Karunn Kandoi, General Manager & Head of India Operations, ApplyBoard India

Karunn Kandoi, heads business operations for ApplyBoard- India and serves on its board along with other public limited Ed-tech companies. Karunn holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and MBA from the University of Washington. Before beginning his stint with ApplyBoard, Karunn was associated with Extramarks Education India Private Limited as the Director- Whole Time & President Global Business. Karunn founded Shree Eduserve and created the largest brand for learning English in India.

Karunn is skilled in creating and expanding businesses, operations management, creating technology-led products and driving growth from them. Throughout his inspiring journey, Karunn has participated in various panels on EdTech organized by the likes of Asian Development Bank, CNBC, News Nation, Education Department of the Govt of Kenya, FICCI-India etc.

 

From Bangalore secondary schools bursting at the seams with pupils, to cozy 10-student classes in Weston, Missouri’s only public high school, the world is full of students who are hungry to learn. Whether those students ever get to pursue an education beyond the secondary level, has long been something of a lottery.

There are 250 million students around the world who are about to, or have recently graduated secondary school, but have no access to higher learning. In a communal mission to level the playing field, EdTech platforms are working to equip international students with the tools and infrastructure to dictate their own futures by continuing their education journeys.

Between tutoring services, online self-directed learning, international recruitment platforms, and a host of other tools, EdTech is laying the foundation for a world where post-secondary education is accessible for everyone.

Access to information

A student’s lack of opportunity begins with a lack of access to information. Historically, a student’s educational path was navigated by circumstance. Where they lived, their family income and interests, and popular local career paths dictated their steps following secondary education. Students can’t pursue an education for a career or at a university they’ve never heard of, and don’t have the means to discover.

As technology steadily weaves itself into the fabric of communities around the world, students are getting access to information like never before. EdTech platforms are leveraging that technology which permeates every facet of students’ lives, to help them gain access to the information they need to make informed choices about their post-secondary education endeavours.

Perhaps the biggest and simplest step EdTech companies have taken to assist students with more opportunities to gain access to an education, whether in the comfort of their own home or out in the world experiencing a new culture. For learning to be effective, it needs to be personalized. Platforms that provide a place for prospective students and institutions to connect, determine the best offering to suit a student’s skillset, and put that student in an environment they can succeed, are breaking the mold of the international recruitment process.

Students inclined to pursue a university or college level education are no longer limited by the  restrictions of their local communities. Providing international students with access to information to help guide their post-secondary selection process is pairing talented people with the right programs to build successful careers. We see this everyday at ApplyBoard as we continue to help hundreds of thousands of students through their international study abroad journey. So many students simply need the process to be accessible and straightforward, not complex and reserved for a select few.

For those seeking education via a less traditional method, EdTech also offers a wealth of options that only require a phone, tablet or computer, and an internet connection. The best educators in the world are now accessible for everyone. Online platforms such as Coursera, LinkedIn Learning and even YouTube allow students in remote and rural areas to experience lectures and engage with coursework led by acclaimed instructors from top academic institutions.

It doesn’t matter if your preferred method of learning is in a Scottish lecture hall or from the comfort of your couch in the Philippines, EdTech is empowering students to find the best fit for their learning styles.

Breaking down cost barriers

Money matters. For prospective students, a lack of it can often act as the dealbreaker which can quickly put limitations on an education. One of the most revolutionary aspects of EdTech is how it makes knowledge available to everyone at a much lower low cost. At the very least, it provides students, and parents, with choice.

Gone are the days when people from lower income communities couldn’t see education as a realistic option. While most services do operate on some form of paid model, apps such as Duolingo and the Khan Academy offer free versions of their service which still provide students with a place to educate themselves with quality content.

The additional layer of support that EdTech is incorporating into its lower cost offerings is structure. Previously, anyone could log enough Google and YouTube searches to find information about a topic or subject they wanted to learn more about. The difference with EdTech is that students receive information that is packaged and tailored for them.

There are an endless array of websites and apps available that provide students access to communities of experts and other students, in a format that allows them to acquire the skills they need to pursue a career in virtually any area of interest. 

Levelling the playing field

Equality and diversity among race, sex and culture is being prioritized by more sectors today than ever before. That’s no different for education, and EdTech platforms are doing their part to move that needle by providing access to education for students from all walks of life.

It’s no secret that fields such as engineering and medicine are dominated by men. It’s also no secret that women are more than capable of succeeding within any industry. For EdTech, the first step in reversing that trend is providing women in communities who may not consider certain career paths an option, the chance to learn about what those career paths look like. 

Access to learning tools and program information via EdTech platforms are beginning to open doors for students who were forced to live with them locked shut. Choice and openness are at the heart of EdTech as it democratizes education for generations of students, whether they are still in grammar school or a mature student looking to go back to school for an MBA. The EdTech community is striving to achieve equality for all, regardless of background, by providing everyone with the tools they need to learn, grow and prosper.

Closing Thoughts

The reality of EdTech is to create a sustainable ecosystem that provides every prospective student access to education in a simple and cost effective manner. Recruitment platforms, online courses and tutors around the world are establishing a network that helps align students’ skills with the best fits for their career development. 

At the heart of EdTech is the principle that education is the gateway to a prosperous future, and the rapidly growing industry is looking to open that gateway for as many students as possible. An educated world is a prosperous world. And, that is only possible if everyone has a shot at the education they want and deserve.

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