Edtech major Byju’s is reportedly planning to close down its Bengaluru headquarters and Thiruvananthapuram office, while company Unacademy has also laid off hundreds of employees this year. Though it raises concerns over the educational technology sector’s situation, experts said the future does not look as ominous or dire as it is being made to look as the industry is poised to reach $4 billion by 2025 and $30 billion by 2032.
Byju’s has said around five per cent, or 2,500, of positions in the company are being rationalised as part of Byju’s current strategic plan to grow profitably and sustainably. It employs nearly 50,000 people across India. Unacademy, as per reports, has also laid of about 1000 employees this year.
The edtech sector accounts for about 45 about of the 15,000-plus layoffs that the Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed this year. Byju’s went for the largest number of layoffs in the edtech space, firing nearly 4,000 employees across its subsidiaries.
According to TeamLease Edtech, in the past 12 years, India’s edtech space has received a 32x increase in venture capital investment, moving from 500 million in 2010 to 16.1 billion in 2022. With the industry poised to reach 4 billion by 2025, and 30 billion by 2032, the future does not look as ominous or dire as it is being made to look.
Amit Ratanpal, founder and MD of BLinC Invest, said, “I think there is a massive case for optimism. Yes, a lot of VC and PE firms are unsure but it’s also a great time to invest in long-term assets and consolidate. Many good-quality businesses are available at reasonable valuations. So, there is cautious optimism but optimism nevertheless because education is fundamental to success. You and I are products of education and nothing has changed with respect to the large opportunities presented by high-disposable income, a favourable demographic and a progressive education policy."
The edtech sector has created more than 75,000 jobs in India in the last five years.
Shantanu Rooj, founder and CEO of TeamLease Edtech, said, “Technology-enabled education was always the solution that could break the difficult trinity between cost, quality, and scale – we shall witness a positive momentum in faster tech adoption in education that shall help create a more integrated, virtualised, gamified learning experience for learners and educators alike."
Rooj added that institutions will need to lean on technology for support while they invest in providing the best-in-class learning experience to their students. Changes in the world of work drive the case for both productivity and resilience - lifelong learning shall help provide continuous skill building and make workers more adaptive. The transformation in education, fueled by the NEP 2020 shall necessitate use of technology in various aspects of education – administration, classroom management, student engagement, personalisation, assessments and everything else.
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