How do you view the E-Commerce landscape in India?
The e-commerce landscape is shifting dramatically across the world, and with an increased adoption of smartphones it rose to a new level of consumer experience. Online stores are also leveraging modern technologies as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics and many more to keep up with the changing consumer pattern. While globally, E-Commerce is creating huge momentum, India’s E-Commerce market is undoubtedly on a speedy growth curve and is likely to grow at a 30 percent compound annual growth rate for gross merchandise value to be worth $200 billion by 2026, according to investment bank Morgan Stanley. India had 60 million online shoppers in 2016, which is 14 percent of the internet user base of the country. This will rise to over 50 percent by 2026, the report said.
What challenges and opportunities lie in the face of online education?
The main points of concern, are firstly the internet and technology dependence which are susceptible to network connections, browser compatibility issues, followed by strong time management skills and self-motivation, minimal in-person contact with professors and classmates, and lastly, responses to questions are not always immediate. However, with the development of technology, India has witnessed an enhanced acceptance of online education over a period of few years. Many students and working professionals have joined different e-learning platforms in the past few years in order to enhance their skills. And, looking at trends, the number of people adopting online education platform are expected to increase significantly in the near future.
But now, the trend has started changing for Edtech platforms since early 2017. This can be understood with the spurt in the adoption of paid users of platforms including Unacademy, Neo Stencils, Byju’s and OnlineTyari as well.
In what ways do you think GenY prefer learning using Edu-Tech?
As per a recent report released by KPMG India and Google, the market for online education in India is expected to witness a magnificent growth of eight times in the next five years, i.e., from USD 247 million in 2016 to USD 1.96 billion in 2021. Such high growth in online education market is projected to be the outcome of increased number of paid online education users from 1.57 million in 2016 to 9.5 million in 2021.
Online learning offers convenience, accessibility, and personalization that have never been seen before. There is a higher adoption rate for job focused test preparation, (such as for Bank PO, GMAT/MBA, and other government services) courses in tier 1 cities. On the other hand, in tier 2 cities, candidates are more inclined towards taking online test prep for UG courses (related to streams such as Engineering, Medical, and Law).
Trends that are taking place among the learners are:
- Webinar and Videos: These days many online players conduct webinars as well as teach using videos that help candidates in conceptual clarity.
- Mock Tests: Mock tests are emerging as a popular course component for students, wherein they participate in a series of tests and get a comparative assessment of their performance.
- Counselling: As a differentiator, players in online test prep market have also started offering course and career counselling services to students.
- Hybrid model is expected to gain traction in future, where online players are expected to open offline centres to provide classroom-like experience to students. Also, gamification, the approach of introducing fun elements like video game design in learning, is likely to gain popularity in India.
What hurdles did you face in initial days of running OnlineTyari?
We started from Jaipur in 2014. Between 2013 and 2015, response of the users for paid courses was slow due to multiple factors, such as, low trust in online preparation material, greater familiarity with traditional study methods and lack of online payment infrastructure. But, we had decided to remain invested and with time have learnt the art of survival through those situations. Our vision to make impact was always much larger than momentary situations. But gradually student’s response to our product improved and we also got superior inbound feedback on various fronts. Since then, we did not look back and are adding value to student’s life every day.
Why do you think more students are opting for self-learning through online platforms?
Education technology has changed the paradigm of learning. It eliminated the hassle of commuting, hence is cost effective and most importantly, one isn’t bound by time constraints. It is a boon for working professionals who need to juggle their exam preparation schedule with multiple assignments. The web and app formats of online platforms provide the convenience of accessibility. It let users to access numerous resources for the topic they want to learn. By knowing the best ways to find information on the web, students can find many sites, articles, documents and lectures for the topic of their interest.
What are your plans of expansion?
Building a cult brand in education sector is a Herculean task. Powerful education brands are result of continuous efforts & improvement. OnlineTyari is one such powerful brand in Edu-Tech Space and we plan to strengthen its presence as we move forward. At present, we are working on monetization through annual subscription plan i.e. TyariPlus. Initial response to TyariPlus has been really good and we are hoping to touch over 25,000 + paid monthly subscribers in four to six months. By March 2019, we are aiming to cross 10,00,000 monthly assessments, and aspire to reach out 25 million+ users by 2020 along with adding three more Indian languages.