Sharad Bansal, Om Prakash, Kapil Arya and Vivek Pathak.
2) The Idea
Bansal, Prakash and Arya, batchmates at IIT-Delhi, realised how practical sessions pepped up their engineering coursework and wanted to bring a similar approach to schools to make learning fun and get students interested in STEM programmes. They did a survey and found most schools did not have the bandwidth or know-how to push practical teaching. So, the trio joined hands with Pathak, a common friend, and set up SRJNA (the company is registered as Elation Edtech) for hands-on, experiential learning.
3) The Take-off
The flagship product called Innovation Labs targeted science and math for Classes VI-X, and the first pilot was at Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls' School in Jaipur. A year after the lab was set up, students were asking more questions and teachers, too, were more involved. Meanwhile, the founders realised the need for creating job skills related to IoT, AI, 3D printing and robotics. So, they launched Tinkering Labs in 2016 to facilitate relevant training.
4) Business Model
The initial cost of setting up the lab for 500 students is Rs 6.5 lakh. SRJNA charges Rs 70 per student per month in subsequent years for hardware AMC, online training modules for teachers, content for conducting classes and web/mobile applications for student assessment. To reach out to more schools, the company has tied up with channel partners, which are trusted regional organisations or individuals directly in touch with school authorities.
To date, SRJNA has set up 120 Tinkering Labs and 30 Innovation Labs in 150-plus private and government schools across India. Noted clients include Amity International, Modern School (Barakhamba Road, Delhi), Mount Litera Zee School, and three schools each under DPS and DAV banners. The company is also developing a Robotics and 3D courseware for Rajasthan government's Centre of Excellence. The start-up plans to reach 500-plus schools in the next 18 months.