I can say that we are among the most comprehensive among them all. Yes I know that, being too comprehensive can sometimes be a great challenge due to the fact that people may get confuse..
- Vulcan Post : From my observation, I would say that Malaysia doesn’t lack edutech platforms that match students to teachers of various expertise in different subjects. With multiple edutech platforms already existing and tackling their own niches, what made you decide to launch MyClaaz? If you saw gaps in the market to address, for example, could you share what they were?
Dr Zaharuddin Abd Rahman (Myclaaz’s Founder) : I can say that we are among the most comprehensive among them all. Yes I know that, being too comprehensive can sometimes be a great challenge due to the fact that people may get confuse, but we take that challenge and aiming to be a one stop centre for e-learning, let that be our niche. That includes our core offerings as follows :
a) matching platform for student and trainer
b) online and offline lesson arrangement
c) marketplace for educational items
d) facilitate event creation
e) Short courses: learn at your own pace with certificate
f) data collection of what people what to learn
- Why did you choose to launch MyClaaz during the pandemic?
Actually, we did not choose to launch it during pandemic as we started from scratch in October 2019 and that is before the Covid. Since the web app and mobile apps completed five to seven months later, we have no choice but to launch it whether or not there is a pandemic.
- Browsing MyClaaz, it appears to tackle quite a variety of subjects, and I would assume students of all ages and backgrounds too. Meanwhile, some similar edutech platforms have instead chosen to focus on a specific market (such as secondary school students, etc.). What was the reason behind your decision to have a product that catered to such a variety of students and educators?
Yes, in the beginning we are targeting school students as they are normally needed lot of assistance for their big examinations, but we realized that is just too typical and narrow target. We even go further by analysing the existing EdTech platform which has specific target in terms of their revenues. We realized the number is just not good enough.
Additionally, this platform has great potential to cater a wider scope of learners and trainers globally such as udemy, coursera, teachable etc, hence we decide to go for bigger audience as the ‘game’ should be at a larger scale, mimicking e-commerce platforms where people can sell and buy almost everything except educational services. Hence why EdTech platform needs to limit themselves to only specific group of learners and just in a specific country?
- With MyClaaz tackling different segments, how are you ensuring that your product reaches the crowds you want to serve? You also mentioned that minimal marketing efforts have been put into MyClaaz, so how would you ensure its reach?
Yes, that is quite a big challenge especially with limited amount of capital. For that reason, we need to strategize and placing priorities and steps in sequence. As a result, we start by attracting trainers, tutors and teachers. We also organise events to create awareness of our platform and attracting registered members. From there, crowd slowly learn about our services. As people start talking about how they can make money out of the stock market after the crash in month of March 2020, we are taking advantage to organise events in that field, and it really bring huge crowd to our platform. Originally there is no event creation feature at our platform, but due to pandemic, we need to invent few additional features to stay relevant such as event creation and charity collection features.
- In the press release, it’s mentioned that you’ve seen several trainers on MyClaaz earn from RM50K to RM300K in just 3 months. To clarify, would that be RM50K-RM300K each? If so, how was that achieved? Realistically, how many classes would they have to offer each month to reach that amount of income?
As I mentioned, due to our new features, we are no longer having to rely on a ‘one to one’ class to convene and complete, that may take years, hence we encourage trainers to sell educational event tickets, e-books and teaching videos. Each sale will give us a percentage similar to when a trainer completed a lesson. I remember one of the trainer’s event attracted more than 1000 participants. That equals 1000 classes at one go.
- What is the vetting process for trainers and educators on MyClaaz? Could you share some details? What actions does MyClaaz take if students report that a trainer has a misleading profile/qualifications?
At the current stage, we cannot be too strict as we are new, too many restrictions will leave us with small number of trainers, hence the only vetting process for trainers are their identity and qualification certificate to be uploaded to the platform. Once they did that, they will receive a special ‘verified badge’. Additionally, we also continue to collaborate with schools’ administrators, universities, and colleges where we can get a group of quality trainers and lecturers directly from these reputable institutions.
If we received a genuine report from a student regarding a fake qualification or done any harmful action to student, we will hold the payment and return it to the student. Also, to deactivate the trainer’s account. All these already in our terms and conditions.
- If MyClaaz doesn’t charge trainers a registration fee, does it then monetise from each transaction made between a trainer and student? If so, could you share the % of a cut MyClaaz makes from each transaction?
Yes, there are different type of modules used by educational platform in the world, but based on our research, the most popular fee module is per transaction basis and not by way of subscription fee. It is considered friendlier to users and would attract more people and let them slowly learning about their ability to sell and offer services naturally. This module may take sometimes, but we hope it will not take too long, especially in the current situation where people are somewhat ‘forced’ to learn online in several instances.
We are taking 20 % of each transaction, and that is fair as compared to global EdTech platform and benchmark of a digital platform in general. Apple company for example takes 30 % of each transaction from all apps listed on apple store. As for our short course’s platform (mycourse.my) we are taking 25-60% from the retail price from the content provider, depending on the package.
- Is the pricing of services that MyClaaz’s trainers state regulated by MyClaaz? How do you ensure that the pricing across your site is fair and on the lower end, as is claimed in the press release?
At the moment, our trainers are free to determine their fees as they see fit, that is applied to almost all items, except for few services we set it not to be less than RM10 (when they are using our video conferencing tools). Most of services, can also be free of charge.
- Regarding the location-based feature of MyClaaz, I believe it would mainly come in handy for finding tutors for one-on-one in-person classes. Do they serve another purpose for classes/sessions that are held purely online (which I assume would be the majority of classes during the pandemic)?
Yes, users can immediately learn the trainers’ distance from the user’s location, qualification, and other services that they offer in a single page, we called it as ‘trainer public profile page’ for example (https://myclaaz.com/app/#/instructor/8/services), it is accessible to everyone even a non-registered user. This page allows trainers to market their multiple services on social media etc. With that, we are not only relying on ‘one to one’ classes but also other items.
- So far, what have been the greatest challenges of running MyClaaz? Could you please share some examples? How did you overcome them?
Create trust and people awareness, we think that, even after we provide them with the easiest user-friendly platform, many still do not understand how to leverage on all features offered by the platform; I think we have done so much so that trainers can really get lot of free benefits with easy payment gateway etc but the conversion is still slow.
I think that is somewhat normal, when people trying something new and not familiar with. The same challenges faced by other digital platform as well, skeptical, suspicion etc. some of the platform survives and some are not. We hope to survive.
- What plans to scale up does MyClaaz have, moving forward? Do you have any specific goals/targets in mind? What would be the necessary steps to take to achieve them?
Too many, apart from myclaaz as an EdTech platform, we are also aiming to provide our system as SaaS with minor modification to suit our clients’ needs. In addition to myclaaz page, our sub-page (mycourse.my) is also targeting to offer an exclusive staff-training platform for companies and organisations, apart from a place for individual learners to learn and get certified; we are collaborating with universities for minor credential recognition.
We are also looking to go abroad, we have several potential foreign parties in Nigeria, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and India to collaborate and establish myclaaz to cater educational needs in their country. However, the pandemic makes all these things moving slowly. Hence, we need to strengthen our foot in Malaysia at first but at the current state of health, economic and political uncertainty makes this even tougher. We hope the media and news companies can extend some help as well during these uncertain times, and that is by giving more coverage to Micro Small Enterprises (MsME) companies to attract people awareness with affordable packages.