How Edtech Is Impacting The Kota Coaching Business

Kota Coaching Business

The evolution of internet facilities gave rise to edtech companies that are heavily impacting Kota Coaching Business. How? For that you need to think from the perspective of students, mainly teenagers.

Kota Coaching Business

Imagine a scenario where you are given two options for coaching. First, enroll in an offline coaching center far from your home, take a room for rent to stay there, and buy three meals per day till the completion of the course. Now look at the second option where you are asked to enroll in an online coaching with lesser fee than its offline counterpart and study in the comfort zone of your home.

Which one would you choose?

Probably the second option. Right? That’s the case of Edtech’s impact on the Kota Coaching business.

Hold on! That’s not a complete story. What you have read above is just the tip of an iceberg. Yeah! The iceberg of cut throat competition… not only among students but also among online and offline coaching institutes.

Here comes the question- “How on earth is Edtech impacting the famous and decade-old Kota Coaching business?”

In this write-up we will unravel all the factors that are giving edtech enough power to impact Kota coaching business.

Stay tuned!

(A) Edtech Coaching vs Kota Coaching: A Brief Overview

First of all, let’s see how coachings offered by Edtech is different from that of Kota-

FactorsEdtech CoachingKota Coaching
AccessibilityCan be accessed globally, from anywhere with the help of good internet connection.Typically requires students to relocate to Kota.
FlexibilityOffers flexible schedules and self-paced learning.Often follows a rigorous, fixed schedule. 
PersonalizationAdaptive learning tailored to individual pace.More standardized teaching for large batches.
InteractionOnline forums, live chats, and video calls.Face-to-face interactions in a classroom setting.
FeedbackInstant feedback through online assessments.Direct and immediate feedback from experienced teachers.
CostMay be more cost-effective, minimal relocation costs.Involves costs for living in Kota and coaching fees.
Global ReachConnects students globally, diverse learning environment.Primarily attracts students from India, limited global exposure.
Technology IntegrationUtilizes multimedia, simulations, and online tools.Relies on traditional teaching methods with limited tech integration.
Learning ResourcesDigital resources are easily shared and updated. Primarily relies on printed materials and physical resources.
Edtech Coaching vs Kota Coaching

What did you infer from the above table? Edtech coachings are good. But why do people still prefer Kota coachings? Because it has established its fame over the decades for producing massive numbers of students who qualified national level examinations for medical (NEET, AIMS, etc.) and engineering (JEE).

We saw all this from a student’s perspective. In the next section we will compare them based on the business perspective. 

(B) Businesswise Comparison: Edtech vs Kota Coaching Business

Let’s see who is performing better businesswise-

Business AspectEdtech Coaching BusinessKota Coaching Business
Revenue GeneratedRs.3,846.53 crore Rs.5,000 crore per year
Average Fees taken from studentsRs.5,000 to Rs.80,000Rs.1.50 lakh to Rs.3 lakh
Market ReachGlobal reach, serving students worldwide.Primarily focused on the Indian market, with a national reach.
InfrastructureRelies heavily on digital platforms and technology.Physical infrastructure with classrooms and hostels in Kota.
Scale & VolumeCan scale rapidly due to online nature, handling large volumesLimited scalability due to physical constraints in Kota
Operating CostsMay have lower overheads with a virtual setup.Higher operating costs due to maintaining physical facilities.
Business ModelsSubscription-based or course-based revenue models.Typically relies on coaching fees and accommodation charges.
Marketing StrategyDigital marketing, SEO, and online presence are critical.Local and traditional marketing strategies, reputation-based
Competitive LandscapeFaces competition from various global and local platforms.Dominated by established coaching institutes in Kota.
Student DemographicsAttracts a diverse range of students with varied backgrounds.Mainly attracts students from India, often with a similar educational background
Business Comparison: Edtech vs Kota Coaching Business

Now, let’s compare their overall expenses-

Expense AspectsEdtech Coaching BusinessKota Coaching Business
Cost of InfrastructureLowHigh
Cost of FacultyLow High
Cost of MarketingHigh Low
Cost of OperationsLowHigh
Cost of TechnologyHighLow
Student EngagementLowHigh
Student RetentionLow High
Expenses Comparison: Expenses vs Kota Coaching Business

Here, I would like to especially point out the factor of student retention. Do you know how the Kota coaching business is able to retain its students? Due to these sky-high fees! Yes, once the student pays the massive amount of fee i.e. nearly Rs.1.5 lakh, then they have no choice for refund or switch to another coaching institute.

(C) Impact of Edtech on Kota Coaching Business

In the heart of Rajasthan’s Kota, where the air buzzes with dreams of IIT-JEE and NEET, the familiar rhythm of student life has returned after a two-year pause. Yet, beneath the surface, a transformation is underway, reshaping the landscape for traditional offline coaching institutes. 

Instead of students, it’s these institutes that find themselves in a competitive arena, contending with the growing influence of online platforms entering the physical realm.

The battle is intense, marked by strategies such as teacher poaching, enticing students with substantial discounts, all aimed at claiming a piece of the lucrative ₹1,200-crore Kota coaching business. 

Nitin Vijay, the founder and CEO of Motion, a key player in Kota’s coaching industry, rightly points out the cut-throat nature of this business, where even established institutes like FIITJEE, Narayana, and Chaitanya faced challenges.

Allen, a stalwart in offline coaching, now faces formidable competition from Unacademy, a major edtech platform. While Unacademy keeps admission figures under wraps, Physics Wallah (PW), another edtech player, proudly announces 16,000 closed admissions in two phases. 

With a goal to teach 25,000 students in Kota this year, PW’s Swapnil Sharma notes the palpable increase in student footfall.

As a resident, you witness the surge in student admissions, echoing the sentiments of Govind Maheshwari, director of Allen Institute, anticipating record-breaking numbers. Motion’s Nitin Vijay shares an exciting growth story, reporting a threefold increase in students and expecting a 20-25% rise in student footfall compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The coaching landscape in Kota, once seemingly static, is now navigating a dynamic and competitive shift, presenting both challenges and opportunities for those involved.

(D) Examples of Edtech Coachings

(E) Examples of Kota Coaching Institutes

  • Allen Career Institute
  • CareerPoint
  • Vibrant Academy
  • Nucleus Education
  • Resonance Eduventures Limited
  • Motion Education Limited
  • Akash
  • Bansal Classes Kota

(F) How Edtech is impacting the Kota Coaching business?

Edtech coachings

Here comes the most anticipated part of this write-up. The following points describe the latest tactics used by Edtech to impact the Kota coaching business-

(F.1) Navigating the Fee Landscape

Alright, let’s dive into the Kota coaching scene where traditional institutes are sticking to the script, charging about ₹1.5 lakh per student. Picture those classrooms with 200 to 250 students – pretty standard stuff, right? But here’s the new relief for students – enter edtech firms, shaking things up with discounted fees and more personalized classes. And that too at the comfort of your own home.

(F.2) Special Admission Schemes: A Game Changer

Ever heard about students getting into Unacademy for just ₹5,000? Yep, it happened! Unacademy had this cool scheme – if a student joined an institute, couldn’t get a fee refund, Unacademy said, “Hey, join us for ₹5,000!” The scheme’s closed now, but it gives you a peek into the strategies these edtech platforms are pulling. Physics Wallah (PW) also played a similar card, making the admission game more interesting.

(F.3) Financial Accessibility Driving Choices: Parents’ Smart Move

Meet the savvy parents in Kota going for Unacademy and PW not just for quality education but because, get this, it allowed them to educate both their children for the price of one. Now, that’s a financial win that deserves a nod. That’s just one example among the many.

(F.4) Industry Skepticism on Financial Feasibility

Now, let’s talk about the opinions of industry experts. RK Verma from Resonance says these moves are attention-grabbers, but they’re not sure how long they can keep it up. Allen’s Maheshwari, the seasoned voice, is waving the caution flag, saying businesses can’t keep sailing on losses forever.  The ongoing debate on the viability of this model raises questions about its long-term impact on the coaching ecosystem.

(F.5) Poaching in the Educational Arena

Let’s talk about the real factor that can retain a student. That’s none other than teachers! Afterall, the students join a coaching based on the quality of teachers. Basically teachers are the pillars of educational institutes… be it coaching, school, or college. In coaching institutes, you don’t go to acquire any degree but to gain knowledge. If the quality teachers aren’t available, then it makes no sense to attend such institutes.

Teachers poaching has become a common practice in the edtech and kota coaching business. One institute grabs teachers from another, sometimes overnight, cueing court cases and raising eyebrows. Allen’s Maheshwari spills the tea – it’s not just institutes; even students and parents play the legal card when their favorite teachers decide to switch teams.

(F.6) Financial Stakes and Teacher Exodus: The Money Talk

Now, let’s talk numbers. The financial stakes in teacher shuffles often hit the million-dollar mark. Unacademy’s Bhargava is playing it cool, saying the ₹20 crore offer rumors are a bit much, but there’s definitely some serious financial pull. Unacademy pulled in several top teachers from Allen, causing a stir. Allen’s director discreetly spills that 35 to 42 teachers said their goodbyes, potentially shaking up the student dynamics.

(F.7) Impact on Students: Challenges and Adaptation

For students, teacher transitions bring challenges. Former Allen students preparing for IIT-JEE expressed their discomfort when familiar teachers left, affecting their confidence. The impact extends beyond teaching styles; students find it challenging to adapt to new instructors. In the race to retain teachers, institutes resort to financial incentives, a practice bluntly acknowledged by Motion’s Vijay.

So, how do institutes keep their star teachers from jumping ship? Simple – they flash some extra cash. Motion’s Vijay breaks it down – they keep teachers by offering a bit more in their paychecks.

(G) Controversies in Kota

Success Rate in Kota

As you know- Kota, a city in Rajasthan, India, is known for its coaching centers that prepare students for competitive exams. Apart from the issues discussed above, Kota has become infamous and has been in the news for several controversies in recent years. Here are some of the controversies. Let’s look at them one by one-

  • Student Suicides: Kota has been in the news for the high number of student suicides in the city. Last year, 26 students allegedly committed suicide in Kota, where children come from across the country to prepare for competitive tests like the National Entrance Exam (JEE) for admission to top engineering colleges. Recently, an 18-year-old student preparing for JEE allegedly hanged herself at her home in Kota.
  • Health Issues: A report by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences revealed that students in Kota suffer from various health issues such as self-harm, substance abuse, bullying, sexual experimentation, sleep-related issues, loneliness, weight loss, acidity, and anxiety.
  • Controversial Statues: The statues of former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and ex-Cabinet Minister Shanti Dhariwal at the Kota Museum have sparked controversy due to allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds in the Chambal Riverfront Project

(H) Wrapping Up the Impact of Edtech on Kota Coaching Business

Edtech’s impact on the Kota Coaching business has been multi-faceted. Initially, the pandemic caused a dip in student enrollment at offline coaching centers. However, as restrictions eased, these centers are making a resurgence, particularly in Kota, where institutes anticipate a surge in student registrations after board examinations. 

The teaching methodology has evolved significantly with the integration of technology, as coaching centers now leverage edtech for live interactive classes. 

In recent months, a high-pitched battle has broken out between these coaching academies and a swarm of heavily funded edtech giants, such as Unacademy, Toppr, and PhysicsWallah, which have also entered the competition. Notably, coaching centers are adapting to this digital era by hiring tech talent to develop apps and systems for conducting interactive classes.

This tech-driven transformation has also prompted a shift in the business model, as coaching centers now offer a blend of online and offline courses to cater to diverse learning preferences.

The course of time will reveal who will win this battle- Edtech startups or Kota Coaching Business!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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