Kings Learning has presence across 190 locations in India: Arshan Vakil, Kings Learning

The English language Training in India is estimated at US $4.67 billion

English is the third most spoken language in world and remains the most prevalent language in business, understood by over 2 billion people. Globally, with nearly 25 percent of internet users, English is still the most popular language.

In India, there are over 125 million English speaking people with over 250 million non-English speaking internet users in India, and nearly 20 million more people are added to this number every quarter. Nearly, 90% of India is a non-English speaking populace.

The English language Training or ELT market in India is estimated at US $4.67 billion with 60% of that coming from vocational and corporate training. Digital ELT in Asia is expected to reach US $1.6B in 2018 with a CAGR of 14.2% and the Middle East is expected to reach $215M in 2018 with a CAGR of 13.2%.

Kings Learning, a technology-driven English learning start-up, focuses on English language & communication skills training through innovative technology products. The ELT company has online and offline presence across 190 locations in India with global audiences from Asia, Middle East and North Africa. Their app has garnered over 8.5 million downloads and the company has associated itself with leading brands for ELT and with Government of India to introduce blended English learning programs in schools in Rajasthan, Karnataka and Haryana.

Manish Joshi from NewsBarons provides excerpts of an interaction with Arshan Vakil, Founder and CEO of Kings Learning who informs “Our differentiation is centred around the focus on employability’.

Arshan Vakin, Founder and CEO of Kings Learning
Arshan Vakil, Founder and CEO of Kings Learning

NB: What triggered the thought to start a language learning app?

Arshan: I noticed how poor English training hampers career growth while working as a Product Manager at an ecommerce startup and running a mentorship initiative for underserved youth. English was an impediment across the board- from the kids we mentored in the program who were looking for basic entry level positions in retail, hotels etc. to Engineering graduates who struggled with internal communication. My co-founder was already working in education and recognised how much students struggled with English due to the lack of focus on English training.

English is the language of business in India yet there is a lack of quality training. With this problem in mind, we founded Kings Learning, an edtech start up aimed at providing affordable employability focused English language training through innovative technology products.

  • Present in over190 locations in India with over 8.5 million downloads
  • Kings Learning has raised $2.5 million led by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Village Capital and Mr Weihua Yan.
  • Assiciated with leading brands like Trent, Bosch, TCS, Himalaya, Canon, Oberoi, Grasim, Pratham's PACE centers, Dr. Reddy's Foundation, Voltas and Trent.
  • Focus on graduates beyond the top 100 schools who are looking to enter fields like IT, BPOs, Retail and Hospitality.
  • Allotted 10 out of schools for blended English learning program initiated by GoI

With Kings Learning, we are trying to solve this problem using technology. Through the app, users develop enough working knowledge for positions across various service based industries like retail, hospitality, BPOs, IT etc.

NB: There are a plethora of similar service products? How do you differentiate your offerings from competition?

Arshan: Our differentiation is centred around the focus on employability. Beginning with an offline English Language business with plans for future online setup, our approach was to understand our user, their need for English, behaviour patterns and access to technology amongst other factors. One of most important learning’s was to bring focus on immediate benefit through industry specific content. Our target audience likes to learn things that are directly related to their careers. Industry specific courses which allow them to learn functional vocabulary related to their jobs is critical. This is something only we offer.

We view ourselves an employability app where English is a means to more employment opportunities. All our premium courses and features are focused around enhancing employability.

From a product stand point we have also built a completely adaptive tool – enguru learns your strengths and weaknesses and your course adapts based on them. This keeps the content relevant and engaging and the learning as efficient as possible.

Finally, another differentiation is our sustainable offline business and ability to provide blended learning programs. Our content is written by our teachers while being overseen by our Program Director. These are teachers who interact with the audience on a daily basis. At any given point in time, we have approximately 5,000 students pan India and they act as a perennial focus group for any new feature/module/course we add.

All our enterprise program have the option of adding teacher led session to supplement app based learning. We recently launched another feature that enables students to also access live teaching sessions online using our enguru talk live classes platform.

NB: Define your products?

Arshan: We have four major products starting from our Physical Learning Centres to online models like Enguru App, Enguru for Enterprise App and Enguru Talk.

For our Enguru App, we have two core target audiences within India. Our primary target customers are young adults looking for jobs and working professionals who are still relatively new to the workforce. Our secondary target customers are general English learners, especially Women.

Our Enterprises App is split around three main verticals – corporate training with large retail firms, hotel chains and IT firms.

NB: Brief us about your association with Hero Motocorp’s CSR activity?

Arshan: The Government of India will be starting a pilot program in Gurugram and Rewari districts, wherein, they will be introducing smart classes for the students in government schools for the academic year April 2018 – May 2019. 30 schools are included in the program and Kings Learning has been allotted 10 schools. The allotted 10 schools will have “Tab Labs” which will have tablets for the students and a fully functional internet connection.

Kings Learning will be launching a blended English learning program in these 10 schools. In this blended English learning program students will have two 45 minute sessions per week and, after four such sessions, there will be a teacher session once every two weeks. The government school teachers will undergo intensive 3 day teacher training program for conducting the teacher sessions. This program will be initiated for students from 6th to 12th grade. The primary goal of the program is to improve the English fluency and confidence of the students. The app content is also partially mapped to the school curriculum and will also serve as a revision of their school English subject. The entire ‘Saksham Haryana’ program is being generously supported by Hero Motocorp’s CSR division.