The last decade has seen a major growth in the Indian ed-tech market, with startups raising millions in funding and achieving phenomenal user growth. However, the Indian education system is still largely exam-driven, and selection to most universities is dependent on entrance examinations alone.
Accordingly, most ed-tech companies focus on catering to this existing sentiment. That said, over the last few years, the market has moved from offering one-size-fits-all solutions to now embracing a personalized approach, combining online and offline experiences. One such education company which focuses on student engagement and development is Walnut Knowledge Solutions.
Established in Bengaluru in 2014, the company uses quizzes and storytelling to enhance students’ knowledge. The company believes in asking questions in order to build context and connections in the world that surrounds us. Its program uses questions along with comprehension, context building, listening, storytelling, and many more activities to help kids construct a framework of how to think. It emphasizes on teaching them to see how, why and what they know come together, to form a comprehensive world view. The company provides every child the opportunity to ask questions, be heard, and be answered.
Walnut has achieved numerous landmarks under the dedicated leadership of Sachin Ravi, the Co-Founder and Head of Business Development and Raghav Chakravarthy, the Co-Founder and Head of Research and Development. After his stint as a legal manager at ICICI in Hyderabad, Sachin decided to convert his passion for all-things-quizzing into a profession and Co-founded the company with Raghav.
After graduating as a lawyer, Raghav spent two years in ICICI Bank as a legal manager. While honing his legal skills, he always remained attached to his passion – quizzing. An avid quizzer since his days at school in Bangalore, he has participated in and won a host of quizzes on various topics.
The Inception Saga
Sachin and Raghav crossed paths while they were students at Symbiosis Law School in Pune. There, they realized that they could nurture in children their own sense of curiosity and develop the love of quizzing in them. While having immense fun interacting with them, Sachin & Raghav also realized that through quizzing, they were enabling children to learn how to think—a skill that would hold good throughout school and life. This thought planted the seeds of Walnut Knowledge Solutions.
Under their leadership, the company has set over 300 quizzes for kids, corporates, and others. They also hold a record for conducting quizzes on all 7 continents – including Antarctica. In addition, Walnut runs the flagship QShala program. Despite being satisfied with serving their roles as quizzers and founders, their major achievement comes from enabling children to think out of the box and stumping them with novel ideas.
“Children, in particular, have an impossible number of why’s and how’s through which they make sense of the world. This innate curiosity is slowly lost as children (and parents) fall into habits of rote learning and use exam performance as an indicator of progress. Walnut hopes to stem this and keeps the spirit of curiosity and lifelong learning alive,” state the co-founders.
Walnut marches ahead with its flagship program – QShala, which is a selection of live online video-based classes conducted in small groups for children. The company aims to equip children with the necessary skills that will prepare them for a challenging future. Accordingly, QShala combines fun, interesting questions along with a collection of activities focused on communication, collaboration, creativity, and learning how to learn.
All the content and engagement of the program is designed with the goal of sparking curiosity among children and developing a questioning mindset – by simply asking more questions about everything they see around them. The various activities in QShala help build an attitude for problem solving and teaching children to reason better and solve problems methodically. It helps children how to learn rather than what to learn and empowers them with the skills to pick up any skill for an ever-changing future.
A Competitive Edge
The company has gained the upper hand, owing to its deep, multi-year relationships with marquee schools across the country. It has served as a trusted partner to 40+ top schools, and QShala is a recognized brand in every student’s mind across these schools.
Walnut’s offline program has received incredibly positive responses from parents, owing to the fact that more than 3000 children have graduated from it. Consisting of some of the finest quizzers in the country, the company has been curating and delivering engaging content for more than a decade now.
Heading towards a Bright Future
After transitioning to an online product, Walnut is excited about its growth trajectory. It states, “Indian parents are increasingly aspirational and a product which merely supplements classroom curriculum or helps with test preparation will no longer suffice. Parents are increasingly looking at developing real world skills in their children and preparing them for the uncertainty of the 21st century”. The company believes there is huge scope in this space. It is confident about its future growth prospects and has set its sights on accomplishing ambitious targets.