About

 

Education in India is at an inflection point where technology is holding out the promise of quality education at low cost and the relevance of that promise for a country like India, which has the paradox of a large population and low standards of education, cannot be lost on anyone. According to industry estimates, by 2030, there will be over 300 million children in the age group of four to 17 years and an estimated youth population of 140 million ready for higher education. Making quality education accessible to this large population is an imperative the stakeholders in the sector cannot shrug off. How? Technology may hold the key to this daunting question.

As the country’s internet user base grows to an estimated 550 million by 2020, technology enabled education solutions will constitute a significant portion of the projected education market opportunity.

 

By industry estimates, the digital education market will touch $5.7 billion in two years. Entrepreneurs and investors, both private equity and venture capital, have already started to address this opportunity. Between 2015 and now, technology enabled education businesses across the spectrum, more commonly known as ed-tech businesses, have raised close to a $1 billion from a multitude of investors.

The ed-tech opportunity is currently playing out across four broad market categories -- pre-school, K12, higher education and, vocational skills development. A multitude of ed-tech businesses have started to cater to these segments with services such as supplemental online content, after-school tutoring, test preparation, corporate training solutions, ERP solutions for schools and even IoT and VR solutions that seed to offer smart education systems.

 

such as supplemental online content, after-school tutoring, test preparation, corporate training solutions, ERP solutions for schools and even IoT and VR solutions that seed to offer smart education systems. The adoption of technology, however, is not without its challenges. Education remains a highly-regulated sector and while disruption through technology is inevitable, the scaling up of such businesses is likely to take long. Are their enough investors with patient capital? Is education a philanthropic pursuit or does it offer handsome returns, too? Are investors ready to wait it out till their investments bear fruit? Where are the real gaps in the sector and what can stakeholders do to plug them?

News Corp VCCircle Education Summit will see entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders delve deep into various aspects of education in India.

Agenda

December 20, 2018 | Gurugram
08:30AM - 09:30AM Registration & Networking
09:30AM - 09:45AM Opening Address by VCCircle

Jaideep Mehta, CEO, News Corp VCCircle

09:45AM - 10:00AM Special Address by Guest speaker

Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Vice – Chancellor, Ashoka University

10:00AM - 10:15AM Special Address: Masterclass for Edtech entrepreneurs

Nirav Khambhati, Partner, Kaizen Private Equity

10:15AM - 10:55AM Panel I: Investors’ overview of Education

Investing in education is lucrative as the returns are handsome but it takes patience to reap the rewards. Alongside long-term commitment, what are the other risks and rewards of investing in Education sector? Which segments are more promising as of now and why?

Imran Jafar, General Partner, Gaja Capital
Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund
Prashant Mehta, Partner, Lightbox
Pranjal Kumar, Principal, Bertelsmann Investments & Corporate center India 
Namita Dalmia, Principal, Omidyar Network (Moderator)

10:55AM -11:35AM Panel II: Gauging the opportunity in professional learning

Given India’s growing population and demand for jobs, professional learning represents that biggest opportunity the nascent ed-tech market. In the past couple of years, significant private investments have been pumped into this segment underlying strong investor interest and the momentum is expected to continue for a few more years. Will India’s next technology unicorns come from the professional learning market? How critical is technology for scaling these businesses and ensuring they find the road to profitability?

Ravijot Chugh, Co founder, UpGrad
Krishna Kumar, CEO, Simplilearn
Arjun Nair, Co-founder & Director, Great Learning

11:35AM - 11:50AM Networking Break
11:50AM - 12:30PM Panel III: Disrupting K12

Even as India is celebrated for world-class educational institutions such as IITs and IIMs, its K12 system continues to be in a sorry state. Right from the concept of teaching to lack of enough and good teachers, old and irrelevant curriculum, a poor teacher to students ratio are all factors contributing to the dismal state of affairs. What will it take to fix the K12 system?

V Sivaramakrishnan, Managing Director, Oxford University Press India
Puneet Kothapa, Executive Director, Narayana Group of Educational Institutions
Amit Kapoor, Co founder & Director, Eupheus Learning
Neeraj Sharma, MD & CEO, Indian School of Finance Company
Smita Sircar, Innovations Director - edLABS and Ecosystem, Gray Matters Capital (Moderator)

12:30PM -01:10PM Panel IV: Blossoming pre-school and day care

The pre-school and day care market has so far had a patchy run in India. Apart from a handful of players, the segment hasn’t seen sustained activity in the past in terms of new ventures being formed, funded and being scaled. That may change now with education as a whole seeing renewed interest from both investors and entrepreneurs. Are pre-school and day care businesses/ startups finally here to stay? What market factors are in play to encourage the growth of such businesses? What kind of business models will stand the test of time?

Sridevi Raghavan, CEO, Amelio
Priya Krishnan, CEO, KLAY 

01:10PM - 02:00PM Lunch & Networking
02:00PM - 02:40PM Panel V: Education, a philanthropic pursuit?

Several not-for-profit enterprises have come forward to plug the gaps in the education ecosystem especially catering to those at the bottom of the pyramid. What inspires such enterprises to take the plunge in a sector that is riddled with problems? What challenges do they face? What are the returns they seek?

Lopa Gandhi, Founder, Ugam Foundation
Prachi Jain Windlass, Director – India Programs, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India LLP
Sanjay Dalmia, Founder, OpenLinks Foundation

02:40pm - 03:20pm Panel VI: New frontiers in online tutoring

Online tutoring has in the past few years emerged as one of the most sought after market segments in the overall ed-tech sector. Entrepreneurs are employing varying strategies to address what promises to become a multi-billion dollar opportunity and investors see significant upsides in getting into the game early. What are the factors that define this potentially lucrative opportunity? What could be the future challenges to scaling these businesses? Is the opportunity big enough for multiple large players to emerge in this market unlike segments such as ecommerce or ride-hailing which are winner-takes-all markets?

Rohit Manglik, CEO, EduGorilla
Vamsi Krishna, CEO, Vedantu
Zishaan Hayath, Founder, Toppr

03:20PM - 03:35PM Networking Break
03:35PM - 04:00PM Showcase Session

We bring our Showcase session, a curated platform that brings a set of handpicked innovative Education startups to make an elevator pitch to select jury of angel investors, houseful of VCs & fellow entrepreneurs. This is also an opportunity to early stage, pre-revenue, startups as well to grab investor attention. 

Jury:
Prachi Jain Windlass, Director – India Programs, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation India LLP

04:00PM End of Conference

SPEAKERS

Pratap Bhanu Mehta

Vice - Chancellor, Ashoka University

Pratap Bhanu Mehta is Vice-Chancellor, Ashoka University. He was previously President, Center for Policy Research. He has been a Professor at Harvard, JNU, the Global Faculty Program at NYU Law School. He has published widely in political theory, constitutional law, society and politics in India, governance and political economy, and international affairs.

His most recent publications include The Oxford Handbook to the Indian Constitution (co-edited with Madhav Khosla and Sujit Choudhary); Rethinking India's Public Institutions (with Devesh Kapur and Milan Vaishnav); Non-Alignment 2.0 (with Srinath Raghavan, Sunil Khilnani et al), The Oxford Companion to Politics in India (with Niraja Jayal); India and Multilateralism (with Bruce Jones and WPS Sidhu) and the Burden of Democracy.

Mehta has also served in a number of policy roles including, Member Convenor of the Prime Minister of India's National Knowledge Comission, Member of the the National Security Advisory Board, Member of the Lyngdoh Committee. He Chairs the Jury for the Holberg Prize.

Mehta has a prolific engagement with public affairs. He is editorial consultant to Indian Express, where he writes a regular column. In addition he has written for the Financial Times, and a number of leading national and international publications. He is on the Editorial Board of American Political Science Review and Journal of Democracy.

Dr Mehta holds a BA (first class) in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Oxford and a PhD in politics from Princeton. He received the 2010 Malcom S. Adishehshiah Award and the 2011 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences - Political Science.

Nirav Khambhati

Partner, Kaizen Private Equity

Nirav is a Partner at Kaizen Private Equity, Asia’s first and only fund exclusively focused on education.

Prior to joining Kaizen, Nirav was with the Tata Group for over 20 years in various capacities including as the Chief Executive Officer of Tata ClassEdge and Tata Interactive Systems, Vice President – Chairman’s Office, and Head Telecom Practice – TCS, Asia Pacific. Nirav has led several international projects and collaborations in the fields of telecommunications and aerospace, and served as Director on the Boards of companies within and outside India.

Nirav is an Engineer and MBA (Gold Medalist). He was one of the twelve mid-career professionals selected by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK for the first batch of the Chevening Rolls-Royce Science and Innovation Leadership Programme at the University of Oxford.

Nirav was recognized as a Young India Leader by the British High Commission in 2013. In 2016, Jagran Lakecity University conferred upon him an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts (Management) for his contributions in the space of management, education and technology. Nirav is a member of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Council for Primary Education.

Krishna Kumar

CEO, Simplilearn Solutions

Ravijot Chugh

Co founder, UpGrad

Ravijot Chugh is the co-founder and heads the product and learning experience at UpGrad. He has previously worked with Housing.com as a product lead and with the Parthenon Group advising multiple companies and private equity investors on the education sector in emerging markets. He also co-founded a social travel startup called 36hrs.in in San Francisco

Ravi holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science from IIT-Delhi and was part of the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 cohort for 2018.

Lopa Gandhi

Founder, Ugam foundation

Rohit Manglik

CEO, EduGorilla

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