“The Promise of AI Is Particularly Obvious in Ed-tech”, Says Rajeev Tiwari

In a world where technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, and neural networks are defining how we live and interact, it would be unfair to not include in them the education system. Stemrobo technologies, an Ed-tech start-up, with a vision to take education to never seen before spaces, is giving kids the opportunity to be in tandem with the latest developments. Be it tinkering labs, marker spaces, or experiential learning, their offerings are all integrated. Analytics Insight has engaged in an exclusive interview with Rajeev Tiwari, Co-Founder of Stemrobo Technologies.

1. Kindly brief us about the company, its specialization, and the services that your company offers.

We launched STEMROBO Technologies, an ed-tech start-up, in 2016 with the goal of assisting K-12 kids in adapting to STEM education and further enabling their minds to better learn and develop the 21st Century Skills. Today, we are one of the most well-known educational start-ups, encouraging and inspiring students to develop and invent.

With the advent of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, augmented reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT), the scope for STEM education and its relevance has expanded, as India is currently one of the technologically borrowing countries rather than a technologically independent/lending country. This indicates that there is a technical gap that must be filled through a variety of activities and interventions in the school system in order to provide the youth with technological fluency. Our company’s mission is to provide a platform for students all over the world to use learning and innovative technologies in STEM education. We use technology in K-12 education, focusing on unique robotics, coding, IoT, and AI techniques for students. We are also pushing self-paced experiential learning through STEAM-based DIY kits and supporting after-school programs and have been establishing Atal Tinkering Labs in schools as a part of the Niti aayog’s flagship initiative Atal Innovation Mission.

2. How STEMROBO is helping students in skilling them up with the help of the latest technologies as per the demand for 21st-century skills like AI, Coding, and Robotics?

STEMROBO Technologies is mainly focused on developing an ecosystem for students to nurture their innovation and 21st-century skills where STEAM, Robotics, Coding & AI are utilized as crucial tools so that kids can become smart in their academics and solve modern world problems at the same time. STEMROBO provides End-To-End solutions to K-12 Schools for Nurturing Innovation & 21st Century Skills among young Students of Age 6-18 years. STEMROBO offers 21st-century students an opportunity to explore, experience, and bring Innovation through a world-class STEM, AI, Robotics, and Coding Curriculum Integrated with our unique & affordable Technology Products and Solutions delivered in an Online or Hybrid model; thereby enabling and empowering students to be able to become Creative-Thinkers and Problem Solvers. STEMROBO deploys its intuitive graded curriculum through STEMROBO Learn – a digital learning platform at the schools along with unique & affordable hardware DIY kits and works on the capacity building of the teachers throughout to get these contents delivered to the students in an effective manner. Students and Teachers are provided with 24X7 access to STEMROBO Learn LMS (Learning Management System) to access the contents and complete the assignments & quizzes. STEMROBO also has a very strong mechanism in place to track the progress of the individual child and get it shared with the parents on a quarterly basis.

3. How is Machine Learning (ML) shaping the IT/Big Data/Robotics industry today? How is it changing the role of CIOs and Leaders?

Machine learning (ML) is having a significant impact on the IT, big data, and robotics industries today by enabling computers to learn from and make decisions based on data, without being explicitly programmed. This is leading to the development of more sophisticated and autonomous systems, and is allowing organizations to gain insights and make predictions from their data that were previously not possible.

In terms of the role of CIOs and leaders, ML is leading to a shift in focus from managing and maintaining IT systems to using data and ML to drive business outcomes. CIOs and leaders are now being called upon to understand the potential of ML and to lead their organizations in the adoption and implementation of these technologies. This may include identifying and prioritizing business use cases for ML, building internal capabilities and expertise, and working with external partners to gain access to the latest technologies and best practices.

4. AI is projected to be the next market. How is AI contributing to the making of your products and services?

The promise of AI is particularly obvious in Ed-tech, which has experienced a sea change and pushed the future forward during the previous years. Rather than replacing the human brain and innovation, we regard artificial intelligence as a supplementary tool. Although artificial intelligence is currently incapable of doing common-sense tasks in the real world, it is capable of digesting and interpreting massive amounts of data significantly faster than the human brain. The artificial intelligence program can then provide us with synthesized action. In this manner, artificial intelligence assists us in the game-playing of potential outcomes of each action and streamlining the decision-making process. We utilize AI to collect data on how kids learn a language and frequent errors among users who share the same mother tongue, as well as to uncover trends in how knowledge is remembered. Using AI STEMROBO’s LMS can evaluate ideas based on student feedback without the need for human involvement. Artificial Intelligence (AI) can also track student performance, desired goals, learning history, and other data to deliver a highly customized learning experience with the right content, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction.

Reliable content can be produced by automation, including optimizing learning resources using digital self-learning modules. AI-assisted learning systems can deliver results; A result is shown to the learner based on their learning path.

5. How has been your journey in the Ed-tech industry and what is the core technology that you are currently working on?

In 2009, Rajeev and I met while working at a major technology and electronics company. We would often discuss our shared dream of starting our own education technology businesses. Rajeev brought expertise in technology and finance, while I had a passion for technology and education. With 20 years of experience in our respective fields, we both wanted to make a meaningful impact in society by providing K-12 children with STEAM, Robotics, Coding, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence education, which we felt were lacking in traditional education. Through our research in universities, schools, and webinars, we recognized the need for STEM and robotics education in the future. This led us to identify a gap in the industry and in 2016, we founded STEMROBO Technologies with the goal of implementing a “Make in India” philosophy.

Rajeev and I had a goal to bring something fresh to the field of education, specifically in the edtech sector. We recognized that other countries, such as Finland and the Netherlands, had advanced technology due to their emphasis on K-12 education, which led to the rise of successful companies like Nokia and Philips. However, in India, there was a lack of emphasis on basic education and a lack of innovation in the education industry. With this in mind, we founded STEMROBO Technologies in 2016 with the aim of revolutionizing the education industry by focusing exclusively on K-12 basic education.

6. What is your road map for the International Market?

STEMROBO is primed for rapid expansion both in India and internationally. We are also forming global alliances and growing into overseas markets. Taking all of this into consideration, we have set a 500 X 50 aim for the next five years, with a revenue of 500 crores and a product reach of 50 nations.

7. Where are we going from here?

STEMROBO has implemented End-To-End solutions including setting up of Tinkering & Innovation labs in more than 2500+ schools, enrolling more than 10,00,000 students, establishing over 30 activity centers, and developing 20+ robotics and Do it Yourself (DIY) in-house products. We are committed to high growth in India and abroad. We are now joining global tie-ups and reaching into new markets. STEMROBO is going to be the World’s most trusted One STOP End-To-End Solution provider in K-12 Schools for nurturing Innovation & 21st Century Skills among young students by developing a complete ecosystem in the schools itself. By 2025, we are seeking exponential growth by extending our product scope across 70+ countries and we are targeting revenue of INR 500 Cr. We have achieved success in establishing our global identity in a very short time. So far, our teams have reached directly or indirectly in more than 20 countries. We are providing online training in 10 countries of the continent of Africa. Apart from Africa, we’re offering services in America, Australia, Sri Lanka, UK, and other neighboring countries.

8. What changes 5G brings in the Edtech Industry?

The pandemic affected billions of children worldwide, keeping them out of school. As a result, the global education system evolved dramatically, with the rise of e-learning, in which teaching is done remotely and on digital platforms. Schools, colleges, and universities have been forced to implement digital ways of working to ensure that students can continue to learn. No educational institution wants to slow down its students’ academic performance, whether a college, university, or business school. As a result, educational institutions have redirected their efforts toward adapting their teaching systems to the virtual ecosystem. In spite of weak internet connections, E-learning got a great response from the Indians though it couldn’t last long. As soon as the authorities lifted the covid restrictions, the majority of the population switched back to the traditional method of learning.

5G seems to be solving this issue of the low latency of internet connection. Education sector would be one of the major beneficiaries of the country’s 5G technology rollout. Take, for example, a university campus. Wireless network accessibility can be improved by expanding campus reach, and some universities have already begun to integrate this technology. 5G can also improve video conferencing quality, add haptic response capabilities, enhance immersive learning experiences with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and enable education personalization.

5G can help make learning interactive. Lessons that use augmented reality or virtual reality tools can make learning more immersive. AR/VR can improve student comprehension by bringing theoretical concepts to life. It can also be used to train teachers. Interactive lessons with lots of visual content can improve learning outcomes. 5G will have a transformative impact on school education in India, as it has in many other sectors. It can not only help bring reliable broadband access to millions of unconnected students, but it can also cause a sea change in teaching methods, resulting in positive learning outcomes.

Imagine a future where children can capture their learning experiences in different environments such as school, community centers, social volunteering, online gaming, caregiving and then these experiences are aggregated in a single place.

Similarly, imagine a future where educators are able to trace the impact they have had on learners’ journeys. Educators can identify which teaching methods worked best for which learners and which approaches were most effective at enabling the learners to translate that learning into practice.

9. With budget 2023 coming near, what are your expectations for the edtech industry and what significant changes are you expecting to be showcased during the budget?

The New National Education Policy (NEP 2020) has set the pace for skill development for K-12 students. We expect that the Government will increase the education expenditure for the upcoming fiscal year. With more focus on the implementation and last-mile execution of the new policy, quality and tax-free education, and skill development, the reforms will pave way for outcome-based learning, especially for school students. Classroom education needs to go a complete change due to the introduction of new skill-based courses in line with the recent circulars issued by various state and central bodies around the developments to be made in education, we expect that Government will put more focus on the usage of digital education in tier 2,3 cities and envisage avenues to make India as one of the preferred education destinations in the world.

10. How will the Tax/GST affect the online courses that are being offered?

The education sector plays an important role in shaping the future of India. As we all know, a majority of products and services are under the purview of GST in India. Though understanding the sensitivity and importance of the education sector, the GST Act has tried to maintain a fine balance whereby core educational services like books are exempt from GST, and other commercial education services like online courses, and skill-based offline solutions are taxed at a standard rate. However, as the importance of skill development courses rises day by day, it is much needed to ensure rebates are given to the companies working around to develop curriculum and educational solutions and ensuring the benefit of those rebates are passed on to the consumer i.e. the parents and students in this case. The rebates/exemptions in GST will help to lower the prices of the courses/solutions offered and thus help the education solution providers be able to penetrate into tier1 and tier 2 markets at a much more affordable price thus benefiting a large segment of the market.

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