India’s EdTech companies are putting the E in education
E-learning combined with conducive policies by the Indian government are reshaping India’s education sector and whetting Investor appetite.
There’s no denying that the coronavirus pandemic has given study from home a dramatic face lift.
While once the term ‘Home-schooling’ dredged up images of painted wooden desks and makeshift boards in a tiny room, today home schooling has expanded its very universe and with it, the minds of millions of students how have been stuck at home due to the pandemic induced lockdowns.
It’s good business too. In fact, a recent report stated that India’s edtech sector has seen an investment of $ 2.1 billion in the calendar year 2020, compared to $1.7 billion in the entire previous decade. According to a recent report jointly penned by the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and PGA Labs, the education market in India is pegged at $117 billion with about 360 million learners, in FY20. The report also added that Indians spent $42 billion on supplementary education which primarily comprises private coaching and test preparation in the last fiscal.
What’s more the edtech industry is poised to reach $12 billion by 2025.
So, what’s changed?
A number of reasons. Notwithstanding the pandemic rampaging through India and the world, a larger population, rising urbanisation, the spike in digitalisation propelled by penetration of internet and smartphones , especially to tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India are a few favourable factors which have led to the rapid evolution in the edtech industry.
India’s increasing young workforce pouring into the job market ever year is also another factor.
National Education Policy
Perhaps one of the biggest game changer for the education sector as well as edtech has been the New Education Policy (NEP) launched last year, which has laid an emphasis on digital education and skills needed for the 21st century such as coding.
According to the ‘India Report on Digital Education 2020,’ the Indian government has adopted a wide variety of innovative methods for ensuring accessible and inclusive education to students at home and facilitating remote learning and digital education for all.
Role of start-ups
Indian start-ups of course have been at the forefront of this revolution. There are now more than 4,450 edtech start-ups in the country that are assisting more than 300 million school students and 40 million students pursuing higher education. Many such as Byju’s have now gone on to become unicorns and new players are still pouring in. A recent article in FT stated that Indian start-up Airmeet and Zoom are focussing on one-to-many communication in the context of events, such as seminars, lectures, etc. This could further provide the necessary impetus to online education technology platforms such as Simplilearn, Eruditus, INurture, TalentSprint, and BYJUs, as they can license their platform and focus on content & pedagogy.
With increasing investor interest in the segment over the last five years and the government’s increasing policy push to support digital learning, the Indian edtech industry seems all set to sail off to newer shores.