Online developer training company, Pluralsight, recently opened an office in Bangalore, India, which it says clocks the company's second-highest Web traffic and houses its fifth-largest subscription base.
Headquartered in Salt Lake City, U.S., the company currently has field resources in Europe, India, and the United States. Pluralsight courses are available with searchable transcripts and closed captions in several languages, including Hindi.
I spoke to Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and president of Pluralsight, to understand the need to invest in headcount and resources in India.
Q: With Pluralsight an online company, how important is it to have local operations in a region?
Skonnard: Our products focus on online education for developers and IT professionals, and part of our value is the fact that we are available anywhere, anytime. That said, within India, local operations are crucial because this allows us to connect personally with current and prospective customers and illustrate our value to them.
In the end, people do business with people. You can have a great product, but if you cannot connect with the people who are using it, they will not come back. This is crucial in a subscription-based business.
How do you plan to reach out to Indian companies?
Our team in India is set to accomplish three specific goals that align with what customers are looking for in their organizational training. First is to create awareness. Our sales team is creating demand for online education by meeting face-to-face and engaging in phone conversations with customers to assess their training needs and requirements for their employees.
Second, once a customer is using our product, we want to see they are getting the most out of their investment. In business there is always talk about returns on investment, but training is very difficult to measure and quantify. Our reporting portal allows customers to analyze their use at any time, and our learning advisers are reviewing plans on a regular basis, calling attention to key trends in usage so the customer knows which features are or aren't being utilized.
Third, with training of any kind, you need to get people excited and motivated. I do not know of many online education companies that put a developer evangelist in front of customers to stand and talk about technology. Through these stand-and-deliver sessions, Pinal Dave, who is our developer evangelist in India, provides the roadmap for users to then go back to Pluralsight and get the most out of what they heard in the technology session.
Apart from customer advocacy at enterprises, do you have any plan for outreach to SMBs? How do you define value for SMBs?
In his role, Pinal can leverage his evangelism within enterprise or SMB (small and midsize business) customers. We have him presenting at tradeshows inside and outside of India, so his work transcends individual and business customers of all levels.
There is not a single developer or IT business in India, large or small, that could not benefit from access to Pluralsight. We have changed and accelerated the way companies learn. This is extremely relevant to SMBs which are often the leading edge of change and early adopters of technology and business trends. We have the fastest-growing, highest quality online learning experience available today at a price that meets the demands of businesses of all sizes. SMBs and enterprises have access to all the same resources and tools, including the reporting portal to manage their licenses, analyze usage, and ensure they are getting their money's worth. They have access to all existing and future content which addresses past, current, and emerging technologies.
And, in Pinal, our customers have access to a developer evangelist who can excite their organizations to get the most out of the investment. Simply put, in India, we are available when and where our customers need us to be.