Coursera’s Big Push for India


California based online education firm Coursera is betting big on translators for their courses across the world, to make its courses accessible to as many local language speakers possible.

Founded by AI pioneer Andre Ng, Coursera currently partners with universities in Spain and Russia who teach courses in Russian and Spanish.

“India is a big market for us after North America. The real push towards online education is going to happen from the tier 2 cities in India and we are preparing ourselves to capture that growth,” Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO, Coursera, told TheBigScope.  

The online education firm although admits that there is a huge dearth of translators and universities that can collaborate with online education firms to take regular courses taught in English to wider audiences.  

Maggioncalda also points out that they have rejigged the UI/UX of Coursera for a mobile view and courses can now be downloaded even over lower bandwidth in smaller towns.

Maggioncalda points out that with falling data prices and increasing smartphone penetration in India, more people students from smaller towns will access courses on online platforms. A recent report from Google and KPMG noted that edtech market might touch $1.9 Billion globally by 2021 and India alone will see 8x growth in the next 5 years.

For Coursera, India is the second largest market in terms of revenue and course completion rate is higher in the country; about 60% of Indian students completed their paid courses. The completion rate is higher for business courses and retention rate is 92% for for degree programs in India.

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India also has a high proportion of young learners at 92% as compared to global average of 82%. What bothers Maggioncalda is the lesser number of female learners in India. 77% of Coursera students are male while 23% are female.

Maggioncalda and his team are trying to birdge that gap. Recently, they partnered with Goldman Sachs Foundation to launch a program to help 10,000 women become entrepreneurs through a global peer-to-peer network.


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