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An Overview of Education Technology in India

Worldwide, the education and training industries spend over $4 trillion annually. Out of this, 85% of the expenditure accounts for delivery costs – i.e. the cost of building and infrastructure, teaching staff, etc. In India, the Union Budget 2018 allocated Rs 85,010 crore ($1.2 billion) for education. Despite this expenditure, the current education system is unable to deliver adequate skills to make students job-ready for the industry 4.0 era. Education technology (EdTech) bridges the gap between delivering education and making learning effective. Let’s look at how Education Technology in India can reform learning?

Education Technology: Skills that will be required in Future

Why EdTech?

The 2016 Trading Economics data reveal – 44.85 million people are unemployed in India; despite there being more than 1.6 million schools and 38 thousand colleges. This illustrates a gap in the existing education system and learning resources.

Although the expenditure on education is rising, educational performance is still weak. Cost-effectively improving the quality of education is the need of the hour. And ed-tech is an opportunity for upscaling ‘education’ at the global level.

EdTech is not just redesigning the textbooks in a digital format. The role of education technology also lies in developing applications in incorporating new learning architectures. Apart from revamping the learning architecture, cloud-based EdTech platforms can make learning material accessible to students anytime.

What Makes SaaS-based EdTech Effective?

Education technology encompasses several domains like reading materials, computer-based training, e-learning, and m-learning (learning through computer or mobile), teacher training, curriculum management, and back-office management. People also consider EdTech as Education Management Information System (EMIS). The following are the salient features of the Education Technology platform.

Scalability

In India, the classroom standards in the government-funded schools define the pupil to teacher ratio (PTR) in upper primary classes as 35:1. That is, a typical classroom should not accommodate more than 35 students. It is one of the reasons that many students do not get admission in good schools.

The SaaS-based Education Technology can make courses and learning material available to the students irrespective of their geographical location. EdTech platforms are easy-to-use and don’t require any preliminary training to use the software.

Engaging Learning Platform

To motivate students to learn without fear of grades and punishment is a daunting task. Unless the learning material is engaging, chances for its success is less. EdTech solves this challenge by deploying technology like virtual reality, gamification, and discussions on its platform. To bring the best of education, some education technology platforms also incorporate open learning models or open license content standards.

For example, EkStep – a non-profit initiative has created a collaborative platform to bring equal learning opportunities to every child, especially in rural India. It is an open platform where facilitators can join and create interactive courses for learners.

Education Management

An academic institute requires faculties, infrastructure, and efficient management for its smooth functioning. Technology in education is also making school management easy.

For example, Kreedo – an EdTech startup provides SaaS-based school and learning management system. It helps preschools with curriculum, teachers training, teaching material, child assessment, and other school administration tasks.

Faculty Training

Normally, teaching experience and educational qualifications are the only criteria for faculty recruitment in India. That’s why often faculties lack the skill to convey their knowledge to pupils effectively.

EdTech startups like flipClass track teachers’ performance and advise them on their technology platform. This application provides two types of feedback to faculties at the child’s level and concept level. It also assesses teaching against benchmarks.

Accessibility in Regional Languages

KPMG reports- video content will cover 80% of the global internet consumption. In India, consumers spend 50-60% of their average time on Hindi videos, 35-43% on regional videos, and only about 7% on English videos. Moreover, India homes 22 major languages and 13 different scripts.

To enhance conceptual understanding, materials available in learners’ comfortable language is a bonus. Language translations and curriculum in regional language are the additional benefits of education technology.

What’s the Future of Education Technology in India?

With over 3,500 startups, Education Technology in India is expected to reach $1.96 Bn by 2021.

While tier-1 cities boast of quality classroom education, tier-2 and tier-3 cities suffer a setback due to lack of resources. Ed-Tech can make quality learning accessible to rural regions. It can also help with teachers’ skill development, classroom infrastructure, and school management.

EdTech will make more use of technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), Blockchain and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Labs to design interactive learning interfaces.

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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