Advent of E-Business
The changing landscape of modern day business and introduction of the new method of doing business, unique products and even newer methods of product delivery has paved way to new business models. Introduction of newer products which were considered mundane even a decade ago has given a new meaning to the fundamental characteristics of business. We will look into the specific characters of E-business, its impact on business organisation and the new work culture.
E-business has caused significant changes to work culture around the world. The new era has dedicated its business structure, both internal and external to digital networks or in other words has become net-centric business. These are now finding the usual business to consumer and business to business transactions models turning to digitalisation and product delivery over the net (Moghaddam, 2015). The usual trend of finding workmen attuned for field job are now keener to learn and deliver products through net. The entire value chain of this new business model has sprung managers who are trained and tuned for the complex challenges of electronic business.
The steady decline of technology cost and higher productivity has encouraged many trendsetters to enter into this field and create history in E-Business. The advent of technology based product delivery has also created a challenge to deliver these across the globe 24 x 7. Whether we are looking at business negotiations or customer engagement, everything is done digitally.
Challenges to E-business
Technology has driven business even earlier and products that were produced manually were streamlined with the introduction of machine and batch production. Technology revolution then brought in information exchange through internet. The concept of this technology has not only disrupted the idea of time and space but also gave a new meaning to speed of delivery. This technology has forced business houses to dismantle the age old method of information exchange and now it has become the undisputable method of information exchange. But as every business has a flip side, E-business too has its own disruption. Since this business model thrives on internet, any disruption to this mode can bring the entire system to crash. Whether we are looking into the information exchange or information stored, the new age model does need a continuous support in the form of steady internet service.
Difference between traditional and net business models
For any traditional business model, the commercial activity is limited by space and place. But for an E-business model, the reach is far and wide and customers need not reach the commercial place to get his product. The market place is made available at a click of a button and consumers get their product at a place and time chosen by him. E-business manages the global reach and hence has introduced global management and control these challenges too. E-business, unlike traditional business does not need a face to face interaction as such to receive a specific content, but can dispel the specific trade off (Bolongkikit, 2015).
E-business can make the two way transaction between business houses or business to direct consumer look very innocuous. The communication between workers or workers and business heads are also made in a very systematic manner. More than these the information transparency is unimaginable. The date, the time and exchange threads can give complete insight of the specific communication.
E-business also helps in getting remittance for the service real quick. The introduction of encrypted payment gateway has both won the trust of consumers as well as speed and safety of transaction has made this an ideal mode of money exchange.
Opportunities of E-business
Trendsetting products introduction, complete digitalised market place, innovative product delivery system and reaching out to customers at any point of the day and resolve their issues. The digital market place has many advantages over traditional form of business. Small space, speed of product delivery, easy remittance, swift interactions and worldwide service. The motto of E-business is anytime anywhere, and it works exactly the way a customer ever wanted. The innovation in product along with proper product based digital market can create a niche market for itself. Nothing can be more appropriate than taking Tutor Vista as the case study.
Tutor Vista Global Private Limited
The online tutoring company was founded by Mr K Ganesh, serial entrepreneur in 2005, India. The business model was simple but was so innovative that it took many by surprise. The availability of skilled workers and subject matter experts made the job even simpler. Mr. Ganesh, the owner of the company, launched this company along with his three business partners in anticipation that India with vast knowledge base can become a global power in online education. The introduction of internet for live interactive sessions kept the world at its toes as the new method of teaching anytime anywhere at the convenience of home, made this innovative product a challenge for others (Ross, 2016). Very soon other competitors rushed in with other knowledge based products, but the modus of operation remained same.
The Tutor Vista business had a very small core team of 40 members. Main team was the technical handlers and rest were from either tutors on floor or management team members managing the digital marketing. Soon this company managed funds from Sequoya capital in 2008 and then it earnestly began the expansion of the business.
The technical team was given a task of building in-house interactive whiteboard and the technical features were kept as it is of Webinar whiteboard which was earlier used for taking sessions. The recruitment of tutors, training of tutors and modules for whiteboard working with digital pad and pen were sent out to offshore employees spread all across the country. The learning of neutral accent and K12 education system of US was made mandatory for academic interviews.
New age digital marketing
The new age marketing team and trendsetters were brought in to create magic in social media. Strategic business to business alliance with public libraries in US were also signed and at the same time the new sales team was introduced to the business to sell educational package to US students specifically and rest of the world which followed either K12 pattern or IB curriculum (Sanders, 2015). What made this huge operation so interesting is that it created a new pattern of teaching, new innovative ways of selling concepts, and opportunities amongst the well versed subject experts to earn in their past time. The model was made exclusively keeping in view that USA had passed NCLB (no child left behind) and that every child needs some kind of guidance back at home, what they either miss out in class or to get better grades in class.
The products were sold to willing customers after they were introduced the unique interactive whiteboard demo session for one or two subject based questions. The product pricing were kept affordable in order to help almost every willing parent to buy. Packages were sold on hourly, weekly and monthly basis. Almost every packages were sold for a discount promo code and more discounts in case of referrals and renewals. Payments were made through secure socket layer (SSL) encryption gateways to help and secure customers faith and ensure safety of money transaction.
Acquiring of business
Tutor Vista acquired Indian education company Edurite, which was into digital content in 2008. The whole exercise was to make forays into Indian educational market through Edurite. The introduction of digital content is another innovative product which was sought after. Acquiring of another online educational company based out of USA, Smart thinking created enough interest in Pearson Education, to buy Tutor Vista and its sister concerns for $ 127.00
The business module was both innovative and path breaking, in terms of model and revenue generation through online knowledge impartation.
The Tutor Vista showed what technology can do and to what extent innovation can be extended and implemented. Online tutoring now has become a very easy concept and various easy to get free interactive whiteboards are available for consumers and small business houses to conduct training sessions and crucial meetings over the net. But the innovation that was done in the field of education and clever use of vast knowledge base to tap a market which is in dire need of good educators was something unheard of. The use of technology was again a very special as the E-business model could show the world that IT and ITES can do a lot more than just making software and gaming platform.
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- Ferraro, G. and Brody, E.K., 2015. Cultural Dimension of Global Business. Routledge.
- Yoo, C.W., Kim, Y.J. and Sanders, G.L., 2015. The impact of interactivity of electronic word of mouth systems and E-Quality on decision support in the context of the e-marketplace. Information & Management, 52(4), pp.496-505.