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August - 2016 - issue > CEO Insights

Opportunities & Challenges For Startups In Education Sector

Monica Malhotra Kandhari, MD, MBD Group
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Monica Malhotra Kandhari, MD, MBD Group
Headquartered in New Delhi, MBD Group is one of the leading education companies in India and specializes in diverse industries such as Paper Manufacturing, Hospitality, Real Estate, Mall Development and E-Learning.

The education sector in India as a whole, and the e-learning sector continue to be on a growth trajectory. This is unlikely to change anytime soon in the foreseeable future. With a high rate of growth in population and a largely young demographic, the requirement for education will continue to increase over the years. The need for re-skilling and knowledge upgradation will also contribute majorly to the growth of the sector which is currently slated to be worth $100. With the government adopting various initiatives to further boost the reach and scope of education, and the focus now also on new education techniques such as e-learning and m-learning, the education sector in India is in challenging yet interesting times.

The developments in internet technology and the increasing reach and ease of access to the internet fuelled largely by growth in mobile internet penetration in India, presents a huge opportunity to the e-learning sector. Today, education is no longer bound within the four walls of a classroom; the e-learning space in India has seen rapid growth and is estimated to be worth $3 billion today. With the number of internet users projected to reach 250 million, rivaling the U.S. and second only to China, India's potential as a huge market for e-learning is enormous.

While the basic foundation of education remains reading and writing coupled with the sciences and arithmetic, there emerges a need to widen the scope of education beyond the traditional classroom settings. The predominantly young workforce is constantly looking for skill enhancement, re-skilling and knowledge enhancement opportunities. While pre-recorded contents on compact discs were the initial answers to that need, today it has moved well beyond that and into the realms of the World Wide Web.

While there might have been initial skepticism and even opposition from certain quarters regarding the new trajectory education, that skepticism is now long gone. e-learning has attained universal acceptance as an effective medium for education, right from primary education to niche courses. Today, there is a very healthy competition amongst numerous established publishers and various startups for space in the increasingly competitive online learning market in India. While a bulk of innovations in online learning still focuses primarily on school education, re-skilling and skill augmentation and knowledge enhancement for working professionals is another area that will be a primary driver of growth in the sector.

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