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1Mby1M Incubation Radar 2014: Easyskillz, New Delhi

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 25th 2014 provides online training for professional skills like Android app development, HTML5, web development, Excel, SAP, project management, Six Sigma, and digital marketing. Training is delivered through pre-recorded videos of industry experts and on successful completion of the course, students receive certification from Indian Government skill certification agencies.

Easyskillz was founded in 2013 by Mahapavit Singh Anand, a post graduate in management from Bradford University. Prior to Easyskillz, Mahapavit worked with The Calculus, an Indian consultancy for overseas education. The idea for Easyskillz was born when Mahapavit read that about 75% of Indian graduates are unemployable due to lack of key professional skills. The situation was worse off in the IT education field where 92% of graduates were deemed unemployable.

Lack of quality higher education in India was a key factor for the huge gap in skill development. To bridge this gap, Mahapavit founded Easyskillz, a platform for affordable and convenient online training in professional skills. The surge in broadband penetration in India meant skill development solutions could easily be delivered online to millions of Indians.
Graduates looking to upgrade their professional skills can subscribe or buy a course on Easyskillz, go through the course, complete the course online, and take a certification test at a local test center.

Easyskillz sources the content through a revenue sharing model with industry experts. They provide the experts with a platform where they can share and monetize their expertise. It allows them to plan, create, and publish courses as well as connect with students.

Their top target segments include IT graduates, IT professionals, entrepreneurs, and corporates. Its main value proposition is that at a reasonable cost, it allows students to gain the required expertise and skills within a few hours from leading experts in the industry rather than spend huge amounts of money studying for years at a college.

Easyskillz gained initial traction through partnerships with job portals. Other competitors in the online skills training space include Edureka and Simplilearn. They claim their competitive positioning and key differentiation points are their price, convenience, better content, government certification, and a 100% money back guarantee.

It will also be competing with online professional training players like Pluralsight and Trainsignal (recently acquired by Pluralsight for $23.6 million) that also focus on the Indian market. Another key competitive force that Easyskillz will have to deal with is massively open online courses (MOOCs) like edX offering high value courses for free.

The average price of courses at Easyskillz is $50. The certification fee is $25 for Indian residents and $100 for international residents. The company has reached revenue stage.

According to their estimates, the number of IT graduates in India is 7.5 million, IT professionals is 10 million, and the number of urban SME entrepreneurs is 25 million. The total available market (TAM) in these segments translates to $2.1 billion.

According to Mahapavit, if you add the Rs. 25000 crore ($3.1 billion) IT corporate training market, the TAM for Easyskillz is $5.2 billion. Of course, as a market entry strategy, this market needs to be parsed into sub-segments with specific gaps where a fledgling company can build a business. One such arena is IT professionals working on old technologies looking to get trained in more contemporary areas.

The company is 100% bootstrapped. They are not currently looking for funding but may consider equity and debt funding should the need arise. There is a fair bit of validation work yet to be done, and that’s the company’s current focus. It’s an extremely competitive market with a tremendous over-supply of free products. The bar for a company to carve out a position with a paid product is high.

Easyskillz is working on figuring out how to cross that bar.

This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Incubation Radar 2014

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