Coursera focuses on corporate training programmes for future growth

So far, Coursera has partnered with Indian School of Business and is aspires to get IITs and IIMs on its platform.

So far, Coursera has partnered with Indian School of Business and is aspires to get IITs and IIMs on its platform.

Mumbai: Global online education platform Coursera is focused on strengthening its enterprise business in India by partnering with more companies and educational institutions for its future growth, said a top company official.

Last year, the US-based company launched Coursera for Business, under which it curates online courses for companies as part of its corporate training programmes. Globally, the programme is used by 100 companies. In India, some of its corporate clients include Axis Bank Ltd, Infosys Ltd and Tata Communications Ltd.

In an interview with Mint, Rick Levin, senior advisor and former chief executive officer (CEO) of Coursera, said India is the second largest market for the company and the fastest growing one, registering a growth of around 35% annually.

“We would love to have IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) on our platform. It’s been difficult to have that happen. But that’s an aspiration. We would like to have local contents because markets like local contents,” he said.

So far, Coursera has partnered with Indian School of Business (ISB).

The company has over 2.5 million registered learners in India, and is adding about 60,000 learners every month to its platform.

Some of the popular courses in India include computer science, machine learning and data science.

Levin, who was in India last week, said the main purpose of his visit to the country was to talk to Indian companies about Coursera’s curated programmes for enterprises.

“Today we have 2,200 courses from some of the best educational institutes in the world. We can now say whatever your employees need we can provide you. And where we can’t supply your needs we can go back to the universities and solicit new contents,” he said.

Levin also pointed out that despite internet and bandwidth issues, India is a bullish market for mobile learning due to steady rise in mobile internet usage and greater penetration of smartphones in the country.

“We are witnessing consistent growth in learners using mobile to access Coursera platform. Today we have over 25% of learners exclusively on mobile, and more than 96% of our courses can be completed entirely on the mobile platform—both Android and iOS,” he said.

Started in 2012 by two Stanford University professors Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, Coursera has around 28 million learners globally.

Apart from Coursera, other foreign online education companies such as Udacity, eDX and Khan Academy have gained wide popularity. Indian firms like EduReka and Simplilearn are also active in the space.

“We face competition in both the consumer and enterprise markets, but we strongly believe that innovation and our university partners are our greatest differentiators. We are applying science and machine learning to build personalized discovery and content recommendations for our learners, much like a career counsellor,” Levin said.


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