Snapdeal eyes opportunity in online education

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Since its inception in 2010, Snapdeal has expanded its product portfolio in many ways including the recent office equipment category. The company in a move towards chasing its billion-dollar turnover target, has now eyed opportunity into the online education space.

It has recently launched an education marketplace with an aim to earn over 20% of its turnover in the next couple of years.

The company has currently partnered with  around 20 merchants including meritnation.com, Practice guru and edukart.com. Also,  the team expects to have 150 merchants on board in another two months. The marketplace would initially offer courses ranging from kindergarten to Class XII along with management and engineering courses.

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One simply needs to log on to Snapdeal.com and purchase a voucher for the preferred course or preparation material. The user receives a username and password along with instructions to get started in less than 24 hours of the purchase.

“Online education market is expected to become USD 3-4 billion strong over the next few years in India. Services commerce, which does not involve physical distribution of goods, offers better profit margins, making it a highly viable business for internet companies to scale up.” said Kunal Bahl, Co-founder Snapdeal to ET.

With the increase in usage of tablets and smartphones, online education has extended its reach to masses in the past few years. As per Pavan Chauhan, MD & CEO, Meritnation.com, tablets in the education space will be the game changer in the months to come.

According to Census figures, over 32% of the 1.1 billion population is between the age group of 0-14 and the online K-12 education industry is worth $1.5-2 billion at this point of time. Also, with rapidly rising mobile internet population and expanding middle class, experts believe that online tutoring will definitely pose a threat to conventional methods of teaching.

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Snapdeal initially started as a daily deals platform but expanded in September 2011 to become an e-commerce company via a marketplace model. And now it has came forward with the education marketplace, thereby keeping a fine balance between its couponing and marketplace model. Also, with Flipkart busy in expanding its product categories, the diversification will also help the company to gain competitive advantage in the market. However, its still the  situation of ‘Wait and Watch’ to comment further on the move.

To contact the author, email at meha@iamwire.com

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