Education is a fundamental right of Indian citizens. But today, the education sector is dominated by private players, right from lower primary to post graduate levels. Education is a huge business like any other and follows all principles of the corporate world to survive and thrive. Given the enormous size of the industry in a country like ours, revenue forecasting is of utmost importance to keep students and staff happy. Astro-strategist Hirav Shah helps established institutions with sound advice based on astrology and corporate expertise
Education is a basic right in India. However, today, irrespective of villages and cities, educational institutions are mostly private-owned. There was a time when there were schools run by the government. But the numbers have dwindled to bare minimum and the private education industry is a well-entrenched industry that provides education for primary, mid school, higher school and advanced studies.
Of course, all educational institutions need to get state accreditation and maintain basic standards for the maintenance of schools and colleges. There are several criteria that the institutions have to meet to make them ‘education ready’.
Education in India is today aping the western world, where the higher institutions are privatised to make sure that competition in the field provides better education opportunities for students at all levels.
At one level, the gurukul model of imparting education is being promoted and various prestigious institutions are being set up to provide equal opportunities for students. However, the main chunk of education is taken up by private institutes. They need accreditations from various bodies like NAAC, AICTE and other bodies to continue imparting education at graduation and post-graduation levels.
Private institutions often boast of state-of-art facilities, Phd qualified staff, high quality infrastructural facilities and good rating, so a student can get economic returns once they enter the job market. In fact, ensuring campus selections is another major draw for highly accredited institutions.
Why opting for private education helps students these days
1) Private school graduates are more likely to enrol in post graduate colleges. This is more of a chain effect. A student who goes to private school and then graduates from an accredited private college will help them gain admissions into postgraduate colleges, owing to their pedigree.
2) Unlike state run colleges, private colleges provide a variety of opportunities that lead to study at universities.
3) It is a fact of today’s times that private school graduates are likely to get more salaries than their counterparts in government institutions. In fact, more and more private institutions boast of high induction rates during the campus selection season. The candidates are also offered higher salaries.
4) With Indian middle class and urban middle class having expendable incomes, the high fees and eventual costs are no deterrent for parents who want their children to have the best.
5) Networking. It is another area that ups the chances of students from accredited colleges to survive in the outer world, once they graduate.
6) Given high competition levels, each private institute tries to come up with study format that is unique while being in sync with the overall curriculum prescribed by governing bodies.
7) Most private institutions give a lot of importance to practical work and case studies, so the students are ready for the job market.
8) The colleges and places of higher education provide thorough knowledge of what to expect from hiring companies and train them in all aspects, so the induction levels are high.
9) Another important aspect is the tie-up with international institutes, so the students are exposed to international best practices and study processes.
10) There are student exchanges, workshops, seminars, student clubs and various other co-curricular activities that provide holistic education to students.
11) In keeping with the changing times and student focus levels, private institutions are adopting various methods where they are integrating usage of internet based applications to keep them involved. Instead of pedantic teaching methods, the professors today provide byte-sized information, where students are forced to come prepared for their classes and get involved in class work.
12) Research is another area that most private educational institutions are focusing on. India being a large country, it needs indigenous data on various subjects. Encouraging students to take up research is huge in private institutions.
Challenges of new education system
a) Teacher availability: This is one of the most major problems faced by all educational institutions and more so private institutions. It is an ongoing challenge for them to sieve and find the best professors in the market who are well-educated themselves and have a research background. More than anything, the enthusiasm of the teacher to impart quality education to students is of utmost importance.
b) Student employability: Private colleges are judged based on the employment opportunities they provide to their students. Their rank goes up in the overall education network. Not just employability, but ensuring high salaries from top-class organisations is a huge problem for private institutes.
c) Fight for funding: Again accreditation plays an important role here. Funds are released to institutions that are well-placed on the rank chart. Else, small and medium institutes fade out with time. Private colleges with deep pockets do well to stay on top in the rank chart.
d) Constant innovation: As mentioned above, private institutions have to constantly invent and reinvent themselves. Changes in industries directly impact what the institutes should include in their curriculum and this needs resources.
e) Teaching the Gen Z and Gen Alpha students: The Gen Z and Gen Alpha generation is low on focus. Hence, it is a huge task for private institutions to keep the students engaged in class work and get them to imbibe the subject matter. It means using various student-focused technologies, which require huge investments and tie-ups with tech innovators in the education sector.
f) Online courses: Online courses are huge disruptors in the education industry. Students can now opt for courses from Ivy League colleges like Harvard, often free of cost. And in times of pandemic, online classes have been the source of connect between students and faculty. New technology always means investment.
g) Research problems: Of late, educational institutions are placing great emphasis on research in varied subjects. Research means constant inflow of money as students need the labs, the ecosystem to carry out research in a systematic way.
h) Conferences, seminars, symposiums: Unlike in the past, where annual events were held, today, conferences, seminars and symposiums are held with developments in a particular field. Conducting them and calling in visiting faculty and industry experts means pumping in money.
i) Rankings: For private educational institutions to have a reckoning in the market, ranking is of vital importance. To maintain their rank or increase their ranking, the institution has to meet standards set by governing bodies on various indices. This also means spending money to iron out various issues.
j) Expansion: Educational institutions that become famous tend to look at expansion in their state or neighbouring states and at times, pan India. This requires huge investments as all branches must meet similar standards.
k) Students taking off to foreign institutions: Despite heavy investments, a good number of students take off to foreign countries for higher education. Though India has large population, this leads to intense competition on home front, which means the institutes should be offering that extra something to retain students.
The estimated growth of education industry
The education sector in India was estimated at $91.7 billion in FY18 and was expected to reach $101.1 billion in FY19. But the industry is expected to reach $1.96 billion by 2021 with around 9.5 million users.
On the other hand, the market size of the educational services industry in the US has grown 1.1 per cent per year on an average between 2006 and 2021.
What’s the need for revenue forecasting and where does astro-strategist Hirav Shah come in:
Education is as good as any business in today’s times. Either the institutes are set-up by players with deep pockets or who have trusts to support the daily functioning of the business.
As we have seen in the challenges faced by the education sector, there are various reasons due to which revenue forecasting becomes rather crucial for the education industry.
Right from maintaining their rank, to keeping students happy, to producing quality manpower for industries, to developing as research hubs, it’s all about money and money and more money.
If the institution cannot pump in money at any given point in time, it has to face the consequences by falling off the ranking and this will adversely affect its future and its credibility in the market.
Unlike in the past, the parents and students want and demand ROI or complete return on investment which puts further pressure on educational institutions.
It is in situations like these that astro-strategist Hirav Shah helps institutions. He is a one-man army who deep-dives into the business and corporate aspects of educational institutions and comes up with solutions that best suits a particular institution.
His knowledge of real estate, corporate world and various businesses, make him an ideal man to come up with estimated income plan for institutions, both old and new.
However, his services are incomplete without a thorough study of one’s astrological chart. By astrological chart, Hirav Shah is not into exaggerated mumbo-jumbo. He merely uses the indicators and potential of the customer and gives a specially customised solution to his clients.