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A startup that handled online exams for hundreds of schools during the pandemic

(Sept 2022) When you stumble and fall, you pick yourself back up and move on. That’s the life and business philosophy of Narin Khurana, a serial entrepreneur raised by a single mom in Bangkok, Thailand. Since launching his first company at the age of 17, Khurana has learned that failure is a normal part of being in business.

Narin Khurana

       Narin Khurana

But in 2020, his company School Bright took on a challenge for which success was the only option. During the pandemic, when Thai schools switched to remote learning, Khurana convinced hundreds of them to entrust his startup to manage their online final exams. In total, delivering final results for about 100,000 students became his small company’s responsibility. And there was a problem. School Bright was far from being able to deliver what it had promised.

Narin Khurana

       Remote schooling during the pandemic

“I approached a few schools with online exam mockups and they all bought it,” Khurana recalls. But time was short. “From the moment I sold the idea of online exams to all the schools until the final exam dates, we had only one month to make it happen.”

School Bright is a digital school management platform that links schools, parents, and students. It offers solutions such as attendance checking, homework management, payment, tuition, or academics. In a way, managing exams was a natural path of expansion for the company.

One month before final exams time, School Bright did not have the IT systems in place to handle tens of thousands of students simultaneously logging in. Something called “auto-scaling” was required to handle the surge.

So Khurana turned to Huawei Cloud for assistance. A Huawei SPARK team led by Singapore-based Leo Jiang quickly took the measure of School Bright’s problem and delivered a solution that was up to the task. 100,000 students successfully took about 2 million exams within a few days in October 2020.

Narin Khurana

       Meeting the Huawei team

Today, School Bright is Thailand’s largest education tech startup. It supports 400,000 students and 200,000 teachers in over 500 schools. It plans to list itself on a stock market in 2025 or earlier.

See how it all unfolded in this video shot in Bangkok.