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Why foreign universities cannot afford to miss Indian market



Education businesses are always on a lookout for new opportunities to enroll quality students. Foreign universities hold many events and seminar for the same. Given the size of the Indian market, that is not enough.

India has one of the largest young population in the world. India will most likely be the largest economy and will be the most populous country by 2060. Many countries like U.K and the U.S.A are already deepening their network in India by opening up branches and providing certified courses.

The competition for the higher education market might seem huge to foreign universities given the fact that we have close to 38,000 colleges and 760 universities. Although the lure of quality education and certification from a foreign university among Indian students can help them win over local competition.

The market is open for foreign players because of the current challenges that the Indian higher education ecosystem faces. Centrally funded government universities are considered to be the best in India but the issue is that only 3% of students are enrolled in these universities. Rest go to the state funded universities or private/deemed universities. These 97% of students can be lured by foreign universities by providing differentiated values and quality that may not be found otherwise.

There are many reasons why foreign universities cannot afford to miss the India market and why this might be the best time to look at India as a market. One of them is the current government.

The current government is collaborative

Our current Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi is known for his collaborations with international institutions. The current government has done a lot for bringing foreign institutions to India and making the process of setting up business easy for foreign players. In fact, one of the biggest challenges that institutions face while setting up in international markets are the policies and regulations, with those things in place, there is no reason foreign universities should not come to India.

So how can foreign institutes tap the Indian market? Here are my few suggestions that can help out foreign institutions planning to setup business in India and enroll Indian students.

1. Open up Indian Campuses

While online courses might be the rage worldwide, Indians do prefer physical establishments. Having a physical establishment instills a sense of trust among students. The ideal way to go about it is setting up your campus in some good commercial area which can be used not just for counseling but also some small courses.

2. Bring scholarships to reach out to diverse Indian audience

India has abundance of good talent, but many time, talented students don’t have the financial backing to afford good education that would be able to make them unleash their talent to the fullest. In fact, middle class makes up for a good majority of the Indian population, a good scholarship can be a good way to tap into this scholarship – aspiring audience. Scholarships are a big deal for most of the Indian students and they generate a good word of mouth as well. This would also allow institutions to receive enrollments from a diverse bunch of students.

3. Establish qualifications that are recognized in both the countries

One of the biggest challenge students face while moving outside India for education is the recognition of their degree. The school and graduate level education in India follows a pattern different from outside countries. Often, talented students are not able to make it to international institutions because of these regulations. Mutually agreeing upon qualifications and degrees that are recognized in India as well as in the international country and can reap huge benefits for the international country.

4. Collaborate on key issues

India has a certain set of challenges where it could benefit greatly from academic and research work done by foreign institutions. Setting up research labs in India where foreign universities collaborate with the Indian ones to solve local issues would be a great step. This could be beneficial for both the institutions. If the aim is to drive enrollments at masters or PhD level, this method can be very useful.

But this is not all, creating student exchange programs, or summer schools can also create enthusiasm among students and lead to great word of mouth. Also, the old method of organising exhibitions and seminars is still effective today.

Given the numbers about Indian population and economic growth, India presents an opportunity for foreign universities that they should not miss.

Read more insights by me here.


Survive layoffs – How to survive the layoffs in the I.T. industry



survive layoffs

Given the layoffs in IT industry, it’s important to keep in mind  and understand skills that are becoming outdated and being replaced by new skills which are highly in-demand.

Jobs in fields such as manual testing, tech support, system administration have become outdated and are being effected by the developments in the field of A.I, machine learning, automation and robotics process automation based systems.

Moreover, with newer developments in artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation and cloud computing, which help complete the job with less manpower, software companies are now having to reconsider their strategies.

Furthermore many software developers are at the verge of losing their jobs as they fail to upgrade their knowledge to newer technologies. With AI based platforms that automatically make your website come into existence, web designers are going to get hit hard. Many other programmers might feel the heat too from these automated development platforms.

Job Cutting

However, there is surge in demand for latest and innovative technologies like data science, artificial intelligence, hardware product programming, machine learning and digital marketing. These are the fields where demand is higher than supply and hence people with these skills can get a premium on their salaries.

In fact, some of the sources that provide good skill based courses along with their fees are as follows : –

▪ Training + Certification (Around 35000 to 45000)
▪ Training at free or nominal pricing, Certificate at around $350 from renowned university
▪ Universities and offline training institute are also offering these courses

At this point, you must be thinking about the R.O.I of these courses.

Job cuts in Indian I.T. companies will be 1.75 -2 lakh per year in next 3 years, due to under- preparedness in adapting newer technologies hence it is better to invest money right now and be prepared for the future jobs, rather than thinking of R.O.I of the certification program. Although, as mentioned, due to lack of skilled individuals, people equipped with these skills can charge a premium in terms of salary.

Furthermore, in my opinion, one must have the 3 Cs to sustain in the uncertain Job Scenarios :-

▪ Complex Problem Solving Skills which involves computational thinking and solving real time problem
▪ Creativity & Innovation
▪ Critical thinking

If you are in the I.T. industry,  get started in new domains which can lead to employability. Furthermore, just knowing the basics isn’t going to cut it. People need to establish themselves as authority in their chosen field and have expertise in it.

Trump IT Layoff in India

Furthermore, the Trump administration has been cited as one of the major reasons behind the layoffs. It won’t be right to blame Trump, for he has fulfilled the election promise of giving jobs to local people including IT professionals by tightening H1-B visa norms, which were being misused by companies by paying less to foreign professionals working in US. It is for companies to tackle the situation, and such situation they have undergone in previous years. It is not new for them. They know to tide over it or at least this time, need to learn how to tackle such situations.

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Understanding India: The future of higher education and opportunities



We are living in an age of rapid technological changes. There is no industry or part of our life that has been untouched and changed by technology and the field of education is no different. Students are going to witness remarkable changes in the way they consume educational content, experience their college life and overall teaching pedagogy that we have been following for years. With the smartphone and internet penetration increasing in rural areas, these changes won’t be limited to urban areas but will change lives of students in rural areas too.


This opens up a range of opportunities for enterprising people wanting to begin their entrepreneurial journey in the education sector. India is one of the fastest growing markets in many segments and education is one of them. Furthermore, the recruiters and the corporate world has identified that a huge proportion of our graduates are not employable and the dissatisfaction of the students with current education system too, has reached a peak level. This make the current time to be the best to do a startup in the education sector.

The education industry faces a series of challenges and business need to understand the nuances of the education system to fully tackle them but there are several key areas that are going to define the future of higher education and opportunities that exist for people in the education sector.

future of higher education and opportunities

Expect an increase in the adoption of online education

Internet access is becoming common and among many uses, one of the major uses of internet is for learning. From just being a source for references, Internet is becoming a place where students can even get degree courses. Even in terms of online education, skill based courses specifically will be more in demand.

Opportunity –

Courses that have received accreditation from some prominent institute will see an uptick in enrolments. Furthermore, a reduction in the cost would really be able to make these courses receive mass adoption. Capsule courses that focus on teaching one specific skill (ex – leadership, negotiation) will be in demand as well.


Research driven pedagogy will become the dominant one

Curriculum that will involve lots of research and hands on experience (read – experiential learning) will be the preferred ones. Class lectures, assignments, terms and the other things that constitute regular pedagogy will be replaced by more hands on approach.

Opportunity –

Startups that can enable institutes to start or easily operate their experiential learning efforts by either creating content or connecting students to relevant sources can expect to do well.


Virtual reality and augmented reality will play a key role

Imagine models popping out of books that better explain the given topic, or simulation of different topics in the VR world that children won’t only learn from but also interact with. While VR is still a few years away from reaching a critical mass, augmented reality is widely used already (Snapchat, Pokemon Go) and will make its way into the education sector even more prominently.

Opportunity –

Companies working on A.R. enabled books that better explain the content and are more engaging, V.R. based simulations of various processes will see mass adoption in the coming times.


Personalization will become more of a need than a nice to have

The nature of work as well as what we study are becoming dynamic in nature. Students in the same class might want to learn different topics from each other or at least would like to learn one topic more deeply than the other. Same course content, curriculum to serve hundreds of students at the same time may not work at all in the near future making way for personalized solutions for students.

Opportunity –

One clear opportunity in this space is adaptive learning. Startups that create systems with their own content that adapt to a learner’s needs or simply integrate with existing systems to make them more adaptive can expect positive response from the market in the coming days.


Artificial Intelligence and big data are going to influence the future classrooms in a big way

AI systems and big data are already influencing our day to day lives and the decisions we take. The foreseeable future of education is not without systems where AI is not integrated.

Opportunities –

Opportunities exist both on the macro (ex – finding why a course sees decline in engagement after a certain time) and micro level (ex – intelligent bots that interact with students to increase engagement or assess their performance) with regards to AI and big data in the education field.

future of higher education and opportunities

Overall, the EdTech industry is booming and is witnessing a huge amount fresh entrepreneurs with great interest in the field. The question to be asked is whether these entrepreneurs will be able to serve the market well and continue to innovate at the rapid pace at which education sector is moving. Those who will be able to do so will definitely emerge as the winners.

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Why teaching jobs are considered so underrated



Teaching jobs are one of the most underrated jobs. Want to know why? Read on.

Teacher’s Day just passed by this month. People, once again, like every year, could see their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter feeds filled with heart warming messages, images with glossy texts showing what life would be like without teachers, messages filled with regards, messages filled with regrets for not listening to one’s teachers, messages expressing love, admiration and so much more.

Here are a few samples : –

“Thank you mam for making me the person I am today. “

“Your teachings that seemed boring at the time is the only thing helping me progress me in life now. “

All the respect, love, admiration teachers seem to get on teacher’s day might fool one into thinking that it is one of the best jobs in the world but that’s not the case usually (even when teaching is indeed one of the best jobs in the world).

Teaching jobs, professor jobs require one to be disciplined (shouldn’t that be a default, especially when you have to discipline several children yourself), hardworking and most importantly one needs to have an affinity towards constant learning, routine life, public speaking and more.

Now let’s discuss why teaching jobs are considered to be one of the most underrated professions in India. A profession is called underrated when people (or majority of them) fail to see the value it provides in terms of compensation, respect, lifestyle etc.

There are many things that have led to the perception of teaching being an average job, but the biggest cause is the teachers themselves, not all, but the specific ones who chose this career not out of passion but just because they couldn’t settle in any other profession. Teaching is often the “Plan B’ for majority of people and as a result, many people don’t prefer teaching as their first profession and end up undermining the profession.

Another reason people undermine the profession is because of the conception around the pay teachers and professors receive, but the truth is entirely different. Initial compensation is low like most of the fields , especially if you are starting as a school teacher but you start getting a handsome pay as you move up the ladder. As far as the compensation for professors is concerned, you just need to look up the numbers yourself and you won’t be left disappointed.

teaching jobsBut one more instance when a profession is considered underrated is when people underestimate the hard work that the profession requires. And if that is the reason you undermine teaching as a profession, here are a few things that will change your perception : –

Why Teaching Jobs are Underrated

Teaching itself is changing as a profession

Thanks to the advancements in the fields of Smart Classes, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Labs, Mobile Apps and more, the role of teacher is always changing. It is not one of those professions where one can stay relevant doing what he or she did 5 years ago. In an age when people are debating about whether teachers will be replaced my machines or not, a continuous efforts towards learning and upgrading oneself needs to come as a default to teachers today, which, to be honest, is a hard thing to foster in real life.

You have to go beyond your formal role

Building on top of the topic mentioned in the first point, machines might not be able to replace teachers because of one single reason – a real teacher’s job goes beyond teaching and assessment. For lots of students, teachers and professors are their sole source for life-issues related counselling, motivation, validation and sometimes even friendship. That’s the reason students stay in touch with their teacher even when they have graduated from their classes a long time back. This part of the job is not mentioned on paper but comes as a default and is one task that simply cannot be and should not be avoided.

You are probably doing 25-30 jobs at a time

No classroom is uniform in terms of quality of the students. In each classrooms, there are students who might be excelling in academics while some might be doing a phenomenal job in terms of co curricular activities while there are some children who might be disadvantages socially, economically or physically. At the end of the day, all these students are unique individual and to foster their learning in the right manner, you have to customize your teaching accordingly. While it’s not a mandate, but you need to give time to each student individually and understand their needs. That is why teaching a classroom of 25-30 students at a time is often comparable to doing 25-30 jobs.

You have long hours and work that you have to take to your home

When people think about jobs where workers have to work long hours,toiling away their nights in front of computers, people usually think of people in media or ad industry, coders at tech companies, agents working in the customer service domain and more. While teachers don’t have to sit for that long in their workplace, that is, schools, to do their work, they often have to bring their work to their homes. When tests are to be checked, or a new topic has to be introduced, teachers often spend hours working even when the official hours are over. If you want to get into the teaching field thinking you will be home by afternoon and then you can resume with your normal life, you might want to reconsider your career options.

Despite all the hardships, teachers job is a rewarding one in many ways. It’s one of those noble professions where you get respect ( at least in the longer term), decent money and a chance to actually contribute to the society in a meaningful way.

It’s completely wrong to undermine teaching as a profession because teachers build the future by building the ones who are the future themselves. When such an important task is part of your key responsibility areas, one simply cannot emphasize enough on the importance of teachers and the roles that they play in our lives and in our society.

Want to learn more about various career prospects? Read here.


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