Co-Founder of Edutech CoLearn Startup Wants to Increase Indonesia’s PISA Ranking
Abhay Saboo, co-founder of educational technology startup (edutech), CoLearn, said that he and the company founders wanted to improve PISA Indonesia’s ranking.
According to Abhay, in his official statement, quoted on Monday (16/5/2022), as the country with the fourth most population in the world, Indonesia has promising potential to become a “hub” for technological innovation in the future.
However, this potential is highly dependent on the quality of domestic human resources (HR). Improving the capability of human resources is still considered to be a priority agenda for the government.
CoLearn cites the Human Development Report 2020 which states, Indonesia is still in an unsatisfactory order, which is 107 out of a total of 189 countries. Meanwhile, the Human Development Index which is relatively low also makes Indonesia less competitive.
The 2020 Global Talent Competitiveness Index shows Indonesia is ranked 65th in the world with the highly skilled workforce sub-sector still far at 82nd and the impact of labor is ranked 91th out of a total of 132 countries.
Abhay says that’s why he and other CoLearn co-founders, Marc Irawan (COO) and Sandeep Devaram (CPO), have been developing the platform since 2018. Recently, they reported that they had secured a new Series-A funding round.
Since its establishment in 2020, the edutech startup said it has received several funding from local and global investors such as AC Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures, Sequoia India’s Surge, Mahanusa, and Taurus Ventures.
Education the Main Way to Success
Abhay and his own family have moved to Indonesia since the age of three. This makes him have a close emotional affinity with Indonesia.
He then spent his life as an adult in Central Java, then moved to the United States to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Abhay also said that his mother and brother were the people who contributed the most to his current success.
“Although our family always has to work hard to earn a living, my mother still strives for her children to get the best education,” said Abhay. “He believes that education is the main way to achieve success,” he added.
In 2007, Abhay did master studies at Harvard Business School. He saw that there were still a few students from Indonesia studying there.
His discussion with the Director of New Student Admissions at one of the world’s best business schools also led to the conclusion that, there was a problem of self-confidence among young Indonesians, to dare to appear in the international arena.
Early Childhood Education Programs
After earning a Master of Business Administration or MBA, Abhay returned to his native India to start a business. However, he had time to visit family in Jakarta. On his way back to Soekarno-Hatta airport, he realized there was a passionate desire to develop Indonesia.
Learning from his experience building a health startup in Indonesia, Abhay then shifted his focus to building the world of education. There he found that the main problem in the country is not higher education but early childhood education.
In UNICEF Indonesia’s 2020 report on the Situation of Children in Indonesia, the 2018 OECD PISA test found that only 30 percent of 15-year-olds achieved or exceeded the minimum competency levels for reading and 29 percent for math.
In ranking, Indonesia is also in the last rank, which is ranked 6th, 7th, and 9th from the bottom, out of a total of 79 countries.
Creating a Difference
From there, Abhay built an early childhood education program and invited Marc Irawan to participate. The mission of the founders of Co-Learn is to bring Indonesia to the top 50 percent of the PISA rankings.
Apart from family support, Abhay’s biggest motivation is to make a difference and make an impact for the country he grew up in.
Abhay also said, Indonesian people are friendly and fun people.
Therefore, this expression of gratitude is expressed through a platform that aims to help Indonesian students achieve more achievements at the international level.