`It`s no BPO play for American kids`

Released on: February 12, 2008, 12:14 pm

Press Release Author: Meenakshi K. Chatta, tcyonline.com

Industry: Education

Press Release Summary: Kamal Wadhera is the founder and CEO of tcyonline.com. The
company specializes in school programs and standardized test preparation; provides
LIVE online homework help through one-on-one tutoring. One of the leading
educational organizations in India, tcyonline.com is gaining a foothold in North
America with its unique online tutoring budgeted plans. The company is mapping out
top US cities through its prospective affiliates with the just launched attractive
'zero-investment' model plan. Wadhera touches upon the Affiliate Business Model of

Press Release Body: Excerpts from the interview:

Q. There is already a host of tutoring players in the American market. How different
is tcyonline.com from them?

I categorize these players primarily into two parts; the companies delivering the
services from within the US and outside. While a majority of the American companies
is providing these services to the end-customers (school-kids) at highly prohibitive
prices, the same job is being done by offshore companies, like us, at a much lesser
cost, thereby putting lesser burden on the parents. We have an edge over the US
companies because we provide great value for money. On top of that, our results
speak for themselves. Today, with over 250,000 hours of total tutoring experience
and over 1000 US students already tutored in the last two years, we are at a much
stronger position. Our old students testify for us because we have made considerable
difference in their lives. Our tutors have helped improve their grades a lot. Now
we have a series of great results to show during the last two years that have made
both students and parents pretty satisfied. Many of our students are repeat
students. They were earlier with us in the lower grades and they are still with us
in their higher grades. The student satisfaction has really pushed the enrolments.
That, I think, is something encouraging for us.

Q. But how different are you from the BPO industry?

I don't see it as an outsourcing venture. Ours is purely an educational venture.
The only difference is that it (education) is happening over the Net and the
end-customer is 10,000 miles away. So, it's not at all a BPO play for us. Most of
the companies that had mushroomed in this sector thinking it as a BPO sector have
vanished. It's a pure and serious education play. The challenges in the US are
different as kids have more distractions there. With over nine years of experience
in education and over two years in tutoring the US kids, we are very comfortable
handling these issues. If you see the BPOs, their only plank is cost arbitrage,
irrespective of the quality of services. But you can't afford to do that with kids'
education. You can't cut corners on any aspect. Over here we have been following a
unique five-step approach since the day one. Our academic counselors monitor our
tutors so that at no point of time anything is compromised in the entire delivery
process. So, this is like teaching one-on-one in a classroom, and certainly it's
not another BPO business.

Q. Some of the Americans are not happy with the outsourcing services. Here you are
dealing with school kids. Don't you think your responsibility increases manifold?

Definitely. I would say this is a very sensitive area. The reasons behind
outsourcing services (not doing well) were slightly different. To name a few, accent
was one problem and customer service was another. Coming to schools, we have to be
very careful, for example, who the tutor is, what he talks, how good his
presentation is, how caring and passionate he is, how well he can relate to the
problem of the child, etc. At all times, he has to be very patient. He can't afford
to lose his patience and his interaction with the child has to be very soft and
encouraging. So, we train them in all aspects before they go live.

Q. Your new Affiliate Business Model sounds good on paper. How realistic is your
'zero investment' offer?

We have rolled out this plan after considerable amount of research on existing
services, other choices in front of the customer, pain points, gaps in the market,
etc. This is one aspect of the venture. Secondly, we have considerable experience in
the Indian market in terms of franchising and handling affiliates. So, as far as our
system and replication of our services are concerned, we are comfortable on that. If
there are any hiccups, we will overcome them as our team is humble and quick to
learn. Regarding zero investment offer, it's not a classroom setting for our
affiliates. We are not replicating our delivery that means they don't have to
deliver the services on our behalf. They just have to enroll students and delivery
is from our end. In the Indian market, when we are franchising our classroom
services, we do charge a considerable amount of licensing fee and security. Our
affiliates in the US and Canada would be primarily counseling and enrolling
students. So we don't want to burden them unnecessarily.

Q. What are your expectations from this model?

Well, we have very realistic expectations. It should pick up very fast because
child's education is a great pain for any parent in the world and the US is no
different. With the budgeted K-12 school programs we will make private supplementary
education effective and affordable, and reach out to an average American household.
We need somebody representing us close to the end- customer so that we understand
him better. That's where affiliates come in. It's a win-win situation for him as
well as the affiliate. So, if both are satisfied in this chain, we are bound to

Q. Who all could be interested to become your affiliates and what benefits can they
expect from you?

Educators, publishers, tutoring companies, home business owners, individuals or
businesses with an interest in the education sector would be keen to be our partners
in progress. They could be people who have had some academic connection in the past,
either in a teaching capacity or school administration. Since they know this field a
little, it would be easier for them to understand the whole concept and be
successful earlier in this venture. Now, talking about benefits, we have seen that
working in this sector is much more satisfying than working in some other sector.
If you put in the same kind of energy, one feels much more satisfied at the end of
the day. Secondly, the financial rewards from this model are so handsome that
anybody would love to be associated with us.

Q. What's the foundation of your tutoring program and how scalable is it?

Yes, we are on the roll. We can easily bank on our huge quality content repository
for K-12, for all grades, topics and states. The foundation has already been laid.
All the inputs required for state curricula alignment are already in place. Now, it
is just a matter of enrolling students and delivering the services to them. Talking
of the delivery side, our team is very strong. Our tutors are kind, patient and give
individual attention to every child. I would like to mention here that our tutors
are always supervised by academic counselors, who are also very experienced. I do
not see any hurdle in our scalability.

Q. So, where do you see tcyonline.com down the line, say in the next three years
from now?
We have quite optimistic and big plans for the future. We see tens of thousands of
students enrolling with us for homework help, test preparation and High School
Programs in every State of the US. Our affiliates' services would be extended
throughout the country after we establish our offices in four to five major cities
of the US.


Web Site: http://www.tcyonline.com

Contact Details: Meenakshi K. Chatta

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