Mimio, interactive teaching technologies provider, began in 1997 with a singular philosophy: to make learning more engaging for students with the help of technology. Jaemes Shanley, Director of Sales – Asia Pacific & Latin America, Mimio, shares his insight on the changing market dynamics of education technology all across the world in conversation with Dr Ravi Gupta. Excerpts:
Please provide us an overview of latest development by Mimio?
Today projectors are the most significant for our business. We are entering into a projector business for the first time by launching Mimio Interactive Projector, which can convert any surface into an interactive board. We are also launching MimioMobile application that will be available in mobile app stores. Adding these components will expand our domain.
MimioMobile app on iPads helps students in interacting with a lesson that is displayed on the IWB (interactive whiteboard), if the teacher’s classroom computer has the MimioMobile licence on it. It also empowers shared learning, discussion, collaboration and assessments, and makes all of them easier.
What is your view on the global market for education technology?
There is an enormous potential in India, but it is harder when you have to go out and fight customer by customer rather than just having one big customer. Globally, this is a challenging time for education technology.
It is a challenging market everywhere, but still there are a lot of markets that are growing like some in the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, and China, etc. It is not as easy ride, as it was four years ago
Why is it challenging globally?
World’s big markets like North America and Europe are affected by government budgetary crisis, as it has resulted in their spending cuts. In North America, particularly in the USA, the majority of education funding comes from the state governments instead of the federal government. The state governments, by law in America, cannot run in deficits. Therefore, tax rate declined during the economic slowdown, and they were forced to cut budgets everywhere, including education. There were major layoffs of teachers, and schools that were not performing well economically were shut down.
Europe’s condition changed even more drastically. Two years ago UK dissolved Becta that promoted the use of technology in schools in the country. The government cut fundings and education became part of the cut. Almost every country, including Italy, Spain, Portugal, has been affected by the crisis. It is a challenging market everywhere, but still there are a lot of markets that are growing like the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, China, etc. It is not as easy a ride, as it was four years ago.
Japan is much slower in terms of adopting technology However, Korea is much more aggressive in comparison to Japan.
What is your go-to-market strategy for India?
We have presence in India since 2000 thorugh master distributors In 2004, appointed Plus Business Machine as our master distributor. Now we have Green Sources Pvt Ltd since 2011 and we continue to work with them. We have engaged a lot of key players in the market called Mimio Authorised Resellers (MAR). Due to our exclusive partnership with Educomp for K-12, we churned out a lot of business in those years. Then other companies stood out and things became more challenging.