“e-learning big for India”: Yet Another Hyper-Prediction

CIOL : News : “e-learning big for India”

“e-learning big for India”
With e-learning market valued at $28 billion by 2008, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu global director Nick van Dam sees a major opportunity for India.
Nanda Kasabe
Friday, December 24, 2004

CHENNAI: The $16.4 billion Deloitte, delivering audit, tax, consulting and financial advisory services worldwide and serving more than one-half of the world’s largest companies is scaling operations in India.

Chief global learning officer for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and global director in Deloitte’s change learning and leadership practice, Nick van Dam believes that there would be exponential growth in e-learning by the year 2008, which presents a major opportunity for India.

Nick van Dam was in Pune to meet the company’s partner Maximize Learning and create awareness about e-Learning.

How would you define e-learning? Do you see e-learning playing a significant role in the enterprise?

I would term e-learning as net-enabled learning targeted to achieve business goals. The enterprise is a significant user of e-learning as a tool since it is faster, better and cheaper. Companies spend millions of dollars on training and e-learning reduces the overall training costs by 30 percent to 40 percent. It also reduces training time by as much as 50 percent on the same subject and decreases time-to-market of new skills globally. More courseware is available at significantly less costs. It has been noticed there is a 25 percent to 50 percent higher retention of knowledge due to e-learning.

How would you describe the current landscape in the e-learning market? What kind of trends do you foresee in the industry?

e-learning as a solution did not exist before 1996. The term itself took root after 1997. By the year 1999, the global e-learning market touched $ 1.7 billion. Currently, it stands at $ 6.5 billion and IDC has predicted that market is likely to witness an exponential growth and touch the $ 28 billion mark by 2008. I firmly believe e-learning simulations are the next big thing in learning.
Over 50 percent of enterprises will be using e-learning simulations to teach vital skills to their sales and customer support professionals by 2006. Our partner in India Maximize is already doing some work in this area for Deloitte. Simulation-based learning is second nature to the new generation brought up on a diet of play stations, videogames and multimedia.

What is likely to be the driving force behind any decision to outsource?

According to IBM/ASTD Learning Outsourcing Survey 2004, over 75 percent of organizations surveyed are expected to outsource e-Learning in the future. Over 67 percent organizations are looking to reduce operating costs and another 46 percent lack the internal capability. Around 43 percent organizations do have access to the best practices and talent and the improvement of quality and consistency of content is a major issue with 22 percent organizations. Therefore, outsourcing offers a wonderful option to such companies.

What kind of a role do you see India playing in the e-learning market?

India boasts of a huge highly educated workforce. It already has experience in technology and BPO support and is becoming home to a number of Fortune companies. India also has exposure in e-learning development and could do well to capitalize on these strengths. India stands a chance to seize a big portion of the $ 28 billion pie that e-learning will become by 2008.

What kind of growth plans does the company have for India and what kind of role will e-learning play in this expansion?

We currently have a team of 1,700 professionals in Hyderabad. There are plans to take on 6,000 new people in the next 24 months. We are pleased with the quality of work in India and many of our clients are spending in India. Therefore, we need a workforce that is educated and understands the need of technology.
The 6,000 odd people that will be taken on will require orientation programs, compliance programs and an understanding of the needs of business process. India will be a significant user of e-learning. The Hyderabad facility will be the largest outside of USA to offer support functions as development, helpdesk, research and a broad range of services for Deloitte clients worldwide. The US team is the largest with 30,000 people on board.

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