Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Mrs. Savarkar from Mumbai has never been more involved in her daughter Meera’s school activities ever before. Likewise, Mrs. Agarwal from Gurgaon parent of Kirti Agarwal from Starex International School and Mrs. Murthy from Bangalore, parent of Lathika Murthy studying in an elite Bangalore school have gone out of their way to recommend their respective schools to other parents in the past 3 months.
There is one thing common between the schools mentioned above – All of them are using a free to use mobile application called Teno as their communication platform to communicate with parents on a regular basis.
“I am at a senior position in an IT MNC and given the traffic in Mumbai the earliest I can reach home is 9pm. There have been umpteen situations in the past where I have found out from my kid late in the night that there is some homework that he needs to complete for his class the next day. It used to be complete chaos after that. Now, however, I receive all information regarding school and class activities well in advance right on my phone and I have the rest of the day to arrange and plan for things accordingly” says Mrs. Vibhute, parent of Rahul Vibhute studying at Hiranandani Foundation School, Thane.
Hiranandani Foundation School and over 250 schools across India have implemented Mumbai-based mobile communication platform – Teno to establish a happy and collaborative ecosystem with parents.
With Teno, these schools are able to equip teachers and the administration staff with the ability to send out real-time messages to parent groups. These groups are typically created class-wise such that a teacher or admin staff needs to post a message just once in order for it to reach parents of the entire class. Parents receive these messages real time on their phone which eliminates the need to wait until they reach home to check their child’s school diary.
Through Teno, teachers are also able to send all kinds of attachments like pictures, videos, presentations, circulars and much more thus making it an extremely comprehensive platform for every school-related communication.
Beaming with joy – Abhijeet Joshi, parent of 5-year-old Dhanya studying at DPS Kalyanpur says “I usually travel a lot for work and am away from home most of the times. During one such work schedule, I received pictures of my child on Teno receiving the 1st prize in the annual fancy dress competition. My happiness knew no bounds. That moment was priceless and will always be etched in my memory. It is amazing how we can use technology to spread happiness”.
“I was quite happy yet surprised to see how fast teachers adopted this new method of communication. They find it extremely simple to use and it saves their considerable time as opposed to writing in every child’s diary. Teachers are also happy because they can track how many parents have read the message and can resend the message to those who haven’t with just one click on their phone. The best part is that teachers can choose to allow parents to reply or can set the groups as one-way communication. They appreciate the fact that the choice is theirs” says Pamela Banerjee, Coordinator at DPS Kalyanpur.
Contrary to the perception that such a mobile app would only be a success in tier 1 cities, Golden Earth Global School located in Sangrur Punjab implemented Teno about 8 months back and since then has sent out more than 360000 messages from the app. Parents are overwhelmed with this initiative taken by the school to keep them better informed and involved with the school activities. They in fact proudly go about flaunting how tech savvy their child’s school is to other parents in their locality.
“It is a myth that parents of tier 2 and tier 3 cities are technologically challenged or may not be equipped with smartphones and internet connections.” I can vouch for it as I have the first-hand experience in using Teno app for corresponding with parents on a regular basis in small towns of Punjab and Haryana. We are regularly sending out circulars and daily CW/ HW to parents through this app. You would be surprised to know the ease with which the parents adapted to it when the first circular was sent to them to download the app. 68% of our parents had the app downloaded on their smartphones within 3 days of sending of the circular. Many others joined them in the following days. We now share pictures also using this application, almost all the parents have appreciated the school’s effort in starting this app” says Masooma Singha, Ex Principal – Golden Earth Global School, Punjab.
What makes this platform very interesting is the fact that it is absolutely free to use for schools, parents and teachers alike.
“It was about time somebody came in and changed the way schools communicated with parents. This probably is one of the only few areas that has seen very little evolution over the years. Some schools have at max progressed to SMS packs and cumbersome ERPs which apart from having their own drawbacks didn’t seem to create much satisfaction among parents. Despite the ever growing smartphone and mobile internet penetration rate we saw that most schools still treaded very slowly in terms of evolving their school – parent communication methods” says Anurag Dixit, Vice President Marketing – Teno
Throwing light on the business model of Teno, Anurag says “We are committed to keeping the communication module free forever. Charging schools or parents for the communication piece is not part of the business model at all. As of now our only aim is to take this technology to grass root levels. We have seen very quick success in tier 1 cities, but every time a small town school implements and uses Teno successfully is when the team beams with joy. That, we believe is our true success. And I am glad to say that we have more than 50 such successful case studies across schools that would surprise most people”.
“Having said that, we do have a strong business model in mind and we will begin to consider it in a year or two. However, we are sure that neither schools nor teachers and parents will ever be forced to pay for anything. Everything we do will be based on an ‘opt in’ model and users will always have the choice to pay for it or simply continue using the communication module for free” continues Anurag.
Teno currently has an impressive list of schools using its services including Cathedral and John Connon School, Jankidevi Public School, Lotus Valley International School, Billabong High, St. Vincent Pallotti, Vibgyor High and many more.
It is also impressive that Teno rolls out an average of 2 new features each month based on the feedback from schools and its own analysis of the usage patterns. One on one chat with parents, Stickers and Badges for Teachers, read receipts on groups chats are just some of the newly released features on Teno.