TutorVista is a Bangalore-based company that provides online tutoring services to students in 13 different countries (mainly to the US and UK at the moment). The company uses internet technology to “conference” together students from around the world with teachers based in India. TutorVista was incorporated as a private company in December 2005 and has recently broken the 2,000 subscriber mark (currently ~2,200 subscribers). It is primarily funded with capital from the Silicon Valley-based tech-oriented private equity firm Sequoia Capital.
This diverse industry includes major players such as the global education provider Kaplan (a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company) all the way down to self-employed tutors working on a casual basis. Hence the industry is fragmented in a sense: the big companies relying on reputation for sales whilst individual tutors rely more on relationship-based contacts. TutorVista aims to revolutionise the industry by its use of technology in two main ways: a) cut down on costs by (virtually) off shoring to India and b) increase educational access for remote students.
We are primarily focusing on how TutorVista will be able to adapt to the different international markets and deal with cultural differences. We believe that TutorVista have an innovative product with a great deal of potential, especially given the low cost of using the service. However its relative success depends on how it handles cultural issues and how this shapes its marketing and the end product it delivers to subscribers.
Additionally, given the relative ease of imitating the service being provided by TutorVista, we will propose strategies for differentiation and for maintaining market share.
Cultural Differences in the US Market
There are many cultural differences between the US and India as a whole. According to Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, one can see a great difference between the United States and India in the areas of Power...