this is going to change the education system for good. There were two imminent problems: online live classes and online assessments. The live classes market was already dominated by free products from Google, Microsoft and Zoom. On the other hand, there was no go-to assessment platform.
Online assessments was not a new concept that the pandemic brought to the forefront. In fact, all major competitive exams were already online even before COVID. The irony was the preparation for them was happening offline via pen-paper based tests. We researched this space further to figure out 3 major pain points:
Product experience: Most of the products that were popular, were not very easy to use.
Pricing: In the era where it takes only Rs7/km to reach Mars, online tests were priced at Rs10-50/attempt. Limited Language Support: One could only create tests in English (at max in Hindi). We decided these are the problems we want to solve.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by Gradeazy
Dishant Gandhi: We have a cutting edge platform that helps anybody conduct stress-free online assessments. The major use-cases we solve include school and college-level exams, scholarship or entrance exams and assessments as part of hiring. We have recently seen YouTubers using our platform as an additional tool to monetize their audience.
Our assessments can include provisions for proctoring, time-bound attempts, coding questions, open registration attempts with a system-integrated paid signup process. We also support 25+ languages with the provision to dictate and type your tests.
In line with the new education policy, we also have provisions to get audio and video as an answer's response.
The best part of all is one can truly white-label our solution and get it API integrated with any existing solution that they use, something like an ERP or LMS.
Great Companies: What makes Gradeazy different from hundreds of other Education SaaS Platforms?
Dishant Gandhi: We identify ourselves more as a Platform as a service (PaaS) rather than Software as a Service (SaaS). We are probably one of the best modular platforms out there right now. The beauty of our platform is that it can be customized to suit a specific use case that the user is trying to solve. The platform only shows what you need and nothing else and all of this can actually be done by the end-user themselves.
We realized that it's the test creators that will make or break our platform and which is why we have ensured that their experience is as smooth as possible.
A big differentiator is also our pricing model which works on a pay-as-you-use model rather than a typical per-user pricing model that most of the edtech SaaS platforms have. Not just that we also help save 90% of costs over existing solutions. Our typical per attempt cost starts at just Re1.
A testament to this is the fact that our platform is being used by home tutors teaching 10-20 students to colleges with over 5000 students. We also boast of a 90% repeat billing rate! Something not a lot other platforms can do.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Dishant Gandhi: We started Gradeazy back in 2018, with the idea to digitize the offline exams in a way that would help students take better data-driven decisions. Unfortunately, after almost a year of trying, we weren't able to achieve product-market-fit. And we eventually decided to shelve our first product. Currently, Gradeazy (or as we internally call it Gradeazy 2.0) is our second attempt at entrepreneurship, trying to learn from our past mistakes, making new ones and hopefully making better choices this time.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Gradeazy?
Dishant Gandhi: We have been successful at building an amazing product that our users in India love. We want to get the same love from across the globe. Interestingly we have some users here who were using products from Australia, Sweden and US and have transitioned to Gradeazy to never look at them again.
The founding team also comes from a blue-collar recruitment background and understands the space and problems in the space really well. We believe that our platform can revolutionize the space for good. We are already in beta testing with our product for hiring. We will be going live in a couple of weeks.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Dishant Gandhi: Now is the time! Just go for it. Take the plunge. If risk is something you can't afford, join a team that is building something that you are passionate about.