‘Digitisation Of Education Has Finally Reached The East’

Devvaki Agarwal, Founder & CEO, instrucko shares insight about boom of Edtech sector, instrucko’s business model, marketing strategy, growth plans and more As far as schooling in India is concerned, a greater emphasis is given on high

by Ritika Raj
Published - September 01, 2021
6 minutes To Read
‘Digitisation Of Education Has Finally Reached The East’

Devvaki Agarwal, Founder & CEO, instrucko shares insight about boom of Edtech sector, instrucko’s business model, marketing strategy, growth plans and more As far as schooling in India is concerned, a greater emphasis is given on high grades rather than the development of a diverse skill set. However, nowadays the education sector, as well as the parents, have started to recognize this as a problem. According to Devvaki Agarwal, Founder & CEO of instrucko, a one-to-one language learning platform providing EdTech company, parents and teachers are now emphasizing skill development from early schooling years and are keen on interactive & engaging online education that can significantly improve the skill gap.  For almost the last two years, online education has become the new norm owing to pandemic regulations. Students across the globe and age groups have had to adapt to the digital means of learning. Sharing the consumer sentiment towards EdTech, Agarwal adds “The focus has shifted from ‘learn fast & unlearn faster’ to life-long learning. Factors such as cost advantage over physical coaching, ease in content consumption, higher penetration of smart devices & the internet, increase in online video consumption are leading the Indian consumers to shift from traditional to digital education methods. Digitisation of education started decades ago in the West and has finally reached the East.” She adds that the pandemic has led to a tectonic shift in society, where something as unfathomable earlier as graduating online is now perceived as normal. Says Agarwal “Access to content has never been easier where students can now do MBA’s online, get certified and continue their learning journey. The pandemic has also resulted in parents having the ability to have exposure to so much more than their school or local tuition centre. The child can have access to leading teachers from around the world.” Interestingly, the predictions looking at the current growth suggest that by 2022, online education across grades 1-12 is projected to create a $1.7 Billion market with an increase of 6.3 times. In the same year, the overall internet traffic & video consumption is estimated to rise 77% in comparison to 58% in 2017 concluding the traction of online educational content in the country to grow exponentially. Reaching Interiors & International Geographies While online mode may have democratised education to a certain extent, it has also created a digital divide when it comes to the interiors of the nation. For any education model to be entirely successful, it needs to be exclusive. It is only imperative that most EdTech startups target Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns in India, and even beyond that. Shares Agarwal, “The Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in India is very low, and this is worse in Tier 2 and 3 cities. We provide this bridge that helps students get access to high-quality education from home. Through our various courses, especially ‘whole child-approach based learning’, children from these cities get international exposure, greater self-confidence and critical-thinking skills. Our teachers are also upskilled and profusely trained to ensure that they tailor their courses to help children from various backgrounds. Our top cities across these areas are Chandigarh, Jaipur and Amritsar, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.” Children who aim to study at top global schools and universities also face issues like the language barrier and public speaking. To cater to these needs, instrucko has launched various courses. Agarwal adds, “We are receiving most queries from the 2.5 to 6 age group as this is the age when children learn languages the fastest. The average customer via our platform purchases 5 packages with us and our top trends over the past 12 months have been English, French and Public Speaking. They often stay with each course for a minimum of 4 months (with French being 8 months). As demand for French increased, we launched Hindi and Spanish, with Mandarin and German to be launching with the next few months. We prepare children for global exposure rather than confining them to any geography. This allows us to attract individuals from over 20 countries who aspire to often study internationally.” Currently, the EdTech company has 80% of learners from India and 20% from the rest of the world. Business Model, Marketing & Growth instrucko offers languages in two formats- a group of 4 kids and one to one classes. Parents can choose between 10, 20 and 40 classes and schedule them accordingly. The company has also partnered with EtonX, an online subsidiary of Eton College that offers courses for 13+ year-olds that are taught by their professors. Says Agarwal, “Our courses are taught by teachers from India, with the additional option of native speakers. Our content is available to students who are currently active on our platform.  The EtonX courses are specialised short courses that focus on interview skills, verbal communication, entrepreneurship, creative writing, and many more. We also licence our content to schools across India. We partnered with NGO Literacy India as well as MS Dhoni schools, and also private schools that have added Instrucko to their curriculum. We also have an instrucko teacher training programme to help train their teachers.” From a marketing standpoint, instrucko has also collaborated with celebrities like Kareena Kapoor, Riddhima Kapoor etc. Sharing insights behind the same, she shares “Before we decided to go ahead with any celebrity, it was of paramount importance that their children use our platform. Both their children use our platform and the feedback is proven by their children learning with us for the last 12 months. Once these celebrities see the value of instrucko vs other platforms, we then understand that they are celebrities and have the ability to influence people. These associations have built brand awareness and highlight that we are one of the leaders in this space, as we have managed to win their support.” Further talking about the marketing strategy, she adds “Our strategy is similar to the likes of the leading organisations in the world where we, first of all, spend a majority of our overall budget on building the best product out there. And therefore as long as we stay ahead of the competition, customers will join the instrucko journey. We spend funds on Digital Marketing and Performance etc. but 90% of our revenue is derived from referrals and customer renewals. This method has seen the business grow 2,000% within the last 1 year.” EdTech is an emerging market that was steadily gaining pace but COVID-19 made way for the sector’s massive expansion. Commenting on the future of the sector, Agarwal shares “India’s EdTech market is all set to increase by 3.7x in the upcoming five years, reaching $10bn by 2025, and potentially $30bn in 2030. Over the next decade, India’s EdTech market is ready to explode. There are over 500m young students in India and infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles in the delivery of quality education to students throughout India. By 2023, the NHB (Next Half Billion) will create a 100m EdTech userbase, of which studies show that they presently earn between $2,500 and $4,500 per annum. Catering to this population will help companies stand out. Today there are 10m paid users, and this is expected to grow to over 35m users by 2025, representing an untapped 25m students waiting to learn.”