On an average, around 800 startups start out their business every year, but only less than 20 per cent of that number survive at the end of it. According to a study, weak financial literacy is one of the biggest reasons why small businesses don’t succeed. In the Visa 2012 Global Financial Literacy Barometer, India ranked 23rd in a list of 28 markets. The country was better off than Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam only. Financial education has become the need of the hour to save oneself from getting into financial trouble. And this is not just for startups but for everyone.
Launched in January 2015, Elearnmarkets is an online financial platform that aims to bridge this financial literacy gap. Vineet Patawari, Co-Founder and CEO, Elearnmarkets, says, “We intend to meet lifetime needs of learning finance, tracking financial markets, and earning and managing money. No other existing platform combines all the requirements of a learner and practitioner of finance in such a compact and simple manner.”
Vineet adds that he provides students with a blend of guidance material in different formats like important workbooks, course material, videos of lectures on important topics etc. It is a complete finance training platform on financial market courses enhanced by automated interactive learning tools (ILTs), real-time market simulators and market data analytics and community.
The platform is bootstrapped till date with the help of Kredent Academy (the offline classroom-based financial market training academy). It has spent the major spending on manpower salaries for technology and content development. However, it’s in the fund-raising stage and claims to get good response from investors.
In the past 10 months, the company has had more than 10,000 registered users, of which more than 900 were paid ones. Elearnmarkets also offers a joint certification programme launched in association with National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). With this, NSE has taken its famous NSE Certified Capital Market Professional (NCCMP) programme online and named it E-NCCMP. According to Vineet, more such MoUs are already signed and content development is in process.
According to a report, India's online education market size is set to grow to $40 billion by 2017 from the present $20 billion. The global market for online education was pegged at $73.8 billion as of 2011 and by 2017, it is estimated to reach $200 billion.
“There are two market segments we are talking about - finance and education. Clearly, we see huge opportunity in both. Finance is the core of all economic activities. The youth in the country will form the critical mass for clear application of financial learning. Finance learning offers them tremendous application in career and investment growth,” says Vineet.
He adds e-learning is not a fad, but a way to deliver the best content in the most innovative manner. The world is changing as more people get value from various technology service providers. The only thing which is permanent these days is the internet login account of an individual. There is tremendous scope of adding educational value to everyone through various technology adaptation. According to Vineet, the platform advocates the interactivity/gamification of learning, particularly in domains where there is lot of data to play.
There are different categories in the e-learning segment dominated by various players. In the marketplace of recorded courses, EduCBA, EduPrestine, Learnwithflip, Udemy and edX are some of the key players. In financial market practical orientation, there are MoneyBhai and TrakInvest; in live data analytics, Myfno, Moneycontrol, Trefis, iCharts and Macroaxis; and in community segment, Traderji and mmb.moneycontrol.com have captured the market.
On competition, he says that multiple domestic and international players have created general marketplaces for video-based courses. However, Elearnmarkets provides end-to-end learning and not just video courses for niche markets i.e. financial markets. It is uniquely placed to cater to all the four distinct needs of learning and earning from financial markets.
There are some perennial challenges in the sector which Elearnmarkets is trying to address. One big challenge in the online environment is to ensure that students complete the course and there is minimum dropout. For this, the platform is creating and curating engaging and interactive content. The video-based course content and study material will be aided by interactive learning tools and simulated games.
Another issue in the online education segment is related to paid courses. Students dither to pay for online courses. “Charging fees in an online environment for content will only be possible if we provide the extra edge to our learner. This will be done by providing value-added services like live projects, internships, industry connect and recruitment services,” says Vineet.