Rajshekhar Ratrey, Senior Vice President - Product Management, Toppr

Rajshekhar graduated from IIT Bombay in 2010 with a masters in Aerospace Engineering. While at college, he founded Whiteshadow, an initiative that provided design services to companies of every level. Upon graduation, Rajshekhar co-founded Honor foundation, with an aim to provide micro-financing, skilled employment, education and health care to the BPL sector. In 2011, he co-founded another venture called LurnQ.com, where he developed the product’s key features. He then co-founded Manch, an adaptive assessment platform, which was acquired by Toppr in 2015. Since then, Rajshekhar has been at the forefront in building new products at Toppr.


India has the second-largest Edtech industry in the world. Add to this the schools, tuitions, and coaching centers – the education ecosystem is divided into independent pockets. However, we are now gradually moving towards unified learning solutions that combine school study and competitive test preparation through Edtech platforms.

How Most Students Spend their Time

Until recently, students have been preparing for school exams and competitive exams separately. If you look at the breakup of daily study routines, you’ll find that an average student in the 14-16 year age group spends 6-8 hours at school. Post that, at least one and a half hours are spent in tuition classes or at coaching centers. India is well known for its ‘tuition culture’. In fact, two-thirds of Indian students take tuition classes to supplement their board and competitive exam preparations. After tuition classes, students spend roughly about 2 hours at home doing homework, self-study, and revision, that is if they have any time left!

Lot of activities demand a child’s time during the course of the day, be it school, tuitions, extra-curricular activities or learning apps. To help them keep up with the competitive atmosphere of today, parents enforce many tasks on children, albeit with the right intentions. Ultimately, we end up dividing a student’s life into inefficient chunks, where they have to switch context multiple times within a day and this can be stressful. Switching context is hard and comes with the cost of slow progress.

What’s Wrong with this Study Setup?

Schools and coaching centres or tuitions run at differing speeds, and are very often out of sync. Moreover, merely studying at an educational institution is not enough. Students need self-study and practice to reinforce their learning, both essential to acing exams. But since students have multiple tracks for studies and most of their time is divided between school and tuition, they can hardly take out productive time for self-study.

The need of the hour is to streamline the entire process of education delivery in such a way that students can learn with better discipline and higher efficiency, and at the same time, allocate enough time for self-study.

A Unified Learning Environment Makes Life Easier!

Schools do a phenomenal job at teaching and strengthening fundamental concepts. But when it comes to teaching advanced level concepts and solving complex problems, mobilizing resources for the same could be an operational challenge for schools. Also, competitive exams have a rapidly evolving structure, with patterns and syllabi being modified constantly. This is where Edtech platforms can help meet the needs of the rapidly shapeshifting test prep space. They have a wider reach. Constant iterations to learning material and assessments can be done with shorter turnaround times and quicker delivery to end-users. In addition to that, technology can be used to personalize the assessments based on students’ levels of understanding and knowledge.

A collaboration between schools and Edtech platforms can thus lead to a unified learning environment that will have the following benefits:

  1. Runs in sync with the school’s curriculum, thus ensuring harmony and structured learning.
  2. Equips students with advanced doubt resolution 24X7, thus easing the load on school teachers who already have a multitude of tasks at hand.
  3. Provides access to tools like timed practice, revision, notes, and reminders.
  4. Enriches student-teacher collaboration through tech-enabled tools.
  5. Helps students prepare for school boards and competitive exams from a single platform.

Education in India is now evolving into a collaborative effort between schools, parents, and students, with the Edtech industry providing crucial linkages. A unified learning solution will ensure a seamless learning experience, where students can experience holistic school learning along with competitive exam practice in a much more efficient manner.

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