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In Conversation with... Sumegh Kumar, Senior Vice President, Extramarks

This month we have been talking with Sumegh Kumar, Senior Vice President of Extramarks, GESS Indonesia 2016 Gold Sponsor. Find out why Extramarks see GESS Indonesia as the perfect springboard into the growing Indonesian education market.

Firstly, we are delighted to have Extramarks as the Gold Sponsor for GESS Indonesia 2016. Please tell us why participating at GESS Indonesia is so important to you, and what you hope to take away from the show.  

Education is a very critical element of economic development. Education loses its significance when it fails to develop interest in students for learning and understanding concepts. We believe GESS Indonesia is a showcase event where companies offering solutions to impart quality learning and seekers of such solutions meet. Since Extramarks is a leader in the Ed-tech space and has contributed significantly in improving the quality of learning in 7,500+ schools and 9.1 million learners, we look forward to make contacts with key decision makers in Indonesia and near-by geographies.  


For anyone that might be unsure, please tell us more about Extramarks and the projects you are working on at the moment.

Extramarks is a new-age digital learning solutions company that provides the best of pedagogy and technology to create an engaging, child-centric teaching-learning environment in classrooms and at home. It offers 360o education support to learners and teachers of grades K-12 through curriculum-aligned digital learning solutions. These learning solutions are used by schools for day-to-day classroom teaching and the learners use them at home after school hours in self-learning mode. Keeping pace with today's globalization and technological changes in education, Extramarks empowers young learners to step in with the latest technology and have anytime-anywhere access to quality learning. Globally, Extramarks has become extremely popular with more than 7,500 schools and 9.1 million learners adopting its digital learning solutions in South Africa, India, South-East Asia and the Middle East.We are presently very successfully running 1:1 personalised learning programs in India and South Africa. The Program has become most sought after solution after its successful implementation. With its features like 1:1 personalised learning, anytime-anywhere collaboration with teachers and peers, perpetual accessibility of study material, access to assignment and notes, it is considered as most appropriate solution to cater to the needs of 21st century environment.

We have also entered into business partnership with Google and Intel to make our solutions accessible to all. In various countries we have partnered with large Telco's like Telkom SA and Liquid Telcom, these companies are making Extramarks Digital Learning Solution available to its customer through broadband.    


What are the latest trends in education that you are noticing? Your products are used across the world, are these trends worldwide or are there differences in all the markets you work in?

The boundaries of the physical classroom are changing. Learning is taking place not just inside the classroom but outside as well. The student of today is eager to learn anytime, anywhere. Today's learner is constantly working on the gadget viz. mobile phone, tablet, etc. and this is the way they will learn. However, there are very few organisations that have a holistic solution to offer. Most of them are looking at it as Hardware or a Software problem. This needs to be looked as a complete solution where hardware, software, school system, etc. are inter-connected and aimed at improving the experience and quality of the learning. In general this trend is visible in all the markets where we are active. Extramarks is experiencing phenomenal success primarily because we are a one-stop shop solution provider to our clients.


When and how did you enter the  Indonesian  market?

We are now planning to enter the Indonesian market and are busy establishing a local office and staff.


Digital learning tools and devices are relatively new in classrooms and are sometimes treated with suspicion. What would you say to someone to convince them to employ them at their school?

As mentioned in the previous questions no. 3, there are some who look digital learning tools only as hardware or software and expect it to improve teaching. Ease of use offered by integrated hardware and software will have wonderful results, if done correctly. We have various examples where we have deployed 1:1 personalised learning in schools like in Pattambi, India and Dendron, South Africa. The advantages are multi-fold:

Our education solutions are based on a 360 ° approach which offers innovative and engaging learning and teaching methods.

  • Digitized lessons and assessments that can be regularly and conveniently updated.
  • Anytime, anywhere access to multimedia-rich educational content.
  • Innovative learning modules that nurture 21st century skills in students.
  • Increase in collaboration between students and teachers and overall interest in learning.

This resulted in a significant reduction in routine tasks such as roll call, distribution of notes, facilitated regular interactions between parents and teachers and enhanced student learning with notable improvement in grades. Thus in our opinion if implemented correctly, digital learning tools and devices are indeed a boon to learning and a must have for every school and learner.


The theme for GESS Indonesia 2016 is, 'Shaping The Future of Education'. What is Extramarks doing to Shape The Future of Education for pupils and teachers in Indonesia?

Globally the company is investing into research and analytics and studying individual learning styles. To enhance products for personalized and most effective learning, we have partnered with Intel and Google.  This ensures that our products are futuristic and best in class from all perspective such as user engagement, learning outcomes, etc. Further we ensure that our solutions are curriculum aligned and localised for it to be most relevant in the local markets which no other company offers because they do not have in house capabilities for the same.


You will be giving a presentation at the conference as well this year, what can visitors expect to take away from your session?

There are many who speak jargons about how education should be, but as Extramarks we believe that we have cracked a near perfect solution and we would be sharing the same with the audience.


Thank you very much Sumegh- we look forward to having you on board at GESS Indonesia 2016!