• News
  • Columns
  • Interviews
  • BW Communities
  • Events
  • BW TV
  • Subscribe to Print
BW Businessworld

Edtech With A Global Reach

Arjun Nair’s stress on getting the unit economics right saw Great Learning continuing its record of being profitable even during a difficult year for most tech startups

Photo Credit :


How was 2022 for tech businesses?
 This is a difficult year not just for startups but for most tech businesses.

 It is a natural correction
after the boost businesses got from the easy supply of money, as governments across the world
printed currency to keep consumption high and interest rates low. Now, of course, money
supply has to be reined in to control inflation. Startups that did not get their unit economics right
are facing pain because they never had a solid business model to begin with.
In our case, Great Learning has been profitable throughout its 8-year history before the
acquisition. As a startup, we had to deal with the same challenges that many companies have in
quickly adapting to become cash flow neutral.

Are layoffs the right thing to do to tackle funding winter?

While we did not do layoffs, we stopped hiring in certain areas early on to make us lean. Right
now, however, we are again hiring in certain areas and expect to add headcount over the next
few months. Finally, education is also generally counter-cyclical to economic recession. Most
people tend to upskill to become job relevant when they fear layoffs. We do not see a demand
issue and expect to grow.
The market will take some time for the excess money supply to disappear and the correction to

Where do you foresee your company in 2023?

In India, while we already have a sizable business, we continue to see growth opportunities for
certain customer segments. Great Learning expects to continue growing in 2023 despite a likely
global recession. We believe we are well-positioned to continue helping learners upskill around
the world, especially when they have to differentiate themselves to stay relevant and keep their

What are the geographies you intend to venture into?

We plan to continue expanding in regions such as the Indian subcontinent, North America, Latin
America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. We are focused on both organic and
inorganic growth. We have already made a couple of acquisitions and are looking at making
more in the future. We have been offering programmes across various business, technology,
and interdisciplinary domains that drive the digital economy. The plan is to now also offer
courses in areas such as renewable energy, sustainability and climate change.