Anand Verma, Co-founder, Tekie, recently joined NewsX’s special series NewsX India A-List, wherein he spoke exclusively about the platform, it’s USP and entrepreneurial journey. Tekie, founded by Naman and Anand Verma in 2017, is a platform to teach programming for the students above 12 years. The platform went live in July, 2020.
Recognised for excellence in business leadership, Anand spoke about what makes Tekie different from its competitors and said, “Other platforms are more focused on block used coding, which is more suited for kids between the age of 6 to 10. When kids go above 10, they start to develop an appetite and aptitude to learn more text-based coding. That’s where Tekie differentiates. It has a story-telling way of teaching the students where we rolled out a long format movie like series. On top of it, we have multiple other gamified content. Using all this blended content, we’re able to make learning more interesting and thus we’re able to bring text-based coding to classic students.”
When asked the USP of their platform, Anand expressed, “Essentially, we spent the first two years doing a pilot with lots of students on ground to understand what kind of learning outcome we’ve been able to get. One of our students whom we prepared for two years, we made him participate in a global coding competition organised with Google and he became globally second. The entire product is more of an analogy as to how we help prepare these students. We, as a company, are able to give tangible learning outcomes instead of having some marketing gimmicks. We are focusing on communicating and articulating the students and coding is something which commands a lot of patience. You’ll have a lot of instances where you’ll have a lot of demotivation and that’s where the entire learning plan has been gamified in a way that we’re able to focus on tangible learning outcomes, instead of just a plain market.”
Speaking about the design and courses offered on their platform, Anand shared, “We have a concept of internal, which we call coder’s journey from zero to ten. Zero is a point where students are absolute beginners, who are just trying to get a flavour of what coding is all about and 10 is the point where the students have developed tangible skill sets. In this entire journey of zero to ten, we have multiple programs. The initial program gives them foundational knowledge around all the basic concepts of coding and then we have a second program that focuses on specialisation, which is built on the foundational course, where we again depending on which direction the student wants to grow. We help them grow in that direction. The last program is apprenticeships. Like college internships, we have brought about the format in the form of apprenticeships for school students, where they were able to work on real projects in a real atmosphere and are available to develop job-related skills.”
Sharing light on his entrepreneurial journey, Anand said, “In initial days, it was definitely a struggle. We took an unconventional path with Tekie because when we started off, coding was a fairly new concept for the schools back in 2017. The reason why we spent four years is simply because of the opposition we carried for building good products and that’s where we saw a lot of non-linear things happening. linear things happening, in the journey because we were bootstrapped. We grew to a team of 50 plus today and most of the people haven’t drawn any kind of salary from the last three years. We decided to bootstrap because we didn’t want to go for any kind of investments. We felt investors would have apprehensions because they’re always worried about their underrate and all those things. We wanted to have some flexibility in terms of how we approach the product so that is the reason why we decided to bootstrap. Though in initial days, it was tough, now we have millions of funds.”
Finally, speaking about the launch of Beta version, especially in a year when the country was hit by Covid-19 second wave , Anand acknowledged that there were difficulties but also pointed out at the brighter side, with him launching the beta version of Tekie as a good sign for Edtech. He further mentioned how experts from the institutes like IITs, IIMs are now associated with their platform Tekie and thanked them for their contribution in the entire journey.