Despite coming from a small town in Assam, Dinesh Lahoti, 26, managed to grab a seat in one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, IIT Guwahati. On graduating, he worked with Reliance as a Field Engineer. He has always felt there were inadequacies in the Indian education system. Dinesh wanted it to be more fun, lively and interactive, something that the country’s system never seemed to offer. On watching a show by the famous mathematician Arthur Benjamin, he hit the idea of organising a Mathematics show called Wow Maths Show, a medium to make children fall in love with the subject of numbers. He named the company Edugenie. Starting up in Guwahati, the initial response was overwhelming; he started searching for a team to expand the operations. His search ended with his batchmates from IIT Guwahati, Kuldeep Karwa and Abhimanyu Baker. Kuldeep, 25, from Assam, worked as an Analyst with Global Analytics for a year while Abhimanyu, 25, from Haryana, was a Consultant with Headstrong (global consulting and IT service) for 18 months.
Started in March this year, Edugenie has six permanent employees. Dinesh adds, “Our entire concept is based on the Chinese proverb that says ‘I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand’. We work towards making Maths and Science more applied, fun and interactive.” Edugenie also develops cost-effective teaching aids and they provide training to teachers. They conduct short-term workshops and provide year-long support, which includes training for teachers and lab installations. Apart from WOW Maths and WOW Science, they also have other programmes like WOW Science Sunday School and WOW Space. Edugenie also runs a community learning centre in Parijat Academy which caters to more than 500 students from 12 tribal villages of Assam.
Some of the features that Edugenie is planning to introduce are Maths and Robotic labs for schools, teacher training academy, space clubs and community learning centres. Kuldeep adds, “Edugenie is inspired by Kolbe’s learning model which insists on ‘learning through doing’, Edugenie’s products and services are personalised to a huge extent.” Operational in Gurgaon as of now, they are planning to expand to Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar in a bid to increase their operations.
Abhimanyu adds that getting parents and schools to adopt this new methodology took a lot of convincing. Planning to break even in two years, Edugenie’s revenue comes from schools, parents and government. “Schools pay us for our training and workshops. Parents pay for our after school enrichment programmes and Government give us consultancy project in Maths and Science education,” he says.