You have decided to outsource, secured the budgets, and are ready for the evaluation process. The next question would be where to start. India is a great option to start; however, it is a vast country and there are several cities that have eLearning companies. So, very soon, you will face the challenge of having far too many companies to evaluate, as you will not know where to start and how to ensure that you get the best option. In this article I will begin by summarizing why India is possibly the right destination for you, and then I will share some tips that will help you navigate through this maze. These pointers will make your evaluation process a tad easier in short-listing the best from all eLearning companies in India.
How To Find The Best Out Of Many eLearning Companies In India
India – the world’s preferred destination to outsource
Several global surveys rate India consistently as the first option for software sourcing, and today this extends to eLearning outsourcing as well. You get to work with a young and dynamic workforce; most of them keenly pursue additional training or certification programs to enhance their skills. Also, there is no language barrier, as most people speak English. Finally, a very significant aspect is the flexibility that you will have in order to manage different time zones: Most Indians will work extra hours to help you handle these time zone challenges.
Key advantages of choosing outsourcing to eLearning companies in India
To start with, there is a wide range of eLearning companies in India that can provide the entire spectrum of services that you seek. The eLearning industry in India is in a mature phase, which enables you to access high skill levels across Project Management, Visual Design, Instructional Design, QA, and Technology.
In addition, outsourcing to India helps you reap benefits in terms of:
- Competitive pricing
- High quality and quick turn-around time
- Access to the largest pool of technology and multimedia professionals in the world
- Seasoned Project Management professionals
- A mature eLearning development process (optimized for globally distributed development)
How can you go through the maze and select the right eLearning companies in India to partner with?
Here are the 3 key eLearning hubs where you can start:
- North: Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR)
- West: Mumbai and Pune
- South: Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad
After your evaluation, you can use these parameters to short-list 2 or 3 potential partners:
- Been in existence for over 10 years
- Focus on tools and technology/learning experience and learner-centricity
- Focus on eLearning (check if at least 50% or more of their business is coming from eLearning) and future plans (ask for their short-term view over the next 2-3 years)
- Quality of demos and samples
- Reference checks
- Project Management expertise
- Team (particularly check for attrition rates and their talent retention initiatives)
- Processes (particularly check for conformance to processes – a quality certification is a great indicator)
- Quality Management System
How to zero in on the best?
After you have completed the short-listing, it is a good idea to revisit the start-point as to why you had planned outsourcing. This aspect will have a bearing on the final selection. Your decision could have been driven by:
- Scaling (to handle higher volumes)
- Reducing the time to market
- Cost reduction
- Access to talent that you do not have
- Addition of more innovative solutions to your portfolio
Here are my inputs on how to choose the best company for you (based on my assessment of what the location offers):
- If you are looking at cheaper options, look at Delhi (particularly NCR) and Pune. (Although I believe that there is a tradeoff: lack of innovative solutions and capability to look into the future, not necessarily the best talent in technology that can provide you the edge, and so on. These issues may be addressed more effectively in other locations).
- If scaling is your primary reason, pretty much all cities will meet your mandate.
- If innovative solutions are your primary concern, look at Bangalore.
Note: If outsourcing is strategic, you need to work with the same team over the long term. The attrition rates in mid-sized companies are lower, and therefore you get to continue to interact with the same team for a longer period of time.
Some additional inputs
- Delhi and Mumbai have some of the biggest companies that can address the high volume needs.
- Bangalore and Hyderabad offer more quality-oriented and process-oriented mid-sized companies than other cities.
- Bangalore, also known as the “Knowledge capital” of India, offers a better talent in technology on account of access to stellar technical colleges and universities. You will also find more innovative approaches in these organizations.
- Pune offers great Visual Design talent.
On account of all these factors (access to specialized talent pool and a mature eLearning industry), India is certainly the right destination to outsource eLearning. I hope I have been able to provide some meaningful pointers that would help you in selecting the best partner for you.