Consumer and Internet
Evolution of education in post-pandemic India
29 May 2024

Education has consistently played a crucial role in India's progress with the government continually prioritizing the sector’s growth through its policies. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, schools closed, and people realized the need for online learning. The demand for hybrid education models surged afterward, propelling the global expansion of EdTech firms. This newfound prominence brought these companies into the spotlight, as students increasingly turned to their services. Consequently, EdTech operations expanded, driving up revenue and fostering industry growth. Since 2020, India's EdTech sector has undergone a remarkable transformation, characterized by two pivotal trends: the evolution of investments and changing educational preferences.

Evolution of investments

Before the pandemic, the Indian EdTech sector was steadily gaining momentum. The onset of COVID-19 in early 2020 triggered a significant transition to online learning. With educational institutions closed, the demand for digital learning solutions skyrocketed. In 2021, EdTech startups raised US$ 4.8B through 71 deals, a notable increase from 2020, making it the fifth most funded sector in the country. Even in 2022, EdTech emerged as the third-highest rank sector in terms of funding. During this period, the global EdTech market also witnessed a significant decline in Chinese dominance. In 2020, China dominated the EdTech funding space with a 63% share. However, this dominance significantly declined to less than 13% in 2021. Conversely, India experienced substantial growth in EdTech funding, capturing 23% of global investments in 2021 rising from a 14% share in 2020.


After the pandemic, as the schools, colleges, and centers reopened for offline classes, the demand for online learning adapted rather than diminished. Funding in India's EdTech sector saw a significant drop in 2023 to about US$ 0.6B, compared to US $1.3B in 2022. This shift in funding prompted EdTech firms to focus on profitability and sustainable growth, leading to a more balanced and hybrid approach to education.

Changing educational preferences: Holistic development, mentorship, and

blended learning

But what was driving this initial surge in funding and interest in the EdTech industry? The answer lies in a fundamental change in educational priorities. Our data reveals that parents are increasingly prioritizing holistic development for their children. Over 27% of surveyed parents consider holistic development a core philosophy when selecting a school. In-depth conversations with parents further confirm this trend, with holistic development ranking as the most crucial factor, followed by the quality of teachers. The importance of holistic development extends beyond traditional schooling. Employers, too, value well-rounded individuals. Conversations with employers and recruiters revealed a preference for offline degrees over online ones due to their emphasis on holistic development and soft skills like communication and teamwork. These skills are crucial for success in today's workforce.

This focus on holistic development also spills over into the online learning space. Our research among higher education students highlights the growing importance of mentorship. A significant 40% of the respondents identified mentoring facilities as a key factor when choosing online upskilling courses. Mentoring allows the learner to sharpen further the skills they have learned and how to apply them in real-life situations.  Similarly, 48% of students prioritized courses offering additional academic support through mentorship when selecting online certification programs. Blended learning, which combines live and recorded sessions, has emerged as the preferred mode of learning for 53% of EdTech learners. This model offers the flexibility of online education while retaining the interactive and engaging elements of traditional classroom teaching. The landscape of education is clearly evolving with a strong emphasis on holistic development and the integration of technology into learning. As parents, students, and employers increasingly value comprehensive skill development and flexible learning options, educational institutions and EdTech providers must continue to adapt and innovate to meet these changing preferences.

The EdTech sector's transformation in the past few years represents an evolution in how education is perceived and delivered. The focus on comprehensive development and the increasing demand for mentoring facilities reveal a deeper understanding of the skills needed for future success. India's EdTech sector is not just expanding; it is redefining education, preparing a generation of learners who are well-equipped to thrive in a dynamic, interconnected world.

Author: Madhur Singhal, Managing Partner - Consumer and Internet

Co-author: Mit Desai, Senior Manager - Consumer and Internet

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