“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.”
Reading in times of digital content is changing, but it doesn’t mean it gives less pleasure. Just the opposite. There is absolutely no difference between a hardcover book or an audiobook or a multimedia book application. There is no difference between a high-quality paper or an e-ink screen or a high-resolution Retina display. The biggest pleasure comes from what we read, not from on what we read. The real difference, though, lies in our attitude to reading.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, KopyKitab is a Startup that intends to take away the boredom from a reader by providing the same books in more enjoyable formats. Launched by like-minded professionals who not only share the same dream but also the same Alma Mater from high school, all the content published on the company website is collected from leading publishers across the globe. The company also place a great emphasis on the quality that the content offers to the right audience on the proprietary digital platform.
AcadGild recently met with Amit Shrivastava, the CTO and Co-Founder of KopyKitab and had a wonderful time talking to him about the company and what led to the idea of KopyKitab. With more than 14 years of experience in Internet and Mobile Technologies, this genius crackerjack has worked with HolidayIQ as the Senior Vice President for Engineering and Product.
Here is an excerpt of the interview.
AG (AcadGild) – Tell us a little about your educational background and professional journey, and where do you see yourself in five years.
AS (Amit Shrivastava)- I am an IIT-BHU alumnus in Computer Science & Technology. I was a geek and had a passion for solving real life problems using technology which I believe is what has helped me to work in the Internet/Mobile & Security domains for last 14+ yrs. Although I did get various offers from many large corporations I always wanted to work in the Start-up ecosystem. And so, I acquired my first Start-up in real-estate in 2008. My last stint with a travel Start-up as CTO had me building a platform from scratch and that led to 5 million visitors per month, and I am very happy to say that it is now a top travel portal.
AG- We would love to know some backstory or any interesting anecdotes behind your decision to step out of your comfort zone to start working in the Start-up industry that is known to be a high-risk and high-reward game.
AS- I am from a small town in Chattisgarh. School for me was tearing chapters or lending books and sharing them with friends to save cost and time because finding relevant & affordable books was really very difficult and frankly, this problem still exists today.
There is a huge gap between students and textbook publishers. The student buys books while figuring out how to save costs, look for notes from different sources and then coaching institutes to crack exams. And this is frustrating if not complex. But with the advent of technology and digital consumption in India, we can solve this problem.
My passion for bridging this gap and previous experience with Start-ups helped me to take the leap.
AG- What were some of the initial successes you had with gaining users/customers, and how did you manage to receive the kind of traction that you have today?
AS- We saw good traction in our Mobile apps; we started with 100 app downloads per day and now we are getting 3000-4000 app downloads daily all free/organic.
For us the key to getting the traction is to provide relevant & stream-based content to students in the freemium model.
AG- What’s the most important thing you’re working on right now, and how does your unique rental model work?
AS- Our core focus is to keep providing relevant content in affordable costs and build engagement around it. This is the most critical aspect of all and we continuously keep working to better it.
Our Rental or Subscription model allow students to rent a digital book for 3 months or 6 months, and the pricing is affordable.
AG- Which major publishers have you tied up with, and which segment of books do you consider as your speciality area?
AS- With more than 90 publishers we cater from Class 8 till Post Graduation. Our core segments are Engineering and School (CBSE, ICSE); at the same time, we cover most of the education verticals like Law, Medical & STM etc.
AG- Are there other similar companies in India?
AS- As competitors, we have some of the bigger publishers providing their own digital libraries like Pearson, Springer etc.al. And then there are many content providers but being the first in this domain to aggregate publishers we think we lead in terms of content and reach.
AG- We’d love to know a little about your team at KopyKitab.
AS- We have an amazing team in Bangalore who is not just passionate about the work we do but also who are on a mission to change the education space for students.
AG- As an established crackerjacks what advice would you give to aspiring programmers or candidates in general?
AS- My suggestion would be that no matter what language or programming skills you take up, always keep upgrading it. Today’s fast pace technology changes every 6 months and we have to keep developing ourselves to scale.
AG- Are you currently hiring? If yes, for what technologies?
AS- Yes, we are looking for developers in Android and PHP backend guys.
Dedicated to making education affordable, accessible & entertaining on a greener planet, companies like KopyKitab are looking for keen and passionate Android developers. So what are you waiting for? Hurry up and Join Now to get certified and create a mark in the industry!
Keep visiting www.acadgild.com to get more updates on the crackerjack of the tech world and technical courses.