First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Shivani Ahuja: We are doing fine, thank you. My family is in Delhi, India, and I am in Toronto, Canada. I had plans to visit them in March 2020 but had to cancel that plan due to the travel restrictions posed due to the pandemic, so not being able to meet them has been slightly challenging. Thankfully, everybody is safe.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded EduTech Post.
Shivani Ahuja: I have a Masters in Management and Bachelor’s in Economics from India, where I grew up. I worked as an Editor and Marketing Manager with a publishing house for about four years.
I founded The EduTech Post (ETP) while I was managing the marketing department of an EdTech firm called Sterling Pixels in India and travelling to education conferences across the world. I realized that a platform was needed to highlight all the wonderful EdTech resources available out there, to make them mainstream, so that education can become more accessible to all with the help of technology.
ETP is an EdTech news and reviews platform created to help learners and educators connect with EdTech tools and publishers, making education accessible for all with the help of technology.
How does EduTech Post innovate?
Shivani Ahuja: We innovate with ideas and stories. We discover the most valuable EdTech resources available out there to help learners access the best educational resources. Our objective is to juxtapose content and technologies that reduce the cost of accessing education for most learners.
We are also focusing on digital marketing and new ways to reach our audience and clients, as more and more people are studying and doing business remotely.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Shivani Ahuja: ETP’s business has increased by 50-60% during the coronavirus pandemic, in line with the EdTech industry’s growth. We monetize our EdTech news and reviews website from ads and sponsored posts. During the pandemic, as more and more users are studying remotely, the EdTech industry is facing a boom, and more companies are willing to advertise or publish sponsored posts, which has helped us grow.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Shivani Ahuja: Fortunately, we haven’t had to cut costs or lay off staff. However, the pandemic has opened our eyes to the need to diversify to cope with any unforeseen hit to the industry.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Shivani Ahuja: Connecting with family/friends, exercising, and doing outdoor activities has been helpful in dealing with stress and anxiety, personally.
Business-wise, focusing on keeping the momentum of work going and keeping eyes fixed on the long-term goal, and not worrying about short-term glitches has been helpful.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Shivani Ahuja: Our main competitors include EdSurge, EdTech Magazine, and EdTech Digest.
Our mantra is to deliver quality content and find market news gaps to deliver fresh content to ensure that learners, educators, and EdTech companies get access to all the relevant resources and channels to improve access to education.
We often connect with learners and EdTech companies to identify their needs, to create relevant content.
We are also continuously working on new marketing channels to acquire new clients and leads so that were are well-funded to be able to produce quality content.
Your final thoughts?
Shivani Ahuja: My final thoughts are that it’s necessary to innovate and evolve to sustain business in difficult times like the coronavirus pandemic.
Many businesses have moved their budget to create digital platforms and do digital marketing to acquire and retain customers. Users are placing more value on digital experiences. The market may go back to pre-pandemic levels, but this rising preference for digital products is here to stay.