An Edtech platform from Switzerland called Avidii has expanded to India and is now providing on-demand educational services. Only a select few are able to stand out from the crowd and make lasting impressions on the industry on the broad terrain of startups where hope meets opportunities and obstacles. One such aspiring story that has captured the attention of the startup community with its creative strategies, unyielding tenacity and revolutionary influence is Avidii.
The firm claims to have successfully recruited over 400 tutors from across the nation. Avidii was founded in 2021 by Deepak Subbarao, Roman Buhler, Xavier Vanderhaeghe and Yannick Streicher in Zurich, Switzerland. In early-2023, Bengaluru, in India, became the company’s primary base.
The Entrepreneurial Journey of the Founder
The professional journey of Avidii founder Deepak Subbarao started when he was still in school. As a kid, he used to sell books to his classmates and this was his first business venture. He pursued a diverse range of degrees to broaden his knowledge and upgrade his skills. He began by pursuing a Bachelor’s course in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious NIT and then a Master’s degree in Information Technology from the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore (IIIT-B), followed by an MBA from Switzerland where he developed a comprehensive approach towards decision-making and received invaluable insights into global company strategies. His unique combination of technical knowledge, creative thinking, and managerial abilities has helped him succeed in a rapidly changing and growing field.
The Idea Behind Avidii, and Its Journey
Like most entrepreneurs, Subbarao has also made mistakes and had companies fail at
the Minimal Viable Product (MVP) stage, too. His idea behind setting up Avidii comes from his childhood when he used to turn standard schoolbooks into audio cassettes so that studying at night would not be hampered by power outages. This is his fourth or fifth successful effort at starting Avidii.
When the pandemic hit in 2020 and schools and educational institutions were closed, the idea for Avidii first took shape. During this time, he became aware of a very clear impediment to high-quality education. Avidii was formally introduced in 2021 and is now active in four nations. The platform allows for an immediate, real-time connection between students and tutors while providing customized, on-demand support. Every student has the potential to succeed, according to Avidii, which is why it is dedicated to giving students cutting-edge tools and resources to help them achieve their unique objectives.
Through the web and mobile apps, Avidii swiftly and painlessly links students with knowledgeable tutors who specialize in a wide range of subjects. For rapid, on-demand and customized instruction in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology, as well as commerce and arts, Avidii provides qualified teachers 24 hours a day. The requirements of numerous educational boards, including the Central Board of Secondary Education, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination and various state boards are taken into consideration while making the app. This enables the students to score good marks in their examinations.
In the beginning, the company was bootstrapped by investing their own money. They tried to make it as long as they could and then began to raise money once the startup had successfully completed the MVP stage. Now, Avidii is searching for individuals who share their visions and enthusiasm for education. Accordingly, they are discussing with high net worth individuals who share their mission and zeal and are eager to support the concept of Avidii.
The Hurdles Avidii Faced
The ambiguity and unpredictability of the EdTech sector were the main difficulties Subbarao faced as an entrepreneur during his startup journey. It was challenging for him to predict the prospective demand for the products and services, making it difficult to plan ahead and arrive at wise decisions. The next major challenge was sourcing finance. Initially, they were a small startup with few resources and convincing investors to fund their business was difficult due to their lack of established creditworthiness. Due to these reasons, they had to think out of the box and use limited resources to locate other sources of funding. Finally, building a strong team was another seemingly insurmountable challenge for Avidii.
Current Structure of Avidii
Subbarao is the co–founder of Avidii and leads the Indian market, product development, services and technology divisions. Besides him, there is a passionate team of professionals, Xavier Vanderhaeghe, whose area of expertise is academics and learning sessions, ensures the formulation of practical educational concepts and the setting up of a tutoring network. Roman Buhler looks after global sales and impactful B2B partnerships and Yannick Streicher takes care of customer support management and class scheduling.
The Targeted Audience
B2B and B2C are the two key customer sectors Avidii focuses on. The primary concentration in the B2C segment is students between the ages of 11 to 18. Students of this age group are at the most formative stage of their educational journey and frequently confront difficulties that necessitate support outside their formal education. The main objective is to offer a platform that recognizes each student’s unique learning preferences and styles.
The Secrets of Success
According to Subbarao, the biggest factor behind his successful entrepreneurial journey is a combination of passion, determination and resilience. According to him, passion drives individuals to pursue their ideas and visions giving them the motivation and energy needed to sustain their endeavours through the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey. Determination pushes entrepreneurs to work hard, take risks and continuously learn and improve resilience enabling us to bounce back from our failures, adapt to changing circumstances and persist despite the inevitable challenges and uncertainties that arise. Finally, the success that followed his ventures helped spur his strong belief in himself and his abilities, along with his dedication and his ability to persevere in the face of adversity.
A Word of Advice for College Graduates
Subbarao advises college graduates aspiring to become entrepreneurs in the EdTech industry to start identifying a genuine problem or gap in the education sector that needs to be addressed and look for innovative ways to make learning more accessible, engaging or personalized using technology. Once you have an idea, conduct a thorough market research to understand your target audience, competition and the potential demand for your solution. Connect with the professionals who are already established in the field to gain valuable insights and guidance, seek out mentorship and join incubators specializing in EdTech.
Lastly, he advises embracing failures as learning opportunities and being persistent in refining and iterating the products and services and always prioritizing the impact your business can have on education and the life of learners.