Vidhu Goyal Starts Wonk To Ease Tutor Hunting For Your Kids
The Journey of WONK
“I am getting bored; can I please play games on the iPad?” – requested my 4-year-old with a puppy face. The frequent dilemma of how to engage her beyond a gadget forced me to start looking out for a dance and a skating tutor for her. I asked my friends and colleagues for some references. To ensure the safety of my daughter, I decided to go a step further by exploring more about a tutor’s educational qualifications, experience and other details that matter to any parent before hiring a private tutor. That is when I realized that tutors were hired, more on hearsay, rather than a thought-out manner without any formal screening process.
Being a parent myself, I realised what a huge challenge this maybe for other parents as well. In fact, donning the hat of a mother has also made me understand my target audience better especially the parents as to what they look for when searching for a reliable tutor for their child.
This further helped me to delve a little deeper into the physical coaching and the private tutor market, to understand that the biggest gap was that it is a part of a huge unorganized market. ASSOCHAM evaluates Indian physical coaching industry to be at a massive $40 billion, much ahead of e-commerce and radio taxi markets.
That’s how the idea of WONK – India’s first tutor booking app came into existence. A platform where a student or a parent is able to search, filter and qualify the tutor’s basis their requirements – education qualifications, employment or experience details, feedback from other parents, fee budget and distance.
However, the beginning of my journey wasn’t very encouraging.
“You are already in a comfortable job, why disturb your life?”
“It isn’t as easy as it looks!”
“Women are good at managing operations, not business.”
“The start-up winter has set in.”
“Not many companies have seen success in EdTech sector till now”
…were some of the milder reactions I got when I decided to start my own venture. Being a first-generation entrepreneur with no prior start up or VC experience in the family, it was indeed a surprise for my family and friends when I told them about my decision of starting WONK. The odds were not in my favour.
However, one thing which always helped me put one step ahead of another was – A positive outlook. As a person, I always had a positive attitude towards life. Challenges and hurdles tend to bring the best out of me. In fact, I find life monotonous without any victories to be conquered. I thought that the opportunity is huge and vacant, definitely worth a shot! What is the worst thing that could happen, I can lose a lot of hard earned money, give up few years of professional corporate growth and probably feel terribly low about it? The only way to overcome my fears was to form a partnership with my God and take that leap of faith and embark on my first ever entrepreneurial journey into the field of EdTech.
After wading through the complex maze of beta versions, SEO algorithms and customer acquisition strategies, we launched WONK – India’s first tutor booking app. Gradually, students, parents and tutors started signing up at WONK; and by the next 2 weeks, we clocked 1000 downloads.
The journey so far has been phenomenal. I could have never imagined that there can be so many ups and downs in 60 minutes of my life. To begin with, I decided to develop a service offering which solves a real-life problem through technology rather than create a product first and then try and fit it into an artificial problem. I got down to conducting an extensive market research wherein I contacted parents and students alike in my network. I also spoke to several teachers and private tutors to understand their requirement for technology. Then, I got onto a drawing product to design an offering which is not available in the country, and as per my research on PlayStore, possibly not even across the world.
We have received good reviews on the PlayStore with a rating of 4. Initially, being a startup we took some time to build our trust within the target audience. The quality of tutors available on our application, the convenience of booking, money back guarantee, tutor swap facility and many other factors were the clear best sellers attracting our users.
Finally, the first tutor booking was received to our joy. Then, many more trickled in over the course of next few days and then many more. Now, we are a 25,000+ family consisting of over 15,000+ tutors from Delhi and Mumbai and rest being students and parents. On an average, we are growing at over 40% month on month with negligible marketing efforts. The start has been exciting, the journey rollicking and God willing the success should be fulfilling. I am confident that with the support of our community and best wishes of everybody, soon India will have a huge success story in EdTech.
--By Vidhu Goyal, Founder of WONK, a Tutor booking app.