Chander Madan- Founder & CEO of eAgetutor.com shared the pragmatic approach of their target training with The Global Hues.
eAgetutor is one of the leading digital spoken English skill development training service providers with a target to achieve enormous scale by surpassing the barriers in the traditional format. eAge offers engaging training sessions with live teachers by using a pragmatic and holistic approach targeted at improving the employability and career progression skills of learners. eAge’s differentiated training pedagogy and language immersion techniques with the aid of a panel of experts enable users to think in English.
Transforming the outlook of education
English communication is one of the critical skills required to succeed in professional life. eAge focuses on enabling users to think in English through a practical training approach using the proprietary technology platform supported by an experienced panel of trainers. “We are one of the pioneers in the online training space for over a decade and have served close to 1 million customers,” said Chander. The company believes in a customer-centric success approach coupled with technology. Their approach and platform are customized for Indian market conditions. eAge’s online English speaking model is a great use-case for teaching other employability skills, which can be successfully opted in place of traditional institutes. This can be used for even basic school education without having to travel to a school. The digital Spoken English service provided by eAgetutor is indeed a necessary skill in today’s world.
Scaling the start-up idea to execution
eAgetutor is privileged with an A-class team that focuses on speed of execution without getting into analysis paralysis. “We believe that sometimes getting the product -80% right instead of unduly delaying to get 100% perfection and to fail fast is a better approach,” explained Chander. The company believes in customer-centered success and fast execution as the key strength that helps them to keep going in the right direction. With an accelerated rise in eLearning and high customer acceptance, eAge is poised for exponential growth. However, a key challenge will be to keep the “start-up mindset” alive and continue to execute rapid decisions in Chander’s opinion. Nonetheless, with the caliber and quality of a team under strong leadership, the company shall continue to execute with the agility of a start-up for years to come and hope to achieve significant milestones in the process.
eAgetutor works diligently to provide the best customer experience. Certain key factors that differentiate them from similar players in the market are:
- Training methodology: The training methodology is based on the premise that cultural and language immersion is important to learn English. The company uses the pragmatic approach of listening skills, case studies, role-plays, and speaking practice in such a way that learners are enabled to think in English- which will ultimately get them to speak in English
- Technology platform: eAge has designed and implemented a state-of-the-art technology platform that works on low bandwidth and is device agnostic. For example, users in remote rural areas with access to a basic smartphone and 3G type internet connectivity can take advantage of their platform. The platform has been tested with a large number of users and has gone through the acid test of 2.5mn sessions.
eAge serves a diverse range of clients in both the consumer and corporate space. In the consumer space, anyone who is looking to improve English speaking skills- He/she can be a college student who is preparing for better careers, an experienced professional who is an expert in their respective domains but is looking to brush up & enhance their communications skills, or customers preparing to go abroad to further expand their professional or academic potential. For example, eAgetutor has served learners from academia, college students, doctors, lawyers, and IT professionals to name a few.
In the corporate space, the company’s focus is on employee training, CSR funding driven employability skills projects, and brand-building training to enhance livelihood skills for deserving learners at the lower end of the economic pyramid. “We are honored to serve clients like Hindustan Unilever, Colgate, Delhi Metro, John Deer, SOS children village of India, Foundation for excellence, JCB, VLCC to name a few,” said Chander. eAgetutor’s number one priority is Customer Success! The company deeply believes in ‘Customer Devo Bhava.’ Philosophy. The eAge team takes pride in a relentless focus on customers and an insane level of urgency on customer satisfaction issues. This has resulted in a large number of repeat deals and increased revenue generation from corporate customers for the last 5+ years.
Ensure the best workforce available to teach students
eAge has been in the ed-tech space for over a decade, probably a little ahead of its time, and has an experienced panel of 5000 teachers. A core team of teachers has been associated with the company for more than 6+ years. They are not only highly trained and qualified experts in delivering the sessions proficiently but also keep innovating training methodology with the latest tools and content to deliver the best services to all the clients. The company follows a robust and diligent hiring process to select teachers who go through a rigorous training process after selection. The expert panel of core academicians is involved in the training and development of teachers. They also perform quality assurance of online sessions. This process is conducted to ensure and continually help new teachers to run high-quality sessions that make an impact.
Impact of Covid-19 pandemic
The covid-19 pandemic has changed consumer behaviours. There are significantly visible changes in how we live, work or connect. For example, virtual meetings are now the new norm instead of traveling for a face-to-face meeting in the corporate world. In education, learners experienced online learning during the last year and have started to accept the fact that online learning can yield the same or better results when compared to face-to-face learning. Lots of people with available free time turned to edtech players and acquired skills they never had the time for earlier. In Chander’s view, acceptance for eLearning models will be a significant tailwind for tech start-ups and the graph is likely to rise in general. However, he believes the trajectory will be different for higher education and skills training – eLearning might become the norm and everyone will see the graph rising. For school education, there might be hybrid models (a combination of brick & mortar and online learning). The trajectory for the same may be less steep relative to higher education and skills training.
Company and Team Ethos
eAgetutor believes in some core principles that work as Team Ethos. Every employee follows these core ethics and ensures the integrity and unity of the foundation.
The key guiding principles of eAge include:
- Customer Devo Bhava:
The company believes that they will earn the respect and loyalty of the customers by focusing on making users successful in their learning process and serving their customers to the best of their capabilities. ‘We endeavor to provide the best user experience in the Industry’
- Credible and authentic information:
eAge will validate the source, authenticate the information provided on their portal, and review the study content provided to the users through learned expert teams. For them, the authenticity and safety of the platform are of utmost importance. No compromise is bearable in the credibility of the company.
- Honest Dealings:
The company will maintain the highest standards of business conduct and will remain a transparent environment for Business dealings. They will indulge in fair business practices and will maintain a high degree of integrity.
- Secure Environment:
eAgetutor will provide a safe & secure environment for all the customers and employees. The technology investments and services that the company provides are aimed to safeguard customer’s interests by adopting state-of-the-art best practices in the technology industry.
- Shareholder value:
The company provides shareholders a secure investment with a superior return by focusing on both short-term and long-term financial goals. They will focus on making enough profit to support growth, expansion, and return dividends to the shareholders.
- Employee Commitment:
The company will demonstrate its commitment to employees by providing an environment that fosters excellence and meritocracy. Each member of the team has to contribute to an environment that is productive, collaborative, and work efficiently to serve the customers
The edtech sector is certainly getting very crowded and smaller players are lost in the noise. The biggest challenge for an ed-tech startup, in Chander’s opinion, is to be visible to their target audience and acquire customers at a cost that makes economic sense. “We have adopted a little different approach – we believe in first building trust with our customers instead of immediately moving to a sale discussion. For example, we provide credible yet freemium content, be visible on social media platforms and provide strategic consulting and content to build trust with our potential clients. Once the customers have signed up and started the course with us, we continue to engage and provide a service that is second to none,” explained Chander. Needless to say, spreading the word and marketing efforts are important but the value of great service and repeat referrals resulting from the same is a valuable asset. The consumers like the content delivered to them by eAge first and then decide to join them for their services. In the corporate space, eAge simply believes in pleasantly surprising customers with exceptionally good service and invests more like a partner than act just a vendor. That is why the company is trusted by some of the big brands in diverse industry segments and enjoys a great relationship earned by superior service and candid dialogues. This is the essence of getting repeated business at the end of the day.
Views on success
“To us, success is a journey and not a milestone!” said Chander. eAge Edusolutions define success by how many happy customers they have and how much difference they have made in the lives of deserving learners who desperately need valuable employability skills to succeed. “My heart always swells with pride when we see great testimony from customers – whether from corporate customers on how we have made a difference for their brand or from a learner who has been able to secure a better career prospect enabled by eAge’s training. We are proud to report that we have touched 1Mn lives and we are on a path to increase the number by 5 times in the next couple of years,” Chander added.
Awards and Milestones
- Honored with the Innovative edutech company award from Icons of learning Singapore in 2016.
- Featured in Asia business today.
Visions and Future Prospects
The edtech sector is ripe for exponential growth with significant tailwinds and customer acceptance of eLearning models. “We would like to enable 5 million people to think in English by 2025, the team is working diligently to achieve the challenging yet achievable goals they have signed up for,” said Chander.
Dealing with integration and cultural issues
In Chander’s view, having worked on one of the largest M&A in the tech sector – HP and Compaq merger, eAge Edusolutions is aware of the fact that system integration is easier than culture integration. They plan to grow along with their partners and with some existing players. Embark on a new journey of transition with new plans. The company is ready with a plan to allow a smooth transition in case of a merger or integration to materialize in the future.
In Chander’s opinion, to smoothen the transition in M&A, one should
- Listen to each other
- Choose the best of the two worlds in every function
- Define Accountability and KRAs clearly
- Encourage collaboration – Silos with windows
Words of Advice
- The edtech sector requires a lot of patience, perseverance, and a lot of patience capital. The tech entrepreneurs should be willing to slog it out, be there for the long haul, and willing to fail multiple times before they find a successful recipe. This is easier said than done and comes at a cost of personal sacrifice with no guarantee of success.
- Be very sure that you are ready for the sacrifice before you embark on the journey.