A four-year-old education and research-based startup, 361 Degree Minds provides online MBA, BBA, BCom and a PG Diploma in collaboration with Annamalai University. It also partners with corporates for corporate training and CEO coaching, collaborates with distance education divisions of UGC approved colleges for online learning dissemination of course content, and with test prep companies that tutor students for cracking entrance exams like CAT and Common Law Admission Test to take their programmes online.
The specialisations offered in MBA vary from Marketing Management, Financial Management, HR Management, e-Business Management to International Business. While they offer a BCom in International Business, they also offer a PG Diploma in Hospitality Management.
With regard to the corporate sector, their programmes include Corporate Leadership, Next-Gen MBA, Organisation Building, Accounts Payables programme, Personal Wellness programme and Family Learning programmes.
Some of its corporate clients include Nokia and Cognizant, while test prep companies include Career Launcher. “We also have skilling programmes in Tamil Nadu to make students employable. Rajalakshmi Engineering College is one we have catered to in this area. As far as our revenue model goes we charge the corporate on a per employee basis. With universities, the student fee is split between the colleges and us. For other programmes we offer, we charge them on per learner basis,” says CP Gopinathan, Founder-Director, 361 Degree Minds.
For its university programmes, an e-coach (academic guide) is available to address the students’ academic queries, and top executives and Vice-Presidents from the industry are invited to the studio during live faculty sessions for interacting with the students. Blogs and discussion forums ensure active student involvement. A student coordinator and a tech support team are present to answer university-related and technical queries. A classroom environment and peer-to-peer interaction is ensured through the portal’s videos, opinion polls, quizzes and Q&As. Students can also plan their studies and track their performance and exchange online notes, material and knowledge with fellow learners.
These programmes are approved by the HRD Ministry and recognised by the UGC and AICTE.
The course material is organised into easily navigable subjects and chapters with audio-visuals that explain how a theoretical concept applies in the real world. Other features available with the course content include recordings of past faculty sessions, library, bookmarking, key word search facility, game-based learning and practice tests.
“We have around 1,000 learners on our proprietary i-meta online platform in the university stream. Over 15,000 people are learning other test prep, corporate, college employability and professional training programmes. In all, we have delivered different forms of education to more than 45,000 students using the i-meta platform,” says K Ramachandran, Head, Macro Initiatives and Strategy, 361 Degree Minds.
The company was started three years ago and their 16-member team includes P Rammohan, Head, Business Development; Ritu Gopinathan, who handles academic research and content development; Terence Raj, who handles university education division; Sai Reddy handles corporate accounts and is also a faculty member; and E Vishwanath who also handles university education.
Ramachandran adds that the startup has trained thousands of managers in Singapore, Phillipines, Malaysia and the US working in Cognizant, Nokia, Astra Zeneca, SanDisk, Manhattan, Career Launcher, Covansys and Zenta.
“We intend to provide a mobile version of our product, enter the skilling arena and provide teacher training on a larger scale,” says Gopinathan signing off.