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Do You Want to Be An Edu-preneur? India will have world's largest tertiary-age population and second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of 2020

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We are in the first century of the third millennium. From relying on animal power to creating power using fossil fuels, biomass and more, from experimenting with electricity to the enigma around alchemy and biogenetics, from telegrams to wired communication, extraterrestrial travel and now digitization, virtual realism and an augmented future, from inventions and discoveries to aggregations and integration - most would agree that the world today is at the tipping point of innovation, technological advancement and what-I-like-to-call the "educational big-bang.'

It's as though the past is locked in a box (old wisdom) and within the present lies the key to this box (new age counseling) and when it opens, the future will explode into ventures that will help make sense of it all.

With India becoming the second largest market for e-learning after the US, and the country boasting of more that 1.4 million schools with over 227 million students enrolled and more than 36,000 higher education institutes enrolling over 70 million students (the largest in the world), the education sector in India is poised to witness major growth in the years to come as India will have world's largest tertiary-age population and second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of 2020.* This talent will not only find ways to reinvent the way the world does business, it will also help make sense of the past, and create a promise for the future.

When my friend in Hyderabad started an international yet affordable boarding school two hours from the city, he needed vendors, a school management system, good teachers, counselors, a steady flow of student enrolments and more. Everything that was his requirement, whether tangible or service-oriented, was a populated supply chain ready to provide a differentiated solution - he used StudyApt to build a school profile, SchoolSmart to organise his internal and external communication, University Connection to create a counseling framework and with state-of-the-art providers, the school was ready to roll. The opportunities don't just end at institutions.

There has not been a better era to become an Edu-preneur and leverage not only on the huge population dividend, but also the futuristic, progressive, evolved populace that is willing to give. Give knowledge, give expertise, give training, give advice, give solutions, give themselves - it's a Givers paradise out there! And it's not only the ones who are at the receiving end that benefit. The ecosystem is becoming enabling, empowering and as my friend Deepak Goel from Karma Circles would like to say, "It is only by giving that we receive in abundance." Even in the college planning and study abroad sector, more than 3 lakh students go abroad annually and perhaps three times apply - the significance of mentorship cannot be overstated in this domain. While most choose to work on an agent based model with universities, the need of the hour is unbiased guidance and facilitation. The need is to make education and it's acquiring more and more transparent. Put the controls in the hands of the learner. Create platforms of exchange, macro-enable rather than micro-manage.

In 2015-16, the education market was worth about US$ 100 billion and is expected to reach US$ 116.4 billion in the financial year 2016-17.*

You can either eat the pie or grow it, either ways the future of Edu-preneurship looks sweet!

Charushilla Narula Bajpai

Founder & Key Mentor, University Connection

The author is Founder Director & Key Mentor, www.UniversityConnection.in, an Edupreneurship venture in Overseas Career Mentorship    

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