We are in the business of helping people learn. This is how entrepreneur Srividya Kumar describes her company, Learnnovators. This Chennai-based e-learning startup focuses on creating innovative solutions to help improve learning and employee performance within companies.
For example, let’s say a company wants to train 150 of their customer facing staff to handle irate customers. Learnnovators study the scene, speak to the staff, understand the gaps in skill and comprehension, and come up with one or more training courses that can help improve their performance in this area. These training courses can mostly be taken up online by staff at their own pace and time, thereby saving the company the trouble and costs of arranging face-to-face training sessions. Similarly, depending on the problem and the context, Learnnovators come up with solutions that can be applied to several different performance related problems.
From manufacturing to butchering
The global market for e-learning is estimated to hit $60 billion by 2015. Learnnovators work with clients in USA, UK, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, covering most time zones. Any organization with a learning or a performance-related issue is a potential client, Srividya tells YourStory. They work across a breadth of industries, including manufacturing, marketing, financial services, advertising, soft skills, and even butchering skills!
Learnnovators is the new avatar of C2 Workshop, a well-known brand in the e-learning space. “We were reaching our 10th anniversary, and wanted to come out with a name that resonated with what we do. And we wanted this name to be associated with words such as young, fresh, energetic, etc. And what better name than Learnnovators to say exactly what we did, and signify all of these things?” Srividya says.
They closely track advancements in the e-learning industry, discussing, speculating, prototyping, and looking for or arriving at use cases and best practices for implementation. This helps them be ready for the next problems that need Learnnovators to step in and solve, Srividya says.
First generation entrepreneurs
In 2003, when Srividya decided to startup C2 Workshop with Ravi Pratap Singh, there weren’t too many serious players in the e-learning market in India. This, along with the excitement of doing something new, prompted the duo take the plunge into entrepreneurship. “It was not easy. None of us had a business background or financial backing. We were first generation entrepreneurs who only wanted to make a mark by establishing a world-class e-learning company, which also was a great place to work,” she recalls.
While Ravi handled business development and HR, Srividya took charge of development and delivery, and led on every project from concept to completion. Now, they have a team of instructional designers, graphic designers, programmers, QC specialists and project managers handling project and client requirements on a day-to-day basis.
Lowest attrition rate in the industry
The biggest challenge before Srividya and team is hiring. “Not just people with the needed skills, but those with the right attitude – to do great work, to look for new things to learn every day, and to constantly push the bar higher.” They take a lot of time to hire, but that eventually pays off, according to Srividya. “We have one of the lowest attrition rates in the industry,” she said, proudly.
Another challenge is to maintain a balance between the climbing costs and the revenue that comes through fees they charge. “We address this by providing better value, and by being thought partners to our clients. Again, most of our clients have stayed with us over several years.”
Competition, for Learnnovators, is wide-ranging. On one side of the spectrum are multi-national players who are providing similar solutions with a lot more people and larger infrastructure, while on the other end are much smaller companies. “We are somewhere in between. “
“The big companies are the ones we tend to consider as competition. We compete with them on the level and quality of work we do, the depth of understanding of our client’s problems and the ability to come up with solutions to address them,” Srividya says.
Do you think this is an innovative idea? What are your thoughts?