Santosh Khatawate is behind the promising enterprise EDUBUDDY, which is digitizing schools in Tier II and III cities of India.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted almost every traditional sector, affecting day-to-day operations and management. However, it also played the role of a major catalyst in enhancing digital learning through EdTech platforms, which had already been on the rise for the last few years. However, the transition from a physical to a digital classroom proved to be smooth only for those in metros and bigger cities, while those down the ladder suffered heavily.
It was this disparity in digital educational facilities that caught Santosh Khatawate’s eyes. He went on to establish EDUBBUDDY, an innovative EdTech platform, to empower students, educators and parents from Tier II and III Indian cities with digital education and school management.
From Passion to Prodigy
Hailing from Karnataka, Santosh Khatawate had always shared a deep interest in technology and its myriad applications. After completing his graduation in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2001, Santosh went on to work at the prestigious Tata Consultancy Services for a few years, followed by the world-renowned Infosys.
In 2010, Santosh quit his job at the multinational tech giant and started handling his family business in the textile manufacturing industry. His passion for information technology, however, continuously inspired him to learn and develop his skills in the segment. Santosh developed multiple apps, such as Seedhabech, dedicated to product marketing of textile factories.
After attending a marketing session by an educational content developer, which was also attended by principal and friend Dr Manjeeth Jain, Santosh initiated a discussion on the need for a comprehensive and affordable EdTech product for schools, focussed on Tier II and III areas. An idea was born, which gradually shaped into one of the most innovative and promising platforms for the education segment in India – EDUBUDDY.
The venture was ideated between November-December 2020 and began development in February 2021. Within a short span of 4 months, EDUBUDDY was declared as the go-to EdTech solution for schools by Education India, as part of their Principal’s Conclave at Belgaum. The venture is set to go live on June 30, 2021.
Catering to the Masses
“New age digital learning has already become prevalent in the metros and larger cities, and requires the two streams of Information Technology and School Academics to come together for an efficient solution”, says Santosh. However, the underserved sections of Tier II and III cities of India are still lagging due to a lack of infrastructure, awareness and accessibility. EDUBUDDY is solving this problem with its accessible digital platform targeted at these unserved areas.
Santosh was also quick to realize the gap in the existing EdTech segment in India, which offers resources almost entirely to students alone. Even the prominent players in the field are more or less student-centric only, leaving behind educators and parents for whom the entire concept and practice of EdTech is a new experience.
Therefore, Santosh ensured that his venture EDUBUDDY provided an equal emphasis on the needs of teachers, principals and parents alike, besides students of different age groups. Its dashboard has been designed to accommodate Student Buddy, Teach Buddy, School Buddy and Parent Buddy portals for corresponding users.
A Solution for a Brighter Future
Santosh Khatawate’s venture focuses on creating an easy-to-use school management system and digital content platform for primary and middle-school students, up to Grade 8. Besides, it generates skill-based activities and curriculum to make learning more enjoyable and relevant. EDUBUDDY also imparts training to teachers, principals, school administration and staff to help smoothen their transition from conventional to next-gen technology-based school management systems.
“We started EDUBUDDY to help schools, especially from the Tier II and III cities, to leverage technology for digitized schooling,” Santosh says. “With our expertise and vision, these schools can now take learning experiences online, besides events, annual functions, meetings and more. I hope this venture can bring about a true revolution in schools, and make students, educators, parents and staff more resilient in the coming future.”