The inception story of mintbook is to germinate a solution that touches millions of lives. The whole idea was to build a digital content rendering platform that can bridge the knowledge gaps in current education system through smart classes and digital libraries for students and teachers in Schools, Universities and Public libraries. mintbook launched digital libraries in 2014 and subsequently Smart Classes and Book Clubs. Apart from the online digital library offering, the unique delivery model is that the solutions work with minimal usage of internet or with no internet to enable the reach to remote areas as well. Presently, mintbook provides the best knowledge content to aid students in K-12, Higher Education and Research in the form of eBooks, Journals, Videos and Audio lessons in English, Hindi and 10 other regional languages. Under a single platform, content is aggregated from local and international publishers covering academic, competitive exam preparations for higher education and employment, skill and personality development and leisure reads.
Sailing against the Wind
Kalaivani Chittaranjan, MD & CEO, mintbook, explicates the challenges, initially it had been sourcing digital content from the scattered Indian publishing partners and secondly the lack of infrastructure mainly internet in tier 2 and rural areas, where the solutions are most needed to address the knowledge divide in the country. “With the initial projects with Government of Karnataka, we were able to address the content sourcing part. And today we carry more than 600,000 e-content in our platform”, she says enthusiastically. With respect to rendering content and delivering Smart class or Digital Libraries, the R&D
team internally developed a device using a mini server and a sophisticated DRM engine to create a LAN enabled implementation model – mintBoX. This does not need internet always and also collects and transmits analytics on users to the server as and when connected to internet. This model solved the infrastructure issue at different locations.
The concept of Book Club is unique and is aimed at creating low cost hyper local eBook libraries. Book Club comes with mintBoX and Tablets and it needs just a small place with tables and chairs to get started. Book Clubs are aimed at building reading and knowledge browsing habits for children and students. mintbookSmart Class not only comes with Audio Visuals but also with digital library and Tablets at a very cost effective proposition.
So far mintbook has implemented digital libraries in more than 1200 public libraries in urban and rural areas for the Government of Karnataka and 50+ digital library and smart class implementation in educational institutions. mintbook has been associated with Digital India & Smart City initiatives in different states creating innovative Smart Class solutions and Book Clubs. Within a short span of three years, mintbook bagged many recognitions and awards for their work including ‘Smart Village’ award in Smart Cities India Expo Delhi, 2016 &Top 10 IoT product (mintBoX) by IoT India Congress Forum, 2016.
Enlightening further, Kalaivani adds “We want to ensure that technology is exploited in a very positive way to address the needs. For example, we are working on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics in education, wherein mass customization of the content is possible on assessing the learning and comprehension levels of the students and possibilities of machine supplementing the teaching gaps in schools”.
mintbook has been associated with Digital India & Smart City initiatives and at present is working with Govt. of Karnataka aiding support in the education sector