Reliance Infocomm and Xavier Institute of Management (Bhubaneshwar) have come together to launch a post-graduate programme through virtual classrooms. The programme will be coordinated and managed by Blueshift, an Atlanta and Chennai-based software and services provider.
240 Reliance web-world outlets will house these virtual classrooms across 100 cities in India, and Infocomm admitted to being in talks with more educational institutions to launch similar services.
Speaking to journalists across the country via video conference from Delhi, Sarup Chowdhury, CEO, Reliance Web World, said, “Besides aggregating and partnering with the best of the content providers worldwide, Reliance WebWorld will also partner Universities and Institutes of repute for long-term certificate / degree courses.”
The one-year post-graduate Certificate Programme in Business Management will cost a candidate Rs 1,80,000. Reliance officials refused to divulge details on how this fee will be shared between Reliance, XIM and Blueshift.
Some indication of the revenues involved may be gauged from the fact that Reliance Web Worlds charge Rs 2,000 per hour per location for the video conferencing facility, outside of this tie-up. Currently, the Web Worlds have a video conferencing run of around 3,000 hours a month and this is expected to double shortly, according to the spokespeople.
The advantages over satellite were explained as real-time, multi-way audio, with visual presence of both the professors and the students, enabling interactive discussions and the like. Reliance Web Worlds are also used by corporates for its video conferencing facility. The list shared by the spokespeople includes Gillette, Intel, Intel, Cipla, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sansung, HLL, GDFC Standard Life and Marico. The total daily usage of the Web Worlds across the country was pegged at around 30,000 hours.
Given the supposed demand for journalists in television news channels, if only some of the channels could have tuned into the Q&A that followed the interaction, they might have checked out some options from the print and electronic media from across the country. Maybe Reliance could at that too as a revenue option, in due course.