ELearning Market Update (July 09)

This month we take a look at the elearning market from an offshoring perspective and the growth in elearning in China.

ValueNotes, a research firm that studies the outsourcing industry, has recently completed a research exercise looking at opportunities in the elearning outsourcing industry for Indian companies.

ValueNotes estimate that revenues from the Indian elearning offshoring industry stand at approximately $341 million (US dollars) at the end of calendar year 2008.

They forecast that the economic recession will slow the growth in the industry for the next 6-8 quarters, but that the market will recoup and grow much faster, until 2012. Their estimates suggest that the elearning offshoring industry will grow at a CAGR of 15% till 2012, though growth will be more subdued till 2010. ValueNotes estimate the market size will grow to $603 million by the end of calendar year 2012.

Interestingly the Indian market seems to be as fragmented as the market in Europe and the US, the report estimates that there are no more than 35 elearning providers who have more than 100 employees. There are an additional 100 plus Indian outsourcers identified by the report. That would explain why we all get so many calls from Indian companies offering to outsource work.

It will be interesting to see if the forecasts turn out to be accurate. We have found that whilst certain aspects of elearning can be offshored, the liaison with subject matter experts, the learning design and the scripting are best undertaken locally or at least by people very familiar with the prevailing culture.

A recent recent on elearning in China estimates that the corporate elearning market is now worth $141m which at first sight appears relatively low. However, the report estimates that this market is growing at 40% a year.