Introduction about Pankaj, what’s your journey like?
I lead the Product Design and Learning & Development Team at Wizklub. In my previous role, I was the Senior Architect at Wipro building Conversation IoT Solutions for BFSI, Healthcare, Automotive sectors. Prior to Wipro, I led the Digital Technology Office (DTO) in Enterprise Application Services at Cognizant.
I have a passion for innovation using advanced technologies and have worked across IoT, Conversational AI, Blockchain, Mobile Robotics, hardware & software.
I am passionate about applying technology to build products that make a fundamental difference to the skill of a learner. I like building products that are outcome focused and at the same time ignite a spark to make the learner fall in love with learning.
Can you explain more about WizKlub
WizKlub is a Bengaluru based ed-tech startup, that builds cognitive and tech excellence for school children through its research-based programs for 5-16 year olds, delivered on its AI powered tech platform. WizKlub delivers a personalized learning path for every child for maximum efficacy. Our HOTS Program develops higher-order thinking skills to ensure that every child is a smart reader and an adept problem solver.
The WizKlub SmartTech Program, a first-of-its-kind for children as young as 6 years, builds lifelong skills and confidence to create tech products by application of coding, design, robotics, and IoT smart devices. The startup has progressed 10000+ children through its programs.
How is online education helping WizKlub during the pandemic?
We have seen a hockey stick growth post the pandemic with children across age groups and irrespective of the type of devices they own, have been forced to move online to keep their learning journey going on.
Wizklub’s products are delivering results in terms of improved learning and problem-solving aptitude for kids and parents are able to see these changes prominently. Parents see their child picking up skills that they earlier didn’t possess or polishing and sharpening their existing skills. They become an active reader where they are able to connect the elements, make predictions and inferences.
With kids being at home, WizKlub programs have been designed to ensure holistic cognitive development across Critical, Logical and Creative Thinking, and also build the necessary technology perspective with exposure to skills like coding and robotics in early childhood itself. All WizKlub programs deliver a personalized learning environment for maximum interest and learning efficacy and we have delivered over 100,000 hours of learning to students across the world so far.
Role of emerging technologies in ed-tech? its ROI expected compared to traditional systems?
The world is moving towards Ambient Computing, every machine will come with the capability to converse with humans. Conversational AI which is behind this emerging technology is available today for kids to program. We at Wizklub have built the first Voice Developer tool which is used to program Alexa devices across the world in 15 languages.
Kids need to get a hold on this emerging technology today as in the next few years they will be able to program the most advanced of the AI systems with this capability. A program written in the Conversational AI can be deployed to Televisions, Cars, Microwave, Wall Clocks and other devices which is breaking the boundaries of everything written for a mobile or PC.
Moreover the AI is enabled on every possible edge device and is operated from the cloud without putting any computational load on the edge devices. Kids need to see this future of machines and that’s what we are trying to make.
Challenges faced in education sector
The education sector is still trying to offer declarative knowledge based solutions. It is not possible to bring in the value of the latest technologies with the kind of technology kid’s are surrounded with currently. Most children are just becoming consumers of this technology and failing to understand the creation part of it. It needs deep research and product development to give them the ability to move from a consumer mindset to a creator mindset.
What is the USP of WizKlub
One stop destination with options like coding, tech product development, so that kids can get to know many things and develop a liking towards one/ two core activities. The parent can then invest in paid programmes that the child is interested the most in. WizKlub offers programs that are beyond academics, all at one place.
Measurable output – We have a pedagogical framework and use Wisc, an IQ metric scale that is world’s most advanced independent tool that measures the IQ of a child. Wisc stands for Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Programs that offer high learning efficacy at the fraction of a cost. WizKlub takes 5-6 students in the batch at competitive pricing of Rs. 2000 for a class.
Funding received (if any)
WizKlub has raised INR 15 crore from Incubate Fund India (Japan) and Insitor Impact Asia Fund (Singapore) and renowned angels.
User base they have achieved till now
WizKlub has progressed 5000+ children through its programs.
New Areas for Expansion
Yes, we are looking to expand internationally by way of partnering with like-minded start-ups/ companies
The overall direction is to continue investing in Conversational AI and IoT devices to deliver higher learning efficacy and richer learning experiences for our young learners.