Chegg – Portmanteau and the Origins

November 13, 2013- almost a year ago, a bell rang on Wall Street. The chime had announced the entry of a company that had its origins from the throes of uncertainty, to become synonymous with academics. One word. . . One Company. . . Chegg! Yes, you heard it right –  Chegg! The company that saves students’ money and time as well as adds that degree of smartness one would associate top notch students with! A top educational services company in the United States;  also a name to reckon with in India,  with state of the art  offices and a dedicated team of more than 250 full time employees.

In one of the first articles in this series, we trace the origins of the Company. Chicken… The Egg…The Egg the Chicken… and thus came in Chegg. Founded by Ayush Phumbhra and Osman Rashid, the company was coined Chegg based on the founders’ experiences, whence they had graduated from college. “No job without experience and no experience without a job”. This gave birth to the idea of the portmanteau – Chegg; A contraction of the words – Chicken and Egg. The company has since then grown from a small entrepreneurial start up to a major company, whose shares are traded on the Wall Street. There might be umpteen people across the globe, who use the Netflix website aimed at scouting for movies and for DVD rentals. The company modelled its initial days on the Netflix mold and what resulted was the birth of Chegg. The company metamorphosed this idea to the realm of text books, with the purpose of making books cheaper and affordable for all. It’s a common sight in the US, to see students spend a fortune on books. The question that Chegg asked all along was simple – Why buy when one can rent?

 Chegg ushered in a paradigm shift in the ideology. Books were rented and soon students took to the idea like duck to water.  Within a decade, the company became a leading player in the text book rental market. The company has also slowly diversified its basket, offering more and more student related services – from scholarships to online tutoring, to helping students with their homework and answering millions of unanswered questions.

Questions, Questions and More Questions!  Students know this all too well. To add fuel to the fire, we have Homework, Homework and Homework! Oh!!! How much we wish for that magic fairy to come and do our homework or for the teacher to forget about the homework in the next class. Well! Dreams cut short . . .Le Professeur would certainly arrive and ask about the homework. For those tough unanswered questions, one can now count on a masterstroke by Chegg. This is where Chegg Study, powered by young technical brains and wizards from India, enters the frame. Chegg Study helps students get help to the most arduous questions from the textbooks and answers of impromptu questions that are asked during the exam. Yes! It is a one stop for solutions. Who answers these questions? Enter Chegg India! Yes! This is where we step in!

Now, you must be wondering about the origins of Chegg India.  Chegg India is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American giant and has similar origins too. The Indian arm of the company was initially known as Cramster  – an entrepreneurial start up by Robert Angarita, Aaron Hawkey and Kave Golabi which focused on internet study. Providing solutions to text books questions was the prime imperative of the company.  From solutions being written by hand and then being uploaded on the website, to the current day,  where Subject Matter Experts write solutions using specially designed software to create and upload solutions, Chegg has come a long way. The experts are also actively involved in the Question and Answer board – an exclusive platform that has been created, where impromptu questions inter alia brain storming questions are posted. The experts diligently solve the questions and have now exceeded all levels of expectations. With many of the answers being rated the best answers and the turnaround time being one of the shortest; Chegg has proved its mettle in the homework help arena.  Anyone can get the questions answered within minutes. The company works from its location in Vizag and Delhi, and with the help of Managed Network Experts (MNEs), is involved in answering questions to textbooks prescribed in the American Universities. In the year 2012, the company was bought by Chegg Inc. and christened Chegg India Pvt. Ltd.

Since then, Chegg India has been delivering top notch services. Solutions to over 2,500 books are ruling the roost on the Chegg website among all the authentic solutions available across the World Wide Web. The company also actively moderates Chegg website for content moderation related activities and is among the prime centers, sought for Scholarship websites.

Chegg has its presence sprawling across the globe from Israel to Beijing. The company is truly crossing the proverbial seven seas.  In the following episodes to the article, we would be delving a lot more on stories – stories of Cheggsters – of people like you and me, of the lifeline of Chegg and what makes it tick and tick so well.


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