Ed-tech, offline players take merger route for sustainable post-pandemic business model

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According to experts, post-Covid, ed-tech and offline players in the country are opting for the hybrid route, mergers and partnerships to build a sustainable and long-term economic model.
The future of the ed-tech industry in the post-Covid world is a combination of online and offline learning, with the omnichannel model even more sustainable in the future, hence ed startups as well as unicorns are eyeing the hybrid retail model, TeamLease EdTech founder and CEO Shantanu Rooj told PTI.

“With the ebb of the pandemic, the world is moving towards a more sustainable format of education. As soon as the health crisis hit humanity, everyone, with the help of online learning, moved on in business resilience mode – Edtech came to the rescue. But that was during the pandemic,” he added.

He said online education, for all its benefits, is not the solution to all problems and as the world returns to normal, the industry has started to revert to a hybrid mode of learning – schools have however started to return to classrooms.

“But those classrooms are different now. Focusing on a purely online education model would limit the addressable market for many edtech companies. are now using the hybrid route to build a long-term and sustainable business model,” Rooj said.

Rooj further opined that the industry is also considering consolidation and partnerships without which many start-ups, which cannot sustain their businesses, will have existential problems and could go bankrupt.

Therefore, large organizations are pricing M&A (M&A) opportunities at a more reasonable valuation, he added.

Echoing this view, Aditya Narayan Mishra, Director of Human Resources and CEO of CIEL, said that over the past two years, the world has discovered the merits of online classrooms, taking advantage of new technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and online collaboration tools for learning. and evaluation.

“In-person classrooms, group work, brainstorming, lab experiments, and many such methods remain indispensable tools. Therefore, the future of education is the omnichannel model,” a- he noted. He added that most of the edtech companies are headquartered in big cities like Bangalore and they started their hybrid models in Tier I and Tier II cities to start with.

“We believe they will move into Tier III and IV cities soon. Also, there will be more consolidation, in the future there will be specialized providers focused on specific cohorts and education will be omnichannel” , he added.

Meanwhile, Nikhil Barshikar, founder and chief executive of edtech company Imarticus Learning, said blended learning seems like the most obvious choice for ensuring uninterrupted learning, as it gives students the benefit of flexibility through to online learning and a chance to interact with offline peers and mentors. learning.

“Professionals in major metros such as Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad have shown the greatest intention to upgrade in 2021 and 2022, and Tier II cities such as Nagpur, Ernakulam, Mysore, Jaipur and Indore have emerged as the cities to fastest growing showing demand for advanced courses. . We have live classroom, hybrid and online delivery capabilities across India. We are also actively expanding our operations and entering new markets in the Tier I and Tier II cities in India and abroad,” he added.

FIITJEE, an offline competitive exam preparation institute for the K-12 segment launched its e-school in February 2022 – FIITJEE eSchool Academic to expand its reach in Tier II, III, IV cities.
Partha Halder, academic manager of FIITJEE eSchool, said the institute first focused on its offline students during the pandemic and then decided to branch out into the online segment.

“Now kids can stay home, without having to move to other cities, save a lot of money on relocation or hostel stay, get that important emotional support from family during preparatory days, all learning from teachers at FIITJEE Delhi,” he said. added.

Halder felt that venturing into the online space is not difficult, what is important is to have knowledgeable teachers who can guide students for competitive exams like JEE, Olympiads, NTSE supplemented with an academic system strong and a process to support this initiative.

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