Trying to crack the mobile application development & testing training market with MobiGnosis
There were very few global markets which were not adversely affected by the economic recession, and the mobile applications space was one of those few. And it is estimated to reach USD 25 billion market cap by 2015. There are different factors for this growth in different regions of the world depending on the market saturation levels. Considering the Asian regions, the increase in 3G penetration and on the spend on consumer electronics is driving the growth with India and China emerging as the hottest countries to be watched. This growth in the market has proportionally fueled the rise of mobile application development training firms and many startups in India are trying their hands to establish their base in the market.
MobiGnosis is one of these startups trying to prove itself in the space. It was founded this year by Harsha Marigowda. He is born and brought up in Bangalore and graduated with majors in computer science engineering from PESIT, Bangalore. He completed his post graduation in computer science from Old Dominion University, Virginia, U.S.A. Being a part of many mobile entrepreneurship initiatives during his post graduation, Harsha had a pull towards and a deep interest in the mobility space. Returning to India post his masters, he started his career at an IT firm but was forced to take an extended break from his job in December 2012. He suffered from pneumonia attack and had no option but to be on this long break to recover.He was meeting many budding entrepreneurs in India and the interest in mobile space was increasing day by day. This forced vacation gave Harsha enough time to ponder over many things for which he could not make much time during his full time job. Harsha says, “I realized that it was a now-or-never moment for him to fulfill his desire to startup. My strong belief is that mobile training industry has not yet reached the world-class levels of the software development industry. MobiGnosis arose to fulfill my passion for mobility by filling the quality void in training industry. Mobility is the key to the present and the future. Right from consumer behavior, IT businesses, to any small, medium or large enterprise, we are witnessing a wide spread mobility embrace.”
Harsha says, “The courses are planned with industry standards in mind and most of them are reviewed by industry pioneers and ratified. Mobility courses are challenging as new technologies emerge rapidly, so being nimble is the key. We constantly re-visit the course curriculum and adopt changes or sometimes completely offer courses in the emerging technologies in mobility. We will be partnering with a Japanese firm Monaca, a mobile app development product popular in Japan, but not yet implemented in India. Offerings like these aid the developers to benefit from the latest in the mobile app development market.”
MobiGnosis provides training for mobile application development for native platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) and hybrid platforms (PhoneGap, Titanium, Sencha Touch and jQuery Mobile). They also offer mobile application testing - Robotium, Selendroid, Appium and Device testing. Identifying quality trainers was a huge challenge because as a mandate all trainers were required to teach and code at the same time. Not many trainers were comfortable with this idea and Harsha was not ready to compromise on the training method. To make sure that trainers’ hard work is recognized and rewarded properly, they offer their trainers an upgrade to the royalty model i.e. a profit shared one if a particular trainer’s course acquires a high satisfaction score by the trainees. They also copyright the course content in the trainer’s name. For enterprise level trainings, they offer customized courses and had partnered with Nokia in the recent past for the same.
Currently their class-room training programs are either the long-haul 4-6 weeks or the 2-3 day boot camps priced anywhere from INR 6,000 to INR 25,000. For 1:1 training programs or the ones with high customization needs, the fee is higher. iOS training needed Macbooks which were quite expensive to afford for a startup India. They found renting them as a better option but this has resulted in an increase in the cost of their iOS training programs.
MobiGnosis is in the market where some established players like NIIT, Aptech, Spring people etc have been present for long now. According to Harsha, the methodology of training encouraging learners to build mobile apps during the course and the content taught mirroring the current industry standards is an added advantage of MobiGnosis. Apart from this, MobiGnosis offers 1 month post – training technical support and career networking opportunities to the trainees.
Along with aspiring to be a world class training firm in the mobile space, MobiGnosis also aims to enter the consultation sector which Harsha sees as a logical extension of the training modules. They are also considering an online training market place to connect the trainees to their choice of trainers and are currently in talks with their technology partners to build this infrastructure.
MobiGnosis will be implementing live instructor-led virtual training courses through web very soon. But Harsha believes that online training cannot completely replace physical or live training. He reasons it out saying that a dialogue is critical while imparting technical education, a monologue will not suffice to meet the standards of quality training. Also, online training is great for audiences who already have a basic understanding of the course but can be very challenging for beginners.