Online education: the next big thing in India

Better start-up environment along with higher internet and smartphone penetration is aiding the sector

Anita Babu Bengaluru
The education sector in India is no longer bound to just classrooms. Thanks to new start-ups and higher internet and smartphone penetration, the online learning space in India is growing manifold.

The e-learning market in India is estimated to be around $3 billion. The central government's efforts to make digital learning available to students in every corner of the country is also aiding the sector.

Currently, online training in India focuses equally on both school and college-based courses as well as mid-level professional courses.

For instance, Bengaluru-based Entranceindia provides practice papers for all engineering and medical entrance tests in India. The company aims to help students focus on the right subjects and contents rather than swim blindly in an ocean of study materials available across different media. Also, they focus on convenience-based training because online capability enables students to get access to subjects anytime and anywhere.

According to industry experts, the future of education in India will depend on online courses. 

“A major set back of Indian education system is the delay to update syllabus. Hence, in future, rather than obtaining a three-year degree course from a tier-1 or tier-2 city in India, there will be more takers for a professional course that is updated with the current industry demands,” said Krishna Kumar, founder of an online training start-up Simplilearn.

According to studies, India and China will lead the growth in project management roles, generating about 4 million and 8.1 million roles, respectively, by 2020. Hence, the business looks to grow from now on.

Another reason why online training will gain momentum is because of the need for re-skilling, For instance, about a decade ago, all that a software professional was required to know were programming languages. Now these professionals need to update themselves on other aspects like big data analytics and cloud computing. Better salary hikes and promotions are also the reasons why people undertake new courses.

A lot of start-ups are already setting their foot in what they think will be the next big thing in India after e-commerce. While some companies like Simplilearn and Intellipaat look to generate content, especially aiming at mid-level professionals, others like Learnsocial plays more of an aggregator role. These companies also offer blended classes, integrating both online and offline experience, along with self-take courses.

Though a majority of their users are from India, these portals have seen a significant number of users from abroad also.

Bengaluru-based Simplilearn offers more than 200 certification courses in project management, information technology service management, Microsoft certification, quality management and financial management. 

The company has over 300 courses across 150 countries, with over 600 employees and has trained over 200,000 professionals across the globe. 

Intellipaat, started in 2011, provides online training to IT professionals including corporate training, and self-paced courses and offers over 80 technological courses across different domains. According to chief executive officer Diwakar Chittora, the company is witnessing almost a 1,000% increment in terms of growth. The company caters to corporates like Genpact, Ericsson,Sony, CISCO, TCS, Wipro, and Tata Communications among others.

Hyderabad-based Learnsocial is a six-month old company and works on an aggregator model. It aims to cater to both mid-level profeesionals and students alike. 

“We want to become the Amazon of online learnning. We want to provide thousands of posts on, aggregating content from various experts, content houses or universities,” says founder Raju Vanapala. Learnsocial has close to 200,000 users and has trained more than 1,100 learners. 

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Feb 06 2015 | 9:52 AM IST

Explore News