It is really important to grow our knowledge and skills frequently. But a hectic schedule makes it difficult to attend regular classes. Hefty fees charged by educational institutes further makes it an undesirable option. In such circumstances, online space which provides training and certifications for free will help learners in many ways. This is the idea behind Apnacourse.com.
ApnaCourse.com is an online platform that provides globally recognized certifications in Financial Management, Project and Quality Management, IT Services and Security Management. The online training at ApnaCourse.com is provided by renowned experts and is absolutely free of cost.
“All Courses hosted on ApnaCourse.com are free and will always be. Each course has a set of customized add-on’s like Course specific Question bank, Online simulated exams, Course material, quick reckoner cards, special videos, course completion certificate for select courses etc“, says Mr. Satish Rajagopalan.
The start-up currently provides 3 certifications namely- Agile Certified Practitioner, Certified Financial Planner and Project Management Professional. ApnaCourse.com was launched in August, 2013 with 1 course and is extended to 3 by December. Coming to the traction, 800 users have signed-up so far with 70% of them being Indians.
Mr. Satish Rajagopalan, CEO and Founder Director, is a double Post-Graduate (MBA in Finance & Strategy) with responsibilities covering Strategy Planning and Business Development. Mr. K R Rajagopalan, Director, is a Qualified Chartered/Cost Accountant with responsibilities covering Strategy Execution, New Initiatives and Corporate Governance.
Recounting the challenges faced, “We have had challenges in finding the right person for my team, understanding AV (Audio Video technologies) etc but the biggest challenge was to find our first faculty. We approached many renowned people for more than 2 months but they all seemed overly skeptical about the success of an online platform. Even after convincing them of the success of online platforms like Coursera or Udemy, they did not believe it would work in the Indian context. We finally got our first faculty after multiple meetups and discussions. Today, we have faculties reaching out to us and requesting for partnerships.”, says Mr. Satish.
Spearhead Acquisition & Thoughts on Competition
ApnaCourse.com recently underwent an acquisition by Spearhead. It has helped the start-up to outsource non-core activities like H.R. and Payroll to the parent company. Along with the funding requirements, the board members of Spearhead provide key insights and corporate contacts.
ApnaCourse has competitors in the market such as Simplilearn. When asked about it, Mr. Rajgopalan agrees that there are competitors in similar space, what differentiates ApnaCourse is that, they are not constrained by the requirement to have many faculties across geographies for a single course, allowing them to bring in the best faculty in that domain. “It is at the sole discretion of the participants to take the add-ons for that course, or just go through the course for free.Moreover, since we work on volumes as we are an MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform, price points are extremely low”, says Satish.
The team has identified 30 Courses and are working towards faculty tie-ups for those courses and getting most of them Live by this year end. The startup also has ambitious plans of being the Global leader in e-training in a span of 3 years.
“Believe in yourself and not sway to what experts advice. At the end of the day, its your idea, not theirs. So if you are convinced that this idea will go big, don’t bother on what others have to say.”, signs off Satish on his advise to budding entrepreneurs.
TTP’s take on Apnacourse.com
ApnaCourse surely looks enticing for learners with popular certifications being provided for free online. However, looking at the revenue model of earning through course add-ons, it looks like a difficult path to scale up. Also, with large no. of MOOC available in the market today for every course possible, it would be wise for ApnaCourse to introduce courses faster and try out more innovative marketing techniques to gather more interest from the learning community.
We@TTP wish ApnaCourse team all the best!