Nikita Sivakumar, Co-Founder and CEO, AdmitNXT

Nikita started out in one of the fast-growing ecosystems in the world – Turbostart – a sector-agnostic national program aimed at helping start-ups find their way and beyond, from its inception in 2019. A year down the line, she then went on to be part of the founding team of Ken42. While interacting with and learning from academicians, administrators and owners of educational institutes, she came to be aware that many institutes were not being served well by their existing systems and processes – especially across the admissions lifecycle. She and her co-founders saw an opportunity to make a difference and went on to start AdmitNXT- the #1 AI First Admissions Solution – powered by Salesforce. Their solution harnesses the power of AI to drive the entire admissions cycle from lead sourcing to enrollment.

 

In every aspect of our lives, change is a constant – and the best way to deal with change is not to avoid, but to adapt. When it comes to technology, adaptability is a must, as it is always in a state of change – continuously evolving in order to stay relevant. During the pandemic, while many sectors struggled, the most negatively impacted was education. While there are multiple reasons for this, their level of technology implementation across their processes was a huge contributing factor. While educational institutions were the first to shut down when the first wave hit, the demand for education skyrocketed to new heights.

This is a massive opportunity for education institutes and technology implementation, if done right, can act as a true enabler and game changer.

Meeting specific challenges with tech 

While every industry has been impacted by the pandemic, educational institutions have been expected to continue fulfilling their commitment to their students. At this time, it was evident that technology was no longer ‘a nice to have’, but a must. Overnight, it became the education sector’s greatest need.

Slowly but surely digital transformation in education has begun, but more importantly, all the stakeholders are aware and beginning to accept the need to adapt to these new ways of engagement.

Prior to the pandemic, one of the most significant challenges was in managing the entire admissions lifecycle. With the addition of indefinite lockdowns, working from home, and the inability to meet in person, it has led to greater roadblocks in an already complicated process. Moreover, with the number of students seeking admissions doubling in the recent past, and continuing to rise, digitization of the admissions process was unavoidable.

With more and more institutions using ed-tech solutions to simplify the experience for both students and the institute, automated admissions has made the entire process more efficient, flexible and meaningful, eliminating long dreaded necessities such as waiting in queues, and running between multiple desks for simple tasks.

Another valuable outcome of digitized admissions is the transformation of the way we engage with stakeholders in the education ecosystem. Increasingly, educational institutions are seeing the value of building relationships and communicating effectively, allowing a more pleasant, and hassle-free experience to all. This shift in thinking has led to significant costs saving, better collaboration between teams, and improved performance.

While these are all important benefits from a business and brand perspective, the environmental impact shouldn’t be missed. By automating and digitizing admissions processes, we can enable a paperless office, minimizing our carbon footprint while maximizing impact.

Digitizing admissions from end-to-end  

Ed-tech solutions run the risk of becoming irrelevant unless user adoption is ensured, and user adoption can only be guaranteed if the new way is better and easier than what existed before. When it comes to admissions, a solution that can address every stage of the process from enquiry and application to entrance exams and interviews to facilitating enrollment is what is needed. Moreover, each institution has its own nuances, so not only is user adaptability important, but so is adaptability of the solution.

Once the basic requirements such as online application form collection and fee payment are implemented, understanding what additional capabilities a product can offer to provide a better experience is key. Right from anti-cheating surveillance for online entrance exams, to live chat functions for student and parent engagement, the possibilities are endless.

AI-powered Admissions 

As technology further develops, institutions must strive to do the same. Let’s look at artificial intelligence as an example. What was once considered futuristic has now become so imbibed in our everyday lives.  Even in education, integrating AI with many functions can have numerous benefits in driving efficiency and productivity.

For example, AI-powered chatbots are efficient at pushing students seamlessly through the admission funnel, enabling immediate and deeper student engagement. The function is effective in retaining students as much as they support the recruitment function by personalizing the interaction. It also leads to a wider reach by making you available 24x7x365 and letting you interact with multiple prospects at a time.

In addition to student engagement, AI-powered chatbots enable the gathering and filtering of student data, analyzing interactions, and sending the relevant details to the right teams, thus simplifying work for your teams.

A Technology-empowered education industry

Technology has transformed the educational landscape and provided numerous conveniences to every stakeholder. From one-click processing to consolidated, organized, enhanced, and centralized platforms for various functions in every type of educational institution, technology can empower educational institutions to reach new heights. All you need to do is adapt and your opportunities are endless.

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