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Education Blog 2016-12-03

How edtech start-ups can climb the ladder of success

Edtech industry has exploded recently in India. This suggests the competition is immense and to emerge one must be exceptional in numerous ways.

How edtech start-ups can climb the ladder of success

With the advent of disruptive technologies, the higher education ecosystem of the country is changing rapidly. There is major upsurge of education start-ups which are using technology as a predominant tool to augment the education services (technically called ‘Ed-Tech Startups’). A new set of start-ups are taking a fresh look at how educational outcomes such as learning levels, employability, access, equity, enrolment, capital efficiency can be achieved holistically.

In a session at FICCI Higher Education Summit, edupreneurs and specialists namely Ajay Batra, Director-Centre for Entrepreneurship Education, Bennet University; Gaurav Singh, Head-Business Development, Littlemore Innovation; Amit Mahensaria, Co-founder, Impartus Learning; Krishna Srinivasan, Co-Founder & CEO, QEDQuest; Manish Singhal, Cofounder, Pi Ventures; Prof. N N Sharma, Dean,, Faculty of Engineering, Manipal University, Jaipur; Anil Sachdeva, Founder & CEO, SOIL and Pranav Pai, Founding Partner, 3one4 Capital talk on how innovative Ed-Tech start-ups are and what trials and tribulations they have to go through.

Edtech industry has exploded recently in India. This suggests the competition is immense and to emerge one must be exceptional in numerous ways. The edupreneur confronts a considerable measure of consummation in the market with competitive offerings and to grab market share in such a situation there needs to be something about the product that no one else can match up to.

According to Sachdeva, “There are as of now a considerable measure of players and newcomers who may think that it’s hard to get the funding which their startups require. There may not be sufficient funding to go around.” He advised that, “Rather than depending on financial speculators, focus should be turned onto revenue-generating organization which can be a more beneficial model.”

Educational budgets are, to a great degree, thin and getting more slender. Also, allocating funds from external sources is difficult. An aspect of edupreneurs responsibilities might be to research private funding sources and to think of innovative payment plans. A few startups have even given their technology on a free-trial premise to a solitary school in a district, trusting that its success will bring about a paying client.

As put by Singhal, “The biggest problem lies in confidence shown by edupreneurs. Most edtech start-ups that show decent initial traction believe that this is how their growth curve is going to be. Being as optimistic as possible, they start using these initial traction numbers to draw exponential growth curves and sometimes, in an effort to be realistic they simply draw linear curves. They cannot be more wrong to do so.” He further added by saying, “Every edtech product's initial customers are the best types of customers to have, they are willing to try what you provide and try even giving you the right feedback. It is good to use these sets of people as your evangelists but not more. The next set of customers are crucial who are sceptic but have just enough faith to give you a shot. Now, this is your make or break shot. If you convince this particular bunch, you will find your mojo that will help you scale. You also need to also be ready to take all the criticism / feedback this bunch will have since it will only help you refine your business model.”

Thus, starting an edtech startup is not all fun and play. It requires focus, dedication and patience to make it run successfully. One needs to realise that starting an edtech organisation and making it successful is a long term investment in terms of time and money and gives huge returns.

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