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Coursera Plans To Expand In The Indian Market

Online learning platform Coursera, which raised $49.5 million (Rs 328 crore) last month, is doubling down on CourseraIndia, with the aim to introduce hundreds of new courses in technology, data science and business in the coming year.

“We expect the next 12 months to be our greatest year of growth yet,” said Daphne Koller, CEO at Coursera, who added that India is Coursera’s third largest market after the US and China, with over one million users.

Indians represent enrollments in technology and data courses even relative to the high popularity of these topics worldwide. The Indian learners are also younger than our global average, the company said.

Flush with a new round of funding, the company, like many other Valley-based startups, is setting up an office in India, focused on marketing and building partnerships.

It recently hired Kabir Chadha, a former McKinsey consultant,as the country manager for India.

To start off, Coursera has partnered with Indian School of Business, whose first course attracted 50,000 visitors. But it wants to do more.

“We currently seek corporate partners in India (startups too) that are interested in working with university partners to help develop career relevant content,” said Koller. For example, online retailer Snapdeal provides the final project for a course called Business Foundations Specialization,which is taught by Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania. After taking courses on accounting, finance,operations and marketing, the learners develop a business plan based on a case study proposed by Snapdeal.

“Top performers in that project have the opportunity to have their projects reviewed by business leaders at Snapdeal,” said Koller, who co-founded Coursera in 2012 along with Stanford University colleague Andrew Ng. Thetwo taught computer science at Stanford University.

Coursera’s new round is focused on job-relevant learning opportunities, something that Indian startups are already onto. For instance, there is Simplilearn and Edureka, both of which create their own content, unlike Coursera, which aggregates content.

Online education in India is expected to grow annually at a compounded rate of 17.50% by 2019, according to a report by US-based research firm Technovia.

Coursera’s latest round was led by New Enterprise Associates. Other investors included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and International Finance Corporation.

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