Jayashankar Balaraman is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded KNEWCLEUS Online Services at Bangalore in May 2011, and looks after the companys vision, product design and branding, overall operations and client interactions. Prior to KNEWCLEUS, he co-founded SportzVillage, a sports marketing and consulting firm, and Karnab.com, a digital marketing company.
KNEWCLEUS is India’s largest parent-school engagement platform with over 1,50,000 users across 40 schools in five cities. In just three years since its launch, the platform has enabled over 10 million interactions via posts, messages and SMS between the schools and parents, enabling parents to be better informed and engaged with the school, and resulting in a much higher parent satisfaction across many schools in India.
Their services allows teachers to structure their assessments to improve productivity and accuracy while working in a paperless environment. Parents can monitor the student performance and engage directly with teachers and administrators, who get a bird’s eye view of the performance of the school. Some of their customers include Mount Abu School, Delhi International Public School, Capitol High School, Bangalore, RIMS Undri High School, Pune, Islamic International School, Mumbai and St Xavier’s High School, Ahmedabad. KNEWCLEUS hopes to usher in the era of parent engagement in Indian schools and aims to engage five lakh users in the next 12 months.
The startup has a comprehensive Student Information System that ensures easy and efficient record management for the school. There is a CCE compliant Intelli Grade-book that allows teachers to easily create regular assessments. Based on these, the company’s own Analytics Engine determines where the student needs extra support and a Discovery Engine tracks down the most relevant remedial content that is available on the web for the student to study. Teachers can also use the Assignment System to create paperless online tests. The CollabTool allows all the stakeholders to collaborate and share information, the most contemporary way to disseminate information and enhance learning.
Jayashankar spent over 17 years working across advertising, marketing, internet and software, with leading advertising agencies Mudra and Grey Worldwide. Prior to founding SportzVillage, he was the Chief Operating Officer of a Tech Support startup, QSupport Technologies. He is currently part of the governing council of Legacy School, a leading IGCSE school in Bangalore. Born in Pune, where his father worked as an engineer in Tata Motors and mother as a Government Accountant, he moved to Chennai to do a BSc (Physics) at Loyola College, and followed it with postgraduation in Management from IRMA, Gujarat.
“The focus on the education sector was the result of my own struggle for timely information from schools where my children studied, a concern that many other parents echoed. Interactions with the teachers were limited and did not provide insights about how the children performed in school. Teachers rarely have information at their fingertips, in a world where everything is communicated in real time. This gap led us to establish KNEWCLEUS,” recalls Jayashankar about how he started working on the idea.
Jayashankar has always had advisors in his businesses that have asked the right questions to stay focused and move forward. “The education industry needs a lot of innovative solutions and India is probably the frontier where our unique private school model and huge size will allow for lot of innovation,” he says.