Dominic Prabhu, Co-Founder, Pappaya Lite

Tell our readers about Pappaya? Kindly take us through your journey since inception.

Pappaya Lite is an Educational Enterprise Resource Planning platform for educational institutions currently serving more than 40K Schools across the world. The company was established in 2006 with the idea of establishing a seamless and advanced features integrated ERP with a bigger scale of users for educational institutions.

With such a progressive vision, the company’s software is getting implemented across 50k schools. Papaya LITE has tied up with a prestigious and renowned NISA which promotes quality improvement for over 1 Lakh budget private schools across India, having access to around 50 million students, 30 million parents, 15 million staff, and a few 100 Thousand Principals with each individual spending a maximum of eight hours a day on the Papaya LITE platform.

Pappaya Lite software is funded by the founders of the company. As of now, the founders have been approached by multiple investors in the education sector to make investments and support the idea of streamlining the functioning of budget private schools. The company’s current projection to ease the school management systems is extremely promising with so many schools associated with it and more than 100M users in the next couple of years. The company is working towards its progressive plan of capturing 75K schools across the world and 150K schools with more than 75M users on the platform.

There were multiple products initiated such as Papaya Sign – e-sign software serving a few hundred customers, Papaya Cloud – Partnered with a major global colocation provider Equinix across the world to establish the cloud services. At present, with 80% operations in India and 20% in the rest of the world, Pappaya Lite is the largest education ERP implemented ever across the world.

Help us understand the concept of Ed-Tech and what is the future of this business

EdTEch is a term that refers to hardware and software that is designed to improve student learning outcomes by enhancing teacher-led learning in classrooms. It has the potential to tailor a curriculum to a student’s skill level by introducing and reinforcing new knowledge at a speed that the student can handle.

Education, like any other industry, has undergone a digital transition as a result of COVID. The online education market, on the other hand, is expected to rise by 11.6 billion by 2026. This demonstrates that the EdTech revolution is a long-term answer rather than a momentary fix.

The Indian government has always been forward-thinking, when it comes to education. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) via the automatic method was approved 100 percent in 2002. As a result, knowledge, skills, technology, and expertise transfer has become a global phenomena. According to a KPMG analysis, India is the second-largest market for online education, after the United States.

This indicates that, according to the Nation Education Policy (NEP) passed in 2020, the country is on the right track. The internet medium has the potential to achieve all four NEP policy requirements — Access, Equity, Quality, Affordability, and Accountability — with adequate planning and execution.

This trend of EdTech is only going to get stronger. More students will recognise that traditional offline players lack the capacity to provide the support that is required in today’s hyper-competitive environment. Traditional players’ high brand awareness will no longer be a significant competitive advantage.

Click here to participate in 2022 Estrade Education Awards, Goa-April 2022

Explain this concept of ERP software solution for Schools and how this will help the educational system in India.

The Enterprise Resource Planning or school ERP systems can be designed to cater to the diverse needs of various educational institutions. ERP software solution is to streamline and manage student information efficiently along with automating processes for the Stakeholders. It helps students, teachers, parents and the school administrative staff to use school data in a more organized and structured manner.

When it comes to student safety, the administration must deal with a number of issues, including avoiding ragging on school premises, controlling fire safety, assuring the safety of children on school buses, and protecting pupils from sexual assault.

ERP software supports biometric verification for students and visitors with the help of RFID enabled cards and fingerprints.On-site security, as well as tracking of buses and vans, has never been easier. The programme can be used in conjunction with CCTV cameras to keep sensitive portions of the building under constant watch. Attendance reports can be generated within minutes and shared with parents via app or text messages.

The software aids in harnessing the true power of alertness in order to provide a secure environment. Using a single piece of software, the institution’s administration can control all areas of student safety, including transportation, infrastructure, and physical well-being. It makes a significant contribution to the creation of a secure learning environment for children.

In India’s capital, Delhi, the government recently implemented a happiness course in several schools. The programme emphasises the importance of being helpful and cooperating. Teachers strive to improve everyday attendance and create a student-friendly environment. As a result, kids talk more and are better able to participate in debates. During their time at school, children become emotionally secure, caring, and responsible.

The ancient, unused school buildings are gradually being transformed into cutting-edge infrastructure. Such programmes serve as an example of how innovative ideas, technology, and the willingness of the government can breathe new life into government schools.

Tell us about emergence of startup culture  in India and its future

We’ve all heard about the global recession that slammed the world in 2008, forcing businesses all over the world to reallocate resources and lay off enormous numbers of staff. It primarily affected IT experts in India, who became increasingly scared about losing their jobs and began seeking for alternative ways to stay afloat.

Through the positive steps taken by the government it became easier for emerging startups to survive in the industry. There is no shortage of young talent in India. The low cost of setting up a business in India gives the budding entrepreneurs the leverage towards their goals.

Previously, there were only a few relatively traditional means for obtaining funding for a new company model, such as borrowing from a bank or borrowing from family and friends. This notion, however, is no longer valid. There are a plethora of options and chances to choose from. Angel investors, venture capitalists, seed finance, and other types of funding are available to startup founders. The abundance of options and ease of accessibility has also aided the expansion of India’s startup environment.

Startups in India are recognised for their flexible work environments, late-night partying, and a culture that encourages employees to treat one another fairly. “India boasts over 6,000 companies,” according to Inc42, “and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is sure that 44 percent of them are headquartered in Tier II and Tier III cities.” And the number of them is only growing.”

Tell us what are key elements that investors are looking to invest In India 

When it comes to raising funding, startup founders may overlook the value of teamwork and leadership. Investors, in actuality, are equally invested in your team and your company. They will be more willing to invest in a motivated team led by a technically skilled and enthusiastic leader.

A quantified and validated business model will assist you in transforming a concept into a viable enterprise. It will not only assist you in anticipating how you will spend your cash in the following months or years, but it will also help you determine when you will need to raise capital.

Do you have a thorough understanding of your industry? Are there any marketing strategies you intend to implement? Have you worked on financial forecasts for your company? Do you have long-term plans that demonstrate your vision’s breadth?

Before they decide to take the risk, investors want to see things in place. Investors are more inclined to invest firms that have achieved a particular level of revenue or development than those that are still in their infancy. Before attempting to raise funds, gain some momentum so that you can present a refined method and concept to investors who will be enthralled by your ideas.

Investors want to discover if your firm has a strong story that will appeal to your target audience. To ensure that it works, you’ll need good branding and a compelling narrative to back it up. This encompasses both the specifics of your business as well as your sentiments about what you do.

A powerful story may influence investors just as much as it can influence buyers. You want them to understand your motivations, what they may anticipate from you, and what you aim to achieve. You can also include information about your company’s history, how it got started, and where you see it going in the future.

This interview was authored by Vishwasjeet Singh, Editor-in-Chief, Estrade Business News. To share more stories kindly email: