In this competitive world, education is the one thing that empowers people. But sadly, a large part of our country is still deprived of this education. Though digitization is the ray of sunshine which can enlighten our country with knowledge and literacy. An IES officer turned entrepreneur, Akhand Swaroop Pandit, Founder of The Catalyst Group is using the power of digitization to empower thousands of youth from every nook and corner of the country to prepare for various Government exams.
Akhand, who himself cleared all government exams envisioned the 'Catalyst Education Group' to help many more clear government exams. His purpose through his startup is to make high-quality education reach every part of the country at an affordable cost so that everybody can compete for irrespective of the difficult monetary or geographical circumstances.
The Catalyst Group - Company Highlights
- Startup Name-Catalyst Group
- Founder-Akhand Swaroop Pandit
- Parent Organization-The Catalyst Group
About Catalyst Group and How it Works
The Catalyst Group provides online courses for different competitive exams like UPSC, SSC, GATE, IES, RRB, State PSC, etc.
Founded in the year 2017, Catalyst Group is an education portal where students have to create their profile by signing up. Then they can enroll in any program by any trainer from the profile.
This platform has a payment gateway enabled on its website so anybody can easily take admission. EMI and other payment options are also available. After taking admission students can attend the classes multiple times on the portal till the expiry date of course. They can download notes, study material, provided by the Catalyst Group and can give online tests on the portal.
Catalyst Group - Target Market
The education sector is currently one of the biggest sectors comprising of around 60-70 lakhs students every year preparing for the competitive exams. Data calculated considering the students filling up forms for different competitions. Currently, Catalyst Group has an intake of 2 lakh students every year and in the coming 5 years, they are expecting it to reach 30-35 lakhs.
Catalyst Group - Founders and Team
The Catalyst Group was founded by Akhand Swaroop Pandit.
The Catalyst Group's founder is Akhand Swaroop Pandit. He belongs to Bareilly, a city in the northern state of India, Uttar Pradesh. Being an average student, Akhand gave all his time and full dedication to his studies and career. Clearly, this makes him the man that he is today. Truly, his success is an inspiration for a lot of young minds who put themselves through these competitive exams.
Akhand started working as an IES officer and later went on to start Catalyst Group. Here, he mentors aspiring candidates of Civil Engineering, IES, GATE, and many more such kinds of government examinations. As an average student, Akhand understands the clear difference between the rules of smart work and hard work.
How was Catalyst Group Started
All of it started when Akhand was in his college days and started his preparation for the UPSC examinations. But he didn't have good study material and he couldn't afford to go to other metro cities due to the hefty fee amount the coaching institutes charged. So he had to study on his own which was quite time-consuming.
After that, when Akhand started teaching, he had to travel to different faraway cities for institutes to deliver the lectures. And that time he felt the need to have a mechanism through which he could teach lakhs of students at a given time. All these experiences led him to the idea of having a Catalyst Platform that connects teachers with students directly.
Students, irrespective of where they are, can take lectures from teachers who are teaching in a different part of the country. Akhand's idea was to bridge this geographical and monetary gap between the students and the teachers.
And that's how he launched The Catalyst Group where the idea was to be able to provide high-quality education at an affordable cost to many. Initially, when they launched through YouTube (catalyst group YouTube), they had roughly 100 students and in the short span of only two and a half years, they are having around 2 lakh students learning on the platform.
Catalyst Group - Name, Tagline and Logo
"Catalyst means something that accelerates the process and here we are doing the same thing by connecting teachers with students," says this genius entrepreneur.
The Catalyst Group is accelerating the careers and process of learning for students. And so the logo is rocket-shaped that is about to launch!
Catalyst Group - Startup Launch
The Catalyst Group launched through YouTube channel from where they got the first 100 customers. The YouTube video lectures were appreciated by everybody which helped them in getting the base right.
The Catalyst team believes that the primary quality is very important for any product. And secondly, people should know that you have a quality product. That's where marketing comes into the picture. The team's continuous point of focus is improving the quality of the lectures and hiring the best faculties to deliver the lectures.
Catalyst Group - Business Model and Revenue Model
The Catalyst Group's revenue model works both ways B2C and B2B. They offer online courses that students can directly purchase from the website for Fees ranging from ₹2,000 to ₹38,000. The Catalyst Group also offers business to universities where they can sell the courses to students pan India.
Catalyst Group - Startup Challenges
One of the major challenges for The Catalyst Group was to gain the confidence of the students in their online classes as in India students feel more comfortable in the conventional system of learning where they regularly have to go for classes and can see the teacher standing in front of them.
To gain their trust they had to first give them free online lectures to make them aware and comfortable with online classes. Because the courses this platform is providing has great quality, the Catalyst team could dodge this challenge successfully.
Catalyst Group - Growth
According to the current stats, they are operating in Jaipur, Patna, Lucknow, and Pune. They also have partnered with institutions like NIT Srinagar, NIT Jamshedpur, BITS Pilani, LPU, Thapar university. The idea of empowering thousands of students with quality education at the mere thought of it sounds so noble. And that's exactly what we need to build a bright future for our nation.
Who is Akhand Swaroop Pandit?
Akhand started working as an IES officer and later went on to start Catalyst Group.
What is education empowerment?
Empowerment is the “process by which individuals and groups gain power, access to resources, and control over their own lives. In the field of education, empowerment theory is often associated with the classic work by Paulo Freire (1972/1986), in Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
How does education empower people in general?
Education empowers people with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to build a better world. The belief that quality education can help reduce poverty and inequality comes from a recognition that education is a basic human right—similar to food and shelter—and that it is vital to protecting human dignity.
How do you empower students to design their future?
5 Ways to Empower Students:
- Give Students Decision-Making Power in an Area of Curriculum.
- Give Your Students a Voice Through Forums for Student Feedback.
- Encourage Meaningful Technology Use in the Classroom.
- Involve Students in "Real" Issues.
- Put Yourself in the Sandbox.