In the past 2 years, there has been a tremendous increase in the popularity of online learning and has become one of the biggest trends in the overall Indian education sector, which is roughly valued at USD 120 billion. People are gradually accepting that eLearning is equally effective as traditional learning. The credit also goes to the pandemic and the compulsory homebound education environment, wherein millions of kids enrolled across various online education platforms.
In recent times, investments in the sector have also soared. Till 2019, the online education space or the EdTech space in India was far behind its peer such as consumer internet, proptech, fintech, etc, in terms of funding. However, with the pandemic, the situation has altered significantly. Since Jan 2020, EdTech has raised total funding of over USD 4 billion. Today, India’s ever-expanding unicorn landscape comprises a host of EdTech start-ups such as Byju, Vedantu, upGrad, Eruditus, etc.
The online education industry in India will continue to register staggering growth in the foreseeable future backed by its growing popularity, higher internet & smartphone penetration, advancement in technology, and the availability of some great learning platforms. Likewise, it will also be an inviting field for investors, businesses, start-ups, etc.
Investors and businesses are realizing the immense potential of online learning and hence many are contemplating starting an online education business. However, before jumping into the venture, individuals need to make sure that they have everything in place to make their business successful. Thorough knowledge of the initial stages of starting an online education business can go a long way towards developing a successful enterprise.
Vital Factors to Keep in Mind for Starting an Online Training Venture in India
Businesses/ investors looking to open an online training institute should follow the below-given steps to successfully start a training institute:
Pick/ Choose the right niche - The first thing is to identify the right niche. Whether to offer academic training, professional/ corporate training, prep tutorial or general education. Defining the niche and building the right business strategy around the same is fundamental to running a successful education business. While identifying the niche, it is also critical to gauge the internal capabilities, qualifications, and skillset. Running an education business requires ample skills and knowledge, and businesses should be aware of it.
Research and know more about the market - Prior to setting up the business, it is suggested to research to understand more about the market, target audience, key segments, demand forecasting, competition, etc. This can be done by talking to people, running an informal survey or polls, reading existing journals, reports, etc. Businesses can also think of running a webinar to know more about a specific target audience, what they wish to learn, what they need to learn, etc.
Besides doing the market research themselves, businesses can also think of hiring market research agencies such as The India Watch, which can conduct the market research process on their behalf. Through their custom market research solutions, entities like The India Watch can help upcoming Edutech start-ups with plenty of valuable & actionable insights and data to make informed business decisions.
After closely scrutinizing the target audience, one would need to analyze the demand for the course in the market. One also needs to evaluate the competition(s) in the subject areas selected. If the competition is intense, it is prudent to add more features in their online offering to make it appealing and attractive for the target customers and gain a competitive edge.
Register and start the Business – Following research and gaining a better understanding of the market, now is the time to finally start the business. It is needful to decide upon a name for the online education venture. When choosing a name for the institute/ academy, one needs to keep in mind that the name should be available for booking a domain name. The name of the online institute must be unique and no other business should be registered with that name. One should also choose a name that resonates with the brand and the educational services offered because this will help people to remember easily and hence will be more impactful.
Businesses, for starting an online training institute have to file for the appropriate small business license in their respective state. If they are aware of the process, then they can accordingly initiate the registration process and if they are not aware then they can seek assistance from a business lawyer to find out all the legalities they have to fulfill for opening an online training institute.
Create an Impactful Website - For starting an online education business, one needs to create an impressive-looking website. The website should be easy to navigate, comprehensible, and should be simple to use. One should also focus on creating a brand identity by adding an attractive logo, theme, and flawless web content. The website should provide clear details regarding the online courses offered and the syllabus covered in each course along with the fee details and time period.
One should hire a team of talented content writers, graphic designers, and video graphics professionals to create engaging content. This should include engaging and compelling videos, blog pieces, demo videos, contact forms, whitepapers, etc. One would need to pick the appropriate tools and technology. After all, the delivery of pedagogy depends heavily on technology, as right from speed, UI, intuitiveness, ease-of-use, features, rely on it.
Hire Talented and Skilled Workforce – Wide range of manpower is needed to seamlessly run an educational start-up. Right from marketing executives to instructional designers to subject matter experts to editors to content writers, one needs to hire talented and skilled professionals for the different departments. This may prove a little expensive in the beginning but they will also contribute to the success of the e-venture.
Devise a Strong Marketing Plan – businesses might think that if they have a license, polished tutorial resources, and platform ready to welcome new learners, then they are all set. However, they need to remember that all these are just the initial phase of training, and they need to work hard to market their offerings to their target audience. A comprehensive marketing strategy would include SEO, bulk mailing, acquiring qualified marketing leads, social media, PR, search advertisements, etc. Likewise, businesses would need to invest time in building the right partnership with other educational institutes, schools, colleges, corporates, depending on the kind of service offerings they are planning.
How India Watch Can Help
The India Watch is an India-focused market research and business intelligence advisory. Alongside working with large-sized enterprises, institutional investors, and trade associations, we also work with start-ups, offering them affordable custom research solutions. Our services for start-ups include