E-learning is a flexible learning method which harnesses the power of the internet. Online learning platforms are increasing in all education segments – primary, secondary, higher education, test preparation, and informal learning. The e-learning market in India is highly fragmented, with a few niche players operating in the various segments and several start-ups with innovative offerings gradually gaining ground. Students can track their performance in real time with the help of automated online records on e-learning portals.

Market insights:
Over the last decade, technological advancements have taken place in the field of e-learning. These include the application of information and communications technology (ICT) in classrooms and the use of cloud-based platforms, virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR). The e-learning market in India was valued at INR 91.41 Bn in 2020. It is expected to reach a value of INR 312.13 Bn by 2026, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~17.60% during the 2021 – 2026 period.

Impact of COVID-19:
In the wake of the pandemic, in-person classes were stopped to curb the spread of the virus. However, it was not expected that it would have such a lasting effect. Institutions are adopting e-learning methods and shifting to online classes so that learning can continue. The demand for academic books dropped by 40% – 50% because of the closure of educational institutions.

Government initiatives:
The central government introduced NDEAR in the Union Budget of 2021 – 2022 to strengthen digital infrastructure and to support education planning activities. In May 2020, the government launched the PM eVIDYA program to make e-learning accessible to students and teachers, as well as to promote and strengthen digital education.

Market Influencers:
Market drivers:
Over the years, the improved availability of low-cost smartphones has led to an increase in demand for internet services across India. This has spurred the demand for online content, including education material, in both rural and urban areas.

Key deterrents to the growth of the market:
Indians are familiar and comfortable with the conventional face-to-face mode of learning, which impedes the adoption of online learning. Online channels fall short when it comes to replicating certain aspects of offline channels, such as interaction with peers, group learning, feedback, and soft skill development.