Ed-tech: Choosing the right direction at this pertinent crossroad

Guest Author: Srishti Agarwal, Strategist at Sideways, tells us as COVID pandemic makes online education space more abuzz than ever, how can the players make their proposition stand out

e4m by Srishti Agarwal
Updated: Jun 23, 2020 8:29 AM

Said Aristotle, ‘Education is an ornament in prosperity and refuge in adversity’, and the COVID times have reinforced it, making it evident how the ed-tech start-up ecosystem has stood its  ground, defying the COVID downturn impacting the other segments as they struggle to figure their way out. 

The major players in the segment are now seeing this 2020 to be a doorway to a plethora of growth and expansion opportunities where all stakeholders of the ecosystem are more active than ever. The learners have an increased flexibility and time, the learning providers are actively seeking ways to overcome the bottlenecks of the lockdown, the government is announcing initiatives to propel growth of online education and the investment fraternity is hawk-eyed on this segment to infuse capital at the right time to maximize rewards. 

In this time of increased dependency and focus on digital education the whole ed-tech ecosystem seemingly aligned to meet the desired goals but what will become important in the coming time is, how these players differentiate their proposition in a space which is crowding up considering the sunrise it's seeing now.

Some questions that become important for the existing as well as upcoming players to ponder over are:
Moving from borrowing credibility to building unique value - While the initial boost of the start-up speed may be driven by partnerships, moving towards, adding a strong layer of unique value for the target audience is something that will help you stand strong in consumers' brand selection dilemma.
Identifying niche critical to stay afloat - As this ecosystem sees traction and grows bigger, having a niche to operate in will help you focus and address the needs of the consumer in a superior and specialized way. 
Laying roots of transformation - Going beyond content consumption to actual learning. While content is the king, real value of education comes from learning and applying what you learn to bring transformation and hence in the increasing market of paid reviews/propaganda testimonials, the real advocates of transformational learning will help you gain strength and stand tall. 
Fostering social learning - While the halt of offline brings focus on the importance of digital education, the aspects that still struggle to still find a solution is the social learning aspect to enhance the learning experience and create more engaging learning.
Elevating from trial to trust - While the category sees a lot of free/partially paid sources to bring people in, the only way to imagine complete value of your learning is when you are able to earn an outcome from it and hence strengthening trust is critical for impact.
Keeping on learning & openness to upgrade - As the segment is still evolving and so is technology, creating and managing a learning mechanism to learn and incorporate the learning are critical to growth. Whether it's about technology tools or customer feedback.

As the access to the virtual world of learning deepens, constantly adapting and fostering innovation to address the changing needs of the ecosystem will define survival and success of start-ups in this domain.  Additionally, bridging the gaps of the traditional education system i.e. lack of application orientation and industry readiness will prepare the generation of learners for real life, will bring more power to the ed-tech ecosystem.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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