This article reflects my opinion and some back of the envelope calculations on the emerging digital medical education market in India.
Here are the potential market opportunities that exist for digital first platforms - Marrow and Unacademy:
Taking the current market pricing of Marrow and Unacademy for the 12 month plan:
None of these companies post their cash flows online, so I have to make a few assumptions regarding their adoption:
Things I have missed out:  Students in main cities also buy these plans  These platforms often offer discounts ranging from 20% to 50%.  Students often also split costs and share the platform accounts
Above is a rough graph on the ever growing digital medical education space
The space is now teeming more than ever with competitors. Now Marrow and Prepladder are not the only ones in the space. The established offline players have also gone online since the COVID lockdown. Main ones are:
Above is the package offered by Dr.Bhatias e-gurukul - 16,112 INR
The offline players have some serious advantages as they are more experienced institutions:
Dr. Bhatia's e-gurukul is 50% cheaper than Marrow
|Brand||Cost for video only plan (INR)||Link|
|e-Gurukul (from Dr.Bhatia)||16,000||https://www.egurukulapp.com/package/plan/NEET-PG-Program|
|eMedicoz (from DAMS)||30,000||https://emedicoz.com/web/Courses/live_course_detail?id=642&title=DAMS%20Master%20Plan|
|A price band comparison of all the top brands|
Above is an example of venture capitalist investment into unacademy
Venture capitalists are big investment groups that invest money into startups. Think Zuckerburgs Facebook ventures or Reid Hoffmans Greylock ventures
Unacademy acquired prepladder sometime last year, read here in a report by Techcrunch for $50 million. This is exactly abnormal in the startup ecospace but is very surprising considering that Prepladder catered to medical student coaching exclusively online. This means that Unacademy now has courses all the way from National Eligibility Entrance Test for Undergraduates to Postgraduate entrance exam to USMLE.
Marrow also has the same story, Japan's M3 group acquired its parent company Neuroglia health for an undisclosed amount, read the story here. Marrow specializes exclusively in the MBBS education content and owns an app called Dailyrounds that caters to 450,000 doctors.
VC money is key for a few reasons:
Expertise in technology and healthcare seem to be mutually exclusive in this STEM education obsessed Indian education ecosystem. So when offline players such as DAMS tried to get into the virtual club they faced a lot of problems related to execution. This is in contrast to Marrow and Prepladder who have in house technical expertise related to execution.
Above image is that stark contrast between the apps of Prepladder(Now Unacademy) and eMedicoz(by DAMS). Though they deliver nearly the same content, the User Experience is significantly is better on Prepladder.
VC Money brings an expertise in marketing as well, targeting niche groups of students who are most likely to buy their plans. Here's basics of the approach:
The digital medical education space seems to be heating with acquisitions to mergers to evolving approaches. The gap between digital first players (Marrow and Prepladder) and offline integrated players (DAMS and DBMCI) is reducing fast. All in all, this field is heating up and worth watching.
Poorna's blog 2020-PRESENT. All the opinions on this blog are opinions only. I have no sponsors and I am not affliated with any platforms or ventures.