EduTech sees rise due to Coronavirus, offers free content to students stranded at home

The industry has witnessed a 50% increase in consumers as companies offer free content to the quarantined students

e4m by Sanstuti Nath
Published: Mar 24, 2020 8:15 AM  | 4 min read
Online Learning

With most schools and colleges closed across the country due to COVID-19 outbreak, students are turning towards online education. The Ed-tech companies are also leaving no stone unturned to reach the consumers, which resulted in the industry witnessing an average boost of 50% in the past 3 weeks.

From offering free content during the period of lockdown to organic advertisements, online education providers are doing everything to reach their consumers.

Unacademy, an app for competitive exams aspirants, offered 20,000 free live classes to students. To reach the consumers, they are putting up advertisements in the country’s leading dailies, doing media stories and performance-based advertisement on TV and digital.

Gaurav Munjal, Co-founder and CEO of Unacademy, said, “In the last 3 weeks, learners who are watching Free Live Classes have increased by 3x. 30 million minutes of watch time is happening on Unacadamy every single day.”

BYJU'S, another EduTech giant for K-12 (Kindergarten to 12) also announced through its social media handles that they have decided to make their app free for all students until April end. Atit Mehta, Marketing Head, Think & Learn Pvt. Ltd (BYJU'S), told e4m that they have reported 60% increment in new users after making the app free.

Catalyst Group, another online learning platform for competitive exams, is also offering free access to students for various online classes. Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, revealed how they are communicating with their consumers, “Our SEO team works using organic reach, we generally don’t depend upon advertisements but, currently we are using Google Ads.” Catalyst Group also reported a 30-40% growth in its consumption. Pandit said, “we have witnessed 30-40% in admissions in the last few days. The number of students regularly attending the online classes is increased due to the college and school shutdown. Daily watch minutes have almost doubled in the past two to three days as students are at home and attending regular classes.”

Beas Dev Ralhan, CEO & Co-founder, Next Education India Pvt Ltd, shared “To ensure that parents, students and teachers make the best use of our online learning tools, we are reaching out to them via digital channels namely Facebook, Youtube, LinkedIn and Instagram. We are also sending out communications via emails, WhatsApp messages and SMS.” Next Education came up with videos, blogs and articles to educate the K-12 stakeholders about how online tools can help in a seamless transition from offline to online learning and ensure uninterrupted learning. “In our endeavour to ensure that learning is not affected in this pandemic, we are also offering free access to LearnNext till April 30, 2020, which includes video lessons and practice tests”, he added.

Experts believed that the Indian e-learning market has the potential for growth in the future, and this sudden spike in usage due to unavailability of physical teachers will give an upward push to the revenue. But, they also warn that if players don’t seize the opportunity and increase their ad revenue, numbers might go down as normalcy is restored.

According to Vishwajeet Parashar, Vice President-Marketing, Bajaj Capital, “Brands are marketing their services in a professionally designed way. And it is a golden opportunity for all the educational apps to establish lead with ease. But that’s not all, the advantage is temporary and the fight between online learning and classroom learning will remain the same. It is time for EduTech companies to come out with long term engagement offers to restrain this temporary advantage.”

Brainly, one of the world’s leading EduTech company, surveyed over 2000 students in India after the government started closing schools and colleges. They found that, while 63% of the students have an off from school, only 36% of them are receiving online education while at home as of March 17th. The survey also found that although 26% of the respondents are excited to spend this time with friends and family, almost 34% of the students are bored at home during this break.

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