Pranshu Patni: Changing The Way India Communicates 

In the 2011 census, English was officially recognised as India’s second language, following Hindi. Since then, estimates indicate that 12 percent of India’s population, out of the 800 million in the working-age group, can speak English, though not necessarily fluently. According to a 2012 BBC report, India ranks second only to the United States in terms of the number of English speakers.

While nowadays, many people can easily access educational technology platforms to learn new skills, the resources for learning the English language were limited in 2012. Furthermore, as the world becomes more globalised, proficiency in English has become a mandatory skill for Indian corporate professionals, thereby restricting opportunities for many. Recognising this, and after almost two years of market research, Pranshu Patni embarked on an entrepreneurial journey.

The name Pranshu Patni and her inspirational story stand as a significant example of innovation and determination. Co-founder of Hello English, a groundbreaking language learning application, Pranshu’s professional expedition reflects the transformative power of addressing real-life challenges. 

Genesis Of A Vision 

The story begins in the pre-COVID era when Pranshu Patni found herself grappling with a challenge familiar to many – effective communication. It was 2012, and her husband (then fiance), Nishant Patni, an alumnus of IIT Bombay and Kellogg School of Management, USA, had to relocate to Shanghai, China, for an exchange program. For him, the obstacle was learning Mandarin, a task that proved to be cumbersome for Nishant, given his busy schedule and specific dietary requirements as a vegetarian. 

Birth of CultureAlly (Now Hello English) 

As Nishant returned to India, Pranshu and Nishant decided to turn adversity into opportunity and launched CultureAlly under Jaipur-based Intap Labs Private Limited. The initial vision was to create a platform that teaches various languages, including English, Hindi, Mandarin and Spanish, through innovative coaching models. They started with live one-on-one sessions via Skype and an interactive website. 

Their big break came in 2014 when CultureAlly became part of the prestigious global batch of 500 startups, a significant milestone that prompted Pranshu to pivot the model. With a keen eye for market trends and a desire for wider reach, CultureAlly transformed into a mobile-only app, subsequently named “Hello English”. 

The Emergence of Hello English 

The Hello English app introduced a revolutionary approach to language learning. Unlike traditional methods that often fail to keep learners engaged, Pranshu’s app incorporated interactive modules designed to make language learning an integral part of a user’s daily routine. For instance, the app strategically inserted new words into users’ Facebook newsfeeds, enabling familiarity with the language.

Triumphs and Accolades

The launch of Hello English in October 2014 marked a turning point. Within eight months, the application accumulated more than 10 million downloads and was honoured as the Best Performing Educational Application by Google Ratings. India’s internet and mobile associations recognised it as the most innovative application of 2014. 

As of now, Hello English has a user base of 50 million learners from 22 local languages, with over 1.2 crore satisfied customers and a remarkable 4.5/5 average rating from 1.6 lakh reviews. The app’s popularity extends beyond borders, with more than 4 50 000 downloads in over 220 countries. 

Pranshu Patni’s inspirational journey, from identifying a personal need to founding a globally acclaimed educational technology company, demonstrates the impact that dedication, innovation and a commitment to solving real-world problems can have on transforming lives and reshaping industries. Hello English continues to empower millions worldwide, all thanks to the vision and perseverance of Pranshu Patni. 

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