India is home to nearly 1.35 billion people on the planet, with at least half of the population under the age of 25. There is little surprise, then, that the nation’s continual population explosion has attracted the attention of universities the world over.
According to the India Brand Equity Foundation, the education sector in India was worth approximately$10.1B USD in 2019, with roughly 37.4M students enrolled in higher education.
Beyond India’s vast population, what drives the value of its student market?
Growth opportunities and market trends on the rise
Many investors see the writing on the wall: e-learning and online course modules are here to stay. That being said, India not only has a huge student population, but its students are highly remote learning-centric and perfectly primed for a remote-first world.
In addition, stronger telecom infrastructure and internet access has resulted in more affordable costs to a growing middle-class population. This, coupled with the global pandemic, has given students more reasons to carry out their studies online. It has also given rise to more networking and upskill opportunities for those hoping to emerge victorious on the other side of the pandemic.
As courses and interactions continue to move online at a rapid clip, the nation is facing an interesting challenge in its efforts to deliver education to as many as competitive students possible: quality has not kept up with the demand. Investors have capitalized on this predicament, investing in deliverables such as learning assistance apps to provide more enjoyable and engaging student user experiences.
Before the pandemic, both in-person and online courses were in short supply. Moreover, a sizable portion of India’s young people viewed (and continue to view)education as a distraction from advancing economically through a job or vocation. Saddled with familial and financial obligations, many prefer working as soon as possible.
However, online learning has disrupted this sentiment significantly with the newfound accessibility of online courses and certifications. There has also been a great shift in who teaches courses, as more high-profile industry veterans step in with “real world” expertise. This trend has proven highly appealing to Indian students.
The government has taken note
For its part, the Indian government has taken great measures in making education a top priority, encouraging public private/partnerships and collaborating with giants like Google. It has also enabled key levers for foreign investment, allowing foreign investors to make a direct investment with 100% allowance. Under this policy, foreign investors do not need to seek approval from the Indian government to invest in India’s education. In addition, 2019’s New Education Policy has led to an increase in the quality of education in India by reforming the examination system, improving the quality of teachers, as well as reforming the regulatory framework around education.
Investors are excited about supporting educational technologies, many with a two-fold objective: 1) the high rate of tangible social impact and 2) the need for consistent returns.
With a forecasted $1.96B USD rise in its market value and approx. 9.5M users by2021, India’s e-learning market has now become the second largest in the world.