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How to Scale Educational Service in India

Friday November 11, 2011 , 3 min Read

Entrance exams for IIMs have started acrossIndia. Thousands of aspiring students prepared hard to succeed and get intoIndia's most prestigious B-schools. Others are trying to do their MBA overseas. A lot of students, rather their parents, invest a good amount of money for test preparation seminars.  “Test prep” is a huge market inIndia- hundreds of private training institutes across the country offer courses to prepare students for the challenge of GMAT, CAT and others.

Even otherwise education is one ofIndia's biggest business opportunities right now – some say “education is the new IT,” in terms of business volume and growth. The Indian education market is around INR 3,500 crore big and growing rapidly. As a result training centers are mushrooming but quality is always in doubt. On the other hand education institutes have always the challenge to scale up their operations. The number of seats per seminar is the limiting factor but also good faculty is scarce, mainly due to lack of good salaries for teachers. “If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys,” said Arun Jagannathan, Founder of CrackVerbal.

Arun tries to solve these problems and wants to provide high quality test preparation to a larger audience at a great cost. He is using Internet technologies to telecast his sessions to other sites across the country.

The instructor will conduct the seminar in front a batch of students. The session, along with the slides and notes on his interactive blackboard, is streamed over the internet to his other training centers across the country, where local instructors support the students.

CrackVerbal is head-quartered in Bangalore and running one more center in Chennai; others are planned in Mumbai,DelhiandHyderabad. These are also the locations with maximum number of GMAT candidates. Although headquartered in a metro, their model is fairly easy to roll out to other tier-2 or even smaller cities as well.

Content, design and delivery are the three components of a teaching, explained Arun in discussion with YourStory. Since content is pretty much standardized and design a matter of taste, only delivery decides about the success of a certain training. And he knows what he is talking.

Arun is himself teaching since 2001, besides his highly-paid management job at an IT company. When he started, he conducted his teaching sessions in coffee houses during the weekends when others enjoyed themselves in theaters and malls. After five years he took it finally into classrooms and started to standardize the curriculum as well as the delivery. He is convinced that without his wife, it would not have been possible to do all this, besides his day job. With 10 years of on-ground teaching experience, along with his professional experience, he is confident enough to take it to the next level.

No matter what is the content - test preps, hard-skills like GMAT or any other soft skill, with internet technology he can take it big. Arun is very clear that a pure online learning approach is not going to work inIndia. Students do require presence learning, interaction with teachers and other students to motivate themselves and achieve results.

CrackVerbal combines the advantages of online-learning with real teaching sessions. There is no IP or patent to protect. In education one has to differentiate the service through delivery and teaching skills. Arun and his team, MBAs from top B-schools around the world including Wharton, ISB and Oxforddo have this expertise. The internet will only open new and vast distribution channels. CrackVerbal will launch its first telecasted teaching sessions on November 19th inBangalore and Chennai.

(Wolfgang Bergthaler)

More about CrackVerbal on