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.