WizIQ: a platform that helps build your own online academy
Wednesday April 01, 2015,
4 min Read
E-learning, which was a nascent industry till even a few years back, has blossomed into a full-fledged industry, now with added support from the new government. Portals such as Coursera, EduMe, Indian Tutor Vista are just some online education portals that have become popular in the digital education space. Add WizIQ to that list now. But, what makes it different?
Unlike most of these models, WizIQ works from the service end that is from universities, tutors, colleges and teachers, rather than that of students.
Background and Journey
WizIQ was started in 2007, by Harman. "Before establishing WizIQ, I was into the services business, mostly in educational technology. I always knew that I would be a part of this space, so I started taking IT technology projects related to education technology," says Harman. This was in 2002, when Harman was based in the US.
"Internet was going through this major shift, MySpace and Friendster were big then. Facebook and LinkedIn weren't even present and as these platforms came onboard, I knew education would get impacted by Internet," adds Harman. He wondered what the business model would be, and whether people were really ready for online education.
Being a part of the services business, Harman fortunately was able to interact with universities and colleges or even training centres. "In those years I got a better understanding of the space and the ecosystem -- what people want or don't want to do with technology. This, along with an understanding of what Facebook and LinkedIn do helped me draw up my initial thoughts and ideas," says Harman.
Talking about the development of his unique model, Harman says, "When we began, I opted for a more TutorVista kind of model, however, I realised that there is a problem of sustainability with the model of going after students. And it's not like an Amazon or a Flipkart, where a student is going to be learning for decades on your platform. This got me thinking and looking at the service provider side."
The idea was to aggregate all the service providers into one platform. So, while the students might move on from one provider to the other, they would still be one platform.
Soon with this plan in place, WizIQ changed its basic model from chasing the students to focussing on the service providers. "Currently, we have about 400,000 registered service providers on our platform with more than four million learners. We are pivoting and now moving into the next phase of launching an online academy. While, our customer remains the same, the scope of what they can do with our platform just increases. All academies know they cannot survive without going online, but how do they do it? So what we're offering is that within 10minutes you can start your online academy with WizIQ," says Harman.
Taking on a more inbound approach to lead generation, WizIQ has also started getting several leads from people across borders. "Today we have customers from over a 100 countries across th globe. It's because of our online presence and it is they who reached out to us. We ensure that our product is easy to use and the payment processing is seamless," adds Harman.
The pricing for WizIQ works along three plans, namely, a free plan that helps in lead capturing, a premium plan that has all except two or three features and an enterprise plan. The average price is at Rs. 600/- a learner annually.
The idea is to make it easy for anybody who wants to teach start their academy. It might be an individual, a college that wants to start a distance education course or a corporation; anybody can start their online academy with WizIQ. According to Harman, WizIQ is like a Shopify for the education industry.
"We hope at least 25 percent of the world's education will run through WizIQ and I truly believe that is possible. Since we are targeting the instructor, a learner learns only what his instructor tells him. We want every tutor, academy and service provider on our platform," concludes Harman.
web url: www.wiziq.com