In a country like ours where a good education is not always accessible to people, communication almost becomes a barrier for people to secure decent jobs. Taking matters into their own hands, Kings Learning, founded by Arshan Vakil, is helping solve the problem.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Arshan attended Cathedral school, and then went on to pursue Systems Engineering and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, USA. Upon returning back, he went on to join an e-commerce start-up called Hopscotch.in as their very first employee. After his 2-year stint as a project manager here, he moved to Bangalore to set up Kings Learning with his college roommate.
While working at Hopscotch, Vakil observed that a lot of people had trouble with the English language, which made communication a huge challenge. Over the weekends, he ran a mentorship program which helped 10th and 12th grade students secure jobs, since English was a big barrier for them. That is when he and his roommate, who was working in the education sector, decided to formally tackle the issue at hand. This led to the birth of Kings Learning, with a goal of building accessible tool for people for whom the English language was a hindrance to their career growth.
What sets Kings Learning apart from the other English learning apps is their industry-focused learning methodology. They started with the retail industry, teaching people how to communicate in order to make them more employable in the sector. The app will take you through simulated conversations in a workplace setting, where one can learn the vocabulary and communication skills required for that particular industry. Since then, they have introduced courses for hospitality and call centres, in addition to a general English course that is also available.
Last year, Kings Learning raised $2.5 million in funding, and in March received 1,20,000 downloads in the first 24 hours of the ‘Enguru’ Jip Phone app launch. But such success was incomplete without a set of challenges – hiring the right people for the company was one of them. “For any company, hiring the right team and finding the right talent is a big challenge, but we were very lucky in that area”, Arshan says. The second challenge comes with the product itself. While they have a variety of users, the revenue generated is zero, and the challenge lies in building a sustainable business. “One of our core focus areas is building a business that people value and will pay for”, he added.
Currently, Kings Learning has a strength of 35 full-time and 25 part-time teachers. The Enguru app is also available for giant enterprises like Westside, Oberoi Hotels, Natures Basket, and vocational courses for Voltas CSR division. Arshan spoke to us more about Kings Learning, and the advice he has for budding entrepreneurs –