Hero Group has launched a new edtech startup, Hero Vired, aimed at tapping students who have completed schooling.

“India faces a unique employability paradox where there’s a shortage of highly skilled professionals, and yet graduates find it difficult to secure suitable jobs due to lack of skill sets that are imperative for the industry,” said Akshay Munjal, founder and chief executive officer of Hero Vired, part of the $5 billion Hero Group.

Munjal said the investment in Hero Vired has come from the parent company.

“The (Munjal) family has supported the venture with upwards of $10 million,” he told ET. “That’s one of the good things about being part of a large group. You don’t need to worry about your bank balance.”

Its learning experience platform offers interactive support, peer-to-peer communication and engagement-driven online instructor-led classes, Hero Vired said in a statement. It has partnered with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, and New York-based Codecademy, an e-learning coding website. It is expected to offer a mix of programmes for professionals and higher education aspirants, the statement said.

The promoters of Hero Group forayed into education in 1964. The company set up the BML Munjal University in 2014.

Although the Covid-19 pandemic adversely impacted the traditional education sector, it fuelled the growth of and funding for the edtech industry.

“The user base, reach and engagement on these edtech learning platforms increased manifold on the back of closure of schools and test preparation centres,” according to EY’s April report on online learning platforms.

In the last 12 months, India’s edtech industry has seen strong financial and strategic investor activity. Investments (by value) in 2020 grew by 460% from 2019, the highest in terms of value till date, according to the report. The year was also characterised by the highest ever volume of consolidation and M&A activity. “Backed by strong funding, large incumbent platforms chose the M&A route to accelerate their growth and expand into ancillary offerings,” the EY report stated.

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