Harsh Roy is the founder of Valuez, a website and an application-based platform for children to learn and engage in a fun and impactful way. Valuez offers children to learn via games, original stories, and rhymes which attracts children’s attention.
Incubees: Tell us about your product or services.
Harsh Roy: We are essentially a content subscription and independent audiobooks publishing company, in the field of life values & skills, and innovative technologies from across the globe. We believe that “tech” and “ethics” need to go together and both are needed to create well-rounded children who are future-ready. With all the diversions, it’s important to keep kids rooted through meticulously designed content for today’s kids, on practical life values and skills. NEP 2020 also mandates schools to emphasize teaching life values and modern advancements. Our content currently targets kids 5 to 10 years of age, primarily. The subscription services are available through a mobile app and websites.
Incubees: What makes your product/services unique and what competition do you see in India and globally?
Harsh Roy: What makes us unique is the presentation of life values in a cool, fun way rather than the traditional preachy way often termed as “moral science” or “moral values”. The topics themselves are very contemporary, and sourced from child psychologists, teachers, and parents. The technology topics are also dealt with in a child-friendly way, with an age-appropriate explanation. The instruction design approach helps us have an equally strong B2B offering for schools and a direct B2C offering for parents.
Competition is with YouTube content and Indian content-based apps like Jalebi Street, Kutuki, etc. But we are aware of options out there and have worked hard to differentiate our product,
Incubees: What challenges do you see in the market at this point?
Harsh Roy: The situation arising out of the pandemic has given opportunities and raised challenges. There is a powerful realization and awareness of transition into an online and blended form of learning, by both parents and schools. NEP 2020 has also given opportunities for added elements of the curriculum.
However, the uncertainty and primarily the financial crisis being faced by schools is a key challenge. Fee collections are low, and schools across the board are in a cost-cutting mode. However, there are signs of strong recovery as soon as schools start getting up on their feet.
Incubees: Tell us about your team and what inspires them.
Harsh Roy: Aditya Singh and Sonali Shharma are core team members looking after product and content. We have a young team of instruction designers, product designers, tech support, video editors, graphic designers, animation artists. While the core team is small, we work with many professionals from across the country in a long-term contract model. The inherent vision and mission of creating impact inspire us.
We together want to replicate the following thoughts “Learning and imbibing Values is as important as learning Maths. Values need not be preachy and boring, they can be quite cool!”
“Learning future-ready technologies and innovative research or advancements from all over the globe is more important than ancient or medieval history, to create future-ready responsible World citizens.”
Incubees: Where do you see your product/service reaching in the next five years?
Harsh Roy: We are currently working with 55+ schools, and aim to reach 500 schools by the end of 5 years and a 100,000 strong user base on our web and app platforms.
Incubees: Do you have plans to raise funding to grow your business or allow your business to grow organically?
Harsh Roy: We have raised seed funding and allowing our start-up to grow organically in the present stage before scaling up. We are already a cash-positive business, and looking forward to establishing the product through constant feedback and iterations before our next funding round.
Incubees: What are the challenges you face as a start-up?
Harsh Roy: Challenges are multifold, from acceptance of the importance of values, culture, and knowledge of modern technology are important elements to teach our kids, over and above conventional subjects. So customer awareness and high customer acquisition costs are the major challenges.
Incubees: Describe your journey/challenges from being a corporate employee to an entrepreneur.
Harsh Roy: In one line, there has not been a single day when I have regretted the decision to move on from my corporate role, and don the hat of an entrepreneur! The drive of doing own work and following own passion is far above any perks provided by a job.
Incubees: What are the challenges you are facing due to the pandemic (COVID-19)?
Harsh Roy: We had set up our own little Cafe’ in Gurgaon, which also doubled up as our office, a place where we could meet potential clients and network and meet our operational expenses through Cafe revenue. However, due to lockdowns, we had to close the Cafe’ that we had set up with our heart and soul and switch to an entirely “work from home” model. So we miss the interactions over coffee, or a game of carrom or ludo, the meetings on zoom don’t have the energy and high spirits of the “real” thing.
Incubees: What do you think can be the fast-track solution for children who don’t have access to technology in smaller parts of India?
Harsh Roy: Every village has a public health centre or a village school. Apart from widening the reach of the internet and usage of smartphones, these centres can be utilized more effectively, and connected through high-speed internet and curated content shown to children. Establishing basic numeracy and language skills tests is really important, and frequent evaluations are necessary linked with some incentives, to ensure that all kids are at a basic level of numeracy and language skills competency.
To know more, visit the website here: https://valuezhut.com/