Can the Underdog in Education space bounce back?
Who is the Underdog in the Education space?
School education is considered as a necessity, reaffirmed by the Right to Education Act. However, a consensus is building that school is necessary but not sufficient for a successful education. Why? Because the after-school market has been growing over the last 2 decades, earlier it was via physical private tuition and now via EdTech companies.
Why would a parent want to spend money outside the school fees to an after-school program, be it a digital content provider or an in-person tutor or the likes? Schools need to acknowledge that they came short of infusing confidence in its students (& parents), and its users have started adopting the EdTech solutions offered by B2C players, as education in school is not deemed to be sufficient.
Schools as a segment are certainly an underdog which no one expects to bounce back. Why? It has been losing market share and Wallet share of its customers every year.
Due to COVID, most of the schools are in distress and they need help both in terms of capital and technology. Schools need to align themselves to the new reality and adopt technology to stay relevant for its key stakeholders (students and parents).
Most B2C EdTech companies are perceived as competitors by most schools as most EdTech companies have made themselves relevant by marketing themselves as being better than schools in imparting education.
Whereas, the B2B players who are providing services to schools are primarily perceived as vendors by the schools. Provide the services and come back only on-need basis. B2B EdTech is the most under-funded and under-invested segment in the entire education investment space.
Most of the schools are still trying to figure out as to how to restart operations and convince the parents that they are imparting education effectively through online mode and can convince them to pay the fees. Most schools will need more hand holding via partnership and advisory approach due to sudden COVID shock. They have similar challenges as a typical MSME in India (Used to a way of working for years).
Many schools we reach out to ask as to why we go digital as COVID Vaccines are now around? Most are still not aligning to the reality that digitalisation genie is not going back in the lamp. Schools are one of the most underserved and under penetrated segments in the digital journey.
We believe that most of the schools will have to adopt structured digitalisation (over next 24-36 months) to stay relevant. Schools who fail to digitalise themselves, will likely be on the verge of irrelevance, as parents will move their kids to more digital ready schools.
EdPrime has positioned itself as the partner of choice to help schools transition to a digital future in a structured manner. We recognize that it is a change management process. We acknowledge that the schools and its stakeholders will need the support, continuous training and engagement to adopt the digital future. EdPrime is determined with patience and rugged commitment to help schools perform (against all odds) much like how Indian team has performed in the just concluded cricket test series down-under.
PS – Being digital doesn’t mean using tools such as zoom, WhatsApp, etc. to fill in the gap