Is India the new place to be? With GDP rising year on year (6.5% in the past twelve months – compare that with the UKs feeble (as in zero) growth over the same period. India is rapidly emerging as the new economic superpower. Pundits are predicting that Educational Technology will be driven by the Indian market in the next couple of decades.
While it’s certainly true that almost every UK publisher either is currently or has in the past outsourced digital production to Indian companies – with occasionally mixed results – they have been perceived more as “production lines” rather than an innovators, in the same way that printing houses make books but don’t go about actually publishing them. As far as India is concerned a new breed of educational entrepreneurs might mean that this is all changing. Digital is where the market is going, and India has the capacity and know-how. And more Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. What’s more, English speakers outnumber those in all of western Europe and there are more than twice the number of English speakers in India than in the UK (source: Times of India). If Greece can generate such internationally-known ELT publishers as Express, why not India?
In fact Asia overall is the place for growth in ELT right now, and has the highest growth rate for digital ELT products in the world at 21.0% . Revenues will climb to $1.4 billion by 2016, according to a new report by Ambient Insight called “The Asia Market for Digital English Language Learning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis.” In this report, five-year revenue forecasts are broken out for South Korea, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and New Zealand (New Zealand?). A free Abstract is available here. The price of the full report is eye-wateringly expensive, but the abstract costs nothing and contains plenty of fascinating statistics and details.