Adda247: On a Mission to Take Quality Education to the Masses  

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Anil Nagar

For a long time, the path to success in India has remained unchanged. An education at one of India’s leading institutes follows by employment at a series of MNCs. However, this clearly defined path has begun to blur of late. Gaining entrance to one of the nation’s top-ranked educational institutes is now an almost impossible prospect, with millions of applicants competing for a handful of seats. Despite the long odds, students nationwide continue to apply in droves. 

With a global economic slowdown upon us, even those lucky few who have successfully navigated this path are left shaken. The biggest companies in the world have embarked on massive rounds of layoffs, and job security is a thing of the past. In this uncertain new climate, many students are now gravitating toward government employment. At one point in time, government jobs were the most desirable in the country. They were a chance to serve the country and contribute to its progress and a point of pride for families and the wider community. In addition, they also offered highly competitive pay packages and pension plans, among numerous other benefits. With graduates now facing numerous challenges, many are once again beginning to turn to government jobs and all they have to offer. 

The sudden sacking of so many skilled workers by some of the largest companies in the world has left a sour taste in the mouths of many employees. Once viewed as a ticket to a better life is now being viewed with more suspicion. Instead, much interest is again being given to a job in the public sector. Irrespective of this, most of the Indian population is still inclined towards government jobs, and Adda247 is helping millions of students every year to prepare for these government recruitment exams. Thus, Saurabh and I founded Adda247 to empower every Indian youth by providing them with career guidance and quality education.

The Perils of the Corporate Sector

With a global economic slowdown now on us, even this once-guaranteed path to career success is now at risk. The last quarter of 2022 and the first of 2023 have seen massive layoffs in the tech sector. The biggest names in the industry, including Amazon, Twitter, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Meta, have all announced job cuts, with tens of thousands of highly qualified tech workers left unemployed. Overall, the tech industry has cut an estimated 257,000 jobs in the last year, disproportionately impacting Indian workers in the sector. Industry estimates suggest they account for roughly a third of these job losses. A similar scene has played out in the Indian startup space. Booming just a year ago, the global slowdown and the subsequent tech funding winter have seen the sector’s rapid growth falter. Funding in Indian startups has been on a steady decline from the start of 2022; the USD 25 billion raised last year represents a drop of 40 per cent compared to 2021. With the focus now shifting to cutting costs and turning profitable, layoffs have been severe – over 22,000 employees have been let go by major names in the space. 

The sudden sacking of so many skilled workers by some of the largest companies in the world has left a sour taste in the mouths of many employees. Once viewed as a ticket to a better life is now being viewed with more suspicion. Instead, much interest is again being given to a job in the public sector. Irrespective of this, most of the Indian population is still inclined towards government jobs, and Adda247 is helping millions of students every year to prepare for these government recruitment exams. Thus, Saurabh and I founded Adda247 to empower every Indian youth by providing them with career guidance and quality education.

Why Government Jobs Will Always Be in Demand

The first is the breadth of job options available with the Government. The State recruits across a wide array of sectors and for a tremendous number of varied roles. Civil services, railways, postal services, the defence sector, banking, and teaching are just a few of the roles available. A job with the Central Government also provides employees with a measure of job security, an extremely valuable commodity in uncertain times. These roles also provide several other benefits – equitable pay packages, guaranteed pensions, housing, retirement benefits, and insurance coverage. 

As attractive as this may sound, qualifying for a government position is no easy task. The competition for a State job is as intense as that of any IIT. Huge numbers of applicants for a limited number of positions and extremely challenging exams both stand in the way of securing a role. Therefore, good quality education and intensive preparation are vital to securing such a role. With this, Adda247 is the first and only startup in the government test prep segment that offers preparation and assistance for all government job exams, including banking recruitment such as SBI, RBI, Staff Service Commission, UPSC, CTET, NABARD, JAIIB, CAIIB, NDA, etc.

The Impetus for Adda247

Hailing from a village in Uttar Pradesh, I followed the traditional path to success – after gaining admission to IIT BHU, I secured a job with the multinational consulting firm Cognizant. As such, I am deeply familiar with the challenges this path poses. While I had successfully made the journey, the same could not be said for many other students who shared my background. A lack of quality education and the absence of sufficient opportunities both contributed to holding many learners in place, unable to advance in life and build a better future for themselves. Today, Adda247 caters to approximately 80-100 million government job aspirants across India who usually have to put up with the substandard quality of courses provided by local offline players in this highly unorganised and fragmented market.  

This was especially true of the corporate sector, where graduates from urban India – fluent in English, and with better connections and educational access – always held an edge over their rural counterparts. All these realisations led me to start Adda247.  

Our focus on serving as an educational resource for rural India has always been clearly defined. To truly fulfil this goal, however, we must recognise that the next wave of internet users is set to come from regional language markets across the country. Per a report by Google, 90 per cent of internet users prefer to use their local language to search and carry out tasks online. These users from Tier II, III, and IV markets are now driving the digital revolution in the country.

The Digital Transition

The year 2015 saw the Central Government launch the Digital India initiative, with a vision to transform the country into a digitally-enabled society and knowledge economy. Working closely with private partners, the Government began overhauling and upgrading digital and physical infrastructure. The result saw massive improvements in bandwidth connectivity and availability, affordable smartphones, and easily affordable data plans. This period saw the launch of Reliance’s Jio network, whose affordable pricing finally allowed a vast swathe of the population access to the internet. 

Knowing these developments’ massive impact on the educational sector, we launched Adda247 as an online learning platform for government jobs in 2016. Access to the internet was now affordable and accessible to rural India for the first time, and this route could be used to help students prepare for their exams. Today, we cater to approximately 85 million government job aspirants across India, offering them a high-quality education that is both affordable and accessible. This is achieved through a staff of highly qualified educators and a content repository of more than three million questions, over 50,000 hours of recorded video lectures, and a state-of-the-art e-book library. We also offer comprehensive solutions for all learning needs, including – Online Live Classes, on-demand video courses, mock tests, eBooks, etc.

Alongside this, we also devised an innovative way of engrossing the learners by gamification of certain elements to enhance the learning experience and break the monotony, for example, coins and rewards for joining or excelling on topics that can be redeemed by the learners to get new courses.

Vernacular – Driving India’s Next 300 Million Internet Users

Our focus on serving as an educational resource for rural India has always been clearly defined. To truly fulfil this goal, however, we must recognise that the next wave of internet users is set to come from regional language markets across the country. Per a report by Google, 90 per cent of internet users prefer to use their local language to search and carry out tasks online. These users from Tier II, III, and IV markets are now driving the digital revolution in the country. Despite a 2.5x rise in internet connectivity over the last four years, the overall penetration still stands at only 40 per cent. Adda247 has always focused on inorganic growth, and instead of spending an enormous amount on marketing to bring users on board, the pandemic period was used to broaden the course catalogue and add vernacular options to reach a bigger user base.

In an era of economic uncertainty, the accessibility and affordability of quality education can mean the difference between secure employment and an uncertain future. By building its reputation on these two tenets and offering students a chance to study in their native language, Adda247 has established itself as one of the country’s most trusted online platforms. By delivering phenomenal results and providing a pathway for secure employment, we have always worked tirelessly to contribute to the country’s future through education. 

Recognising this trend and the enormous demand for affordable quality education in this market, we launched our courses in 12 vernacular languages – Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Odia, Gujarati, Punjabi, Bhojpuri, Malayalam, Hindi, English, and Assamese. Coinciding with the pandemic and the first lockdown, this vertical saw tremendous growth as students’ inclination to study in their regional languages has grown. Currently, we cater to more than 500+ exams (State and Central level), with the user base growing tenfold in the last year. 

In an era of economic uncertainty, the accessibility and affordability of quality education can mean the difference between secure employment and an uncertain future. By building its reputation on these two tenets and offering students a chance to study in their native language, Adda247 has established itself as one of the country’s most trusted online platforms. By delivering phenomenal results and providing a pathway for secure employment, we have always worked tirelessly to contribute to the country’s future through education. 

Anil Nagar is the Founder and CEO of Adda247.