CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Devesh Mishra, Chief Technology Officer Physics Wallah (PW)
- Please tell us about PW and the services it provides to its audience.
What began as a humble YouTube channel has now transformed into a leading ed-tech unicorn, addressing the critical issue of access to quality and affordable education in India. Our mission is to democratize education on a massive scale and revolutionize traditional coaching methods for all kinds of competitive exams by offering a cost-effective alternative to expensive offline teaching approaches. In addition to our comprehensive exam preparation courses, we have expanded our offerings to include post-graduate courses and PW Skills, which focus on career development and upskilling. We understand that learners have diverse needs, which is why our platform provides a wide range of free and paid online courses. This allows us to cater to a larger audience and make education accessible to all.
To ensure maximum accessibility, we have taken significant steps. Our educational content is available in nine languages, including Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu, and Gujarati. This multilingual approach enables us to connect with learners from different linguistic backgrounds, breaking down language barriers and promoting inclusivity. Our impact speaks for itself. With over 24 million subscribers across 55 YouTube channels and more than 10 million downloads of our app, we have been able to reach and engage a vast audience. The positive feedback we have received from our students is evident in the impressive 4.5 rating we have earned on the Google Play Store.
This feedback fuels our passion to continue delivering high-quality education and pushing boundaries in the ed-tech space. Furthermore, we have taken our commitment to accessibility a step further by establishing 60 Vidyapeeth centers across India. These centers provide offline and hybrid coaching for NEET/JEE, bringing our expertise to the doorstep of students in different regions of the country. At Physics Wallah, accessibility is not just a buzzword; it is a core value that drives us. We are dedicated to breaking down barriers and ensuring that every student, regardless of their background or financial constraints, has access to the best education possible. Through our innovative platform and unwavering commitment, we are making a significant impact on the lives of millions of learners, empowering them to achieve their academic and career goals.
2. Which technologies have been used and how we are easing operations & communication in the ed-tech industry
PW is continuously harnessing the power of in-house tech innovation and AI capabilities to reshape education and create a personalized learning environment that truly empowers students. AI is not just a technology for us; it is a guiding hand that revolutionizes education delivery and fosters efficient and effective learning experiences. Our approach involves teachers sharing solutions with students using AI as a facilitator. While the solutions are cross-checked by the teachers as a practice, we recognize the importance of combining human intelligence with AI to achieve the best possible outcomes. We have developed AI-powered solutions that cater to the unique needs of students, enhancing their learning journey in multiple ways. One of our remarkable AI-powered tools is the ‘Ask Doubt’ chatbot, which enables students to receive prompt and accurate solutions to their queries. Moreover, it leverages our extensive database to suggest related doubts, providing comprehensive support and guidance.
We have also empowered our subject matter experts with AI, enabling them to deliver faster and improved doubt-solving. By incorporating AI into our internal systems, we have significantly reduced Turnaround Time (TAT) and enhanced operational efficiency, allowing our educators to focus on delivering exceptional educational experiences. Our smart recommendation systems and adaptive learning initiatives are another testament to the power of AI in education. Through these intelligent systems, we personalize the learning journey for each student, tailoring content and providing individualized support.
By leveraging AI, we address challenges like image spamming and abusive content, ensuring that our students have a positive and secure online experience. Importantly students should be aware that relying on AI to complete assignments or solve questions hinders their learning. It is important to understand that these tests and quizzes are designed to enhance learning outcomes, not to replace the learning process. Our constant dedication to innovation and collaboration with AI enables us to shape the future of education.
3. Growth of Physics Wallah since inception and expansion plans
The inception of PW can be attributed to the visionary minds of Alakh Pandey and Prateek Maheshwari. Back in 2016, it started as a YouTube channel with the aim of coaching JEE and NEET aspirants under the expert guidance of Alakh Pandey himself. However, with the integration of Maheshwari’s technological expertise and the launch of our app in 2020, PW underwent a remarkable transformation, scaling up its operations to prepare students for various competitive exams. We are continuously adding more exam categories and focusing on developing comprehensive skill-building courses. Furthermore, we are exploring a business model centered around schools and expansion of our tech enabled offline Vidyapeeth centers throughout the country is also a key part of our growth strategy. To stay ahead of the curve and continue making a meaningful impact, we are heavily investing in technological innovation and building a robust team. We believe that leveraging cutting-edge technologies will enable us to reach students far and wide, transcending geographical boundaries and offering education opportunities on a global scale. For instance, we are able to teach female students in 600 districts across India. This achievement is a testament to the transformative impact that technology can have in addressing access-related challenges in the field of education.
4. How will the Ed-Tech industry grow in the future?
The future of the Ed-Tech industry holds immense growth potential, and Physics Wallah, as an ed-tech platform, envisions significant advancements and opportunities. With the rising adoption of digital devices and internet connectivity, more students and learners will have access to quality educational resources and courses through online platforms.
The following are some key factors that are expected to drive the growth of the Ed-Tech industry in the coming years:
Increasing Demand: The demand for online education and learning platforms is on the rise. As more individuals recognize the convenience and flexibility offered by Ed-Tech, the industry is poised for substantial growth. Physics Wallah aims to cater to this demand by continuously expanding its course offerings and adopting innovative teaching methodologies.
Technological Advancements: With the continuous evolution of technology, new tools and platforms are emerging that can revolutionize the way education is delivered. Physics Wallah is committed to staying at the forefront of these advancements, leveraging AI, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and other cutting-edge technologies to enhance the learning experience for students.
Personalized Learning: Individualized and adaptive learning experiences are becoming increasingly important in education. Physics Wallah is leveraging data analytics and AI algorithms to personalize learning paths, identify areas for improvement, and provide tailored recommendations to students, thus optimizing their learning outcomes.
Global Reach: The Ed-Tech industry offers an unprecedented opportunity for reaching learners across the globe. Physics Wallah aims to expand its reach and impact by providing educational content in multiple languages and catering to diverse cultural contexts. This global expansion will contribute to the growth of the Ed-Tech industry as a whole. Anyone with an internet connection and smartphone can learn new things through online education.
5. Kindly brief us about your journey in Physics Wallah so far.
My journey at PW has been nothing short of a remarkable adventure, where I have proven that age and experience are mere numbers. Starting as an intern, I never imagined that I would one day be leading a team of 250 talented individuals.
As an initial member of PW’s tech team, I was entrusted with the task of scaling a single server to incorporate more than 40 AWS services. It was an exhilarating challenge, one that pushed me to explore new heights and take our tech infrastructure to unprecedented levels. Through countless hours of hard work and determination, I succeeded in transforming our technology backbone, ultimately paving the way for me to become the Chief Technology Officer at Physics Wallah.
One of my proudest achievements has been the extensive reach of our app, which has grown from serving a single user to reaching millions of students today. I took it upon myself and my team to spearhead the development of our app, constantly striving to enhance its functionality and user experience. Through innovative thinking and a relentless pursuit of excellence, I managed to bring our app into the hands of people across the country, connecting them to quality educational resources. I am constantly seeking new ways to innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible. I believe that technology is a powerful tool that can revolutionize the field of education, and I am determined to harness its potential to benefit as many students as possible.
6. Do you think AI is disrupting the ed-tech sector? How & what are your thoughts on it?
AI is revolutionizing the education technology (ed-tech) sector by offering various disruptive capabilities. AI enables personalized learning experiences by analyzing individual students’ strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. It can adapt the curriculum and content to meet each student’s unique needs, ensuring optimized learning outcomes. AI combined with virtual and augmented reality technologies can create immersive learning experiences, allowing students to explore virtual environments, conduct experiments, and visualize complex concepts. Overall, AI is disrupting the ed-tech sector by offering personalized, adaptive, and engaging learning experiences, empowering both students and educators with powerful tools and insights to improve education outcomes.
7. Ways you think ChatGpt is impacting the ed-tech industry
There is a huge potential of AI-enabled ChatGPT to revolutionize the education industry. It offers numerous benefits, such as its ability to process vast amounts of data, generate accurate responses, and adapt to individual learners. This technology can be a boon for the ed-tech industry, enhancing learning outcomes and providing equitable access to education.
AI-powered tools like ChatGPT have the capacity to generate educational content, including lesson plans, assignments, and quizzes tailored to specific requirements. They can also curate existing educational resources, selecting the most relevant and engaging materials for students and educators alike. By leveraging AI, educational professionals can optimize their time and resources, focusing on delivering personalized instruction and addressing the unique needs of each learner.
However, it is essential to approach the integration of AI in education with a balanced perspective. While AI brings significant advantages, it cannot fully replicate the human touch and expertise that teachers provide. The human aspect of teaching is irreplaceable, and educators play a crucial role in guiding and supporting students throughout their learning journey.
We believe in embracing AI as a powerful tool to enhance learning experiences and alleviate some of the administrative burdens faced by teachers. Rather than viewing AI as a threat, our company encourages collaboration between AI technology and human expertise to create an optimal learning environment.
Ethical considerations and responsible AI practices are paramount in our approach. We are committed to ensuring that AI technologies are implemented in a manner that avoids perpetuating biases and promotes equitable access to education. Our focus is on leveraging AI to augment teachers’ capabilities, empowering them to deliver personalized instruction and cater to the diverse needs of students effectively.
8. New innovations needed in the ed-tech sector.
The following innovations should focus on key areas that have the potential to transform the learning experience.
- Adaptive and personalized learning platforms are essential in optimizing education. By tailoring content and resources to meet the individual needs and learning styles of students, we can create a highly effective and customized educational journey.
- Gamification and immersive learning experiences offer the ability to engage and captivate students. Incorporating interactive elements and virtual reality concepts creates a dynamic and stimulating environment that enhances learning outcomes.
- Collaborative learning spaces foster teamwork and cooperation among students. Platforms that facilitate group projects and discussions enhance the learning experience through peer-to-peer interaction, allowing students to learn from one another.
- Mobile learning and microlearning approaches enable students to access educational content anytime, anywhere. Utilizing mobile devices and delivering bite-sized lessons cater to the needs of modern learners, promoting flexibility and accessibility.
- Teacher-student collaboration tools strengthen the connection between educators and students. Seamless communication and feedback platforms foster a supportive and interactive learning environment, facilitating effective guidance and personalized instruction.
- The ethical and responsible use of data is paramount. Protecting student privacy and security while leveraging data to improve learning outcomes is crucial in the development of ed-tech innovations. Inclusive technologies that accommodate diverse learners should be a primary focus. By designing tools and platforms that ad dress different learning needs and abilities, we ensure equal access to education for all students. Continual professional development opportunities for educators are essential. By providing resources and training programs, we empower teachers to adapt to new technologies and teaching methodologies, thereby enriching the overall educational experience.