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Gaurav Kamath built edtech startup MicroDegree to impart IT skills in local languages

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Gaurav Kamath and his partner MicroDegree intends to teach coding in vernacular languages to students from Tier II, III, and beyond.

The edtech startup was named one of the top 100 startups in Karnataka’s flagship Elevate programme.

Gaurav Kamath and his partners founded MicroDegree an edtech startup that intends to teach coding in vernacular languages to students from Tier II, III, and beyond. The startup was named one of the top 100 startups in Karnataka’s flagship Elevate programme. Several lakh engineers live in India, but their inability to communicate in English has hampered their technical careers.

With its online programmes, Mangaluru-based MicroDegree seeks to help students from Tier II, III, and beyond cities learn coding in vernacular languages and job-ready skills.

Gaurav Kamath, Rakesh Kothari, and Manikanta Nair founded the edtech firm in 2020 with the goal of making emerging technology affordable for students of all educational levels and languages.

Co-founder and CEO, Gaurav, says, “At the moment, we teach IT skills like cloud computing, Python, and other job-ready skills in Kannada,”

The programmes last around two months, with lessons held on weekdays or weekends in morning/evening batches. Enrollees also get access to recordings of live courses, which is useful if they miss a class.” MicroDegree’s trainers are certified industry leaders in their respective technology fields. The startup’s methodology emphasises hands-on instruction with real-time relatable, intuitive, and simple examples.

MicroDegree hopes to expand into Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bengali by the end of the fiscal year.

Gaurav elaborates, “Our unique selling point is vernacular delivery inside a local context. People are perplexed when we claim we teach in Kannada – how can we teach technology in a local language? While the ideas are simple to convey in Kannada, all additional technical jargon are in English. It’s more of a 60-40% blend of the languages.”

The creators of MicroDegree met through CEOL — Incubation Centre Mangaluru, which was financed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s MPLADs money.”

Gaurav say, with the current rise in demand, MicroDegree will start the process to raise the next round soon. For its course, the startup charges a one-time fee. It also intends to create a subscription service.

“In terms of revenue, MicroDegree is experience a 50% monthly rate growth,” he says. With a turnover of Rs 1 crore in FY21, the firm expects to generate Rs 15 crore in FY22 as it expands into five new vernacular markets.

According to an Omidyar and Redseer research, the Indian post-K12 edtech sector is estimated to exceed $1.75 billion by 2022.

MicroDegree began with a Rs 100 investment. The startup acquired more than 50 paid users who were eager to learn full-stack coding.

Its Android app has over 3,000 downloads, and the business plans to launch a new app next month to help it grow even more. MicroDegre is looking to help create five lakh jobs, in the next three years. It competes with Edureka, IntelliPaat, and unorganised local training institutes in India, and Simplilearn, Coursera, Udemy and others, on a global scale.

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