A one-stop solution that bridges communication gaps between students, teachers, parents and the school, through Unihalt Mobile Apps.
Ravi Teja Konathala, 27 Years
Ravi Raja Konathala, 23 Years
CEO & CTO
Year of inception: 2013
Initial investment: Rs.5,00,000
Winners of the IBM Smart Camp Vizag Edition 2015
While approximately 80% schools have attendance management systems, only 5% of them actually use them. The reasons for this were obvious to the brothers Ravi & Ravi, who realised that schools don’t have the time or resources to manage the data and students often find a way around the system. Even the privacy of teachers is affected, as harried parents call at odd hours. The two entrepreneurs thus began offering attendance management systems, where biometric devices were rented out to schools and the data was sent to parents in the form of an SMS. ‘Involving parents in the loop made the whole product effective.’ Soon after implementing the program, TRAI regulations changed, scaling up SMS rates from 1 paisa to 30 paisa. The proposition that was workable soon became expensive for schools, parents and the duo alike; which is when they started working on a way around it.
In 2015, the Unihalt app was created as a unique and essential communication platform for schools. The app took away the dependence on SMS, and introduced a host of multi-functional features like teacher/parent notifications, chat platforms for teachers and parents and an API which allowed for integration of other school software into the app with improved connectivity.
What started in 2012 as a pilot project has today come far. Having received the attention of schools from both rural and urban areas, Ravi & Ravi are excited about the great interest people evince in their product. ‘During the pilot testing of our project, one of the earliest schools to start was at 7:30 AM at Rajahmundry. I would get a call at 7:45 AM, from parents saying that they didn’t get a notification though their child had left 20 minutes ago. While that indicated a definite problem with the product at that time, it also meant that parents were actually using it.’
With an office at Startup village, a core team that includes Lakshman and Ashish, today they have a product that is capturing the attention of many schools not only in Vizag but other parts of AP as well. In fact, Unihalt was showcased on ETV Yuva, following which they received 12 signups from schools. ‘It’s scalable across networks even with low internet connectivity (EDGE) and is compact at 2.5MB.’ And it’s much more than that. Offering privacy to teachers, parents and school administration, the app supports multiple language platforms too. Winners of the IBM Smartcamp Vizag Edition 2015, their future plans include making the product student-friendly as well. ‘Students especially from college, view this as a threat to their freedom and we hope to change that soon.’