Unacademy's Ambitions: Decoding Unacademy Pro

Unacademy is planning to disrupt the job market

Last week, Unacademy bought TapChief and launched Unacademy Pro. With this announcement, Unacademy has entered the job sector and is looking to disrupt it. In today’s issue, I will talk about 4 topics-

1) what is Unacademy Pro

2) what is the motive behind Unacademy Pro

3) will Unacademy Pro compete with LinkedIn and Naukri.com

4) how will Unacademy benefit from Unacademy Pro

Let’s get started.

🕹️What is Unacademy Pro?

Unacademy Pro has 2 goals-

  1. training students with the necessary skills for the job market

  2. help students get jobs

(Gaurav Munjal is the CEO of Unacademy)

🕹️What is the motive behind Unacademy Pro?

The education market, especially after Class 12th is very fragmented. Students go to colleges, but they don't get the necessary skills there.

MOOC-based concepts like Udemy and Coursera tried to solve this problem, but their completion rate is very low. That's why we are now seeing the rise of cohort-based courses, which have high completion rates.

Lots of colleges don't provide internship or placement opportunities for their students. Websites like Fiverr and Upwork connect students with freelance/internship opportunities. Platforms like LinkedIn and Naukri.com help students get jobs.

Skill training and job-platforms are 2 separate markets. With Unacademy Pro, Unacademy is integrating these 2 markets.

What are the benefits of integrating these 2 markets?

In 2016, LinkedIn tried doing something similar when it bought Lynda.com for $1.5 billion. Lynda was similar to Udemy, it offered courses for programming, marketing, etc. After it bought Lynda, LinkedIn renamed it LinkedIn Learning.

The idea behind the acquisition was simple yet powerful: if a person was searching for a job on LinkedIn, but he didn't have the required skills, he could learn that skill using LinkedIn Learning. Such a powerful integration would have increased LinkedIn's moat against competitors. But LinkedIn couldn't properly execute this vision, and the idea flopped.

LinkedIn was already dominant in the job-platform market, it bought Lynda so that it could become dominant in the skill-training market as well. But Unacademy has a more difficult task since it is new to both these markets.

🕹️Will Unacademy Pro compete with LinkedIn and Naukri.com?

Right now, the job/internship market has many established players like LinkedIn and Naukri.com and Fiverr and Upwork.

Initially, I was confused: Why is Unacademy competing with all these established players?

Turns out, Unacademy Pro won't compete with any of them.

Yes, any college student who is seeking a job/internship is more likely to go to LinkedIn or Fiverr instead of Unacademy Pro.

But what of the existing 5 lakh students who are subscribed to Unacademy? Why should they go to any other platform if they already trust Unacademy?

Consider this from the point of view of the student: They have trusted Unacademy till Class 12. Therefore, it is expected that they extend this trust to college education as well.

This, my friends, is the whole premise of Unacademy Pro.

In the case of Unacademy Pro, Unacademy itself will be the biggest customer. This is why Unacdemy Pro will never compete with existing players in the job market, at least not in the beginning.

🕹️How will Unacademy benefit from Unacademy Pro?

Think of it: Once a student subscribes to the complete Unacademy package, they will stay with Unacademy right from Class 11th till college placements.

This has 2 benefits:

1) Customer retention: customers will stay with Unacademy for a longer time

2) Competitive advantage: No other player in the market offers such an integrated solution. This will vastly increase the competitive advantage of Unacademy.

Customer retention + Competitive advantage = Unacademy Pro will increase the value of the complete Unacademy package.

This is why I believe Unacademy should not keep Pro as a separate service- keeping it integrated with the rest of the Unacademy subscription package vastly increases its value. Of course, they will lose some initial revenue, but in the long run, the benefits of such an integrated solution will be tremendous.

🕹️The Future…

In an interview on CNBC TV18, Unacademy CEO Gaurav Munjal was asked whether Unacademy Pro will compete in the job sector with LinkedIn and Naukri.com.

He said- "We do see ourselves disrupting this sector".

Therefore, I expect to see Unacademy acquiring more players in both the skill-training market as well as the job-platform market.

🕹️My LinkedIn posts from last week:

  1. The internet is changing the traditional media industry

  2. Why Disney Plus is very different from Netflix

  3. Unacademy acquires TapChief and Byjus acquires Toppr

  4. Why Clubhouse will revolutionize audio

  5. Australia's new media law is a mess

  6. Blockchain is the next level of IndiaStack

This is my first newsletter post, and a big thank you to all my subscribers for your love and support. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something from it. Why not share it with your friends as well?


If I made any mistakes, feel free to reply to me on this mail. All feedback is appreciated.

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