Amazon has said it'll shut down its online learning platform for high-school students in India. The platform, Amazon Academy, was launched two years back. The company, without specifying any reason, has said the decision to discontinue the operations of the platform was taken following its assessment. Amazon has said it remains committed to customers and assures that this decision will have no impact on its services.
“At Amazon, we think big, experiment, and invest in new ideas to delight customers. We also continually evaluate the progress and potential of our products and services to deliver customer value, and we regularly make adjustments based on those assessments. Following an assessment we have made the decision to discontinue Amazon Academy," an Amazon spokesperson said.
The company has said it'll wind down the programme in a phased manner to take care of current customers. It will discontinue the online academy’s operations starting August 2023, when its existing batch completes the test preparation module.
Additionally, the company has said its customers will have access to full course material online for an extended period of a year, until October 2024. In addition, Amazon Academy will refund the full fee to those enrolled in the current academic batch.
Amazon's decision to wind down operations of its online academy reflects larger problems affecting the online education industry in India. Major players are laying off employees in large numbers to cut costs and focus on profitability. A few days ago, one of the largest players in India's ed-tech industry, Unacademy announced 350 more job cuts in addition to the 1,000-odd it had already affected, as it scaled down or shut some verticals.
Prior to Unacademy, market leader Byju’s, too, announced its intention of laying off around 2,500 of its employees across departments including product, content, media and technology. In total, it is estimated that a total of around 7,000 layoffs have already happened in 2022 in the ed-tech space, with several more expected.
Separately, Amazon has said its cloud service unit Amazon Web Services has launched its second AWS infrastructure region in India — the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region. "Starting today, developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organisations will have greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centres located in India," said the company.
With the launch of the AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region, AWS now has 96 availability zones across 30 geographic regions. AWS is planning to invest an estimated $4.4 billion (approx. INR 36,300 crore) in India by 2030 through the new AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region. The investment is estimated to support over 48,000 full-time jobs annually at external businesses during this time.