Breaking Down Small Town Barriers
By Rohit Koshy | Bangalore | Published: 03rd August 2015 06:00 AM |
Eckovation is a mobile-based social learning platform created by IIT-Delhi batch mates Ritesh Singh and Akshat Goel, who graduated in 2012. Ritesh had been working for Bosch as a senior engineer where he had two patent applications, and was awarded ‘Employee of the Year’. Akshat was with DeNA in Tokyo, Japan, where he worked on machine learning, and crunched terabytes of data generated every day by the Mobage gaming platform used by games like ‘Final Fantasy Record Keeper’. He is fluent in the Japanese language, having learnt 800 of the 3000 characters.
While still at college, Ritesh started the Society for Advancement of Research in Arts and Science in 2011, which worked on audio-visual based education systems in India. It received a good response in Delhi, but failed miserably in remote areas like Bihar. Using this learning, both of them decided to quit their campus jobs and start Eckovation. The mobile application allows collaboration between students, peers, teachers and parents on a single platform, and hopes to change the way education is imparted. Users can share images, audio files, videos and polls and can set up groups for collaboration among different stakeholders.
“We understand the importance of effective communication between parents and teachers about the performance of their wards. Students also like to browse interesting topics of their interest and share with their friends,” elaborates Ritesh.
Eckovation started in 2014 with the intention of building a full-blown school management system. In the process, they visited hundreds of schools, and saw a common challenge of communication among the various stakeholders. It was a big enough problem to solve, using appropriate technology. They wanted a system that could reach the target customers fast, and be flexible enough for users to create extensions that could allow the network to scale up quickly, thereby creating an entry barrier for their future competitors. It took them three months to develop and test the product with the initial set of users. The initial results were highly encouraging, and they were soon able to launch the product. Eckovation was among the top five start-ups in North India in 2014, according to Inc42 magazine.
Born and brought up in Chapra, Bihar, Ritesh joined IIT-Delhi for Mechanical Engineering. In the first year, his roommate, an alumnus of Mothers International School Delhi, mocked at one of his reports saying it was the kind of work they did in Class V. Ritesh felt hurt, not because of the report, but because of the stark difference in the exposure levels of students from small towns and from the cities. He took it as a challenge to excel in communication, and was actively involved in the Board of Student Publications at IIT. He loved to read non-fiction and watch plays at the National School of Drama. He was also a district-level chess champion, who also played at the state level.
Ritesh counts Mahatma Gandhi as his inspiration, because he came from a small town as well, and was able to transform the world by his power of observation and strong execution skills.
To download the app, please visit www.eckovation.com