How Experts See the Future of Indian EdTech
Attributing every aspect of growth to the pandemic is an injustice to the EdTech sector. Sunil has seen lots of EdTech companies doing well even before. The pandemic has given the EdTech sector a chance to showcase its creativity and capacity. The last 8 months have showcased companies scaling from 3 to 30 million users. That’s been possible because of good products. Sunil reckons that B2B and B2B2B sections of the industry will grow because institutions have had a taste of technology in the last few months and they will not be willing to give up any of it. Given the current situation, success is available for anyone willing to invest their time in the sector.
Sarvesh equates quality with success. With 260 million students in the K12 space, there’s room for experimental products still. But why parents and students will stick to a product only if they see the product creating value for their future. It’s like how test prep companies and tuition centers advertise their toppers. EdTech needs to come up with a similar, measurable metric. The biggest differentiator for companies is going to be how they produce learning outcomes, demonstrate them, and effectively communicate them as a part of their branding. That, coupled with an outcome driven skilling model is going to be the key to success.
Sarvesh added that Omidyar’s future investments focus will be on K12, B2B, life skills, and early learning. Education financing for schools and students will also gain prominence.
Community Opinion (Poll Data)
Dhawal talks of the need to standardize colleges as providers and platforms that teach and provide content but also emphasizes the need to track success, and leveraging technologies. This will create opportunities for many B2B and B2C EdTech players. Also, the pandemic transcends geographies, so in case of certain businesses like CodingNinjas in the coding space, the market dynamic and much of what is true for India might be true for another country/region. The Indian and international markets, Dhawal adds, are large enough in terms of dollar-revenue for opportunities.
Zishaan talks of funding being currently concentrated in K12 with no shot on what the void spaces for new funding are. He appreciated the good that forced-training has done. Students and teachers of all ages have been using digital tools like Google Meet and Zoom enabling classes to happen online even for younger kids. With the adoption barrier removed, he believes that the classes that would have happened in person can definitely happen online providing the potential for new emergences like music classes happening in live class modules. He also believes that going forward, schools are going to be more accountable for what they charge since a lot of parents have already seen and will continue to see what is being done and taught at school via video conferencing. Schools will have to deliver the value they charge for.
Sunil reinforced the positives of the inevitable technology adoption. It is going to make students comfortable with self-learning, which has not been much present in India. Till now, students have been using free platforms like AWS Educate for a week or two, then dropping off. That no longer will be the scenario. Amplified self-learning is going to help the community a lot. There will also be a massive surge in the B2B and B2B2C space. That’s where the money will come in. Sunil recounts that companies have sold multiple products in a month now, where they took 1+ years to sell the same amount earlier. The Govt’s disruptive push in the form of NEP (like coding in 6th grade, & vocational training) will help a lot with this.
Little interventions like these and the development of the EdTech ecosystem are going to help the community grow.
Watch the webinar recording & listen to the detailed discussion on the “Rapid Rise in Indian EdTech Funding – Bubble or Here to Stay?”.
Written by: Stephen Soulunii
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