‘Google Classroom’: The India Challenge

Code : MM0083

Year :

Industry :Technology & Communications

Region : Global

Teaching Note:Available

Structured Assignment :Not Available

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GOOGLE CLASSROOM – BACKGROUND: The period 2010–2014 saw a product war in the field of education technology in the US elementary, middle, and high schools. The three digital behemoths – Google, Microsoft, and Apple – were in a constant race to become the digital default for young minds . Additionally, the strong internet push by the then US President Barack Obama (Obama) government through the ‘Connect Ed program (2013)’ with a mission to make high speed broadband available to 99% of students served as an added support to the tech companies. Consequently, the tech giants gained on user base backed by existing education related products and the launch of new ones. Among these, Google Chromebook was one of the leading devices among children...

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GOOGLE CLASSROOM IN INDIA: PRE COVID-19 LANDSCAPE: As per published information, in 2019-20, India had approximately 1.5 million registered schools (Refer to Exhibit I). Further, Indian schools employed close to 10 million teachers in primary, upper primary, secondary, and senior secondary schools. However, a worrisome aspect of the Indian education spread was its skewness. Of the total number of schools in India, 50% were located in the top six out of 28 Indian states. Among these, two of the larger states by area, namely, Uttar Pradesh (in the northern part of India) and Madhya Pradesh (central part of India), covered more than one-fourth (~27%) of the schools..

GOOGLE CLASSROOM’S GROWTH STRATEGIES – POST COVID: Stagnant performance for more than 5 years had almost pushed Classroom to the stage of maturity on the product lifecycle. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown came as a natural inflection point for the brand product cycle and Classroom saw massive usage growth in the market. By April 2020, the platform had gained 21X on downloads from 2019 . Further, the product saw a massive surge in interest among its audience, which was clearly visible in 2020 search trends (Refer to Exhibit V) . The search interest on Google shot up from 2 points (2019) to 50 points during March-June 2020 . The brand capitalized on the sudden rise with multiple strategies..

ROAD AHEAD: Despite being among the most downloaded apps in India, Classroom was rated poorly on Play Store in terms of user reviews as of 2020. Users shared their experience with the app. During July 2020, a Play Store reviewer said, “Every time I want to go to an assignment, it won’t let me click the button” . Similarly, on the Apple play store, Classroom had a surprisingly low rating of 1.7 stars..

Exhibit I: Indian Education in Numbers
Exhibit II: Service Area Wise Number of Internet Subscribers per 100 Population at the End of Sep’ 19
Exhibit III: Percentage of Households with Computers and Internet Facility for Different States
Exhibit IV: Products by Next Education Pvt Limited
Exhibit V: Google Search Trends (India)

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