What was the premise that led to the genesis of SpeakIn?
The entire premise of setting up SpeakIn was to bring in thought leaders from different walks of life on a single platform, with the intent to democratize the access. As we have always said, the defacto notion that a king’s son is always a king, we aim to change that. We aim to bring in access to the kings of the different pieces of thought leadership whether it is professional services, politics, government, bureaucracy, media, corporate world and more. The access to a common man, who has the will and the skill to learn. The other premise was so as that organizations and individuals in that organizations can learn seamlessly via online, videos, blogs, podcasts or in person learning. We wanted to help organizations create a single pool of experts from multiple genres, in multiple languages and in multiple regions for their learning requirements.
What is the operating model for SpeakIn when it comes to experts in different domains?
We have 2 models in which the consumption happens, one is, where organizations come in and pick particular instance of a virtual session or an in-person session to be consumed for their internal learning perspective or their customers even by inviting these speakers as trainers, speakers, thought leaders, workshop experts, mentor and more. Second is subscription based, where we predominantly have a pool of mentors and experts where organizations can subscribe to a platform at SpeakIn, and then they can dig in and use these experts over a period of time. In terms of standardization of what we are doing, our core products are experts, other any format is secondary like podcast, blogs etc; thus, for experts we strictly follow a SpeakIn Quality Index, every single expert on this platform is measured in this ten-point scale to ensure quality.
How does SpeakIn ensure customization with content and compliance queries when it comes to annual subscription with clients?
We have an elaborate set of compliances whether it is data, basic terms and conditions etc.; we have top legal terms coming together to bring a strong set of legal protocols for use of this information as well as for bringing these experts on board. The paper use is a completely is a be spoke solution and for the matter the subscription is also be spoke solution depending upon the topic and the level of experts that the organization is looking for.
Which are the domains and how many experts in such domains is SpeakIn currently engaged with?
We have over 18,000 experts on the platform and there are 500 different genres in which we work from diversity, to inclusion, to crypto-currency, to bitcoin, and of course entrepreneurship, motivation, business leadership, hospitality, Fintech and more. And then there are experts globally who are contributing to this particular tally of topics. Upon that there are 47 different countries, where experts come from, they speak 18 different languages at the last cut.
How many organizations are currently availing these services at present?
We currently have 50+ clients from Maruti, Quora, BCG, to even Ashok Leyland, HDFC; that is the kind of spread we are serving. We are very across sectors, BSFI has a very big strength that we have, even Academia. For a few companies we even have been serving consistently for more than 5 years.
Which all geographies do SpeakIn cater to? Does SpeakIn predominantly serve with English only?
We have clients over 8 different countries that we are servicing, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea and now we are starting in middle east as well including UK, Oman, Bangladesh, and India of course.
Yes, predominantly we do serve content in English language, and we have started somewhere with Arabic; but that is a very early stage.
How would SpeakIn’s service model look in hybrid situation of offline and online service providing?
This is precisely where SpeakIn’s largest competency lies, where we have the ability to give multiple formats on a single platform. There is an opportunity of blended learning that we provide. Pre-COVID we were completely offline, post-COVID we went online and now its not just the virtual interface that you can have but also one can learn in a passive manner using blogs, podcasts, etc. We believe we are ready whatever the situation might be, even if the world open ups or the hybrid model supersedes.
What is SpeakIn’s business model?
As I mentioned, we have 2 models, namely pay per use and subscription based; both the models have an administrative charge which is a simple conduit model for the value that we bring in. Our predominant cost is the outflow to the experts and that’s how our business model operates.
How the cost structure changes when it comes to online service ?
We have value adds in terms of we want to conduct on-ground events or virtual events, as a part of services that the client can buy. We provide complete end-to-end solutions. So, the intend to build is to give access and to make the entire experience completely seamless to the clients and that is where we are bringing in technology as well.
How does SpeakIn work with individual experts and experts associated with organizations?
Our first preference is to work with individuals because we have very strict quality indexes and the indexes are all individualized and not for company, so our quality assurances, our dynamics all person expert centric. We personally do not encourage organization to organization relationship.
How do you keep a quality check on the experts that you tend to bring in?
Approximately 85% of our experts are aligned to an organization, but when we work with them, we work with them on individual basis. We ensure that it shouldn’t matter which organization they are aligned with, they must be quality content experts and the factor of adaptability is prime to us.
What is the road map and the key focus areas for SpeakIn for the next few quarters?
In terms of our current products, say ‘Find a Mentor’ platform where organizations can look for experts in one go, this is something that we are working on aggressively for the next three quarters. Secondly, we are working to strengthen the product itself in technology perspective. Thirdly, we are planning for global expansion and increase the number of countries we are currently working in.
What infrastructure is currently available in terms of expansion in the technology domain for SpeakIn?
We currently have a robust recommendation engine, we are planning to bring in an AI enablement to that, particularly because of the number of users that have swelled up on the system, whether it is on the usage for live session, or for e-learning products. The intent is to make the platform more sensitive to user information, to customize it for personas to be able to listen to the internet and social media and bring out the trending topics and content that can be consumed by the market.
How do you decide on the geographical expansion plan?
We will be making organic start, in both the markets namely Singapore and Middle East, but we are also looking at partners in both markets for a possible Joint Venture to help us enter the market and a strength of existing client relationship that we can pick and take it forward.
What are the other key focus areas for SpeakIn for expansion and growth?
Most of our prenominal planning will revolve around geographical expansion and ‘Find a Mentor’ platform; we believe that once we are successful on these two parameters a lot would be taken care of!
How does the subscription model work exactly with client organizations and individuals in that organization?
It is on license basis, or on the basis of number of employees the organization would like to sign up for; there is a larger subscription product, which is for the entire organization where we have a set of live learning session, e-learning portals, blogs, podcasts and more which the organization can subscribe to and their employees can use on the go. There is a dedicated ‘Find a mentor’ platform which is largely for the CEOs of organizations which is on a per user basis.
What is the pricing model for mid-market companies in India?
Our focus is not on mid-market organizations because what we believe is that the product and the level of our experts is more towards the up-trend of the market and more for organizations and consumers which are more evolved in nature irrespective of the language. For us the focus is on experiential learning, and not handholding and academic interfaces; that’s not our USP. The ideal consumer for us is more than 1,000 employees or upwards of a 2,500 crore business.