The vast majority of the educational institutes in our country suffer from one major problem: administrative mismanagement. Having a faster, smoother and more reliable platform for both a school’s internal management as well as student affairs is imperative, and this is exactly what a Lahore-based startup is hoping to achieve with the power of technology.
Founded by CEO Jawad Ijaz, Saqib Zafar, Osama bin Shakeel, and Waqas Sohail, Ilmversity is an edtech startup that was launched back in 2017 with the mission of improving both the quality of and access to education throughout the country. It is a school enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that is essentially presenting a one-stop-shop for educational institutes.
This online platform allows a school to manage everything from attendance recording and grades to fee invoices and progress tracking. Accessible by parents as well, the portal improves academic functioning and satisfaction by ensuring that both teachers and parents are involved in the process.
Ilmversity’s product operates on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model whereby you merely visit the application, sign yourself up and proceed to the dashboard to access all of the various facilities available. On the business side of things, the product pursues a B2B model since it’s dealing directly with the schools. Payments are currently made via online transfers, but there are plans to integrate other payment channels as well.
So how well is this product going to fare in the current landscape? That mostly comes down to their target market and customer base, and the startup seems to have a foothold in both of these areas so far.
Manager Business Development Murtaza Mustafa explained that they are primarily focused on mid-level schools, which makes since the smaller ones barely have enough capital to adequately pay their staff while the older and larger ones are either stuck in their ways or are resourceful enough to craft their own software.
He said, “We are primarily focused towards mid-tier schools catering to middle and upper-middle-class students, anywhere from Rs3,000 and beyond. Given the customizable number of modules, it makes the product more affordable for all slabs.”
On the startup’s customer acquisition strategy, he said, “As for the city/country-wide school networks, we actually got one such institution (with an internal ERP) on board recently because their IT head left and the entire system was paralyzed. A third-party provider like us, with customer support, frees them from the hassle and lets the school focus on its core operations.”
So far, Ilmversity is entirely internally funded, with the founders themselves pooling in a total of Rs. 25 million. They are looking forward to external investment at this stage in order to allow themselves to scale up and attain a position where they can rise above the competition and make a significant impact on the educational landscape. What’s more, the founders’ ambitions are still high.
CEO Jawad Ijaz said, “We are eyeing the Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian markets where we are collaborating with local companies and are currently studying the landscape to decide on our expansion plans.”