Technology has added a new dimension in terms of opportunities for both the edupreneurs and for the students. Let us take a look at the factors boosting the growth in this segment.
Right from the early education to the higher education and skill development, the academic market all over the world is trending towards digitisation and technology driven academic module. Many claim that this where the future of the education industry lies. In this digital age, the day when a child sees the light of the day, he is exposed to the digital world that very moment. The traditional black board kind of an education is a rather mockery for his highly developed digital IQ. No wonder, there are mobile apps available for students of all ages to enhance and upgrade their knowledge.
Change in the mindset
The schools have class rooms with white boards, projectors, advanced labs to facilitate experiential learning among the students. These days, parents take a good survey of the entire school campus and also compare various schools to see how much well equipped the school is in terms of infrastructure and technological advancements. Srikanth M, Director & National Head, Academy of Robotics, says, “The whole market is trending towards something new. The school that used blackboards will not get a single student as long as it is charity driven. Parents prefer either white board or digital classrooms. Everybody prefers more and more technology driven academic modules because that is where the future lies.”
Not just in the schools, digital media is proving to be beneficial in skill development that is addressing the industry oriented curriculum that is lacking in the traditional education system. K Ganesh, Serial Entrepreneur and Partner, GrowthStory opines, “Traditional classroom education has huge scalability challenges in terms of everything from physical infrastructure to access to good teachers. With more than 300 million Indians in the school and college going age, education is seen as a gateway to opportunities to cater to the ever rising demand for education. This has resulted in online education coming in to bridge this gap. There is also increased access to internet connected devices like smartphones and lowering of costs of these devices that is resulting in the lowering of entry barriers to access online education.”
“The current digitalisation of the academic industry is hardly 2%. Only 2% of the schools are properly using digital academic modules. 18% of the schools are having a little technical labs forget about advanced technical labs. The rest of the market is completely open to the traditional methods,” states Srikant.
While online education is also said to be in very nascent stages in India, penetration of broadband is helping the cause of online education. In areas such as re-skilling and up-skilling, online education already plays a very significant role whereas for K-12 and under-grad level, online education is still limited to tutorials, online tutoring and reference lectures. Accreditation of online programs by reputed universities will help the cause of spreading online education.
Ganesh opines, “Online education can act as a multiplier by expanding the reach of education to underserved segments of the population. As an example, a teacher can sign up on HelloClass and start teaching a student anywhere in India directly from the mobile phone. This enables the student to get help from a high quality teacher without physically moving to a city thereby saving on time and costs. For the teacher, even spending a few hours a week teaching on HelloClass can mean good additional income.”
Franchises can provide online education providers with easy reach to target customers. It helps in adding value by bringing in trust factor, which is still a challenge for online education providers. It also facilitates executing hybrid model where online is supplemented by a small local centre. AcadGild, one of the three ventures of GrowthStory is currently present in Bangalore and would like to expand to all tier- I & II cities through franchising.
Also for technology driven modules such as Robotics, the unique Dfirst franchise model, has helped them to penetrate into smaller cities and towns. Srikanth shares, “Anywhere apart from the metro, just start with a two lakh rupees investment that is sufficient. And if you are from a metro, an investment of five lakh is sufficient. That is the best part – with small investment, they can do big business. Within the past one and half years, we have been able to create 18 centres in the country.” They plan to be available through 150 centres across India by the end of 2016.
|Brands||Investment (Rs.)||Area (sq. ft||Expected breakeven||Expansion plans||Year of inception||Year of franchising|
|Academy of Robotics||2 to 5 lakh||-||4-8 months for experienced and 6-9 months for freshers||Pan India||2010||2011|
|AcadGild||25 lakh||1200||Within 6 months||Tier- I & II cities near IT parks and colleges||2014||-|