Teaching jobs are hard to get and nearly difficult to fulfill. Here’s how a startup is enabling job-seekers with the use of AWS

Education is a multi-billion industry and forecasts of investments worth $300 billion are only fuelling the excitement. At $220 billion, this industry slightly bigger than Technology and Services has seen unprecedented spurt during the pandemic days. 
While the potential is lucrative, the sector faces a gap — lack of a single platform to connect institutions with enthusiastic jobseekers wanting to teach. The gap motivated Manav Shah to ditch a cushy job in Corporate Finance to build Eduvacancy. At his startup, there’s’ no flashy technical components. There’s no Artificial Intelligence… No MetaVerse… No Blockchain..

Of course, there are plans to ride on new technology in due course, but Manav is focused on setting the fundamentals correct — UI and use-case. In a conversation with Sairaj Iyer, he explains the numbers and plans.

Edited Excerpts:

Sairaj Iyer: You were into Corporate Finance and were researching on equity markets, what made you switch focus to the education sector?

Manav Shah: The general education market is $220 billion in size and expected to grow at 25 percent CAGR. Estimates suggest investments worth $300 billion to be invested into this sector which indicates great promise. We have seen phenomenal growth and investment into sub-categories such as schools, pre-schools, College Education, Vocational, coaching and even test preparation centres. Despite this growth, access to quality education has always been a thorny question. At the centre of this question is a bigger operations challenge — how to hire and retain good teachers. I realized that the industry lacks a credible platform that integrates the need of teachers with that of educational institutions.

But, aren’t existing job-sites fulfilling the need?

MS: Finding an academic or a teaching job on existing portals is difficult. Ironically, it is easier to search for a banking or an IT job, but candidates wanting to teach have to search on Telegram or trust WhatsApp forwards. For educational institutions wanting to hire, running advertisements on job-sites is a time-consuming process. In addition to the time constraints, such institutions lack formal internal HR processes which delays the hiring process.

Could you name a few educational institutions hiring from Eduvacancy? And, what are the current user numbers like?

MS: GD Goenka, Bambinos, K-12 techno orchid International, Credo Group, The Designers Class, and Vista international are some institutions directly hiring from Eduvacancy.

As regards users, we have 2.40 lakh registered candidates on the platform and 12,500 employers directly or indirectly hiring with us. We are targeting a million users within the next quarter. In terms of jobs, the platform generates an average of 1400 jobs per week. Currently, there are 21,000 listed vacancies.

What is your moat? Is it the technology or the use-case?

MS: I will not single out a specific area as our moat. Of course, we are India’s leading and largest job portal for teaching jobs which has an integrated platform for employers and employees. For job-seekers, the registration is a simple OTP validated with phone number and then the user lands on the landing page for applying to jobs. 
Simple filters with an algorithm in the background helps shortlist jobs based on the level of expertise and subjects of choice. We are the only one to enable a feature called Video resume. The user has a choice to upload either a brief video resume or a detailed one. Employers can search for candidates within specific city or have multiple filters to reach out to candidates. In addition to such filters, we have also launched personalized services for employers where our team will cherry-pick best candidates or provide inputs in hiring process.

How much is AI or ML relevant in the existing scheme of your business?

MS: We need to add more algorithms to boast of having reached a desired AI or ML use-case. We use a handful of algorithms to show relevant job titles and match them with the candidates’ suggested subjects and preferred roles. There is also an algorithm for location. The use-case on AI is barebone at the moment. Our eventual aim with the use of AI is to match job titles with city, role, subject, experience and even psychographics.

Would working with AI make it possible to track existing data with disparate sources. Let’s say for instance, Police records to automate verification process?

MS: We haven’t gone that extreme (laughs). Having data means we can achieve those extremes. For instance, we can match our existing data with banking data to find how many applicants have a bank account, but that analysis may not be really helpful to our core business. The focus now is a credible job search and talent hunting portal.

Manav Shah, Co-Founder at Eduvacancy

Tell us a bit about your back-end infrastructure?

MS: We are powered in the back-end with an AWS server hosted inhouse. We built this within a span of 9 months. Having an inhouse premise and the SaaS offering gives us the confidence of achieving scale. For instance, our last Google ad resulted in a 4x spike in user footfalls. The website worked smoothly without any hiccups.

How has working with AWS enabled building cool things?

Nitil Gupta, Co-founder & CTO: Building APIs was an elaborate activity in developing this tech-stack. Having AWS definitely helped us build a resilient, secure, stable and scalable portal. We used some languages such as React, Native and mySQL. The video resume is certainly one cool feature which we have built. We are also building another cool feature which is the Live Interview. Through this feature, the interviewer has the choice of interviewing without revealing their identity. The API for this feature has been developed inhouse, similar to the one on the Video Resume feature. There’s a lot of AI/ML connectors that we are exploring. Of course, AWS has helped us enable these achievements.

How do you plan to compete against the me-toos?MS:
There is always a risk that somebody can outbid Eduvacancy by bidding higher for keywords on Google. We are working on our SEO strategies and building back-links in addition to our existing strong organic presence. In the coming months we are gearing to have a bigger online presence. We hope to build better and unique features. According to a UNESCO report, 1 lakh schools in India run with just one teacher. We also figured out that 70-80 percent of teachers don’t know to make a resume. The lives of many students depend on quality education. Better features on Eduvacancy should help us compete against the me-toos.

In case you missed:

Sairaj Iyer is a Mumbai based financial and business journalist. His articles have appeared in Banking Frontiers, The Dollar Business, Sify.com, and recently The Economic Times and The Times of India. Besides Technology, he writes on strategies, trends in the BFSI industry, policy-making, and personal finance.

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