This edtech startup wants to become the MakeMyTrip for India’s $2B online education market
In India, a whopping 9.6 million users will be paying for online courses by 2021. And that’s not all. The online education market itself is expected to witness a huge surge, growing 8x since 2016 to reach the $1.96 billion mark in the next two years.
While currently, the data – courtesy of a joint report by KPMG and Google – indicates that “reskilling and online certification courses” commands the major chunk of this market, the tables, however, are set to turn in the near future.
With an estimated 280 million students enrolling in schools, the demand will shift towards online primary and secondary supplemental education. Regardless of the category driving this market, one thing is certain: Indians are no longer taking upskilling or online learning lightly.
But with the plethora of courses floating online, how does one find out which course is suitable for one’s career growth? Or which skills are in demand in the market and which trainer can be your ideal fit? Here’s where Get Me A Course comes into the picture.
As the name implies, GMAC is an online aggregator of both online and classroom courses, curating courses from various learning platforms and bridging the gap between learners and trainers.
“The model is very similar to travel aggregation sites and apps that list all the different airlines, hotels, and travel service providers,” says Rohan Krishna, the CEO and Co-Founder of the Bengaluru-based startup. “GMAC is bringing the same efficiency to education and skilling,” he adds.
A one-stop solution for lifelong learning
In order to stay relevant in their respective industries, professionals today need to constantly acquire new knowledge and keep upskilling. And GMAC, says Rohan, is their one-stop solution for lifelong learning and development needs.
Think of it as a Make My Trip or a Skyscanner but for education, where learners are matched with the right learning content.
“For learners, Get Me A Course brings the one-click efficiency to finding the right course. And for trainers, GMAC solves the ‘Discovery Problem’, where top trainers struggle to make themselves visible and reach students,” explains the founder.
Interestingly, GMAC’s inception has its roots in personal struggles. Launched in 2016 in Bengaluru, the startup is the brainchild of Rohan, a serial entrepreneur with a degree in engineering and business administration, and four others: Kshama Bhatia, Co-Founder, CFO, and CSO; Shashwat Swaroop, Co-founder and CPO; and Ammin Rajqotwala, Co-founder and Chairman. All of them had personally faced the dilemma of finding the right skills and upskilling as they navigated their careers.
In fact, the founding team itself – each with years of experience across domains such as product development, learning and development, software development, and hospitality management – was brought together by the common problem.
“Dr Kshama was the common person between us,” quips Rohan adding, “Through her, we all met and gradually recognised the synergy that was possible. We had experience, expertise, energy, freshness, and trust all on one table between us. And, Get Me A Course was the result.”
Organising the online education market
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
According to the founder of GMAC, this is the most difficult question staring both senior professionals and the unemployed youth in the face today. And even if you have charted a path for career advancement, the question remains, how do you identify and acquire the crucial skills required to make it to the top of the ladder.
GMAC plays an integral role here, removing the chance factor from learning. The online course aggregator’s skill-based career recommendation engine, called “Gravity”, helps individuals identify their current standing with respect to skills and pay scales. Following which, it outlines the succeeding levels in the career ladder that a learner can upgrade to, along with the expected pay range and required skills set along the given trajectory.
“This is supplemented by suggestions of top courses for the learner’s particular skill-building needs,” explains Rohan, adding, “The engine thus helps professionals answer the crucial ‘where do you find yourself in five years?’ question methodically.”
In addition to this elaborate procedure, GMAC is also addressing a key concern – low course completion rate. Out of 60 million people searching for courses online, only two percent are able to complete courses on most MOOCs today, says Rohan. So, to fill in this gap, GMAC ensures that its platform matches the learner’s intent with market data.
“For instance, would you really want to sign on to an expensive cryptocurrency course if there are only 15 job vacancies for that skill in your geography?” questions Rohan, quite aptly.
But above all, what GMAC is doing is supporting the lifetime needs of a person with regards to learning, employment and mentorship. In the process, bringing order to a hitherto-unorganised sector.
Building a future powered by AI and algorithms
“We have learners of ages ranging from 18 to 65+ from a whopping 172 countries logging into GMAC, using 1,800+ keywords,” Rohan says. “The top five countries logging in are India, the US, Canada, Iran, and the UK,” he adds.
GMAC, which has established its presence globally, has moved beyond the validation phase.
It is now scaling up through user acquisition campaigns in multiple geographies around the world. The edtech startup at present boasts a 24 percent customer retention rate, with more than 48,000 courses being discovered through the platform. Being an affiliate of major course providers such as Udemy, Coursera, Pluralsight etc, GMAC also has over 500 independent trainers who are using the platform for their daily course advertisements and student acquisition.
And the best part, quips Rohan, is that this has all happened in less than eight months.
That GMAC is in an expansion mode, is more than clear. In fact, just last year the startup closed its seed funding from an investor from Germany. As it continues to enhance its product, fine-tune its solution, and create a layer in the ecosystem between the employers and training/degrees that actually verifies and certifies the skills of every individual, however, Rohan acknowledges that there’s still a lot to do.
Most of which ends with streamlining online education, but starts with algorithms and AI-powered engines.