By Ishan Gupta, Founder & CEO, Edukart
EduKart is an Indian higher education enrolling platform which enables Indian and international course providers to offer various Distance learning and online courses like MBA, Executive MBA, MCA, MSc IT, MA, MCom, BA, BCom BBA, BCA and BSc IT on the company's platform. It also offers industry-based certification courses in areas like finance, IT, telecom, retail and many more.
The Indian education sector is a highly fragmented market, but the dynamism in the sector has created ample space for technology-led startups to bridge these fragments. The total education sector of India is pegged over $60 billion, with approximately 50 percent in higher education sector, 40 percent in K12 sector and 10 percent in entrance coaching, skilling and other non-formal areas with thousands of educational institutions in each of these areas.
While regular courses continue to thrive, the last decade saw online and distance education creating more opportunities. The initial struggle behind making distance education create an identity for itself in the society was eliminated and it gained momentum with almost every reputed university providing its courses through distance and online media, thus competing neck to neck with their regular counterparts. The differentiation of distance education is that it supports education-seekers with an opportunity to learn at their own pace – anytime, anywhere. It allows people to accelerate their career growth by learning and working at the same time with increased flexibility and comfort.
There is a need to make education more accessible by bringing courses to the doorsteps of education seekers. Various top ranked course providers like Indian School of Business, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bharati Vidyapeeth, Tamil Nadu Open University, AIMA, Annamalai University, London School of Business and Finance, Concordia University Chicago; certifying institutions like Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), V-Skills (Government of India), Retailers Association of India (RAI); entrance coaching providers like Aakash, Vidyamandir, Brilliant Tutorials, Resonance and many more have started delivering their courses through online and correspondence mediums. This has not only made premium education break the shackles of geographical and financial boundaries, but has also helped in creating more acceptances for these courses.
One of the biggest challenges that any education technology startup faces is acceptance. The lack of trust for this medium is a big hurdle which needs to be crossed. But, with continuous experiments in this field, it will soon be tackled. Most of the course providers are offering a good percentage of their course delivery through the online media to reach out to larger masses. The trust can be built by creating more engaging models for delivery of education services which will attract more takers. With the present technological advancements, this situation will be soon transformed into a lucrative venture both for the students and the course providers.
We started EduKart in 2011. The idea sprung from the need of technological intervention to sort the bottlenecks of affordability, accessibility and flexibility of the Indian education sector. With larger financial and career responsibilities being thrust upon the youth, distance education ensures that a person doesn’t have to substitute or compromise on education due to their job. We soon realized that a bigger challenge that is adversely affecting the education ecosystem is the lack of ample choices, in terms of courses and course providers. We, as a startup, are building a one-stop destination for students to choose and enroll for a course and also help them make an informed career decision. We offer 2000+ degree, diploma, certificate, entrance coaching and school education courses from 90+ premium Indian and International course providers.
The past few years have been important for the education industry as technology adoption has been on a rise and continues to be in both adoption and acceptance. We have more and more universities and course providers coming online. Even the MOOC platforms like Coursera, Udacity, EdX attracted more courses and course providers. There is some wonderful work happening in the education ecosystem and aspiring edupreneurs can experiment on creating more engaging models for education delivery across geographies. The constant evolution in technology will surely help in resolving this issue. Another challenge that needs to be immediately addressed is to raise the trust levels among the students for online education.
We are at a juncture where we have sown the seeds for creating better opportunities in the education ecosystem. What is now required is the constant evolution and growth through technological advancements. Education is a flourishing sector and edupreneurs can create a niche for themselves by realizing the right problems of the space and creating more engaging and trustworthy methods of delivery of education.