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Arvind Singhal: The man who feels the pulse of internet businesses

Arvind Singhal, Chief Operating Officer, Vedantu
As class-room based education heads towards virtual platforms owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, edtech firms are upping the ante to cash in the emerging opportunities. While many start-ups in this space are enhancing their technological capabilities, others are seen hiring fresh talent apart from strengthening the leadership team to drive future growth.

Live online tutoring platform Vedantu seems to have followed the second approach when the Bengaluru-headquartered company late last week announced the appointment of Arvind Singhal as its Chief Operating Officer. Also, in Singhal's case, he is more than just an operation man steering one of the earliest taxi-hailing companies, TaxiForSure, which subsequently got acquired by larger rival Ola. The reason Vedantu decided to bring him onboard is to use his leadership skills in managing the surge in demand for its offerings in recent months.

Singhal, who holds a degree in aerospace engineering from IIT Mumbai and is also an MBA from IIM Calcutta, says he is very passionate about the edtech sector and wanted to be part of such a company. “My father was a professor of commerce and I grew up in an environment where education was valued a lot. Also, I belong to a middle-class family and whatever I have achieved is only due to education. So, this is one of the prime reasons for joining Vedantu,” said Arvind Singhal, COO at Vedantu.

He also said that he was inspired by the Vedantu’s founding team, which has been working to spread the reach of education across the country for more than a decade now.

Founded by Vamsi Krishna, Anand Prakash, and Pulkit Jain in 2011, the online tutoring platform provides teaching solutions to students preparing for various engineering and medical entrance examinations. Teaching solutions for students of CBSE and ICSE boards from 6th to 12th grade are also being provided by the company.

During the Covid-19 lockdown period, the firm has witnessed increased demand for its services with number of subscribers on its platform growing by an additional 650,000 learners across K-12 and competitive exams such as JEE & NEET. Similarly, the company claims that its revenues have grown by 80 per cent in April over the previous month.  

According to experts, Singhal’s previous stints are going help the company cash in on the emerging demand in the online learning space. While immediately before joining Vedantu, he was working as COO at trucking platform Blackbuck, he has over two decades of experience across multiple sectors and well-known brands such as Asian Paints, Marico, Nokia, Reliance Communications, McDonald’s, TaxiForSure, Ola and BlueStone. His stint with both traditional set ups as well as the start-up ecosystem is seen as the key strength to manage the disruption created by COVID pandemic.

“The pandemic has given us many insights. Firstly, our work environment has changed with remote working. Secondly, our responsibility towards students has increased manifold for giving them uninterrupted learning opportunity at this time of pandemic,” said Singhal. “Our focus now is how to manage the whole system- from sales side, product side- to satisfy the rising need of students.”  

As the Covid crisis helps the online education platforms to reach out to more audience, intense competition is also being seen among the existing players to grab higher market share. Singhal’s appointment in Vedantu will in many ways determine the edtech platform’s success in coming days.

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