How and what leads to the launch of MBD Alchemie? What is the idea behind it?
We launched MBD Alchemie to provide web based quality education at a low cost to cater to the needs of large section of society which is deprived of education. MBD Alchemie is an online academy that collaborates testing and teaching, that trains and evaluates at the same time. We started research on it two and a half years ago and started with CBSE X and XII classes. Multimedia content of total curriculum is being provided to the students, some short term courses are also being provided, of three months to two years duration. It also includes chapter wise test, evaluations and answers, sample and mock tests for students. Just like the MBD text books, Alchemie covers different boards including State Boards like Delhi, Karnataka, etc. To introduce its unique concepts, it provides a 15 day free trial which is available on the portal.
How interactive is the portal for facilitating online education?
We focus more on personalised coaching, which includes self-learning materials and self assessment tools, online problem solving facility, etc. Online mentoring is there to help in resolution of problems, clarifications of queries, etc. There is animation with voiceover to give the feel of actual classroom.
How have you studied the market for the purpose and how did you prepare for starting the venture?
We have 4,000 authors associated with MBD already. We selected authors who have good teaching background, expertise and who are aware of the innovative teaching concepts. The instructional design of the course underwent a lot of research and then its elements were developed. There are expert in house course and module coordinators and content editors. We are empowered by the Learning Management Systems and also fully complaint with leading international standards and is built on a flexible architecture. It is SCORM compliant and can run on any technology and system, can be used even with the open source system.
Would you like to share more on the publishing industry in India?
Publishing has become more structured in India and is taking very giant leaps. With the size of the market and the increased focus of government on education, everybody is targeting India. The country is growing at the rate of 20 percent in online education. We conducted a research that showed 15 to 20 percent growth in the publishing sector and e-Learning in India had a INR 1200 crore market a year ago. Also, the adoption of CBSE pattern across the states makes it easy for publishers focusing for the pan India presence. So getting into this sector today, specially in the web based publishing is quite favourable.
Does the legacy of MBD put any performance pressure on you?
MBD has the legacy of 30 years of providing education in India in different languages.,We are providing our services in many vernacular languages, including Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Urdu and Hindi. We customise our own books for different Boards of studies.