A business is likely to do well in the online space when
- It meets a need that offline businesses cannot provide or is able to provide a more efficient and convenient experience to the consumer
- 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:
- 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.