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When Steve Met Rachel

November 17, 2016 Sameer Kulkarni From the Biz Development Team

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I recently bumped into my university time friend Rachel at a conference in Toronto. I remembered her as a shy girl from old days, but it looked like she had transformed into a very confident business professional over the years. She handed over her card to me which read that she was a sales head with a well-known eLearning company.

We chatted for a bit, touched upon how life had changed as we have aged, strategies for staying healthy, challenges with everyday stuff, daily activities, hobbies, and of course, work.

Just as I was about to end the conversation with a formal sounding promise to keep in touch, she said something that piqued my curiosity. She said she would be in New York the week after, to meet a customer, who apparently is my biggest competitor called ‘Medical Communications’ and as a matter of fact, a well-known name too in my industry.

Just a little background, I own a digital communications company based in the heart of New York City. We have a special focus on the pharmaceutical sector, with most global pharma brands as our clients.

“What would an eLearning development firm do for a medical communications agency?”

Rachel gave me a confident smile and said, “quite a lot.”

“But I know for a fact that they do not develop any online training! How does a collaboration work in that case?”

“Steve, you are quite right assuming that our main business is to develop digital learning modules. However I would like to throw some light on what it includes. Being a smart businessman, I know you will connect the dots in your mind.”

“I am all ears.”

“We are purely into the instructional and technology part of things, the main content always comes from the client, we don’t write it. But we make sure it gets translated into interactive and engaging outcomes. When the course content comes from the client, we start work on the instructional design and create storyboards. Once the client approves them, we start the development. The development includes multiple things like creating the graphics, icons, graphs, charts, animations, 2D or 3D images and characters. A lot of our work involves creating engaging video content. In the end we put everything together and handover the final product to the client….you get the picture?”

“I guess I do, yeah. So are you saying that your services are not limited to the businesses that wish to develop interactive training, but to every business that would like to create digital content?”

“You got it! For your competitor, we have been developing short two minute videos on the side effects of certain drugs. They have hired a dedicated team of animators in our offshore office in India for the video creation work.”

“So the hypoglycemia video they showcased in the conference in DC last month…was it developed by you folks?”

She just smiled.

“You kidding me? That is award winning stuff! You guys are great!”

“Thank you, Steve. This is all about understanding the client’s business thoroughly, asking the right questions and delivering as promised. With stringent processes and strong project management skills, we can do it fairly easily for industries. Though I sell mainly into the life sciences, my company’s business is industry agnostic. We work with many marketing and advertising agencies as their development partners. With a large offshore team, we can take on work at a short notice and work with tight timelines. The hypoglycemia video from our customer or the drug launch presentation I showed to you earlier are just two examples from the many projects we keep executing on a regular basis. Do you think we can catch up once again in NYC next week to have a detailed discussion?”

Rachel’s words forced me to think a lot on the way things were currently happening at my firm, and I could think of many more opportunities already in my head. I would be a fool to say no to Rachel’s proposition.

I learnt that an eLearning company could be of help to many non-training businesses too, and I am already looking forward to know more in our next meeting.

Note: This blog is a fictional account.


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