Administrator | May 5, 2016

Incubatee spotlight: Ignus

Ignus aims to provide high-quality, affordable, technology-enabled coaching and academic support for students in tier-2 and tier-3 cities who are aspiring to the IIT-JEE, Olympiads and other competitive examinations in tier-2. By working specifically in smaller cities and towns, Ignus is catering to students who otherwise do not have the ability to access this.

Ignus is committed to helping students learn conceptually, rather than through rote, and is creating content and teaching practices that allow for this. Starting with Grade 8, the enterprise has developed foundational material in Math, Physics, Chemistry and Biology, as well as subject matter pertaining specifically to competitive examinations. The company provides students with regular tests, as well as counselling with parents and personal tracking of goals to help students develop holistically.

In this updated post, in the video above, Ignus co-founder Mervin Rosario talks about their model, along with students who explain what is attractive about the course.
Below is an older Q&A with Mervin about the company:

What does your company do?
Ignus is a social enterprise that provides the highest quality coaching for competitive exams but at an affordable price in Tier-2 cities in India.
We have a classroom-based model where students come together and learn. Our mode of teaching is mainly through structured video courses, self-study and group discussions. We record the lectures of the best professors in the country and then structure them to fit it into this model.

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Why are you excited about this space?
Video courses have been tried before, but have been done poorly and haven’t succeeded. Also, the non tier-1 cities market is an extremely difficult market to crack, mainly because people are not ready to spend money on education.
We would be pioneering the change in the way education is delivered thus enabling quality education to reach masses. There are very talented students throughout the country, but they do not get an opportunity to go to premier institutes mainly because of a lack of guidance and support. Video courses would enable them to get access to the best teachers at very low cost.

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What is innovative about this product?
Our video courses use content from the best teachers in various subjects in the country. The courses are well structured to enable proven methods of learning like peer group learning, etc. These are much more engaging than a regular classroom and thus keep the students more attentive and active in the class. Since our courses are video-based and lessons are structured, a student can always revisit the concept or the part of the lesson that he or she has not understood, which is not possible in traditional classrooms.
Our classroom model is unique, and is based on students understanding concepts rather than students directly trying to crack the exam. The peer group itself is the most important resource for learning for a student and we try and make full use of this our classrooms.

What impact do you want to have?
We want to make quality education affordable and, thus, accessible to students all over the country. We would like to grow to every district headquarters, first in the state of Karnataka and later across India where we could touch many students’ lives.

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How has Villgro helped?
Villgro has helped us in a number of ways. In the first year, through a programme it piloted, we were able to leave our jobs and work on the idea full-time. It helped us do detailed ground research by which we got a very clear idea of the customer base and helped us pivot our model from an online-based platform to a classroom-based model. It helped us avoid the common mistakes that any startup would do and thus we ended up saving a lot of money and, more importantly, time.
Villgro connections have helped us get the best content in the country, and it also gives us top-notch mentorship which has helped us in almost every step and decision we took.
Villgro’s networks will help us reach our targeted group of students and give them the best of education that we have designed.