Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Online education: A big opportunity

A business is likely to do well in the online space when

  1. It meets a need that offline businesses cannot provide or is able to provide a more efficient and convenient experience to the consumer
  2. The demand and supply of a product or a service is very disorganized, fragmented and geographically scattered.

With majority of India’s population below the age of 25, education is a huge business. It also fits very well in the online space by clearly scoring over offline education in terms of:

Convenience:

- Very easy for a student to reach out to a good teacher from within confines of his/her home
- Provides help on a 24/7 basis.

Disorganised & Scattered Demand (students) – Supply(teachers)

On one side good quality teachers are concentrated in few geographical areas / institutes / colleges & schools. On the other side there are students from all over the country who want to get into a good school / college / institute.

Kota in Rajasthan is a very good example where the entire eco-system of the town has been built around thousands of students staying in the town for almost a year to prepare for engineering examinations by enrolling in one of the numerous engineering entrance coaching institutes of the likes of Bansals etc.



As we will see the internet connectivity expand to smaller towns and speeds improve, online education should grow extremely rapidly. Currently there are very few players concentrating on online education

I have recently led Indiatimes’ foray into education by launching testing services for all competitive examinations under the brand Indiatimes Mindscape Test Centre. We would like to eventually offer a full services education portal, with a whole range of content and service offerings, right from school to post graduation.

Related links

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1517139.cms

http://www.alootechie.com/News/1006.asp

9 comments:

Ravi Venkatraman said...

Anurag,
Congratulations.
After reading the article
"Indiatimes offers online tests for exams" I wass eagerly awaiting your blog on this topic.
Excuse my ignorance,
could you elaborate on the usage of the term "MindScape" in the article.
Is it a brand, Indiatimes is building for online education or is it a third party company Indiatimes has partnering with to provide Online education.

Anurag Gupta said...

Thanks Ravi, the brand "Mindscape" is the knowledge brand of Indiatimes. We have been doing various knowledge events under this brand.

This is an extension of our brand into Education.

Brij said...

Anurag,

Love to see activity in online education sector.

How do you intend to connect online with offline? Thats always a tough nut to crack.

good luck for your initiatives.

Brij

Anurag Gupta said...

Thanks for the wishes, Brij.

You are absolutely right when you say connecting offline with online will be one of the bigger challanges in online education.

However, if we study the trends then e-commerce has been able to successfully create value by doing just that.

Going forward, with better and more pervasive internet connectivity, I feel this challenge can be overcome even in online education. That will be the time when real value will get created.

rajendra said...

Great to find your blog and see some information about online education in India. I would like to know your views on how online repositories like wikepedia can play a role in our education system.

shekhar said...

gudiyhi..i m a graduate frm iitb n now teaching in kota..actually i was looking for some info regarding online education..i want to start the same thing got a team also bt not sure frm which step to start..lookin forward for ur reply

mitrmeredost said...

Hi..Its really good to see lots of action taking place in online education market space. can you help me finding out some statistics of Indian online education market like segments, players, etc. Which is the best place to find these data.

Thyanks

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