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Explanatory learning pioneer: Shrishti Jain

EducationWorld May 2021 | People

Shrishti JainShrishti Jain is the cerebrally-driven founder CEO of Reading Right (estb.2013), a Kolkata and Delhi-based proprietary firm which she believes is ready, willing and able to give a huge boost to the learning outcomes of a wide spectrum of learners ranging from school children, college, university students to business executives. Following intensive research over seven years, Jain has built a 15-member core team of software professionals which is led by CTO (chief technical officer) Som Sankar Naskar. Together, they have developed a revolutionary SaaS (software as a service) tool — including a ready-to-use dashboard — which enables every teacher to insert supplementary online explanation to any difficult-to-grasp textbook content, across all subjects.

Newspeg. This software package perfected and launched in the “stealth mode” in over 700 institutes thus far, is set to go big time with two un-named state governments and a national exams board having signed up schools/colleges falling within their ambit.

History. A business management graduate of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and the top-ranked Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, which awarded her a merit scholarship, Jain began her professional career in 2016 as a lead consultant to the ministry of planning, heading infrastructure, energy and urban development for the government of Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile, she had already conceptualised and registered Reading Right as a path-breaking proprietary firm based on deep lateral and critical thinking modules. “Although my father, a Kolkata-based businessman is an avid reader of business newspapers, I hated having to read them because of their complex language. News reports and editorials covering a wide canvas of politics, economics, law, sociology among other subjects in a technical bouquet of words often need deeper explanation. Thus the idea of developing a software program to insert explanations on any given paragraph, line or word in the daily newspaper was born,” recalls Jain. Reading Right began its operations seven years ago with physical format programs centred around a curriculum crafted out of newspaper reports and edits which has transfigured into ‘smarticles’ on the firm’s dashboard and app.

Direct talk. “The basic model for smarticles is to provide people with the option to purchase single stories/news articles across media publications, instead of an entire subscription along with explanations — in the form of images, videos or audio notes — provided for every concept/line by expert practitioners. Eventually, we intend to persuade the Central and state governments and premium schools and coaching institutes across disciplines to include this tool in their teaching-learning systems. Through this initiative, we hope to achieve economies of scale which seems plausible because the explanatory notes provided by a good teacher can be shared not only by students of a single school but across schools countrywide. Moreover, this tool offers the guarantee of dramatically improving students’ learning outcomes as explanatory education is way more powerful than conventional chalk-n-talk teaching,” says Jain.

Future plans. With the MPV (minimum product viability) of the SaaS tool having been tried, tested and proven, Jain is all set to scale the firm’s customer acquisition drive. “Reading Right has great potential because of the sheer range of audience our product caters to which includes B2B, B2C and B2G (government) markets. Thus far the response is excellent, largely because of the ease of adaptation of the product. It takes barely ten minutes to comprehend the system and get started. We offer students in India and neighbouring countries a huge opportunity to break with the tradition of rote learning,” says Jain.

Dilip Thakore (Bengaluru)

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