Millionlights Wants to Skill the Underserved of India-- Our article in BusinessWorld
08 September, 2016 by Regina Mihindukulasuriya Millionlights vision encompasses a hope to be able to reach out to the farthest corner of India and deliver skill-based training to everyone. It’s an edtech platform founded in 2016 and is accessible across India. Here we speak to Akshat Shrivastava, founder of Millionights to know about his aspirations for educating millions across the nation. What is Millionlights? Millionlights is an education content provider using technology to achieve massive scale. It was formed to create a better future for millions of people across India through learning and skill development. The Millionlights vision encompasses a hope to be able to reach out to the farthest corner of India and deliver skill-based training to everyone. Millionlights believes that for India to be relevant on a global scale, there is a need for millions of trained, skilled people. Education is the only way to alleviate poverty and move a large underserved segment of the population out of their current cycle of unemployment and make them productive members of society. The inspiration for the brand came from the idea of reaching out to millions of lives and lighting up their future through the use of technology. What’s unique about Millionlights? One of the key features of Millionlights is access to the best authored and curated content leading to industry recognised certification on all screens (Mobile, Desktop and TV). The technology platforms developed by Millionlights facilitate live lectures, offline viewing, TV programs, and faculty and industry interactions. The learning platforms ensure peer interaction, faculty hand-holding and discussion forums and are based on localised content. How do you add value to the Millionlights learners? Creating a content agnostic ecosystem that will reach out to more than 50 million potential learners in India. We are building the Millionlights platform across desktop, mobile and TV and will provide the top certification and content providers a plug and play access to the Indian learner base. We aim to be the largest online education ecosystem in India, catering to the largely under-served market. Funding Status of Millionlights Initial funding came from me and Millionlights has also raised Pre-Series A. We plan to go for Series A in the next few months. And Monetization Paths? There are multiple avenues for monetization. These include: - Sales of Training Courses and Certifications - Advertisement sales and inventory sale on TV and across all our platforms - Going forward, we will also look at revenue streams from subscription of our TV channel viewers What are the future plans of Millionlights? We plan to work closely with industry partners to increase our bouquet of content and certification providers so that it reflects the needs of the industry. We will also expand our reach across cable networks, OTT and leverage all digital channels to reach the end user. We will also be curating content from leading Indian universities and offering it on the Millionlights platforms. Marketing plans For TV - our marketing plans include working with our partners and taking the TV channel to as many houses as possible – this push will be through radio, digital mediums and of course TV itself. For the portal - where we offer full length MOOCs courses, we will work with our academic partners and advertise in the press and academic journals. Finally, what’s the market size here? With a median age of 25 years, India has over 550 million people below the age of 25 years. According to census figures, over 32% of the 1.1 billion population is between the age group 0- 14. This means that the number of people in India needing primary and secondary education alone exceeds the entire population of the USA. Since these students will be seeking higher education in India over the next decade it illustrates the sheer size of the Indian education market.