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Is EdTech really the future of learning in India?

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India’s EdTech industry is poised to become $30 billion in size in the next 10 years, according to a recently released report by transaction advisory firm RBSA Advisors. According to the report, the current market size is about $700-800 million.

Leveraging the ‘New Normal’

India has come a long way from being the land of ‘gurukuls’.  Challenging the conventional education ecosystem, online education has now grown deep into the current generation which is extensively involved in smartphones, gamification, live classes, and online tests. This is where Education Technology (EdTech) start-ups come in. The outbreak of Covid-19 has opened up new frontiers for EdTech start-ups in the Indian market.

Mushrooming of EdTech start-ups

In response to the growing demand for online education, the existing EdTech players have scaled up their offerings and several new players with innovative business models have emerged to cater to the untapped segments. The new National Education Policy got approved in July 2020, which opens the doors for technology to play a key role in creating more inclusiveness of higher education. The year 2020 saw EdTech start-ups attract over USD 2.2 Billion in investments as compared to $553 million in 2019 and the number of start-ups shot above 4500, according to Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and PGA Labs data. The increasing investor appetite for the sector is not surprising, given that the pandemic led to a significant increase in demand for EdTech services.

Key Players in the Indian EdTech Space

  1. Byju’s: It is India’s leading school learning program. As of June 2021, Byju’s is valued at $16.5 billion, making it the world’s most valuable educational technology company.
  2. Unacademy: It is an Indian educational technology company, based in Bengaluru (Karnataka). It was originally created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal and now it offers comprehensive courses for UPSC, SSC, IIT JEE, CAT & more exams.
  3. UpGrad: Founded in 2015, upGrad is India’s leading online higher education company providing programs in Data Science, Technology, Management and Law, to students, working professionals and enterprises.
  4. Classplus: Classplus is a coaching institute management software designed for coaching institutes to operate online. Classplus mobile app offers multiple utilities that enable coaching institutes to expand in an online environment.
  5. CueMath: Cuemath is a global after-school math and coding program for K-12 classes. It is powered by an adaptive learning platform, interactive visual simulations, and the guidance of a live teacher.
  6. Skillmatics: Skillmatics is a new age education brand that designs innovative and engaging learning resources, educational games, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) products that enable children between the ages 3 to 12 to build core skills, ranging from math and language to science and logic.
  7. Edukart: EduKart is an Indian higher education enrollment platform where Indian as well as international course providers offer programs such as MBA, Executive MBA, MCA, MSc IT, MA, MCom, etc. The courses are available as distance learning and online courses.
  8. Quizizz: Quizizz is a creativity software used in class, group works, pre-test review, exams, unit test, and impromptu tests. It allows students and teachers to be online at the same time.
  9. Doubtnut: Doubtnut is an Indian interactive online tutoring app. The platform uses image recognition technologies to provide solutions of some mathematical and science questions. To find the solution to a question, one has to upload an image depicting the question. The app extracts text from the image and tries to match it in its database of questions which are pre-answered, having recorded video solutions.
  10. Practically: It is a self-learning app that makes learning fun and interactive through virtual reality 3D simulators and augmented reality videos.

Why is EdTech booming?

Educators are embracing EdTech to get an edge over the conventional learning mechanisms. Use of technology offers several benefits such as:

  • 24/7 Learning Access
  • Personalized Experience
  • Enhanced Assisting Tools
  • Gamification
  • All-in-one Learning Experience

Wrapping up: Is EdTech too good to be true?

The pandemic has catalysed the adoption of EdTech in Indian households. India is uniquely positioned to capture this growing market with students and professionals equally engaged in its wide range of learning opportunities. However, a survey by OLX India noted that there was a 100% increase in children’s screen-time and 84% of parents have expressed serious concerns on this matter.

This raises a question if the EdTech story is too good to be true? Is it just a choice embraced due to the current pandemic, or is there more to it? According to me, the EdTech is the future. It may undergo certain changes to evolve and address some of the concerns but it is going to be an integral part of Indian education system in the years to come as they can scale personalized learning to significant levels.

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