Most of us have heard the infamous quote by Mark Twain, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Sadly, while this is the dream of many, not everyone is presented with such an opportunity.
For one Anant Mani, this is not the case. He believes that although opportunities are never always handed to you on a silver platter, opportunities can still be created.
Anant attended one of the best engineering colleges in India, National Institute of Technology and graduated with an engineering degree. Just like most dreamers out there, he pictured himself founding a large corporation like Toyota, Disney and GE. This was what inspired him and continued to drive him.
He had 13 years of experience up his sleeve in publishing, software and in an education-focused startup based in Chennai, before deciding to take a leap of faith to kickstart a venture of his own. “Data science has always been a passion of mine and I had always viewed education as a transformational tool. I then found a couple of co-founders who shared the same passion and vision as I did. We started asking ourselves how can we use data to help schools?…. and the idea sort of sparked!”
Report Bee is a cloud-based software solution enabling schools to intelligently assess, report and analyse the performance of students individually, classes and teachers by using a blend of arts, maths, statistics, psychology and the latest technologies in data sciences to bring out useful insights from collected data.
“Looking at the management systems in schools back then, there were usually two kinds of them. The first was your typical administrative management systems to ease payroll, bus tracking and accounting, and the second, a management system to manage wifi bandwidth, access, security etc. However, a learning management system did not exist. No one was focusing on what actually mattered most to be managed and monitored – The students’ learning.” Report Bee is designed to complement existing ERP systems. We help schools record data, analyse it and provide meaningful insight to schools to help them improve academic performance, provide feedback on teaching methods which allows for a more effective syllabus to be crafted to ensure better learning,” said Anant.
He added, “The users of these systems are typically administrative staff and parents to an extent. Our products are also sold to educational publishers such as Pearson, Oxford and Cambridge who use it to assess textbooks and to understand how each school is performing and what more needs to be done to improve lessons. Our market was predominantly the schools in India.”
Report Bee was accepted into cohort 1 of MaGIC’s Global Accelerator Programme, a 4-month accelerator designed to equip local and global startups, keen on expanding in Southeast Asia, with the necessary skills, tools and network to be invest-ready in 4 months in 2017.
“With GAP being a global accelerator, it provided us with the opportunity to not only meet and network, but to also co-work with startups from various countries across the globe, each with their own strengths that you can learn from, as well as weaknesses that the rest of us can help teach to eventually turn into strengths. GAP allowed us to view the global market more actively.”
Report Bee’s solutions are being used in over 1,300 schools across India, Maldives, Nigeria, Uganda, Qatar, and Singapore. While Anant is no stranger to competitors or copycats, he focuses on the value of the offering rather than the ‘background noise’ in order to avoid being derailed from the ones who actually matter most, the customers. And this paid-off for Report Bee. They were listening to what their customers actually wanted and was tweaking their solution to fit the customers’ needs; and the customers loved them. In no time, the teachers or school principals who had tried the Report Bee solution started recommending them to other teachers and principals. The marketing was done organically, mostly through word-of-mouth.
Report Bee currently has a team of over 40 people who comprise of individuals who share a common passion for Data Science and education. Their office, located a stone’s throw away from a University in Madras at the time, has enabled them to also have access to great talent especially students seeking internship opportunities. Their main criteria to join the team has been and always be passion. In order to be part of the Report Bee team, you needed to be passionate about the field and willing enough to learn from and contribute to it.
Do you remember Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat-trick for Portugal during their match against Spain in the 2018 FIFA World Cup? Well, Report Bee did exactly that last year when they made it on the Deloitte Fastest 50 Tech India list that ranks 50 of the fastest growing technology companies, public or private, based on the percentage revenue growth over 3 years. They were first recognised on the list in 2016 and again in 2017. They were also awarded the top 10 EdTech innovator by Kaizen in Singapore for 2018.
Earlier this year, Singapore-based XSEED Education announced an agreement to acquire Report Bee for an undisclosed amount. Report Bee is also a past recipient of the India Educational Investment Fund (IEIF), an early-stage impact investment fund focused on the educational sector.
“The team is in constant pursuit to augment the teaching-learning process. We are always thinking of innovative ways to further make education more effective for every learner, not to make them a genius, but to ensure they are learning as efficiently and effectively as possible. Each day I woke up, I am happy. I am content with what I am doing. The happiness is in the journey. And thankfully for me, my journey is one that I am tremendously passionate about.”
For more information on Report Bee, visit: https://www.reportbee.com/