Over the years, experts have talked about how the curriculum in India’s schools and colleges fails to equip students with the requisite skills needed to succeed in a competitive job market. This view is backed with statistics, which reveal the high percentage of unemployed college graduates in India.
For many such students, edtech applications and their online courses have come as a respite, as these short-term skill-driven courses help users enhance their skills for their field of work, or something entirely different from their professional pursuit. Massive online open course (MOOC) provider Coursera’s 2020 Impact report also highlights the popularity of online learning in India. The report reveals that India has 9.8 Mn learners on the platform, second only after the United States, which has 14 Mn learners.
Coursera’s market size in India is reflective of the increasing popularity of online learning in the country. India has several homegrown edtech applications such as BYJU’S, Unacademy and upGrad, among several others. Although, for a lot of Indian edtech platforms, the focus remains on the K12 segment and competitive exam preparation offerings, with BYJU’S and Unacademy leading the pack as the two highest-valued edtech startups in the country today. Both platforms are becoming super apps in the edtech space, having assimilated a range of offerings by acquiring smaller startups.
Nevertheless, the short-term online courses segment, popular among those looking to upskill, has also seen a rise in demand. Last month, Inc42 reported that US-based online learning platform Skillshare also counted India as its fastest-growing market, with a 300% month-on-month (MOM) growth in users in the country from February to April.
The Indian Edtech Opportunity
According to Inc42 Plus estimates, there are a total of 4,450 edtech startups operating in India at present spread across various segments such as — test preparation, online certification, skill development, online discovery, and STEAM kit and enterprise solutions.
In the current scenario, test preparation and online certification startups are holding the majority market share. According to the ‘Future Of India’s $2 Bn Edtech Opportunity Report 2020’, capital inflows into the test preparation and online certification segments are comparatively higher. Together, K-12 and test preparation combined will make 66% ($1.3 Bn) of the total online education market size in 2021, the report noted. Skill development and online certification are expected to account for $463 Mn of the Indian edtech segment, growing at a CAGR of 38% from 2016-21.