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Education Interview 2016-10-18

Edureka aims to become a $50 million company in the next 3 years

With an inclination in the adoption of e-learning method to facilitate talent management in corporations, the demand of custom e-learning content and technology would increase, thereby increasing the overall growth of India’s e-learning market in future.

Edureka aims to become a $50 million company in the next 3 years

Over the past decade, learning has experienced a sea change in India. The conventional mode of education has become a passe and education is all about learning, online training and education on the go. The e-learning industry in India has been growing by leaps and bounds.

In 2013, India had 167.2 million internet users. This figure is projected to grow to 283.8 million internet users by the end of 2016. As a result, India’s potential as a market for e-learning is enormous. As per the Docebo report, the worldwide market for self-paced e-learning reached $35.6 billion in 2013. The five-year CAGR is estimated to be 7.6 per cent, so revenues should reach $51.5 billion by 2016.

According to a recent study in a global level online learning program, after the United States, India has been reported to have the second highest number of online course enrollments with over 1,55,000 students from the country. Of a total of around 1.2 million students worldwide, 32 per cent are from the U.S while 15 per cent are from India.

To tap the ever growing potential of the e-learning industry, Edureka, an online learning platform offers various courses to upskill its learners and stay updated. In an interview with EducationBiz, Lovleen Bhatia, CEO and Co-founder, Edureka tells us how the e-learning industry is set to capture the learning industry in India. Here are excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about Edureka. What is the USP of Edureka?

Headquartered in Bangalore, India, Edureka is a live and interactive e-learning platform that is revolutionising professional online education. We offer instructor-led courses supported by online resources, along with 24x7 on-demand support. Edureka courses are specially curated by experts who monitor the IT industry with a hawk’s eye and respond to expectations, changes and requirements from the industry, and incorporate them into their courses. Each Edureka instructor is an industry expert and brings forth his/her experience in the industry to help learners prepare for real-life scenarios. As on April 2016, more than 300,000 learners have up-skilled themselves on the Edureka platform, with 50,000 + hours of live classes. Edureka has around 100 courses across various technology domains.

The USP of Edureka is to provide differentiated learning that is industry-relevant and skill-centric, and breaking the shackles of time, location.

What led to the inception of Edureka in India? How has Edureka grown from the day of its inception?

Edureka was born 5 years ago when its founders -- Lovleen Bhatia and Kapil Tyagi -- realised a very important truth. There was a gaping mismatch between the academia and the industry. There was both a need and an opportunity to serve the industry by providing credible, relevant and industry-aligned content in the field of professional education. Every one of Edureka's instructors is an expert in his/her field and understands challenges from ground zero. With course content co-created with these industry practitioners, Edureka is committed to helping learners understand relevant concepts through live project work and real-life use cases. Professional learners from more than 150 countries have successfully up-skilled themselves using the Edureka learning platform.

Thanks to its innovative course delivery, a professional relationship with its learners and a handpicked workforce of committed individuals, Edureka registered a growth of 2768 per cent in the first 3 years of its existence. Ever since, it has maintained and consolidated this growth to reach out to more learners and spread its wings to more countries.

Was it self-funded or did you raise funding? Please elaborate.

Edureka is a self-funded bootstrapped venture. The company began with an initial capital of Rs 1.5 Cr and in a span of 3 years, became a $30 cr company. Currently, it is funding its own operations and runs itself as a successful bootstrapped venture.

Highlight the challenges faced by the brand. How did Edureka tackle them?

The biggest challenge we have faced is the slow pace at which online learning was adopted, especially in India. Due to auxiliary challenges like internet speeds, access to internet itself and general credibility of the 'virtual classroom' concept, professional online learning was looked at with suspicion. But in course of time, we overcame the hurdles of credibility by creating a platform that redefined learning. Our platform allows learners to have one-on-one discussions with experts, participate in live project work and get doubts cleared in real-time. A key differentiating factor is our 24/7/365 support backbone for both technical as well as non technical queries. To this day, it is the most favourite aspect of Edureka for our learners.

Unlike other ed-tech brands, Edureka is committed to travel along your skill-up journey. We are not just concerned about selling you courses. We provide you unlimited access to latest course information and literature throughout your lifetime, long after you have finished your course with us. We are committed to your learning journey! This motto has helped us build credibility as a brand, and for online learning in general.

How is Edureka bringing about a change in the education industry in India?

Around 80 per cent of our learners have 2-8 years of experience in the industry. They have their 9-hour jobs to keep, but feel the need to up-skill themselves to become industry-relevant. Most of our classes are timed in such a way that they can be taken either before work, after work, or during weekends. We also have instances where we found our learners learning enroute to their workplaces from Delhi to Gurgaon, making good use of traffic snarls. Examples like these are testimony to the fact that e-learning can successfully eliminate borders of time and space. Edureka has contributed to this change.

How big is the e-learning industry in India? How have people accepted the idea of learning online?

KPMG states that the total size of e-learning in India is worth $700 million. It has witnessed a growth of 25 per cent in the past 5 years. As more and more people are adopting e-learning, these numbers are expected to grow massively.

Many educational institutions are benefitting from expansion via franchising? What is your opinion on franchising?

Our core asset is the in-house group of industry practitioners who are at the epicentre of our business. Our business is tightly tied to the IP they bring to the table. Also, we are an online operation. Hence, a franchise model may not make sense for us. However, we do have a robust network of resellers and affiliates around the globe.

Highlight your expansion plans.

Currently, we offer around 100 courses across domains such as Big Data, Cloud Computing, Platforms, Languages, among others. We aim to reach 400 to 450 courses over the next 18-24 months.

How important is technology in education? Do you think the future of India’s education industry lies in EdTech? Elaborate.

Edureka firmly believes that the future of education lies in technology. In the professional education space that we operate in, new things keep happening every other week, and the industry expects to find qualified up-to-date professionals at the same pace. Only through technology can one overcome the challenges of traditional learning. Ed-tech allows you to up-skill on-the-go. You don't reinvent the wheel each time, you just upgrade your skills and stay industry-relevant. Today, you can study through a mobile app. Tomorrow, it will be through virtual reality. The future looks very promising, and technology will continue to play a huge part in the future of education, in India and globally.

Share some details about your tie-ups with educational institutions.

We do not have any tie-ups with any educational institutions. However, we have partnerships for our courses with Google (Android Development) and Talend (Talend for Big Data).

Where do you see India’s e-learning sector in the next 5 years? Where do you see Edureka in the next 5 years.

We believe that the e-learning sector in India will see tremendous growth, across different fragments like school education, college education, professional learning, and many others. Learners have understood the potential of e-learning. They will soon have so many options to choose from. As mentioned earlier, we hope to become a $50 million company in the next 3 years.

According to a research report, ‘India E-Learning Market Outlook to FY’2018 – Increasing Technology Adoption to Drive Future Growth’, the market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.4 per cent over the period FY2014-FY’2018 driven by many factors such as increasing government initiatives to promote e-learning, increasing adoption of technology, shortage of quality education, convenience and cost factors and others. With an inclination in the adoption of e-learning method to facilitate talent management in corporations, the demand of custom e-learning content and technology would increase, thereby increasing the overall growth of India’s e-learning market in future.

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