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Showing posts from October, 2007

New India - Yet Again

I just finished my fourth trip to India in as many months, and now have this huge challenge on my plate - that of running a full-scale business in India.

Mythologies and emotions aside, this is surely a very daunting task. As I keep mentioning to my colleagues, paraphasing an observation about China - from outside, all one sees is the huge multiplier effect, x times the population, y times the size of middle class, number of people in the age group 18 - 30 larger than the whole population of Western Europe; but once you are in, it is actually a game of endless divisions - languages, states, religions, so on and so forth.

The popular British colonial view of India was summed up by Winston Churchill, when he observed that India is no more a country than the Equator. While this reflects more Edwardian delusion than historical reality, the diversity of India is undeniable, and plain to see even for Indians.

The key in operating in India, however, is in ability to see and operate with, to quo…

The Business in India - Finally Launched

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The English training business in India finally got launched - on the 28th September in Hyderabad. An interesting point in life for me - this took me three years of effort to get there. This meant bringing together people I have worked with for a while to make this project happen, and some of the new people I came across. For this launch, everyone came together - a happy occasion.

The idea was to create a multi-purpose learning centre with a core offer of English language training. The problem of English language training indeed is that it is difficult to build a medium to long term offering, which means that one needs new students to sign up every month or so to keep going. This is the other end of the scale of the education business, where you need students in annual cycles perhaps.

In India, a price-sensitive and highly competitive market for English Language training, it will be a challenge to establish a premium training centre. The business model will be a matter of negotiation and…

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