Why UPSC prep is ₹8,000 Cr business? ⬇️
Massive upside to only a few >>> average outcome to most
Welcome to the 158th edition of the GrowthX Newsletter. Every Tuesday & Thursday I write a piece on startups & business growth. Today’s piece is going to 95,300+ operators & leaders from startups like Google, Stripe, Swiggy, Razorpay, CRED & more
13 Lac students appeared for UPSC'23 🙇🏻
14,624 were eligible to proceed for mains 🤯
Why UPSC prep is a ₹8,000 Cr business? ⬇️
Quick context 🗓
I was speaking to a close friend who just cracked the prelims for UPSC which happened on 28th May. This post triggered right after.
The UPSC prep is a huge ecosystem 🥺
Most aspirants fill the form for the sake of it & you compete with the top 20K real studious aspirants. But, this does not mean only 20K of them spend money & time on UPSC test prep.
Enter the wormhole of money💰
Only 1 out of 10 UPSC aspirant has not taken any coaching to crack the exam. An average coaching class can cost from 36K to as much as 2L per year.
Let's make napkin math 📝
Pessimistically, 70% of aspirants take up some form of coaching, assuming the average aspirant spends 90k (live sessions + mock tests), the overall number comes to around ₹8,000 Cr for 13L aspirants.
So, why UPSC prep is a ₹8,000 Cr business? ⬇️
1/ Your bachelor’s degree won't matter 🎓
This is a level-playing exam for most students. You are being graded on a single-question paper format and there are no incentives for being an engineer/doctor/arts or humanities student.
2/ It's orbit changing 🪐
UPSC exams open up 24 different civil services jobs from IPS, IRS, IFS & a lot others. For students, it changes their life pre/post-clearing the UPSC. It's transformational for the social esteem of their immediate family/ friends.
3/ The odds give a dopamine 🧠
Just because it's almost impossible to clear the UPSC, the exam attracts the best EQ+IQ talent around the country without spending a single $0 on advertising the exam itself.
4/ The exam form fee is a joke 🪙
In a country where it takes ₹50 to order an Aadhaar PVC Card, it takes ₹100 to sit for the prelims of the UPSC exam. No wonder they have 1.3 million aspirants.
5/ Positioned as a calendar event 🗓
You will find most aspirants that get into the UPSC prepare even before they pick ’s degree. The plan it few years in advance as if giving UPSC exam is core part of who they want to be.
6/ High stakes attract crowds 🏃🏻
An audience that's ready to do "whatever" it takes to crack these exams. No wonder, aspirants take loans to buy coaching plans & even keep family gold / farm as collateral to even support their fees. It's a "need" not a "want" event.
7/ Upside driven learning experience 📝
The fees being paid are for a massive upside if the aspirant cracks the exam - it feels peanuts. Ofcourse only a percent get's it but how many products can even offer such a massive upside?
That's all for now ❤️
In a year, when I look back at this article - I won't be surprised if that 13L number has gone even up. Interesting to see a product able to build a really large business when only a few users have massive upside.
If you liked this issue, you will like our YouTube channel - we recently did an interesting breakdown of How DMart disrupted India’s 8,000 Crore retail market?
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