Offshoring E-Learning

15 Jul ’05

MIT Technology Review has an interesting piece on Brainvisa, a new venture in Pune, India that is developing high-end e-learning solutions for US corporate customers. Gist:

Brainvisa has over 400 employees — graphic artists, writers, animators, and programmers — most of them based in a main development center in Pune, as well as another center in Noida.

Supam Maheshwari is the CEO and a co-founder, along with chief operating officer Nitin Agarwal and chief technology officer Vikas Kumar. Maheshwari previously worked at Vivendi and Pepsi — which likely exposed him to the challenges of educating a large work force about a product launch or new software.

What makes Brainvisa noteworthy isn’t its technology, though, but its testament to the concept that Indian outsourcing can compete outside the realms of call centers and enterprise software development. To be sure, such learning products have traditionally been “high-touch,” with well-paid expert consultants sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with clients.

The success of BrainVisa leads us to believe that almost any business function, except for direct sales, can be outsourced. Indeed, several other Indian companies are also addressing the market for custom e-learning, including conglomerate Tata Interactive, which reportedly earned $20 million in fiscal 2005, as well as Mentorware and NIIT.

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