Union Budget 2023: The Indian Edtech space has seen an increasing trend over the last couple of years. Demand for new skills in the competitive market and ease of learning from anywhere and anytime are some of the primary factors which have given a boost to this industry.
According to a 2021 report by RBSA Advisors, the Indian Edtech industry is poised to become $30 billion in size over the next ten years. With this increase in the market size and spreading its reach in the country, the industry is optimistic about the upcoming Union Budget and hope to see announcements by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Leading players are betting on the youth of the country, the driver of digital transformation in India.
Mohan Lakhamraju, founder and CEO, Great Learning said that equipping a large part of youth with industry-relevant skills is a sure-shot way to propel India’s economic growth further.
“I believe the need of the hour is to expand avenues for India’s youth to have easy access to affordable higher education, providing multiple opportunities for them to develop cutting-edge skills,” he said.
Mayank Kumar, co-founder and MD, upGrad too feels that India holds one of the largest youth populations in the world and is still not considered the largest skilled economy.
“The biggest growth deterrent here is the higher interest rates on Lifelong learning that makes it an expensive proposition for the working class and further deviates them from pursuing higher education or any sort of career development services,” Kumar said.
He added that there must be an introduction of legitimate tax benefits to further accelerate upskilling within the country. A robust framework to lower the cost of higher education while also granting applicants with higher rebates and deductions in tax calculations shall make upskilling a mainstream phenomenon.
Indian Edtechs have proved their mettle in the last two years when practically, offline counterparts and their learning mechanisms were brought to a standstill.
“During this period, we also saw these companies build capacities that supported a huge number of students’ logins at a time and provided them with an uninterrupted flow of education. Hence, the government must re-think practices to foster wider collaboration between private Edtechs, technology service providers and offline universities for scaling the reach and its impact. This will not just boost the acceptance of online learning but shall also educate stakeholders about quality learning and global opportunities for future-proofing their careers.”
Lakhamraju too urged on to allow edtech companies to formally partner with universities to offer online and hybrid degree programs in order to achieve the Gross Enrolment Ratio targets set by the government.
Lakhamraju added that removing GST on upskilling programs will make them more affordable for people.
While there are companies in this space making headlines from time to time for wrong reasons, the Edtech space is growing and regulating itself to address the larger issues of learners and other stakeholders.
Last year the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) announced the formation of the India EdTech Consortium (IEC) that includes leading EdTech companies such as Great Learning, Byju’s, Simplilearn, Unacademy, upGrad, Vedantu and others. It is envisaged for self-regulation of the industry.
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