There have been a lot of businesses that went bust during the lockdown due to the Covid pandemic. However, there were a few which flourished as well. People were locked in their houses for a long period. They could be found watching TV or being online with little other to do. One such business which flourished during this time was Bizgurukul. I am sure you have seen a lot of people buzzing about thousands or lacks they made working from home on Instagram or Facebook. They were, most probably, talking about their earnings from these.
In this article, we will explore what Buzgurukul is and why there has been a lot of controversy around it. Also, we will look at how the business has evolved over the last two years.
What is Bizgurukul?
As per its website, Bizgurukul is an online learning platform that provides its users with a wide variety of digital courses that feature structured learning and personal mentorship that assists users in standing out in their respective industries. In addition, it provides hands-on training and support in the form of one-on-one guidance on how to make money online by utilizing various social media platforms.
So, in a nutshell, it is a website that provides various courses. They provide courses related to personality development, digital marketing, copyrighting, google AdSense, and others.
These courses can be purchased directly from their website. However, the real bone of contention here is how you have to purchase these courses and how you market them. Their entire campaign revolves around the theme of earning big by promoting their courses rather than using their learning and applying the skills learned from them.
Of course, they say that suppose you learned digital marketing on Instagram; you will use the learned skill to promote their courses to enroll more people for their courses! That is the issue people find with how they conduct their business. So, is Buzgurukul a legal entity, then?
Is Bizgurukil legal in India?
Well, yes. They have a registered business under the companies act 2013. They can legally do business to earn money. That's what they have been doing. There is nothing that says they are operating illegally. (1)
Who founded Bizgurukul?
So, why the controversy around biz gurukul?
As the business started in 2020, the main goal of the business was to enroll as many people as possible. They adopted the model closely resembling single multi-level marketing. They claim that it is a way of affiliate marketing, just like other major sites like Udemy or Unacademy. (4)
However, to enroll for a course, you had to have a link from someone who is already in their system. You will have to pay more if you want to purchase their course bundle directly. Also, if you directly purchased, you will not be eligible to run your affiliate for their courses!
You must come with a referrer code to become their affiliate. In addition, if you want to join their affiliate program, you MUST purchase a course. So, unless you work under someone else or pay them for a course, you can't effectively work with Bizgurukul.
This is not the case with other major ed-tech sites like Udemy. So, it is not fair to compare them with Udemy, a purely educational website, as any pure Ed-tech site should be!
But they do have digital courses, right, and they do live workshops?
Courses of Bizgurukul
They do have legitimate courses. They have expanded to include more courses as compared to what they started with. Their digital marketing mastery courses taught all the basic stuff about building a website and how to do SEO for the same. They charged Rs. 2143 for this course.
Then they have something called Branding Mastery. It has various sub-courses bundled into a single Digital Entrepreneurship Bundles II. This course costs Rs. 5000. It supposedly has 75+ hours of various courses in it. It includes the previous basic bundle as well.
Then comes traffic mastery which has previously two bundles and teaches stuff on advanced Instagram and Facebook marketing. This will cost Rs. 9,000. And then there is the Influencer market which will cost 16,000 and includes writing, podcasting, and other creator stuff. This includes previous bundles and some courses in stock markets.
The cost of all these courses is generally very high! You can get almost any course from better teachers for as less as Rs. 500 on other platforms but not on Bizgurukul. (5) I did a youtube search, and even Youtube has comprehensive courses for free! (6)
The live workshops they conduct will train all the new people on how to effectively market their courses and get as many affiliates as possible. People use the same tactics on Instagram, YouTube, and other social media to bring in as much affiliate money and people as possible.
So, What is Bizgurukul Good at Then?
The site is good if you are there to make some affiliate money. But then, you would be selling these courses to, maybe, your friends or family. And the courses are not that groundbreaking either! So, it's like selling a course to someone, they pay Bizgurukul, and you get a part of that money. Bizgurukul takes a good cut.
Doesn't it sound just like a simple money circulation scheme? Bizgurukul has a system in place to get others' money and distribute it to others, keeping a good cut for themselves.
If you want to learn, then there are many more options. Even youtube is an excellent place where you can find Harward professors giving free lectures!
Absence of Required Regulations
Firms like Bizgurukul are taking the benefit of the lack of any regulation in this apace. Similar to Bizgurukul, a growing selection of competency-based online programs can be completed to obtain certificates, degrees, training, or individual instruction. In addition, students can build abilities that make them better competitive through these programs.
This is important because the institutions' curriculums do not match the skills required by the industry.
Although these institutes offer certification programs, they are not subject to the regulations that apply to other education sectors because they are established as private businesses. They determine the course structure, costs, competence, evaluation methods, and instruction by themselves and create the courses themselves.
There has been an increasing trend in the number of companies that advertise hugely profitable earnings for graduate students once they enter their coursework. Still, no rules and regulations stipulate any minimum standards for the course material provided by such private businesses.
Currently, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has authority over the web-based regulations of only universities and colleges deemed to be universities. (1) On the other hand, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has authority over the regulations of institutes that provide technical courses. (2)
Even if these kinds of uncontrolled e-learning portals are categorized as e-commerce businesses, no quality requirements have been defined for the courses they offer. As a result, there is little room for debate on the services' overall quality.
We have the example of E-biz, which offered IT courses and embezzled as much as Rs. 5,000 crores! The Indian ED filed a charge sheet against E-Biz under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act. Here too, the modus operandi was quite similar to Bizgurukul. (2)
They also offered worthless products, focusing on enrolling as many people as possible to run the MLM scheme. The marketers often lured gullible students by showing expensive items like laptops, phones, etc being earned by just doing '2-3 hours of word daily'.
In the words of ED,
"Ebiz products were only for name’s sake. The primary purpose of the members joining the scheme was to get a commission from enrolments and not for the products. They extensively advertised their commission model in which very high commissions were paid to sponsoring members for enrolment of new members"
They further continued,
"The enrolment fee paid by the new members was used to pay commission to older members. The Malhan family was siphoning off the balance. Such schemes are inherently unsustainable and collapse as soon as there is a run on the business. In such Ponzi schemes, only the top members make sizeable profits, leaving lakhs of members at the base of the pyramid poorer of their investments"
The business model of Bizgurukul sounds awfully a lot like E-biz.
So, if you are really strapped for money and have good marketing skills, become an affiliate of Bizgurukul. Because that is what the whole business is about. The focus is on how to 'chipkao' a mediocre course to someone else, get paid a hefty commission, and that person does the same to someone else. The chain goes on.
If that is your plan, then go ahead and sign-up for Bizgurukul. But if you think you will learn some dope Social media marketing skills from Bizgurukul and start your business as a social media entrepreneur or an SEO expert, look at some other place.