A land with so many gaps that no matter where you throw seeds, they will sprout;
I’m eager to see how many of them become trees and will stand out.
By land here, I refer to the broader education scenario of our country. Starting from teacher training, to better content, delivery and assessment. There are enough and more gaps that exist and are waiting to be filled. Ask any teacher, parent or student, and you will have an endless list of things that need improvement, be it preschool, high school or university, the list gets longer as one goes higher.
Seeds here are n number of start-ups sprouting to solve these n number of problems, most of them riding the technology wave. And why not? Technology is said to be the current and future of our nation. In fact, a majority of PE money has been pumped into companies using technology to deliver education. According to a recent report by VCCircle, Education-test preparation and E-learning have seen the most inflows of PE investments over the last 5 years. (Over $700 mn).
However, it is not uncommon to see start-ups in the sector struggling to scale even after the early rounds of PE/VC funding. A major roadblock here, especially for those catering to primary or secondary education is the immense time and effort required to convince schools, teachers and/ parents to accept new technologies, curriculum or solutions. Even if one succeeds, the burden of school fees is already so high, that not all parents can pay for any additional services. The challenge then is to find solutions that provide a better alternative to a current offering, rather than being complementary. For example, a better English curriculum or teacher instead of an additional English lab. This would not just ease a parents’ pocket, but also utilizes a student’s time well.
At Caspian, we are always eager to engage with more and more entrepreneurs on their journeys to add more value to our education system.
I find it interesting to see which problems are being chosen to solve, which amongst those get funded, why they get funded and how do they create impact? What concerns me more, however, are the problems that are not being chosen, that are probably more fundamental and stare us in the face.