An effective business leader needs to don a technician’s hat along with their business role
Democracy and education are the two sectors in which India has made good progress since independence. These are just some of the goal setting shareware that you can use. Education is evolving at an accelerated rate as Edtech companies enter the game to provide opportunities for students and teachers alike. Test prep adtech has started to be particularly competitive among universities and over time job seekers. In a huge country like India, even Edtech is in competition with each other. Listed below are five strong growth enablers for any EdTech venture or company in this decade. Of these, two are macros, while three are micro-enabled.
Population and Policy Tailwinds
India will have the highest and ever growing student population for the next 30 years. Education is extremely valuable in society because it is an indicator of economic success and social status. The tendency to keep education spending at number one among family considerations only grows as the Indian economy gathers a larger population and moves from $ 3 trillion to $ 6 trillion.
The last five years have seen tremendous progress in policy reform, investment in greater capacity building, and budget allocations. These are working to create strong and natural demand as well as grassroots awareness. Adtech companies should be able to harness these cultural aspects along with policies to reduce customer acquisition costs.
Education – a proven success story
India is now synonymous with a world-class high-quality and affordable higher education destination. Our super successful Diaspora has accomplished that what they have achieved through education is not lost to the common man on the streets of San Francisco or London or Tokyo. Policymakers are talking about making India a global learning hub. One hundred mega-campuses in India across technology, law, management, design, fashion, etc. will soon host 400,000 foreign students from around the world. It will naturally accept Indian entrance exams, boards, various geographical services just as has happened in the case of GRE, GMAT and SAT in the last four decades. A decade from now, many of these invisible movements will be seen as tectonic shifts.
Distribution of results is important.
Education is the hardest measured B2C service because it puts the future potential of young people in its hands. The key to student success is both short and long term in an educational program, so results are key.
EdTech companies are responsible for the success of their students, especially in tutoring and exam preparation platforms. Parents should not tolerate bad results because it can have serious consequences, such as losing a seat in a year or so at Premier College.
This translates to premium time and career premium prices that are resilient. At the same time, EdTech has the potential to deliver results. Sky’s acquisition by Byju’s, for example, was, arguably, more of a legacy of results that were able to claim more than the topline.
Another important outcome to observe would be the profit and cash-generating unit which understands unit economy and provides high-touch services in different geographical regions.
Team and technology
Many times, these are considered paid and rented from the marketplace. That may not be true at all. The top draw leadership team that inspires the team and leads from the front by innovating hands-on and role modeling is more important than ever. Technical skills are now just as essential for an adult as driving or excel sheeting skills. The line between functions has been blurred. It is not the job of technologists like business / executive leaders to imagine technology to disrupt one’s own function and work.
GMR is important for the final winners
Growth, margins and returns on capital are real, sustainable performance indicators that any EdTech initiative must master to stand at the end of this period of excitement and discovery. Those who adapt and innovate have a great opportunity to stand out. A healthy return on unit economics, free cash generation, equity or capital will occupy the center stage in the EdTech board room as a listed entity. Of course, some elbow rooms and a long runway are currently ideal. This will be even tougher because greater streamlined implementation will be sought by investors once the foam has settled.
Hygiene is the ability to move a student from ‘desire’ to ‘result’. An effective business leader needs to don a technician’s hat along with their business role. GMR is crucial for potential winners – ultimately, it will be the key to success that will bring out the real players in the market.