Edutech firm Upgrad expects to grow its business by over eight-folds in the next five years to cross a revenue of Rs 10,000 crore on account of traction in online higher education by professionals in the country, a top official of the company said. The company expects to grow by 300 per cent in the current fiscal driven by demand created for online education due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Upgrad co-founder and chairman Ronnie Screwvala told .
"Our target in our core business of LifeLong Learning with working professionals and degree programmes is to cross Rs 7,000 crore revenue in the financial year 2025. In FY25 we would have enrolled close to 5 lakh learners in that year and our cumulative paid learners by then would have crossed 15 lakh," Screwvala said. Upgrad has 5 lakh learner base, of which 32,000 are paid users. The company expects to close the current fiscal year with a revenue of around Rs 1,200 crore.
"Outside of this we are embarking on other non-linear growth in various related spaces connected with our customer base of 18-48 years and we see a further Rs 3,000 crore revenue from those initiates by then (FY'25) too," Screwvala said. According to Redseer Management Consulting, the online higher education and lifelong learning will be around Rs 3,600 crore opportunity by 2024-25 which will be a ten-fold growth from an industry size of around Rs 365 crore in FY2020.
"My personal sense and belief is that it (industry growth) will be at least double that. It will be 40 times growth in the next five years. The COVID-19 has really triggered this off to a larger extent by bringing in a sense of urgency and acceptability for online education because university colleges are accepting the fact that online is there," Screwvala said.
He said that working professionals earlier did not have any choice to upgrade their education but now they are getting choice to upgrade their knowledge and grow in their professional life. "Between opportunity, acceptability and affordability, that's driving the growth, I genuinely believe that, as we are the market leader, the industry will grow 40 times. The estimates will be revised at least twice in the next three years by the time reports in 2025 come," Screwvala said.
According to the Redseer report, the growth in the online education sector is also a result of the government allowing 100 universities to offer online degree courses and permitting all Indian institutions to offer 40 per cent of their coursework online. Screwvala said that global giants will emerge from the online education segment and India is going to play an important role because there is no reason why two or three global giants will not emerge from the country.
"There will be global leaders in each segment. Us (Upgrad) in higher education for example. We have to 4-5 times of the nearest competition. That is our real goal right now. We have just appointed CEOs for Asia Pacific region, the UK and Middle East. "We should be in business internationally in specific markets between July-September of next year. This is something which we have preponed and accelerating now," he said.