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Getting Online Education to the mainstream – Changes in the market, expectations and developments

Spanning over a network of more than 1 million schools and 18,000 higher education institutions, India boasts of being the third largest online market for education in the world. Pegged at over $70 billion by 2017, it is estimated to witness approximately 8x growth in the upcoming five years. This is sure to have an exponential impact on the country’s ed-tech market, which has a potential to hit $1.96 billion by 2021.

A lot has changed over the last few years. Conventional education system characterised by hour-long teacher’s monologues has gradually lost its importance. With students and educators embracing the convenience, expediency, and agility offered by smart learning, it has garnered wide-acceptance. However, it took a lot more than radical ideas that led to this educational facelift. Realizing the need for innovation, various proponents of online education set their foot, deeming it as the future of education in our country.
Engaging with a tech-savvy generation, these proponents advocated smart learning approaches to disrupt the way education was being imparted all these years. Owing to slew of the radical measures by its proponents, online education has emerged as the next big thing in our country.
Educomp Solutions is clearly among the pioneers in this space in India. An early mover in the space, the company launched its ‘Smartclass’, a digital content library of curriculum-mapped, multimedia content in 2004. Looking at it today, more than 12,000 schools across 560 districts in India have already adopted Smartclass. It also has a striking success rate growing with almost 20 schools a day.
Attaining commendable success, the company has set a perfect precedent for others in the domain. It has evolved the country’s education market to a point where several startups and organizations are catering to the service needs of students. Based on similar grounds, Meritnation is one such startup which was launched over a decade back. At present, it is among the key players to bolster evolution of education in the country. Instituted on the foundation of online education’s efficacy to transcend traditional boundaries and enable customized learning, the company ushered in a digital revolution back then.

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Later in 2011, the setting-up of companies like Intellipaath affirmed the fact that scope of online education should not just be limited to students. Providing online training to IT professionals including corporate training, over 80 self-paced technological courses across diverse domains, the company burgeoned its reach. Today, Intellipath caters to top-notch corporates like Genpact, Ericsson, Sony, CISCO, TCS, Wipro, and Tata Communications among others.

Starting off from the scratch, these companies have changed the face of education in our country. Their wide-ranging acceptance and success further gave birth to various ventures propounding online education. Learnsocial, UEducation, Toppr, are just to name a few.
“We want to become the Amazon of online learning. We want to provide thousands of posts on, aggregating content from various experts, content houses or universities,” says Raju Vanapala, the Founder of Learnsocial.
Certainly, it is only the initial approaches of the proponents of online education, which fortified its foundation in the country. Looking at the times we have evolved from, it would be interesting to see what the future holds for edtech and online education in the country.


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