Reducing digital divide in education by its dynamic pedagogy
Unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty it is difficult to succeed at anything. – Nachiket Bhatia
Like all businesses, the coaching industry has also undergone significant changes over the last decade and more. Its dependence on technology has increased, democratizing the way education is imparted and making it accessible to more students. The availability of mobile apps, enabling learning on the go, has completely revolutionized how we perceive education. Such apps are enabling students to get daily assessments of their strengths and weaknesses and better to prepare them to stay ahead in the competition.
Although the competition has increased in leaps and bounds, so has the availability of online study resources, thus leveling the playing field. If further reduction in the digital divide is made possible, it will serve as a great boost for the vulnerable sections of society who are eager to move up the ladder by getting a good education.
Today, we are going to talk about one such institution – Dr Bhatia’s Medical Coaching Institute – that has been trying to reduce the digital divide with its dynamic pedagogy and state-of-the-art edtech facilities.
Dr Bhatia’s Medical Coaching Institute was started by Dr Mukesh Bhatia in 1992 by teaching 4 medical PGEE aspirants in one of the rooms at home in Rohini, New Delhi. It became popular and soon branched across the country. By 2008, their turnover had touched INR 2 crores, and they had over 15000 students and 40 faculty members. In 2017, when Nachiket Bhatia, son of Dr Mukesh Bhatia, finished his MBBS, they were clocking a turnover of INR 20 crore, but not everything was hunky dory; the enterprise was running in losses.
Turning around the family venture from dire financial straits
Today, they have over 209 employees working for them. Nachiket Bhatia has been instrumental in paying off all the loans by May 2020. He helped his father turn around the family venture from dire financial straits and restore it to its past glory.
He realized the importance of his institute in 2014 when he was still an MBBS undergraduate and had to figure out a solution to save his family from ruin. So, he decided to balance his time between studies and business and started by addressing the root causes of failure and fixing them one by one. “I realized early on that a new innovative approach needed to be adopted to revive the business. That was essentially the objective behind buying the e-Gurukul app, and the results are there for all to see”, says proud Nachiket.
He always had the entrepreneurial bug in him since his childhood days. As a child, he was not aware of the nuances of the business. Sharing a career-defining incident, Nachiket says, “I was an undergraduate at medical college when a representative from a rival coaching institute came for a presentation. When I casually enquired about DBMCI, he said it would be shutting its shop soon”. The comment came as a bolt from the blue as he wasn’t aware of the situation. On his next visit, he spoke to his father and that’s when the reality hit him.
The entrepreneurial bug that helped to salvage his father’s business
He decided to take things into his hands to help his father salvage the business and redeem his reputation. He decided to allocate 3 days per week to his college and 3 to his business. And that’s when the entrepreneurial bug bit him in all seriousness as he decided to go all in and make it his passion.
Nachiket always believes in his dreams and strives to make them come true. He doesn’t believe in giving up on anything he sets his mind to achieving. This attitude helped him buy the eGurukul app even when cash reserves were down in 2018.
“Although it was a well-conceived app, it never took off and our faculty left us taking our students with them. It was a difficult time for us as I had to do a complete rethink and funds were already sunk”.
But for explorers, it’s natural to face challenges in their path. Post the setback of eGurukul, Nachiket again witnessed a ray of hope in 2019, when 7 out of the top 10 positions in NEET PG were backed by students of DBMCI. This success encouraged him to mortgage his house to relaunch eGurukul in January 2020. “This was a life-changing moment for us. By May 2020, we had paid off all our loans and were debt free”, says a jubilant Nachiket.
The COVID pandemic gave wings to their online coaching classes. Since its launch, the eGurukul app has already seen over 3 lakh downloads and is still counting.
Now, they have plans to expand their offerings. His father is currently preparing content for the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam), a 3 step computer exam conducted on a single day for those who wish to practice medicine in the US. “We will soon be launching a course for USMLE aspirants.” Also, they are planning to include emerging technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in medical education through eGurukul 3.0.
Besides being an entrepreneur, in his leisure time, Nachiket loves travelling and playing tennis as well.