Updated: Oct 3
The Edtech Sector in India is inching towards consolidation where industry giants like Byju’s and Unacademy are trying to establish a duopoly. Byju’s valuation touched a whopping $13 Billion during its ongoing Series F round of funding at the end of March.
Industry giants are working towards enlarging their operational breadth (innovation & offerings) coupled with enhancing their vertical deepness (retention & personalisation).
Although these big players are looking to gain the majority market share in India, education remains one of the most under-invested sectors in the country.
Entry-barrier for new entrants is not so high as the edtech sector is not going to be like a one-player-takes-all kind of a market and the market is large enough to have multiple winners.
Considering the impact of CoVID-19 pandemic edtech adoption in India has received plenty of momentum, a report by Inc42 Plus estimates the market size of edtech to grow 3.7x in the next five years in India, from $2.8 Bn in 2020 to $10.4 Bn in 2025.
The e-learning market provides enough opportunities for the new entrants to create their own space by focusing on innovation and devising strategies that generate endless possibilities for the end consumer.
New companies need to focus on niche segments by reimagining the use of technology, based on the latest trends. While focusing on the intrinsics of learning, companies need to highly emphasize models that ensure a people-first approach. Entrants need to chart out plans to develop a competitive advantage that allows them to thrive now and grow in the future.
Currently, edtech platforms target the needs and issues that majorly address the challenges faced by urban audiences. New edtech companies need to focus their attention to curate target-market strategies that tap the untapped potential to get an early-movers advantage.
One of the niche segments that lack proper penetration of e-learning platforms is semi-literate geographies that comprise tier II, tier III cities, towns, and villages.
This divide is highly visible in remote/village areas due to lack of proper digital connectivity; and lack of parents’ involvement with their children’s education (as most parents in village areas are landless laborers or illiterate farmers), unlike their urban counterparts.
Upcoming edtech companies need to destroy the notion that ‘Digital learning is not for all’ among the masses in Semi-literate geographies and build technological models that act as great equalizers.
As per a recent report, ‘Myths of Online Education’, by Azim Premji Foundation over 90% of the teachers consider a lack of meaningful assessment in online classes; around 70 % of parents consider that online classes do not provide effective learning.
While aspiration to do better and hunger to learn are universally distributed, the lack of last-mile penetration of e-learning platforms deprives small town and village students of appropriate learning opportunities.
A recent report by RedSeer suggests that the ‘second wave of growth in the edtech industry shall be powered by the companies which use vernacular languages to ignite the imagination of young minds.
The edtech companies looking to make an impact in Semi-literate geographies shall up the ante to gain competitive advantage by focusing on:
Use of technology in interesting ways (Artificial Intelligence and machine learning) to bolster thinking and creativity among children and youth
Focus on learning rather than following the institutional (ineffective & inefficient) ways of dissemination of knowledge
Develop value-driven bite-sized and tailored content in regional/vernacular languages
Special emphasis should be laid on creating a sustainable ecosystem for childhood learning
Attention on providing vocational learning that equips the consumer to earn their livelihood
Create systems that tap into regional opportunities
Partner with village-level institutions/impact organisations to modify, improve, evolve the way learning is perceived
Produce Community content for mass consumption that parents can also understand to facilitates student-parent engagement
CoVID-19 has expanded the total addressable market for the internet across sectors such as e-commerce, gaming, SaaS, education. Growing internet penetration in Semi-literate geographies is a positive signal for edtech companies to harness the potential and develop capabilities to accelerate growth.
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