Sustain! And Success is Yours : Amit K Gupta, CEO, S. Chand Group

What are your core products? What do your think you have an edge  over others, what are your core strength?
Our core product can best be described as standard curriculum based LearningObjects for Sciences and Mathematics from Class 9 to 12 in English, Hindi and presently under development in Urdu. These Learning Objects are compliant with international standards like SCORM, customisable, come with  omprehensive coverage of wide curriculums, student centric self study tool, teacher centric teaching aid, and unique instruction design producing a well balanced blend of text, animations, interactivities, assessment, and voice over to deliver effective learning.  The core strength lies our fully trained Academic and Multimedia Team, pedagogical and didactic approach, and  in  nderstanding of the market – institutional and government.
What are specific issues within the ICT-enabled education sector that you think your product can address?
a) Student centric learning aid b) Teacher centric teaching aid
c) sound instruction design d) compliments both learning and
teaching e) Ease of use in both offline and online environments
What in your opinion is driving the e-Learning market in India?  Which sector in the e-Learning market will see extensive growth in the next few years?
The e-Learning market in the country is presently being driven by short term
professional programmes, corporate learning and need for continuous learning and upgradation of knowledge. Distance education and satellite training centres are also using e-Learning tools. As far as sectoral growth in next few years is concerned, K-12 Education, individual and corporate training will see huge growth.
What are the key challenges and road
blocks that this industry faces in its path of growth?
Availability of trained professionals to make the content, psychological barrier
among users toward the efficiency and usefulness of these products, investments to produce high quality multimedia components, lack of quality
standards, piracy and copyright issues, and duplication and unstructured
development are some of the roadblocks in this arena.
What is the USP of your company or the products, and how far that has been able to position you uniquely in the market? Do you face the force of competition in any means?
We are an education company venturing into technology unlike our  competitors (technology companies exploring education). Time and tested content are our USP. A complete learning unit focusing on curriculum, and not the only attractive, out of context animations has enabled us to make a cost-effective product in a very short span. The market presently is in a  confused state as the products offered in the market so far fail to address holistic need. The poorly managed content being sold at ridiculous prices has
made consumer apprehensive and also ignorant of quality requirements. This Digital Learning | Vol 3 Issue 8 August 2007 35 has made the user reluctant to try new concepts and products.

What are your views on the maturity of the eLearning market in  India?
Have you ever tried to read the e- Learning market in India in terms of  potentials, chances for deep penetration, proving the winning status to your company, etc.? e-Learning market in India will mature by next decade. The e-Learning market in India would offer a huge potential as the Government both at State and Central level has taken meaningful initiatives by adding infrastructure, launching programmes like “Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan” and involving industry in vocational and professional education. The emphasis now is to map up the curriculum with continuous upgradation to next level imparting relevant skills and knowledge. For the first time in India, the  ducation policy makers have identified obsolescence  in educational content and delivery. Considering the numbers and population, the progress is gradual but this would definitely drive a need for technology based learning. With impact of globalisation and growth both in services and manufacturing sector, there would also be a need for uniformity in skills and education certifications.
This would be the key driving factor for a huge potential and deeper penetration. The early adaptors would be private institutions followed up by the Government. For a company like us with seven decades of print media leadership in academic textbooks with all India presence and with in-house development of prestigious e-Class content and with smart collaborations with world leaders such as Riverdeep Interactive Learning and Ingenatic Gmbh, we see a tremendous opportunity not only for us but for all quality players.
What has been your most crucial learning experience in this sector?
Having international experience and exposure to e-Learning, my most
crucial experience is that it is going to be a market much beyond anyone’s expectation. The world wide web is the biggest driver of change involving all
aspects of personal, social, economic, geographic and political life of individuals and nations. Everyday there are new entrants to this community and there are new additions to technology. The information is the key driver to
growth in this century. In such an environment, the patience, ability to sustain, continuous upgradation and quick response would be the main parameters for success.
Where do you see e-Learning in India
after five years? What is there in your personal agenda for this period?
e-Learning will see emergence of a few strong brands which will hold about
30% of the market share. These brands will be those which start investing today
in this sector and create a focussed and sound marketing plan targeting
individuals, institutes, and governments. Our personal mission is to complement and fill the gaps in conventional education content and delivery and make scalable and replicable modules and products which are adaptable
and flexible.