App comes to the aid of lockdown-hit students

It sounds too good to be true. Free advice for half an hour and a tutor available for the whole day at just Rs.15. But that is what an app developed by two IIT alumni promises to deliver

App comes to the aid of lockdown-hit students

Mudassir Kuloo

The relatively new app, made available only in September last year, the developers claim, has been used by over 60,000 students since then. Three thousand of them are from Kashmir and this correspondent reached out to a few of them to confirm the claim.

FILO, which means friend in Greek, claims to connect students with experts within 60 seconds flat. The App developed by two friends Imbesat Ahmad, 28 and Shadman Anwar 29, alumni from IIT Kharagpur and IIT Delhi respectively, boasts of five thousand teacher/experts registered with it.

Tutors earn between Rs 100 and Rs 200 per hour and the founders claim that some teachers have earned Rs 25,000 a month through the app.

Each day, a student can take a video class from a tutor for 30 minutes free of cost. Thereafter a student is charged Rs 15 for the whole day where a tutor remains available 24x7. Parents can also see the assessment of their children through this app.

“This is the first App in India where an expert can be accessed 60 seconds. Once a student asks any question, we connect him to the best available teacher to clear his doubts. There are 3000 experts available from IIT, NIT, Delhi University, Kashmir University and other colleges and universities in the country,” says Imbesat who hails from Bihar.

Teachers are available for all subjects between classes VIII and XII. Candidates preparing for various competitive examinations can also seek help from experts through this App which is available on Google play store and on App Store. Its web version is also coming soon, the founders say.

Education had been hit badly by COVID-19 and self-study was the only option left for students, they recall. “It took us five months to develop it,” recalls Imbesat, who has represented the country in several educational competitions across the world, adding, “students faced multiple issues during self-study and we tried to address them in this app.”

It is available in various languages for example, he points out. A student can opt for whichever language he is comfortable with. They also get quick answers on FILO unlike on Google where a student has to spend hours looking for queries, he says.

Asked about the revenue model, he admits, “Currently revenue is generated only through subscription. We have raised funding from the US based Better Capital. A few other investors are also talking to us for funding to accelerate our growth and build a bigger team of engineers and data scientists.”

“So far we have actually paid from our own pocket. But we are building an artificial intelligence based premium version of it to push in the international market - mostly US, UK and Middle East,” which would hopefully pay more, they declare.

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