August 6, 2015
For those who wanted to do a number of courses, in their own time and space, without having to go to college, here is ‘ChalkStreet’ – a portal to offer a course of one’s choice. Founded by Tyagarajan, Venkat and Rajesh, the site tries to “create the largest marketplace for online courses”.
Talking about the concept, one of the founders, Venkat told Covai Post that ChalkStreet’s vision was to change the way people learn in India. This was by creating the largest marketplace for online courses that brought teachers and learners across the country together.
ChalkStreet is part of Coimbatore-based Focus Academy for Career Enhancement (FACE), which has 14 full-time employees and is fuelled by a healthy dose of enthusiasm, creativity and ‘just do it’ attitude of young professionals.
The portal ChalkStreet is the first India-centric marketplace for online courses that aims to “make learning a habit”. ChalkStreet aims to do this by bringing unique and relevant content from Indian teachers and providing a platform for learning that encourages engagement with other learners and ensures continued learner interest.
This was envisioned as a solution to the problems faced by young learners across the country. Three key problems were identified: No relevant content targeted at Indian learners, affordability of good online courses, and high dropouts due to duration and lack of engagement to sustain online.
Venkat said that their product solved this by bringing in high-quality content from Indian teachers and had an in-house production team that helped authors shoot these videos as well as an internal course review team that maintained a high standard. Their courses were focused on specific topics and were affordable. Their learning platform was encouraging interaction between learners as well as using gamification to motivate course completion and engagements.
“The content on the platform (from hundreds of teachers across the country) is relevant to the Indian learner. We do this by enabling authors across India to teach both popular and unique topics. In addition to popular courses ranging from programming to arts, we have courses that are unique to India like ‘Tamil 101’, ‘Sanskrit’, ‘Aptitude for placements’, etc.
Learners can also learn courses in their favourite regional languages (Hindi, Tamil and Telugu as of now).
The three founders are alumni of IIM, belonging to the 2007 batch. All of them have prior experience working in the online space.