Please give a general overview of what you are doing globally. What is the current global market size of your product in the educational sector and what market share mimio has?
mimio is present in 47 countries. The largest market we have is in the USA, and have particular success in Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Hungary, Russia, and in the major European countries.
The market share also varies from country to country. In the USA, we have a market share of about 10%. We are a relatively newcomer in the interactive Whiteboard segment until 2004. Our focus was on the market for capturing Whiteboard notes, primarily is the white board digitiser. 2004 onwards, we started focusing more on classroom interactive Whiteboard.
How do you see the Indian market for your product? What hinders you in penetrating the education market with mimio Whiteboard?
There exists two bottoms – one is awareness and the other is cost. Interactive Whiteboard related to available budget for education are expensive, which is a very big part of the reason and a significant component of our success.
Fundamentally, we can enable more classrooms equipped with interactive Whiteboard technology virtually than any other product. This has been a key to our success in any part of the world, from the USA to New Zealand, where mimio is the largest interactive Whiteboard solution. Because it can be integrated into the classrooms simply as attaching a Whiteboard that already exist and you have the whole functionality of the classroom interactive Whiteboard without the shipping cost, without the installation cost and at a much lower absolute cost. This is a huge factor that we are looking for every market. As we are relatively newcomer, the challenge for us is to create awareness. The key is the partnership, its the matter of who we partner with in India, is going to make a difference. In every country we have been successful and the credit goes to our local partners.
What operational training is required for using this tool and what materials should a teacher come prepared in a classrooms equipped with mimio?
In every school system we have different educational standards. From our perspective, an interactive Whiteboard should provide the tool that allows a teacher to interactively present and teach to the standard of the locality. One of the things that goes on is the competitive war between Whiteboard companies claiming we have hundreds of lesson plans. To tell the truth, thats a war that no one can win, because the computations are infinite in India. There are so many languages, so much difference. We provide some content of the course material, but we can not provide them all as an original material source. We can provide tools that will allow the teacher to utilise any kind of digitally made material, like animations and video, still images, graphics, etc. We can make the teacher to use any online material.
In many schools these smart interactive boards are sitting idle not being used, because either the teachers are being transferred to other schools or are retired and the new teacher is not adequately trained. Training is essential which again is needed to be continuous as technology is constantly evolving. We provide video CD enabler to set up the system, ongoing, unlimited, and no cost basis online training to any teacher who has Internet connection. We link up with them from anywhere in the world. We also have trainers who are actually educators, who will do the next phase of training.