Thursday, 27 December 2012

HCL Learning enters Africa

HCL Learning, the education division of HCL Infosystems, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a South African educational firm Spatial Data Holdings, to launch their products in five African countries including South Africa. Through this agreement the company has already started selling its educational content , tablets anddongles in Africa. The countries are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia.

"We are mapping content to African educational boards and also modifying them to adapt to dialects and accents prevailing in these countries. The focus of content is primarily on English, Maths and Science," said Rothin Bhattacharyya, EVP Marketing , Strategy and Corporate Development at HCL Infosystems.

While the first wave of institutions driving this initiative in Africa are primarily non-governmental organisations (NGOs), governments are soon expected to step in. "Right now, NGOs and relatively expensive schools are taking up such solutions in Africa. We expect government buying to become big next year," said Bhattacharyya.

At the same time, government laptop buying remains a big source of growth in India. "We will be finishing this week our shipping requirements for the Tamil Nadu project worth about Rs 270 crore. In UP, we have been shortlisted for laptop project and have also applied for their tablet initiative. Governments in Punjab, Goa and Assam, among others, also have similar initiatives declared in their manifestoes," said Bhattacharyya.

HCL Learning, started three years ago, had so far been selling its products mainly in a business-to-business (B2B) fashion but now the company is going business-to-consumer (B2C). It plans to sell its tablets and dongles through more than 600 outlets nationwide in the coming few weeks.

"Introducing dongles allows us to reach on all the 50-60 million computing devices present in Indian market. We will be selling our content and services through retail channel as well as through our longstanding relationships with schools," said Bhatacharyya.


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