Khizar Momin, Chief Technology officer, Indian School Finance Company

Khizar is known for taking on the weak applications, systems, and IT operations and turning them into high-performing and sustainable models through standardization. He believes in innovations, consistent improvements, and variable cost models for IT, and creating IT teams that are equally skilled in business as well as technology. Previously, he held leadership positions across American Express, Bajaj Auto, Bajaj Finserv, and Cox & Kings Financial Service alongside others, wherein Khizar created and implemented digital strategies and technology roadmaps with finesse.

 

COVID19 pandemic has brought new set of challenges to the entire businesses, industries, institutions and individuals. One of the most affected segments include the “Schools” and in turn the affected parties are the students and teachers.

Due to pandemic in 2019, the entire education industry woke up to an unprecedented scale, size and complexity of a challengecalled “No Physical Classes”. This was a non-negotiable affair without any warnings or any time to prepare.

This new COVID19 challenge pushed the institutions towards the adoption of online education model and also pushed the industry towards the revival of EdTech Models. Some resourceful institutions with financial might wobbled initially but were able to adapt and cope up with the challenge. The success of such institutions has major contribution from the tech savvy students and ability of their parents to afford the laptops and digital devices.

The ecosystem of education has the primary responsibility of “delivering the education”. This is the mainstream school syllabus and study materials that traditionally was delivered thru physical classroom sessions. The other aspects like institution management (Teachers/Students/Parents) and supplementary services like exams, extracurricular and counselling etc. were structured around the model of physical delivery of the education.

EdTech models brings unique opportunity to tightly integrate the delivery of education thru online medium, interconnect the ecosystem of teachers, parents, students and also automate the traditional modes of exams and assessments.

Some of the critical success factors for Online education to prosper will include affordable handsets/laptops, use of vernacular-language apps, digital skills, training material and low-cost payments and IT infrastructure.

The offline education has its advantages like interpersonal development, structured approach etc. The Online education offers many more advantages like location independency, flexible hours, travel free, time saving and convenient. When structured appropriately, the online education may work out to be cheaper than the offline education. If EdTech are able to deliver classroom like experience and break the language barriers then the locus of online education will shift to rural arena that has huge potential and has been relatively unexposed to online means of education.

The Digital disruption in India is led by proliferation of mobile devices, lower cost of data and rural reach of the Internet. EdTech comes with native advantage of its Digital reach without boundaries however creating classroom like experience and engagement will be the key aspects to solve for. In the bargain, the EdTech also has an opportunity to ensuring that education remains relevant with changing times. This is mainly due to the ability of Digital to implement the change rapidly.

The other opportunity for the EdTech is to interconnect the financial-institutions which have been operating in silos until the recent past. This integration will facilitate the financing of fees to parents and students, provide meaningful insights which can be used for funding the institutions and thereby strengthen the overall ecosystem in the long term.

In education parlance, often the most talked about community is domestic help, workers, daily wagers, security guards, small shop owners, retail vegetable vendors etc. These segments are largely under-schooled and not very well connected with banking, convenient transport and access to credits however they aspire for educational and financial security. They are not savvy to the terms of underwriting, risk and credit score etc however they are equipped with basics like bank accounts, payment tools like UPI, Cheque etc.

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