Startup drives executive education growth

An Indian education startup is hoping for growth in the executive education markets of India, the Middle East, Africa, China and Latin America. By partnering with leading business schools and delivering online courses, Eruditus is shaking up executive education.

Eruditus is the name of a Mumbai based startup which has gained investments from venture capitalist Sequoia India and Bertelsmann India Investments. Eruditus hopes to disrupt the executive education market by delivering online courses in partnership with leading business schools.

“The executive education market in regions outside the US and Europe have traditionally been underserved by elite US and European business schools,” co-founder and director Ashwin Damera, who earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2005, told the Financial Times (FT). He thinks there is huge potential for growth in India, the Middle East, Africa, China and Latin America. These regions have large populations with a high number of ambitious working professionals and companies that have the money to invest in their employees.

According to the FT, Damera estimates that the online professional education market is worth 280 billion UD dollars globally, of which 15 per cent is for high-level executive education. In 2018, the company enrolled 10,000 students and it wants to triple this number this year.

Eruditus partners with schools, including Harvard, MIT Sloan, Columbia and Berkeley Haas, to offer small private online courses (Spocs). Compared to other platforms like Coursera and edX, which offer free or low-cost massive open online courses (Moocs), where the dropout rate is at about 96 per cent, Eruditus claims an 80 per cent completion rate.

Eruditus’ success might have something to do with the money it charges. The courses are not cheap and not completing them, would mean a considerable loss. A 15-week online certificate in leadership effectiveness, run with Insead, costs about 3,500 US dollars.




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