Now is admissions time. Every parent is frantically looking for the best college or school for their kids. 98%, 90% – that’s all you hear these days. 75% or 80% is almost like you failed! Either you need to be super smart or super rich to get an admission. What happens to all those that aren’t great at everything? Who are the urban poor but have an aspiration to become something?

Have you ever wondered how many schools and colleges we have in India?

In the last few days, I spent a lot of time researching education in India. Initially, it was only to understand the market size but as I digged deeper it brought out revelations that really shocked me.

Did you know that entire India only has 1.3 lakh schools that go all the way to 10th grade? US with its meer 300 million population has much more than that! Seeing these numbers just made we realize how really backward we are? On one side we are saying technology, Edutech, Fintech, Foodtech but the number of educated people in India just don’t add up. Even if I am optimist and say that every school will have 100 students passing out (which offcourse is a joke because 60% apparently dropout), it’s still only around 100 million. Isin’t this just insane!

One of my colleague’s son just completed his 10th. His percentage was over 75% and is interested taking up science in PUC but all admissions are full. He isin’t getting an admission unless his parents pay 1 lakh upfront. His lady is a receptionist in my office with her husband being a painter. How can they afford that? The other colleges that charge lesser have a cutoff of 90%. The supply is skyrocketing and the demand just isin’t increasing. Now the boy is being told to take arts, because those are the only seats available. This is just 1 example, but I am sure there are thousands of kids at various stages that take up a course that they aren’t interested in because that’s all they get.

Going further, the e-commerce sector assumed that their market size was a 100 million, when in reality it is only 20-30 million. I totally believe that because we only have 33 million going beyond 12th grade. Now I don’t mean that only educated people use the Amazons and Flipkarts of the world but here I am talking about basic education till the 10th/12th grade.

This really makes me wonder about all the market sizes and marketplaces we talk about!

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