Aptech and Hungama Digital Media Entertainment have formed a joint venture (JV) to offer mobile education (mEducation) in India. The new entity, a 50:50 JV, under a limited liability partnership between the two firms, will be called Aptech Hungama Digital Education .
Aptech will create specialised courses across faculties and distribute over various digital channels and connected devices. Hungama will develop this content onto 90 devices and distribute it via mobile, internet and DTH platforms.
“About 18 months ago, a team of four people (two each from Aptech and Hungama Digital Media Entertainment) was formed to explore the possibilities of mEducation. Several pilot products were developed thereafter. Four verticals, namely English and personality development, entrance examinations, K-12 segment and vocational education were identified by the team, as potential fields,” said Ninad Karpe, CEO and MD, Aptech.
The JV will bring out its first set of products in the next month. The initial product line will concentrate on personality development. Though the service is being launched only in India, it may be extended to markets abroad after a year, according to Karpe. Data-based products will be launched in the top 20 towns in the initial phases. However, voice-based products would be introduced in more regions.
Apart from telecom companies with whom a partnership to offer services has already been formed by the JV entity, Direct to Home companies will be approached to offer similar services on television. Neeraj Roy, MD & CEO of Hungama said, “India is a unique digital market. The shift from 2G to 4G, coupled with the large market for devices in India, augured well to introduce mEducation in this market.”
Roy explained 90 per cent of the online traffic is driven by video, which includes educational content. “Since we are early in this space, it is possible to establish a brand,” he said.
Roy also said the content could also be loaded into Intel devices, with which his company already has a partnership. The service will be available in Hindi, English and a few other languages like Tamil and Telugu and the JV entity will extend later to other languages. The JV players have also set a modest revenue target of Rs 5-6 crore for the first year. "The actual outcome of the venture will be seen in the next six months," explained Roy.
In 2010, Everonn Education had announced they would be providing educational content on the mobile phone using VSAT technology. They have yet to begin the service.