StartUp Circle: How is GuruQ tutoring students traditionally, yet with technology?

Laxitha Mundhra
New Update
StartUp Circle: How is GuruQ tutoring students for competitive exams traditionally, yet with technology?

While the pandemic has slowed down the education system, the fully- integrated and user-friendly platform has helped GuruQ to induct 20,000 + tutors and 17,000+ students onto its platform. It has a number of innovative technological features like 'Find the Right Tutor', 'Post Your Tuition Need', 'Scheduler' and 'Instant Class'. GuruQ has launched its app in order to make the entire process of finding the 'right tutor' more convenient, easy and quick as well as to reach out to an even greater number of students and transcend geographical boundaries. The classes starts from rupees 200 per hour.


CIOL in conversation with the CEO and Co-founder Minal Anand.

1. What is GuruQ about? Tell us about the team.

GuruQ is a one-of-a-kind digital platform that connects students with the right tutors. Most teachers in India are not equipped to gauge the IQ levels and learning styles of prospective or existing students and hence more often than not, are unable to offer the right guidance to mentor the students. With GuruQ, students or their parents can select the prerequisites of a tutor and the platform finds the exact match to address the exact need of the student.


We keep the needs of the students, their convenience and budget as our top three priorities. Hence, students are free to choose tutors based on the number of hours to resolve queries, mode of study (online or offline) and some students per tutor. The GuruQ digital platform and tutor dashboard simplify the lives of tutors, helps them teach and manage their students efficiently. Through the dashboard, they can manage their schedules, classes, and students as well as create and send notes, assignments, tests and exams.

2. How did you come up with the idea?

After receiving my MBA from Boston University and working in companies like Franklin Templeton, Citigroup, I returned to India to join HPL Additives as Manager-Corporate Development. After returning to India, I realised the glaring difference between the way education is imparted in India and the way it is done in international quarters. And this prompted me to explore the ed-tech sector.


Since education in Indian centres around rote learning, the majority of the students remain at a disadvantage when they have to compete with international peers. With GuruQ, I am trying to bring a fresh perspective on education and find innovative ways of teaching via certified, qualified tutors to give our students a winning edge.

3. What is your business/market growth?

The lockdown had proved to be an opportunity in disguise to take recourse to our digital learning platform like never before. Most students whose competitive exams have been deferred are now taking special classes to resolve their queries, taking assessments and revising high difficulty level topics. This period has seen a high demand for our online coaching platform. It is not only user friendly but also interactive like offline tuition centres.


We have clocked ~70% to 80% increase in demand for online tuitions after the lockdown. We are also encouraging students to make the most of their time by upskilling themselves. Also, we are promoting our foreign language courses that would go a long way in personality enhancement. More than 900 students have enrolled in our foreign language programmes. This includes French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Italian, and Russian, only in the last few months.

4. Who are your consumers?

Our primary consumers comprise of school students across all age groups, those preparing for competitive exams such as CLAT, JEE-Main, JEE-Advanced and NEET-UG and professional executives who want to upskill with language and communication courses.


5. The work-from-office culture sector took a deep hit, how are you managing your business in such tough times?

We have learnt lessons in collaboration and consistent communication to keep in touch with the team. Further, we take daily updates on their business operations. Since we are a digital learning platform, we are connecting concerns of our tutors and any students through our robust feedback mechanism. We had built it even before we were hit by the pandemic. We have consistently improvised and improved our back-end technical processes. Thus, we have not noticed any major challenge to hinder the interaction of our students and teachers on our platform.

We are working on incorporating AI on our platform to automate a few processes; to give a seamless, hassle-free experience to our students and teachers. However, we are still in the research and development stage. We are taking it slow due to our students’ and parents’ mindsets of not having full knowledge about the power of AI. It takes time to bend a tried and tested formula but I am sure we are on our way to prove that change for good is not just positive but is even productive for our overall development in more ways than just one.


On Work-From-Office

However, we have recently returned to work from the office. Working from the office helps me engage with my team and strategize about our plans for future operations. Since EdTech has got a boom during this pandemic, we have to cater to the increasing demands of our customers. The only thing that we all have to follow is to ensure that we abide by stringent safety norms. We do not take the situation for granted.

The pace of work has changed. But we are recalibrating our business operations to ensure we do our job. We are also flexible with those employees who still prefer to work from home due to their constraints. So, collaboration has taken a whole new meaning these days where we have to take additional efforts to stay connected with peers and work together.


6. What are your Post-Covid plans?

GuruQ also provides offline touchpoints where students can take tuitions offline after selecting a tutor from the online pool. However, with the public health scare overhang, there has been a paradigm shift towards online tutoring as it is the sole option to continue learning and development.

Once the Covid-19 vaccine is out, GuruQ will once reopen its offline tutoring mode where students could select tutors in their vicinity and study offline at a mutually convenient place and time.

7. What sets your platform apart from competitors?

GuruQ provides a significant edge over its offline counterparts and other EdTech companies with similar service offerings. It is learner-centric, allowing a tutor – who could be based in any corner of the country, – to tailor classes as per the learner’s pace, without the pressure of leaving anyone behind.

Alongside the mentee’s unique learning needs, GuruQ also keeps convenience and budget on its list of priorities. This means that students can take lessons from a single tutor in a group which would substantially reduce the per capita cost.

8. What trend do you see in the EdTech Industry?

Though the Indian EdTech landscape is still at a nascent stage as compared to its global counterparts; yet most students and their parents have come of age to realise that one size does not fit all. Even EdTech companies have transitioned from being a collator of study materials to an interactive platform providing students with career-shaping tools.

Even the recent public health scare has given a positive thrust to the EdTech companies. Most learning schools are opting for digital platforms to continue imparting education.

About the Funding

Our funding talks are underway. We are talking to a few investors and will hopefully let you know about it soon.