Pandai Education in 2023: Achievements, Challenges, and What’s Next

In the dynamic landscape of education, where technological advancements constantly challenge traditional methodologies, one home-grown company – Pandai Education Sdn Bhd (Pandai) – stands out as the beacon of innovation.

Pandai’s willingness to welcome change has further cemented its reputation in the field of educational technology in Malaysia and abroad. As we close the curtain on 2023, Pandai looks back at a remarkable journey throughout the year and the challenges they have encountered.

Pandai – The #1 Education App

Just recently, the Pandai app achieved a significant milestone by becoming Malaysia’s #1 education app on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Their ascent to the top is no accident; it is due to the diligent efforts of the Pandai team to listen to their users – now counting more than 700,000 – and to constantly improve the product.

According to Raja Nazatul Akhma, the Head of Product at Pandai, “Pandai has become the go-to app for students, not just during exam seasons, but for them to learn and practice throughout the year. Students are attracted to our personalized, gamified approach, which identifies their academic weaknesses using intelligent analytics tools.

Raja Nazatul Akhma, the Head of Product at Pandai, addressing parents and students during Pandai Open Day.
Pandai App ranked #1 in Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore.

Collaborations with Organizations to Bring More Impact

To make personalized, quality education accessible to the less fortunate, Pandai has joined forces with various corporations and foundations such as CelcomDigi, Prudential, Hong Leong Bank, Axiata, Air Selangor, and Educity. These collaborations demonstrated a shared commitment between Pandai and the organizations to positively impact society by bridging educational gaps and providing the neediest students with the tools they need to succeed.

Leveraging the expertise, connections, and resources of these industry leaders allows Pandai to implement programs that reach underserved communities, especially students from B40 families who need academic intervention. The Pandai team provides tailor-made educational intervention programs that utilise both the power of technology through the Pandai app as well as the power of human touch through student engagement programmes.

Chief Operating Officer of Pandai, Suhaimi Ramly (right) presenting a token of appreciation to Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential.

Pilot Project in Public Schools

To ensure that the Pandai app and content align with the national education objectives, Pandai has successfully completed a pilot project called ‘Pandai @ Schools’ that integrated the Pandai app with the teaching and learning process in actual school environments. The initiative is part of the National Technology Innovation Sandbox (NTIS) programme under the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).

At Pandai, we believe that social interaction is a big part of the learning process, whether between teachers and learners or peer learners. The Pandai @ Schools pilot project has shown that social learning has a noticeably higher impact on students’ performance than students using the app alone,” said Khairul Anwar Mohamad Zaki, the CEO of Pandai.

This project involved five schools in the Keramat, KL area, in which students and teachers from those schools were equipped with digital devices and Pandai Premium accounts for a period of 6 months. The result of the pilot project has been promising. Students who use the Pandai app regularly have shown significant increments in their academic performance. Teachers reported a noticeable boost in students’ self-confidence, enhanced motivation, and productivity among the cohort. These positive results highlight the Pandai app’s efficacy in assisting students and their teachers.

The launch of Pandai @ Schools programme at SK Convent Bukit Nanas.

Regional Expansion in Southeast Asia

Pandai has been launched in Brunei Darussalam, the first of several international market expansions in the pipeline. School students in Brunei can now download and use the Pandai app, which incorporates educational content aligned with the Bruneian curriculum and is available in multiple languages.

The regional expansion not only showcases Pandai’s ambition and potential but also highlights the universal need for accessible and quality education, transcending geographical boundaries. Pandai has received recognition from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Singapore-based Octava Foundation for its impact on education in Southeast Asia thus far.

Founders of Pandai (from left) Suhaimi Ramly, Khairul Anwar Mohamad Zaki, and Pandai Brunei CEO, Pengiran Abdul Azim bin Pengiran Yusof.

Beyond The Curriculum

Understanding the need to develop students holistically, Pandai is expanding beyond examination-based content by introducing several enrichment modules beyond the traditional curriculum. Students can now access Pandai micro-learning courses on various subjects, such as financial literacy and self-help motivational courses.

Besides the enrichment modules, Pandai runs school holiday programs called Pandai Daily Funtivities that cover wide-ranging fun topics for school students, like travel, food, languages, robotics, comics, and culinary skills. The Pandai ethos emphasises that learning is not just a routine activity but a vibrant and fun experience that goes beyond achieving better exam grades.

The Role of MRANTI

Pandai is a graduate of the 3-month Global Accelerator Programme (GAP) programme organised by MRANTI. During the programme, mentors and experienced entrepreneurs shared various topics related to running a startup, from finance, legal, marketing, operations, strategy, to the essential part of a startup’s growth: getting a product-market fit.

The role of MRANTI in Pandai’s growth journey has been transformative, from mere mentorship to becoming an essential part of the Pandai success story. The global recognition that Pandai has achieved, the impactful collaborations with industry leaders, and the ability to navigate challenges are all evidence of the guidance and strategic support from MRANTI.

What’s Next?

Pandai’s journey is a story of innovation, collaboration, and the transformative power of education. Pandai has not only overcome challenges but has turned them into stepping stones toward a brighter, more accessible future of learning. 

As part of the education ecosystem, Pandai is looking forward to collaborating with the education community and other stakeholders with a passion for education. Moving forward, to 2024 and beyond, Pandai hopes to bring its core mission to fruition: to bring quality, personalised education to as many learners as possible worldwide.

Founders of Pandai (from left) Suhaimi Ramly (COO), Khairul Anwar Mohamad Zaki (CEO), and Akmal Akhpah (CTO).