Pearson draws strength from partnerships to cater to the unique Indian market

Collaborations have enabled the learning company to offer diverse content and skills training to a large base of learners, thus enhancing their employability, says Pearson India’s head Vinay Kumar Swamy.

In an article for London Business School, the former CEO of global learning company Pearson, John Fallon, recalls being asked the same question at company town halls. The question centred around Pearson’s ‘transformation’ and if it was done with it.

I would regularly be asked a variation of the same question: Are we finished transforming yet?” writes Fallon.

Digital transformation, which is frequently talked about in various organisations, is a journey. And it’s certainly not an overnight one–especially for an organisation with 177 years of legacy.

Digital transformations take longer than the tenure of most CEOs,” Fallon writes.

“The pace of digital shift can be uneven, uncertain, sometimes unmanageable,” he reflects, capturing the challenges in driving a monumental shift in a large organisation spread across the world. 

Founded in 1844, UK-headquartered Pearson is a multinational corporation focused on educational publishing and services.

Fallon led Pearson from 2013 to 2020, steering the company through a complex journey—from being a traditional educational publisher to a digital-first organisation. Following his retirement, Fallon was succeeded by Andy Bird, who was followed by Omar Abbosh, the current CEO of the company.

Pearson’s transformation journey continues till date, under the new leadership–as it leverages cutting-edge technologies to personalise education and forges partnerships to expand its offerings and global reach.

The company is keen to drive the shift and keep the momentum going across all key markets, including India.

The opportunity in India

As its digital transformation journey gets underway in India, Pearson is recognising the distinct demands and challenges of the market.

As its digital transformation journey gets underway in India, Pearson is recognising the distinct demands and challenges of the market.

The company is sharply focused on the needs of students and educators in the country and the tenets of the revamped National Education Policy and seeks to leverage the power of partnerships to support its efforts.

India may not currently be among Pearson’s top-three markets globally, but it views the country as a strategic market primed for future growth. 

Vinay Kumar Swamy, Country Head of Pearson India, asserts that India is a focus area for Pearson and “investment plans” are in the pipeline.

With 420 million young people, representing 29% of the country’s population, India’s youth market is a goldmine for education innovation. And Pearson is eager to seize the opportunities in digital education in the world’s largest population.

Pearson ventured into India over 25 years ago offering textbooks and printed course materials. Over time, it expanded its offerings to comprehensive curriculum support for schools and higher education institutions and digital learning solutions. It also offers test preparation content for competitive exams like JEE (engineering), NEET (medicine), and UPSC (civil services).

The company’s content is available in both the printed and digital formats, including online resources and mobile apps.