The right set of marketing, infrastructure and staff requirements are important when players in the education space are looking to enter into India says Director, Education Sector Advisory Services, EY, Suchindra Kumar.
Kumar, who is advising clients across the education value chain including K12 schools, higher education, edutech, test prep & tutoring, believes one needs to understand local brands; that’s where local partners come in handy for India.
Speaking to Entrepreneur, the man who has 14 years of experience in business consulting with the Big Four for Education, outlines #4 clear steps to follow which could help players enter the lucrative Indian education market.
Regulations: Meet The Demand Mis-match
The most important point to remember is that education is a not-for-profit space in India. So there are very few states, if you look at international boards, you need 3 sets of regulations to set up a school. You need a go-ahead from the department of education, department of land records and the affiliating boards says Kumar.
There are very few states who have allowed for-profit education. If there are international schools, they can be for-profit. However, it’s not necessary these are the states that have the demand. Hence, the demand mismatch is something that needs to be kept in mind with respect to regulations.
Market: Identify High-growth States
In the school space, Andhra Pradesh is doing a lot. The government is giving international players a lot of sops. Maharashtra, Karnataka and Haryana always have a lot of demand, they have got a lot of potential in terms of growing the market. The demand for international education is immense in these states. Haryana has a great advantage because of Delhi being close. Delhi has a fairly bad tax regime and bad education regulations, so Haryana offers them some sort of respite.
In the current scope, Andhra Pradesh is opening all possible doors to investments in the school education space.
Quality: Proper Accreditation
One of the things we need to look at the regulatory space not purely from a private sector participation point of view is that India poor things regulated and badly accredited. Whereas the ideal situation should be that regulation should be open for everyone to come and set up as long as they are accredited properly. So you need to have quality standards which are not input-driven only, that’s the case in India right now.
If you need to set up an institute in India, there is an entire set of physical infrastructure, staff and other things you look at but you don’t really care about the output.
Focus: Doubling Output
The message for private players is simple – India is a great market for quality market if you were to focus on output and take inputs for what they are, they could do wonders. I don’t think there is any other country globally that has this kind of demand.
We have close to 13 million people in the higher education space today. If you look at the age group of 18-25, we only have 23 percent gross enrolment ratio. In the next 10 year, if we aim at a conservative figure of 35 percent gross enrolment ratio, India still needs to double up the existing capacity so we are looking at least 30 million seats in the higher education space.