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Friday, Feb 22, 2002

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Macmillan into e-learning

Anjali Prayag


IN its 110 years of existence in the country, Macmillan India Ltd banked heavily on the business of education. With the advent of the Internet, eMacmillan was born with e-learning as its core business. ''Though it has contributed just about Rs 5 crore to Macmillan's turnover last year, we expect a substantial jump this year,'' says Mr Rajshekhar Joshi, Vice-President, E- Business Division, Macmillan India.

In its first round, eMacmillan developed and launched e-learning web sites in the country. This was in collaboration with professional bodies such as Indian Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Design. According to Mr Joshi, ''There should be some credibility to the learning process and that can be given by such reputed learning centres.''

In its Good Design Series, eMacmillan has tied up with NID to offer a programme in Graphic and Industrial Design for Effective Packaging. This is a three-month course that tackles issues that concern designers, communicators and all other users at various levels of packaging, explains Mr Joshi.

Similarly, eMacmillan has tied up with the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi to offer a finance course for non-finance executives. There are plans to offer courses with IIMs and other schools of management.

Online learning is in an early stage in India and eMacmillan is exploring different avenues for growth in this area. Its English Language Teachers Website is already a popular site with over 500 subscriptions and according to Mr Joshi, this may go up to 1000 by this year end.

"The ELT Web site provides support material and resources that are easy to access and customised to the Indian classroom needs at school level,'' says Mr Joshi.

Apart from this success, prepares and guides students for professional courses. The company has also developed and set up Web sites on high-end cancer research, multilingual encyclopaedia and science teaching in British schools.

``With these initiatives, we hope to emerge as frontline players in the e-learning business,'' says Mr Joshi.

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