Kolkata-based Achin Bhattacharyya is the founder and CEO of notebook.school (promoted by ABJ Eduventures Pvt. Ltd in 2018), a digital content portal that enables children to learn subjects in their syllabus subjects through engaging videos and text notes. Since its launch a year ago, the portal has attracted more than 600,000 views, and its app has been downloaded 75,000 times with 64 percent downloads emanating from rural and peri-urban habitations. Currently, an average 10,000 students are active on this platform everyday.
Within the company, Bhattacharyya plans strategy and develops content for the portal while co-founders Shubhayu Roy, an engineering and management alumnus of Bangalore and Manipal universities with work experience in multinational companies — L&T Construction, OnMobile (Africa) and Perform Group (UK) — supervises technology management and marketing. Abhishek Dutta, a chartered accountant with a GE and Genpact background, manages systems and processes. The platform is bootstrapped and supported by a team of 100 professionals.
Newspeg. In July, notebook.school launched customised content for children in schools affiliated with the Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal state examination boards. The content is bilingual — English, and Hindi and Bengali respectively — to simulate familiar classroom experiences for K-12 students of these populous states.
History. A chartered accountant with an M.Com degree from Calcutta University, Bhattacharyya began his career in GE (India) in 2004 followed by stints with blue-chip management and accounting firms PwC, KPMG and Deloitte.
“During my 13 years in industry, I travelled across the country and became actively aware that children in small-town and rural India are cruelly deprived of good quality school education,” he says. This epiphany prompted Bhattacharyya to quit his high-flying corporate job as director of Deloitte and conceptualise and eventually launch notebook.school.
Currently, notebook.school content is available to students and teachers free-of-charge. In future, Bhattacharyya plans to introduce an affordable, flexible pricing structure of Rs.500 per subject per month with students free to choose subjects in which they need supplementary education.
Direct talk. “Notebook.school offers students mobile-first self-learning environments. It is available as a mobile app and our website can be accessed on any digital device, anywhere. Learning content is offered in audio-visual as well as text formats. Our exhaustive notes and question banks offer further preparation aid to students. Cell phones are far greater in number than brick-and-mortar schools and offer never-before opportunity to children to access high-quality education content. Our platform can democratise quality education and make it accessible to all,” says Bhattacharyya.
Future plans. With high aspirations for Notebook, Bhattacharyya believes his team’s brain-child can transform into India’s largest edu-tech portal and a one-stop-destination for all types of self-learning needs. “The market for education content in India is almost limitless given our 480 million child population. Our mission is to make high-quality enabling content easily accessible to all who need it,” says Bhattacharyya.
Fasten your seat belts!
Baishali Mukherjee (Kolkata)