How EdTech Will Revolutionize Learning in India? Report says India's online education market is set to grow to $ 1.96 billion by 2021 from $ 247 million in 2016

By Nidhi Singh

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EdTech is a sunrise industry now, attracting investments because of its promising potential to change the way students can learn and grow.

The Indian education scenario is changing with a number of technology start-ups stepping into the zone to improve the method of learning.

Edtech entrepreneurs are leveraging technology to bring in innovations, find solutions and improve the overall quality of education.

Google and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG) jointly evaluated the growth of EdTech in India and recently released a report titled, "Online Education In India: 2021'.

The report predicted that India's online education market was set to grow to $ 1.96 billion by 2021 with around 9.6 million users from $ 247 million and around 1.6 million users in 2016.

It also highlighted that the growth would be driven by a combination of influences like demand, supply, availability of quality education, government's initiatives and employable quotient.

The report estimated that 280 million students were expected to be freshly enrolling in schools by 2021. Online test preparation is expected to be the fastest-growing category of online education as a whole.

Dheeraj Sharma, CEO, Playablo and Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO & Co-founder, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd explained to Entrepreneur India several reasons behind the booming of the sector in India.

Smartphones Making Learning Easy

Sharma maintained that digital adoption and the amount of time people now spend on their smartphones are the prime reasons behind the EdTech revolution in the country.

"Several reasons contribute to the expansion of EdTech segment, but if I had to pare away the noise and point a finger at one reason, it would be the increased smartphone penetration in India. Our country has close to half-a-billion internet users and the number of smartphone users is more than this. People use smartphones for everything from banking to online shopping to view product reviews. Education is just a logical evolution," he opined.

The changing usage of technology to reskill and upskill the "young-adult mass segment" in India for enhancing their spoken English and employable skills has been fairly nascent thus far.

Shift To A More Quality-Driven Education

For Ralhan, the study by KPMG India and Google is very encouraging for the EdTech start-ups.

"The shift in approach from just clearing exams to a more quality-driven education for learners could be attributed to the tremendous growth that the EdTech sector is all set to experience," he added.

Emphasis on Test Preparation Assistance

One of the most interesting upcoming trends predicted by the report is the growing need for test preparation assistance.

The report predicted that students preparing for competitive entrance examinations to pursue engineering and medical courses would resort to webinars and videos for assistance.

Ralhan stressed that the rise of the internet would further open the access of these kinds of resources to students from Tier II and Tier III cities.

"As compared to other sectors like health and infrastructure, technology has made a late entry into the education sector. But now that the revolution has kicked off, EdTech start-ups like us can contribute by providing the most innovative technological solutions like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or Gamification to meet the requirements of 21st-century learners," he added.

International Players Lack The Experience to Compete in India

Rajesh Kumar B, Co-Founder, ChalkStreet said that the most traction in EdTech in India is around employability skills (technical skills, communication and test preparation for employment). There is also significant traction around test preparation for higher education admissions exams (GRE, GMAT, CAT, GATE, etc). This is the main space for growth currently in EdTech in India.

"International EdTech players lack the experience to compete in this India-specific space.The platforms which have diverse course offerings can tap into the same market who are accustomed to EdTech once they are employed or admitted into companies/institutions of their choice," he said.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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