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Interview: In conversation with Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder of Creative Galileo

Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder of  Creative Galileo tells TechGraph that, “Various edutainment apps available on the Internet today tend to address those gaps in learning that might not focus on the formal educational system.”

Here is the complete transcript: 

TechGraph: Why Creative Galileo? How did it all get started? 

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: I spent a lot of time growing up, watching my father acquire sick units and make them into profitable ventures, and the entrepreneurial bug got ingrained in me early on. In my travels across India during my youth, I witnessed a vast class divide in education access. This deprivation led me to make up my mind to make education accessible to children in the remotest parts of India. 

When I moved to Singapore and started my first business venture- a chain of preschools as my mission is to provide quality content and learning experience to children in their foundational years.

As someone who has been part of offline education with preschools in Singapore, the next step was the online e-learning space; and that happened sooner than I thought. The shutdown of schools and colleges due to pandemic imposed lockdowns exposed the fragmented adoption of digital capabilities.

We saw this as an opportunity and launched Creative Galileo’s Little Singham –Kids early learning app, where we are harnessing the power of the Internet and technology and democratize education. It’s our collective endeavor to modernize and upscale the education imparted to children in their budding or formative years (3-8 years) through blended learning, entertainment, and innovative tech interventions. 

We have always known that the Internet can be a great leveler, and being able to contribute to making childhood education better only makes it better. Creative Galileo’s Little Singham has been accepted across urban and rural areas and is aiding early education for toddlers across the country, with more than 1 million downloads since launch.  

TechGraph:  What differentiates Creative Galileo from other platforms that are already working in this space?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: Creative Galileo is uniquely placed in the Edtech ecosystem. There has been a growing preference for localized content in recent years, and early learning (below eight years) has been in the limelight for various reasons. With over 71 million active internet users between the ages of 0 and 9, this market represents an under-penetrated and under-invested sector. 

According to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2019) by Pratham, an NGO, only 16% of children aged between 4 and 8 years can read the text at the prescribed level, while nearly 40% cannot even recognize letters. Additionally, in the 26 rural districts surveyed across 24 states, only 41% of the children could recognize two-digit numbers.

Creative Galileo is the first-of-its-kind character-based e-learning app that’s providing bespoke education solutions that prioritize holistic, fun learning for kids in the ages 3 to 8 years. If your concepts aren’t clear in the early years, it will hamper your growth in future years and our app is teaching and strengthening this foundation in kids. 

Our e-learning app is a paradigm shift from traditional teaching practices. It is targeted towards children from ages of three to eight years to teach them about colors, numbers, shapes, phonics, etc., through engaging storylines. 

Our biggest differentiator is localized content that Indian kids can relate to, instead of the ones available showcasing foreign characters and locations leading to language and comprehension challenges. 

We are using IPs with a deep resonance with our target user base, i.e. kids and toddlers who watch Indian characters. 

My father in law has been a great mentor to me in this journey. His passion and deep experience in media and entertainment have helped guide my thinking in putting together these popular children’s characters to make learning fun and relatable across various contexts.

Since we want to make education accessible by all, we have kept the underserved community in the center and developed this e-learning app below (the size of) 10MB to ensure that users with data and connectivity issues can download our free for use app without hassles. 

Through Creative Galileo, we have created a transparent avenue for parents to be informed about their child’s learning development. The app will assess children’s learning levels and plan out activities to achieve their learning goals, providing parents with regular updates on their improvements in the parents’ zone.

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TechGraph: Could you please walk us through the features offered by Little Singham, the flagship product of Creative Galileo?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: Creative Galileo’s Little Singham- Kids early Learn app is a character-based early learning application that weaves together the best of education and entertainment to create personalized, integrated learning experiences for young minds. Some of the features of the app include: 

Strong IP – The app has a strong line-up of India’s most popular children’s characters, including Little Singham, Little Krishna, Golmaal Jr., amongst others.

Thematic learning modules – It’s a known fact that growing kids have a limited attention span but a higher grasping power. Therefore, it becomes essential to break down expansive content into theme-based modules that kids can assimilate

Targeted learning domains – The curriculum on the app targets all six learning domains that are essential for holistic learning, namely – motor skill development, numeracy, aesthetic and creative expression, social and emotional development, language and literacy, and discovery of the world

Learning journeys – The app has introduced ‘Learning journeys’ for kids, which have helped streamline the child’s journey to deliver meaningful insights to parents on their achievement of developmental goals.

TechGraph: What does Creative Galileo look like these days?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: We are a bootstrapped company and are currently in talks with a clutch of angel investors & venture capitalists to raise funds for further growth and expansion. Having launched in July 2020, ours is a growing team of passionate individuals who believe in democratizing education. 

TechGraph: Why do children need technology like this for study?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: Early childhood learning significantly impacts the physical, motor, cognitive, and social development of a child. It is said that the first eight years of a child is the ‘true window of opportunity as that is a period of tremendous growth and development. Strengthening this core during the initial stages of a child’s life is, therefore, very important. 

The way technology has progressed in the last two decades means understanding and utilizing technology is no more an option but a necessity for children. Having grown up around these devices, kids today seem to have taken to them like fish to water. 

As COVID changed how we looked at physical learning, parents began to realize the importance of supplemental learning tools to enhance the overall academic advancement of their kids. 

For example, various edutainment apps available on the Internet today tend to address those gaps in learning that might not focus on the formal educational system. With the capability to support high production values and create engaging content, such technology can let kids connect with and absorb the curriculum better. 

TechGraph: What kind of growth did Little Singham register during the COVID-19 phase?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: We launched Creative Galileo’s ‘Little Singham: Kids Early Learning App’ in July 2020 amidst the peak pandemic period. We piloted the proof-of-concept in India, and without any marketing spend, the app gained traction in the Indian subcontinent at-large with over 1 million downloads. The downloads happened in Tier 1 cities and saw massive traction from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well in India. We have seen up to 200,000 Monthly Active Users with a 4.8 consumer rating on Play Store.

TechGraph: What is the roadmap for Creative Galileo going forward?

Prerna Jhunjhunwala: We want to capitalize on Little Singham’s success by expanding the content library and developing exclusively new content with more modules. We also plan to penetrate the regional market in India by introducing content in regional languages. Soon you will see a whole new Creative Galileo Universe, beyond Indian characters, and will introduce some beloved international characters as well. 

We have pioneered the concept of ‘learning journeys’ wherein we provide parents with tools to track their kids’ individual growth and learning. We aim to provide more analysis and insights in the coming months.

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