There are many barriers and challenges an edupreneur faces while starting his/her own educational institute. The solution lies in overcoming these challenges.
India holds an important place in the global education industry. The country has more than 1.4 million schools with over 227 million students enrolled and more than 36,000 higher education institutes. India has one of the largest higher education systems in the world. However, there is still a lot of potential for further development in the education system.
The education sector in India is poised to witness major growth in the years to come as India will have world’s largest tertiary-age population and second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of 2020. In FY 2015-16, the education market was worth about $ 100 billion and is expected to reach $ 116.4 billion in FY 2016-17. Currently, higher education contributes 59.7 per cent of the market size, school education 38.1 per cent, pre-school segment 1.6 per cent, and technology and multi-media the remaining 0.6 per cent.
To tap the potential in the market, many edupreneurs are seen starting their own institutes in various sectors of education. However, running an institute successfully requires dedication, patience and focus from an edupreneur’s side as we see many institutes shut down every year due to non-performance. There are many barriers and challenges an edupreneur faces while starting his/her own educational institute. The solution lies in overcoming these challenges. Here are a few challenges and ways to overcome them in order to become a successful edupreneur:
People underestimating your idea
With a unique idea in your head to start a new educational venture, facing many criticisms from friends, family and society is very common. Believing in your idea and taking the initiative of setting up your institute is very important. This requires perseverance and dedication to achieve your mission.
Accumulating initial capital
Pooling up of initial resources to open a school, college or any other institute requires huge investment. This investment makes many sceptical in going ahead and opening their institute. To provide a solution, many big institutes have tied up with banks to provide the initial loan to edupreneurs for starting up their own franchise. Schools like My Apple School, Vadodara, offer such facilities to its franchisees.
A school, college and other educational institute comes to life only if it has students, staff and other human resources. To run a new educational set-up successfully, huge efforts in marketing are required to attract and admit students and teachers. This is possible only if a sufficient amount of budget is allocated for designing new brochures, getting the school advertised in newspapers and opting for other suitable medium.
According to Chan Huang Yee, executive Director, I Can Read, “It’s difficult to find people with same level of dedication and passion as you because ultimately it’s your own business. We’re very careful with selection of our staff and have high expectations from them as we have of ourselves. It’s not easy for you to find and train the staff with the kind of calibre we want. Our staff start their career with us as teachers and then progress into business. We have a tradition of grooming from within.”
Convincing parents and children
Hiring quality staff and deploying latest infrastructure and technology helps in convincing parents to get their children admitted into a new school. Placing CCTVs in classrooms and buses provides a feeling of security to parents.
As put by Suchindra Kumar, Directory Advisory Services, EY LLP, “Education sector in India is evergreen. Even though it is being regulated to a big extent but that doesn’t deter people from working along the regulations. There are ample opportunities for people with ideas and people who can execute those ideas to make big money and difference to Edtech which is also about social investment and social returns.”
Global education is developing at a rapid pace. Even though the education sector is developing here but the pace of adaptation in education is very slow. This poses a huge barrier especially for those edupreneurs who start their venture online. Thus, this motivates them to invest in research to reach a solution.
Vedantu’s co-founder Vamsi Krishna turned to technology to find a solution to this problem. According to him, “We wanted to make sure that Vedantu is accessible whenever the student is in need, independent of high speed internet connection availability. So, creating Vedantu’s own technology that is easy and user-friendly was another challenge, as we wanted to make sure that students faced no technical glitches while using and it also worked in low bandwidth.”
Vamsi further added that, “In India, e-learning and tutoring is still a very recent occurrence. Parents and students in most parts of the society still believe in the traditional classroom teaching – the one-to-many model. Breaking this mindset and highlighting the importance and effectiveness of a personalized teaching, was one of the major hurdles.”
With the telecom companies reducing fares of internet and public opening up to technology, this hurdle should cease to stay in the near future.
Admitting children in a new institute is a cause of concern for many parents as they want their children to get placed in good organisations upon completion of their course. Edupreneurs these days are seen tying up with organisations for placements of their students.
According to Dr. Narendra Shyamsukha, FCA, ICA, “We started www.icajobguarantee.com in our country that assures job after passing out. We give job guarantee card to our students passing out which upon presentation would guarantee them jobs with any of the 70,000 companies we have tied up with based on your skill provided they have vacancies. It’s like how an ATM card that helps you withdraw money only if you have money in your account. Similarly, this card assures you a job if you possess skills.”
Thus, opening up any new business would be challenging initially, but only those who are able to fight them with determination are able to survive. Becoming an edupreneur is not a short term investment, not less than 20-25 years, but it can be the most promising and profitable venture if executed properly.