Writing about online education companies in Bangladesh can sometimes be boring. The scale of online learning is still small. The quality of online learning remains subpar. The number of companies doing inspiring and impactful work is slim. A majority of the players seem to be focused on finding the shortcuts to trick people into buying their poorly designed courses.
The rhetoric is ambitious but actions rarely inspire.
There are, however, a few exceptions and edtech startup Shikho-owned skills development-focused online learning platform Bohubrihi is one of them. Bohubrihi provides online skills development education on in-demand tech and business skills targeting young professionals. It partners with the best professionals and experts in a field as resource people and makes courses that can help learners get jobs, advance their careers, and grow personally.
Bohubrihi has routinely upped its standard of quality. After a series of experiments, it launched a new version of its platform with superior tech capabilities, and a new approach to learning in early 2023, significantly improving learner experience. It has reshuffled its entire course and content catalog, remade many of its popular courses, launched courses on new emerging subjects, and transformed its approach to curriculum design and course-making by engaging with industry insiders, experts, and learners in a collaborative approach.
A new blended model has been introduced for all Bohubrihi courses combining both recorded and live classes to ensure the best learning outcomes for students. To further improve the learning outcomes, it has revamped its mentorship sessions, peer interactions, assignments, and problem-solving support that come along with all Bohubrihi courses.
Online learning suffers from many limitations since the medium lacks the latency and depth of in-person interactions. The passive approach of recorded courses causes learning limitations and damp enthusiasm. Bohubrihi’s comprehensive approach attempts to tackle these shortcomings by making the whole experience real.
To close the loop, Bohubrihi has introduced a recruiter panel for companies to hire its students. By building partnerships with companies such as Brain Station 23, Chaldal, Foodpanda, Pathao, iFarmer, etc., the company looks to create placement opportunities for its students as well as address the recruitment challenges many companies face in hiring the right candidates.
Bohubrihi is part of the edtech company Shikho. Founded in 2016 as a small online courses platform focused on skills developed, Bohubrihi joined Shikho through an acquisition in 2021. While it is part of the Shikho universe, the platform operates independently with a separate operation and decision-making process.
Today, Bohubrihi has nearly 390716 enrolled users and 63 professional and skills-based courses. Students can enroll in a variety of courses that drive tangible career and learning outcomes.
Changing lives with impactful online skills training
Online skills courses are a dime a dozen nowadays. Limited entry barrier to launching online courses has created an oversupply of these courses since the beginning of COVID.
While a majority of these platforms often take the path of least resistance by doubling down on quick sell, Bohubrihi has set a different example focusing solely on quality and impact. Bohubrihi doesn’t sell rhetoric or cheap marketing ploys, rather it operates with a refreshing approach of authenticity and impact focused on truly helping learners. As a result, it has emerged as a catalyst for personal and professional growth for a growing number of learners in Bangladesh.
“Our courses are having a significant impact on people’s lives and are opening doors to new career opportunities”, said Yanur Islam Piash, Founder of Bohubrihi and Head of the Skills and Professional Development vertical at Shikho. The company says that by providing learners with access to top-quality courses, learning opportunities from industry leaders, and creating placement opportunities for them, Bohubrihi empowers learners to accelerate their careers.
Bohubrihi claims a significant percentage of its learners (60%) reported career benefits that include landing a new job, learning a new skill, building new connections, earning a promotion, etc. A significant percentage of learners (40%) got their first job after completing their course on Bohubrihi. Almost all the fresh graduates who took a Bohubrihi course got a job after the completion, while Bohubrihi has created placement opportunities for a large percentage of learners.
Bohubrihi enters the market at a time when the overall skills landscape is changing under the transformation of the technological landscape, leading to a growing need for an emerging set of skills. At the same time, a growing and debilitating skills gap in Bangladesh is causing hiring challenges for industries and limiting opportunities for job seekers. In many instances, young people lack skills, education about the job market, career planning, and industry connections.
Bohubrihi has designed a model that addresses several aspects of this challenge: affordable in-demand skills education taught by industry experts based on a curated curriculum, a blended online learning approach with live and recorded content, peer interaction, and opportunities for job placements with partner companies upon course completion. Naturally, the next step for the company is to grow the number of high-quality courses and scale the platform so that it can serve a greater number of people.
The Bohubrihi model
“What sets us apart from other platforms is our unique approach. While many platforms in the same industry emphasize freelancing or offer general skill development, we distinguish ourselves by focusing on candidates’ overall employability. Our concentration is not solely on preparing individuals for freelancing but also on advancing their careers in various fields,” said Dipesh Dewan who works as the General Manager of Marketing at Shikho.
In the broad scheme of things, Bohubrihi aims to address a number of problems that are structural in our existing educational model such as accessibility and adaptability. While the world of work is changing at a breakneck pace, students don’t always get the chance to study the recent developments in technology or management. Similarly, continuous flexible learning opportunities for early professionals don’t come easily. Bohubrihi addresses these structural challenges by making quality education accessible and affordable:
- Access to quality education: Bohubrihi provides access to high-quality educational content and resources, allowing users to learn from experts in various fields thus helping users acquire valuable knowledge and skills easily.
- Flexible learning: Bohubrihi provides flexibility in terms of when and where students can access educational content, enabling users to study at their own pace and on their schedule and making it convenient for individuals with work or other commitments.
- Continuous learning and upskilling: In a rapidly evolving job market, continuous learning and upskilling are essential. Bohubrihi provides a platform where individuals can stay updated with the latest knowledge and skills required for their chosen fields within a short period.
- Empowerment through skills: Bohubrihi’s focus on skill development empowers individuals to acquire relevant competencies, increasing their employability and opportunities for advancement.
Turning skills and professional development into a science
Bohubrihi delivers these outcomes by executing an integrated learning model that includes a range of products and services designed to provide a comprehensive and effective educational experience, combining practical in-demand skills development, mentorship, and employment opportunities. We take a deep dive into Bohubrihi’s model.
- Blended online courses: Bohubrihi offers a growing range of online courses covering various in-demand skills. These courses are designed to enhance knowledge and practical expertise in fields such as technology, business, and personal development. Bohubrihi runs an integrated model including both live and recorded components in almost all of its courses, whereas the usual dominant online courses model is either fully recorded or fully live. The live component allows learners to engage directly with instructors and peers, providing opportunities for asking questions and gaining deeper insights. The recorded component makes it convenient to learn and revisit at their own pace.
- Content from industry experts: Bohubrihi collaborates with industry experts to create courses, enhancing the educational experience for learners and equipping them with practical knowledge and skills.
- Mentor support: Bohubrihi provides full-time mentor support to learners. Mentors offer guidance, answer questions, and assist with learning, ensuring that learners receive personalized assistance until they get placement.
- Project and assignment: Providing market-standard practical projects and assignments is an excellent component of Bohubrihi courses. Market-standard projects often involve solving real problems or addressing real challenges faced by professionals in the field. Completing these projects gives students tangible work samples for their portfolios, which can be valuable when seeking employment or placement opportunities.
- Job placements opportunity: Bohubrihi collaborates with partner companies to facilitate job placements for its students bridging the gap between education and employment, while also supporting companies to recruit high-quality talents.
Bohubrihi broadly offers two types of courses: Career tracks and foundational courses. The company claims its courses often lead to successful placement opportunities. Bohubrihi considers the success of its students landing jobs and making career progress as a tangible outcome for its courses.
“Our full-stack web development career track course, which happens to be one of our most popular offerings, has generated a long list of success stories. Many of our students who completed this course have already secured positions in various software companies, underscoring the remarkable success of this program,” said Dipesh. “We recently achieved a significant milestone when one of our students from the latest batch of our career track program in product management received an offer from a company based in Singapore.”
To enroll in Bohubrihi’s courses, students register on its website. Before enrolling, students can view complementary and trial classes from any course available on the platform. Additionally, they can access free counseling sessions by scheduling a call before committing to any course.
Bohubrihi offers two distinct pricing tiers. The first tier encompasses standard foundation courses. These courses are priced between BDT 700 to BDT 3000. The career track programs are available at a price range of BDT 6000 to BDT 6500. These programs span six months and offer students a comprehensive package that includes high-quality courses, live classes, recorded videos, guidance and support from instructors and mentors, a variety of projects and assignments, as well as the chance to secure job placements.
Bohubrihi focuses on providing integrated support to learners, taking into account a broad spectrum of needs including skills, mentorship, job placements, and so on. There is a significant societal benefit in that Bohubrihi assists students in becoming market-ready, enhancing their productivity and potential contributions. Simultaneously, this initiative plays a role in mitigating Bangladesh’s growing unemployment challenge.
As discussed earlier, accessibility and affordability remain two major challenges Bohubrihi aims to address. To make its courses accessible to more people, the company has introduced a 100% scholarship program this year for the first time. Selected students get a completely free ride on its select career track programs and most in-demand Bohubrihi courses.
The company introduced a scholarship exam system where students can get scholarships based on their scores.
“The purpose of our scholarship program is to make our courses less expensive and accessible to people who want to learn but can’t access them,” explained Yanur. The scholarship range depends on the exam and applicants can get up to 100% scholarship based on their scores.”
The company sees scholarship as its way to help create more skilled professionals who it then can connect with its recruiter partners. “Our recruiting partner companies are regularly asking for engineers. If we want to produce those engineers then we should bring the serious people to our career track program,” added Yanur.
We expect the Bohubrihi Scholarship program to have a range of impact in the coming years, including:
- Education access: The scholarship will open the doors to skills development for many who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to pursue it.
- Talent development: There is a growing demand for engineering talents in Bangladesh. However, supply remains constrained. Bohubrihi’s scholarship program can contribute to the development of skilled engineering professionals.
- Greater opportunities for everyone: As scholarship recipients graduate and enter the workforce, they contribute to the country’s economic growth through their skills, knowledge, and innovation. This impact might sound small in the early days, but small efforts over many years can create a phenomenal impact.
The lasting impact of Bohubrihi’s work
Young graduates often lack clarity about the skills required to secure a job while still in university. Typically, their job search journey begins post-graduation, which can be quite challenging. Bohubrihi not only prepares students with in-demand skills, it effectively bridges this gap through intensive training spanning 4 to 6 months.
When a candidate does well in a Bohubrihi course, they earn the privilege of having their CVs shared directly with recruiters and a comprehensive profile that provides extensive information about the student, including the quality of assignments and projects. Recruiters evaluate applicants based on this data, and those who meet the criteria receive interview invitations.
“Securing a primary interview call can sometimes be a formidable challenge for young graduates, The Bohubrihi career track program simplifies this process for job candidates,” explained Dipesh. Similarly, recruiters no longer need to sift through countless CVs; instead, we present them with a curated selection, say 10 CVs, and after their review, they may extend interview invitations to 3 or 4 candidates. This streamlined approach is the bridge we are dedicated to constructing, making the job-seeking process more accessible and efficient for applicants.”
The work of Bohubrihi has seen a wide range of impacts over the years including:
- Skill and career development: Bohubrihi offers skill-based courses that empower users to acquire practical skills in various fields. New skills can significantly enhance employability, career advancement, and income potential.
- Job opportunities: By acquiring in-demand skills through Bohubrihi, users may open up new opportunities or career paths they may have yet to consider.
- Networking and collaboration: Users may have the opportunity to connect with fellow participants, instructors, and experts in their fields of interest. This networking can lead to collaborations, mentorship, and a broader professional network.
Bohubrihi aims to democratize skills education in Bangladesh and empower individuals to achieve personal and professional growth. By providing accessible, affordable, and quality skills education, Bohubrihi has the potential to change lives for the better.
The path forward
Bohubrihi has created an excellent model for delivering high-quality online skills and professional development courses and delivering outcomes. The company has also tiptoed into the space creating employment opportunities for its graduates. Going forward, it aims to expand its placement opportunities for its students while continuously improving learner outcomes.
“Our goal is to provide an experience that goes beyond conventional video lessons shared on screens. We aspire to infuse a human touch into the online learning process by offering continuous mentor support, interactive live discussions with instructors, guidance sessions, job search counseling, potential internship opportunities with our partner companies, and personalized feedback on each project completed by our participants,” said Yanur.
Bohubrihi has witnessed substantial growth since its inception, expanding both its course portfolio and its user base. The platform currently offers 55 career tracks and standard courses. The platform boasts a total enrollment count of 369,086 learners, and it has attracted 232,438 unique students who have purchased at least one course. These numbers underscore the company’s growing presence and its expanding influence in the online skills and professional development space in Bangladesh.
“Our current efforts are primarily focused on two directions: streamlining the job-placement process for our learners and creating personalized learning experience for learners based on their personal preferences and choices,” said Dipesh.