The Business of Education

In  country like India where quality education is a dream, where Government only makes allocation in every budget without the impact ever visible, the business of education is turning out to be a very profitable proposition.

The amount of advertising on TV, the number of courses on offer by various institutes every day in the newspaper suggest that there are enough people who have figured out education sector to be their gravy train. After all, when universities churn out graduates like a factory and quality educational institutions are so few, there would always be consumer (most cases suckers) who would fall for the “career oriented courses”, “100% placement”, “earn while you study” tag lines.

Education has become all about numbers… about filling up seats…

There is no institution which is really a brand (not talking about IITs or IIMs or some of the leading management colleges). There are various educations societies catering to every possible course. Admission is easy (money talks)… And we keep churning out average students who form the work force at lower levels… students who had joined the course with stars in their eyes… six months into the course, reality bites and they settle for finding jobs that would be just enough to pay back all the money that was spent on going through the course.

I believe that there is enough opportunity for some to create a brand in this sector. (and no the brand is not about having full classes)… it is about reputation, quality and ethics… We only have to look at the IITs and IIMs to know that they have  become world class institutions by being providers of ‘quality’ education. Getting in is tough… passing out is even tougher… which should be the hallmark of every good institution.

Now that private sector is getting big in education, investments need to be made into building infrastructure, by working hard on building reputation (having the perfect backend in place) and connecting with the entire gamut of stakeholders – students, parents, corporates… the eco-system should accept and vouch for the quality rather than self praise and promise of a great new career as a carrot. Simple Mantra – do not look at “profits” for first 3 years… create an environment where profit would become a natural corollary to the efforts put in. Like in any other business, invest in building a brand before reaping the rewards

Not only are lives of a whole generation at stake (and generations to follow) but also the well being of the country, if it has to become a global powerhouse of talent.

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