Indian Education Technology start ups are venturing into global markets

Of late, there are many education start-up firms in India, which are not only dominating the domestic market but also going global. A host of firms such as Byju’s (Think and Learn Private Limited), Mindler, Aspiring Minds, Xseed Education and more are doing extremely well both in the domestic arena as well as the overseas markets. According to a Live Mint report, Prateek Bhargava, the founder of education technology start-up Mindler had entered into five countries including Russia and Singapore some three years ago. What is more, the firm is now looking at exploring more overseas markets, noted the report. Guiding students in career assessment, counseling and planning, technology adoption in education delivery and assessment, all these in itself is a growing as a sector and it is better to venture out for a bigger market share, citing the firm, the report pointed out.

Bhargava tells the daily, “It is no longer about saturating India before going global, if your product is good then why not.” Apart from this firm, other players are there too in the rat race. Aspiring Minds, for instance, had expanded its business into the US and China. Similarly, Xseed Education has ventured into The Philippines, Singapore, and Middle East Asia. Byju’s, the mobile application-based player had announced that it would also venture into the overseas markets this year.

Primary Reasons

Stating that the trend augurs well for the sector and will ultimately benefit the country’s humongous education space, the report went on to add that there are largely four primary reasons behind these start-ups strategy to go global. They include easy acceptance of their technology in teaching, learning and assessment, diversification, international recognition of what they are doing, improving their business proposition back home and possible access to capital, the report said.

“If you have a globally completive product and a company with ambition, then it is wiser to go overseas,” Varun Aggarwal, co-founder of Aspiring Minds that specializes in education and talent assessment for both institutions and corporate houses tells Live Mint and adds, “We believe what we were doing in India can be replicated anywhere in the world. We are now in China, the US, The Philippines and parts of Africa. When you talk about global — for an Indian company like us it means two key markets, China and the US. Other markets are small in comparison to India, China, and the American market.”

At present, Aspiring Minds’ international business was contributing between 25% and 30% of the total revenue and had the potential to grow faster than the domestic market, Aggarwal said. In fact, one of his co-founders shifted to the US to expand markets there. Citing Aggarwal, firms such as them were venturing out because they believe they have a quality product, and clients want to have a global contract than a country-specific contract, wider visibility and access to capital in key markets such as the US. Education technology space was layered, with some focusing on the business to business market and some dealing with consumers directly, said Ashish Rajpal, founder of Xseed Education. Diversification was one of the key reasons for venturing into other markets, he added.

Agreeing to the point, Bhargava of Mindler concluded, “In some of the international markets there is less competition, so you have an advantage. Besides, once you have done well abroad, your acceptance level back home goes up. Investors also look at startups more favorably if the product is diversified and well tested in different markets than just one.”

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