Private tutoring is a multibillion dollar industry and according to estimates put together by a leading market research firm, Global Industry Analyst, it will reach 102.8 billion dollars by the year 2018, and double the amount by the year 2020.
Private tuitions are a lucrative industry in Pakistan too. A Pakistani Ed-tech startup called ForiEDU.com is tapping into this market through an online e-learning portal.
This portal provides one-on-one tuition sessions, including crash courses in selected disciplines. To make the learning environment more interactive, the platform is equipped with live video, file sharing and whiteboarding features.
An innovative feature of ForiEDU.com platform is that it allows live interaction between students and tutors.
ForiEdu.com tutors come from some of the leading universities in the country including the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), University of Punjab and University Of Engineering & Technology. The platform lets students choose tutors based on ratings and reviews, ForiEDU.com test scores, educational background, subjects, location, availability and gender.
The startup offers tuition assistance from elementary level up to the masters, covering a wide variety of subjects. It also offers courses in web development, ethical hacking and coaching for IELTS and GRE tests.
ForiEdu.com had been incubated at the LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship and is currently under acceleration at PlanX (a project of the Punjab Information Technology Board). The brains behind the startup are the trio Ammar Raheel, Sajjad Ahmad and Saif Ullah Baig. “I got the idea when I was looking for a tutor and someone referred me to a graduate from LUMS. That tutor, Saif Ullah Baig, and I eventually co-founded the startup,” says Raheel.
The co-founders say they actively encourage women to apply for teaching positions. Be it single mothers, underprivileged females or just talented women who wouldn’t otherwise be allowed to work outdoors, ForiEDU.com strives to get them tutoring jobs to put their talents to good use. One of the female tutors says, “I have not only been able to pay my university fee but I have also been able to self-sufficiently manage my daily expenses for quite some time and I’m still continuing to do so.”
ForiEDU.com platform lets prospective customers avail a two-day free trial (15 minutes for online one-to-one sessions) of its services. Customers can choose from among three payment options: physical, EasyPay and bank wire transfer.
The number of tutors working with the startup has already crossed 2,500. For now, the startup is operating across Lahore but intends to soon expand its operations to cover remote areas of the country. To facilitate students from underprivileged backgrounds, it has set aside 10 percent seats in all of its courses for which no fee will be charged.
Many of its tutors are earning upto PKR 450,000 per annum. Besides, the team is also helping students selected for the LUMS National Outreach Program (NOP) from remote areas of Pakistan, by getting them tuitions.
So far, ForiEDU.com has been successful in creating more than 500 jobs in less than a year and half. “We intend to increase this number to around 5,000 jobs by the end of 2017,” says Baig.