OnDemand trains its sights on Myanmar and Cambodia

THAI private tutoring institution OnDemand Education is conducting a feasibility study into establishing a presence in Myanmar and Cambodia, where middle-class parents are hoping their kids can receive the right sort of education that will get them into a well-known university

People in Myanmar and Cambodia are familiar with the Thai language as a result of watching Thai TV shows, while the growing middle classes in both countries are capable of supporting their children to study abroad, including in Thailand, said Sathorn Upanwan, chief executive officer of OnDemand.

Regulations in both Myanmar and Cambodia allow international schools and foreign tutoring institutions to set up schools there, he said, adding that the company’s feasibility study is looking for partners to do business in these markets.

“Parents in Myanmar and Cambodia have similar goals to those of Thai parents, especially wealthy people who want to see their children well educated because it gives them a chance to get a good job,” the CEO said.

With Thailand facing a declining birth rate, and the number of one-child families on the rise, primary schools and secondary schools that offer an English programme are becoming the priority choice for parents who can afford such an education for their offspring, he explained.

 

Three or four tutoring-school players have already introduced new courses for primary-school through to secondary-school learners.

OnDemand will follow this trend, with the company adding an English-language programme in mathematics and sciences, and will set up a branch under the name of OnDemand Inter to make it clear that the tutoring institution is for international learners, Sathorn said.

OnDemand has 40 branches nationwide, of which 10 are in Bangkok, and the company plans to open a further five branches this year.

Sutee Assavavimol, the founder of OnDemand, said the economic slowdown had affected the income of parents in upcountry provinces, while the trend for one-of-one tutoring in these provinces had affected tutoring schools as well.

“Since we opened to receiving tutoring charges via credit card, the volume of income via this route has been high, showing that the economic slowdown has affected the cash flow of parents,” he said.

To maintain growth, the company will have to add new courses in its primary and international programmes, and will promote a new educational concept – Trusted onDemand – with the goal of helping students get into the right faculty, the founder said.

By expanding its courses to primary-school and international-programme learners, it hopes to maintain revenue growth of 10-20 per cent.

Last year’s revenue grew 20 per cent from the 2014 level, he added.

 

Source: The Nation

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