Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean – Article summary
[Scale Up x Dongguk University Campus Town] Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean The Scale Up Team is conducting the ‘2023 Scale Up Program’ in collaboration with Dongguk University Campus Town. The Scale Up Team introduces the overall business ongoing by startups participating in this program and analyzes their business models. We aim to help them by connecting experts in different areas to solve the problems that challenge them to take things to the next level.
Table of Contents
※Chapter Seoul is a startup that provides ‘Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean’, a platform that provides TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) II equivalent, intermediate and advanced Korean language classes necessary for employment and business online. With systematically created speaking, listening, and writing textbooks, 1:1 learning content, and data learning management, the re-enrollment rate was 67% and class satisfaction was 4.7/5 points. With support from the 한국관광공사, 청년창업사관학교 and the 글로벌창업사관학교, also collaborated on Korean language education with related organizations, including Kowork.
[Chapter Seoul BM analysis ‘Why people study Korean’]
Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean?
It has already been nearly 10 years since the TV program ‘비정상회담’, which featured foreigners from various countries who spoke Korean well, gained great popularity. Since ‘비정상회담’ became popular, it has become very common to encounter celebrity-like foreigners on TV who not only speak Korean well but also have a sense of entertainment.
Differences between the Korean language education market and Chapter Korean
Chapter Seoul is said to provide ‘Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean’. If you look at the positioning map to see what differentiation they have in the Korean language education market, it is as follows.
The mainstream of the Korean language education market, like other education markets, is usually offline academies. Among these, public-oriented King Sejong Institutes and university-affiliated institutions were mainly responsible for basic Korean language education, while private Korean language education institutions were mainly responsible for advanced Korean language education.
What we should pay attention to is the rapidly growing online education market. As many may have guessed, artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot-based interactive education services have recently entered the Korean language education market and quickly established themselves. Once Korean-optimized AI services such as Naver Hyperclova X
Meanwhile, Chapter Korean only connects instructors and students online in this market and does not actively utilize information and communication technology. They emphasize the advantage of high satisfaction with lectures and high learning outcomes for students because they connect students with instructors with a long period of experience one-on-one. What is disappointing is profitability. The only medium through which instructors and students meet is online, and the cost structure is almost the same as offline, so profit scalability is judged to be low.
When comparing customer value with competing online Korean education services, Chapter Korean’s characteristics stand out even more. The reason why we provide more suitable educational services for middle and advanced students and the quality of learning management is good is not because of the system, but because of the human service of instructors. However, the cost of using human services is high, so the economic feasibility is low.
Efforts to overcome limitations… but…
Chapter Korean knew that ‘it would be difficult to grow with the same business model as before.’ So, to break away from the 1:1 lecture method, they diversified their online services by using e-books and paid video lectures. They also developed specialized services such as employment and start-up linkage programs to strengthen their identity through practical education. They worked in a variety of ways, including creating a B2B model that proposed customized training programs and dispatched instructors according to the needs of companies. Nevertheless, it is difficult to say that Chapter Korean has created structural changes for growth. What kind of change is needed?
Selection of business model for structural change
When an education company creates a new education program, it is the same as launching a new product. If that product were to be a huge success, it could change the future of the company, but unfortunately, it is unreasonable to expect such a hugely successful product to emerge in the Korean language education market for many reasons. If innovation at the product level is difficult, we need to think of a more fundamental and structural change, which is innovation at the business model level.
Case 1. Combination with generative AI
In order to innovate business models, it is necessary to detect major changes occurring in the education industry and confirm whether they are applicable changes to Chapter Korean. No matter what anyone says, the most notable change in the education industry that I have observed is the integration with ‘generative AI services.’
SpeakEasy Labs’ representative service is ‘Speak 스픽’. It claims to be an AI tutor through the Chat GPT plug-in service. The market response was also enthusiastic, recording 1 million downloads within 4 months of launch. In addition, companies such as Study Max are also known to provide English coaching services based on Chat GPT. Services from latecomers will follow one after another.
If AI like Naver Hyperclova X is commercialized, it is easy to predict that GPT-based Korean education services will emerge in the Korean language education market. These market changes and the emergence of competitive companies will be closer to a crisis than an opportunity for Chapter Korean, which does not have sufficient capabilities in information and communication technology.
Case 2. Link between education and employment
Not all Korean language education needs to be practical. People can study as much as they want to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. There are also stories that many students study Korean to understand the lyrics of their favorite K-pop songs. However, ‘intermediate and advanced level Korean study’ must be thoroughly practical. This is because the ultimate goal of learners is business utilization and employment.
Chapter Korean also took this advantage into consideration and created a program to link employment and start-ups. they teach self-introduction writing, coaching, interview preparation, and business Korean, and even support employment in Korea through collaboration with the foreign employment platform ‘KOWORK’.
This employment-startup linkage program is desirable in that it provides a collaborative approach between startups that lack resources and capabilities. However, unfortunately, it is difficult to find anything special in the recruitment of students, education, and connection to employment. The most disappointing thing is that it is difficult to trust that ‘I can get a job at a certain company, for a certain job, and through what process’.
I would like to introduce an overseas startup that has been evaluated as a new approach in terms of nurturing practical talent and linking employment. It is a startup called MissionU, which linked with promising startups in Silicon Valley, fostered talent seeking employment for free, and supplied them to the startups. Unfortunately, they are no longer in operation after being acquired by Wework.
Mission U’s motto was ‘to enable anyone to have the job they want without having to go to college by taking out student loans.’ It operates in a total of three semesters: the first semester is a theory course, the second semester is a practical course taught directly by employees of the contracted startup, and the third semester is an internship course where students go on to work at the contracted startup.
Participation cost is free. However, if a participant gets a job with an annual salary of $50,000 or more after graduation, 15% of the annual salary is paid for three years. Many applicants flocked to this service, which gave hope that it was possible to get a good job without special qualifications or scores on special tests such as the SAT. Startups also paid attention to this service. This is because they were able to present an educational curriculum to ensure that they had the knowledge and skills they required, and they felt new value in being able to select and hire good talent using the internship process.
What the author is trying to emphasize in this case is that ‘intermediate and advanced level Korean and employment are closely related.’ And, the greatest value in attracting customers (students) seeking employment is the ‘real connection with a good company’ such as an internship program. It is also emphasized that in order to attract good companies, it is necessary to supply truly Korean-style foreign workers who understand not only the Korean language but also Korean culture and even the characteristics of the industry.
‘Manpower development and matching platform’ not only Korean language education
If Chapter Korean wants to create growth momentum while maintaining its unique capabilities in Korean language education, one way could be to focus on employment linkage and aim for a ‘human resources development and matching platform between overseas human resources and domestic companies.’
Companies want verified human resources, and foreign workers also want verified jobs. It plays the role of ‘mutual verification’, but the recruitment and job search platforms so far have shown to be inadequate. This is because it simply lists personnel and company information. Therefore, I think there is a clear market opportunity in this sector.
If Chapter Korean becomes a platform that fosters and supplies the manpower required for domestic and foreign Korean companies (or overseas local offices), it will have differentiated customer value unlike before.
Fundamental differentiation for profitability and growth
The level of satisfaction with the Korean language education program provided by Chapter Korean is said to be very high. Therefore, I think they will have their own unique programs. It would be great if it could grow with good educational curriculum and content, and careful student management, but the language education business is inherently high-cost. Therefore, if structural changes are not pursued, it is difficult to satisfy both profitability and growth.
Let’s improve the high cost structure by establishing an online platform and e-learning system, and increase the reliability of employment for domestic and foreign students by recruiting well-known large companies as partners. Then, they will find ways to secure higher consumer attraction and profitability than competing services. Let’s improve the high cost structure by building a good program, and increase confidence in employment among domestic and foreign students by recruiting well-known large companies as partners. Then, we will find a way to secure higher consumer influx and profitability than competing services.
Chapter Korean is already providing employment-related services. They were determined not to stop at the current stage but to achieve a completely new goal. I end this article with the hope that Chapter Korean will become a chapter that makes groundbreaking progress in the very difficult field of Korean language education.
written by / 인사이터스컨설팅 황현철 대표 / 비즈니스모델 전문가
실전 비즈니스모델 컨설팅 전문가. For over 20 years, he has performed field-oriented consulting in various fields such as business strategy, process, production, and quality, and based on this experience, he provides practical business model consulting and training for large corporations to startups. He is also the author of ‘Business Modeler’, a full-scale corporate dramatization novel.
Write after organizing / IT동아 차주경([email protected])
Chapter Seoul; Advanced level Korean language education service, Chapter Korean
[Source and external article link]
아이티동아 : https://it.donga.com/103963/
네이버 : https://n.news.naver.com/mnews/article/020/0003504646?sid=105
다음 : https://v.daum.net/v/20230620153603188
네이트 : https://news.nate.com/view/20230620n24638
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