Thursday, March 29, 2007

Extending the offshore model - Tutorvista

The financial viability of the Indian offshore model has been proved beyond doubt by the India IT services industry. However in-spite of the growth of the IT services business, it is important to extend the offshore model to other areas of professional services. In an earlier post I had indicated possible areas where the offshore model could be extended seamlessly, my favorite being learning management. I had discussed this idea with Basab Pradhan –CEO of Gridstone Research and a former colleague of mine from Infosys. Basab listened to my idea with great attention and opined that for an offshore service to be successful it’s important to ensure that the “degrees of freedom” for the client is minimized. He essentially meant that the customization requirements must be kept under control. According to him learning management runs a risk of high degree of customization of content (based on the clients ever changing needs…), which could probably make it difficult to build a scalable business model. Basab’s concept of “degrees of freedom” stayed with me and I started scanning the environment for possible ideas which could extend and or redefine the offshore model and its applications beyond IT services………… I found the application .....in the offshore tution model that Tutorvista has developed …….

TutorVista, is a Bangalore based online tuition's company , which aims to attract middle-class parents by providing online, one-on-one access to Indian tutors at rates far below those of conventional tutors in the US or UK . Tutorvista recruits Indian graduates and after an extensive training on the company’s technology and the accent neutralization assigns them students. Unlike learning management, wherein the content can be debated by the client and therefore is susceptible to multiple design iterations, an offering like online tuition's can be standardized if Tutorvista adheres to national and state standards and is fully cognizant of the requirements of the local school district or student's college. If tutors use the same textbooks and reference materials it ensures that the tutoring is relevant and useful. Tutorvista has signed up 950 students in the US and has recently tied up with publisher HarperCollins to provide the same service in the UK.
I have contacted K Ganesh the CEO of Tutorvista, and he has agreed to give me an exclusive interview on the business model, the value proposition and his vision for the company …..Keep an eye on my blog to learn more about Tutorvista and how it’s the next big thing out of India…….keep reading ….

1 comment:

Jack said...

Tutor Vista has numerous complaints against them. Some are about the quality of their answers, but more are about near-fraudulent billing practices. I signed up for a $20 introductory rate and was then automatically signed up for a monthly service, without my explicit consent. They charged me twice but would only credit me for one charge. They will not respond to my email.