In late 2011, Indian entrepreneur Swaminathan K launched online business school initiative, myBskool.com, which has become India’s largest virtual business school.
MyBskool.com offers affordable management education online and now serves half a million registered students and is targeting three million registered users by 2014, writes to T E Narasimhan of Business Standard.
Prior to myBskool.com, Swaminathan founded eGurucool.com, Aspire Learning, SuperKidz, Scholars League and smartlearnwebtv.com. He launched all the projects between the years 2000 and 2011, with myBskool as the latest.
Swaminathan decided to blend technology and learning and offer affordable management education after reading a government report stating that India would require 800 universities and 35,000 colleges to achieve a gross enrollment ratio of 30%.
Swaminathan secured $1 million as seed funding from U.S.-based serial NRI entrepreneur and angel investor K B Chandrasekhar for myBskool.com and contacted the Indian Institutes of Managements (IIMs), Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur, and company CEOs, seeking support for the virtual school.
In a partnership with IIM-Ranchi and Madras Management Association (MMA), myBskool launched a free online ‘mini MBA’ course for the first time in India. The online school now offers a fee-based program certified by the MMA with the content for the program created by IIM Ranchi.
Swaminathan said that initiatives like Coursera and edX, with a combined investment of over $100 million, have revolutionized higher education the world over. MyBskool announced its first massive open online courses (MOOCs) earlier this year.
MyBskool plans to raise around $3 million in the next round of funding, which will be invested in improved infrastructure, content, partners and a placement cell. The company, whose revenues are expected to reach about $3.24 million by 2014, is planning to offer more domain-specific courses.
According to Swaminathan, myBskool.com courses are free, with a fee charged to students who are interested in a certification by MMA after the candidate undergoes an independent assessment.
The certification program costs INR 5,500, or about $89, per candidate, but a range of new courses are planned, for which the fee may go up to INR 15,000, or $243. “If just one per cent of the three million users take up the certification program, we can achieve the turnover target,” Swaminathan said.
In India, technology is triggering a social revolution in the educational and health care sectors, even in the country’s deepest regions. Using more widely-available and cheaper technologies, India plans to spur education in its remote areas.
Many universities in India are also planning to put a foreign education within reach for more of India’s students. The universities are promoting ‘twinning’ courses that allow students to complete the first two years of their education at a local institution, and the rest at a university at institutions in countries like Britain, Australia and the United States.