Efforts made for launching Masterclass
We launched QuipperVideo Masterclass in 2018. Masterclass is a subsidiary service to QuipperVideo that allows students to have interactive access to tutors and coaches, specifically to ask questions about school subjects/homework to tutors and university planning to coaches.
I believe Business Development managers would have various kinds of roles, but mine has been to launch a new service. And I believe this new service, Masterclass, would expand our business.
To launch Masterclass, I spent my time, in the beginning, reviewing the market, analyzing the data, and interviewing users in order to find what sort of content they desired. I also started building a team at the same time. We started with a team of 5 members in July 2018, which then grew up to 12 members, about 2.5 times more than the original number within about 6 months. My members have around 10 coaches/tutors each, so they are also playing the roles of leaders.
When starting up the team, I tried to be aware of maintaining a team environment in which everyone can express their thoughts and opinions freely and also made sure I shared the responsibility in the team. Apart from regular meetings, we also have meetings specifically for brainstorming sessions with everyone in the team. During these meetings, I would name someone and urge them to talk actively. In this way, I think they gained confidence and became convinced that “my opinion is necessary for this business.”
I also believe each member has different experiences and talents. Therefore I encouraged everyone in the team to take part in the project and contribute their experiences and expertise. In other words, I did not let one person in charge completely for the whole process, but I assigned people with various backgrounds and let them share the responsibilities.
The communication skill is the most important thing for leadership
I won the MVP award for my leadership in the Masterclass team and cross-department communications.
My Country Manager told me that it was rare to let someone take my current position only after 1.5 years of joining the company. I think that is because my communication skills and leadership have been acknowledged, and I am grateful that other people tell me the same thing.
Although an ability to understand the situation is important for leadership, I think one of the most important elements is the skill for communication. Through communication with the team, I try to understand my team members’ aspirations and needs. I also would like them to actively think “I want to do something more” and communicate to me.
When I am working with my line manager, Yuta Funase the Country Manager, I feel that he actually listens to my opinions and suggestions. He is someone who hears my ideas out and supports me so that I can fulfill my responsibilities. I can actually enjoy myself while working because I know that he trusts me and regards my opinions as important.
My team members are young, clever and very lively. Everyone is a contributor to Masterclass success as they have been taking a great part since the beginning of Masterclass. I believe I could not have been chosen as an MVP without them. Everyone really puts in a lot of effort, and it is them who have given strength to my work.
I struggled to prioritize
Because Masterclass is a new service, there are a lot of things to do to improve its performance. However, since what we developed was completely new, we did not have the baseline data to compare, and it was extremely difficult to judge what to put first.
I, therefore, focused on communicating with team members and the County Manager to overcome this challenge. Discussing especially with the Country Manager has been very useful in the process of deciding the priorities for Masterclass.
In the future, I think I need to focus on important issues and things that affect the business so that I can improve my management skills and leadership. There are many things I need to do in order to expand the business, so I need to put priorities on my tasks.
The key to successful communication with other departments is “merit”
It is also extremely difficult to show leadership in the cross-department stage. We need to start by communicating with each other, focusing on the merits of other departments and look for a compromising plan.
For example, we definitely need a workforce of about 300 sales agents in order to increase the number of Masterclass users. It is critical to have the sales agents to understand Masterclass services and its benefits before they present our product to the potential users. We started looking into what the sales department needed.
We found out that what the sales department needed was product knowledge of Masterclass. Sales agents would visit schools which the appointment-maker has made an appointment with, and they would present the services of Quipper to students and receive applications. We needed every single sales agent to obtain enough knowledge of Masterclass services so that they could explain how attractive this product was.
Therefore, we decided to do a roadshow to visit all branches and provided training to the sales agents. Both the sales department and ourselves have the same goal to expand Masterclass. Training sessions provided at each branch were very fruitful for both of us.
Moved by the mission of Quipper
Before I started working for Quipper, I was working as a senior project leader focusing on youth development.
The areas I was always passionate about at that time were education and social issues. At Quipper Indonesia, I have been able to focus on the educational field based on two-year experiences at my previous job. I think my current job helps to expand my views from previously specific only to university students in Indonesia, now is widened to capture also junior and high school students.
To me what makes Quipper different from other companies is its mission of “Bringing the Best Education to Every Corner of the World”. Ever since I joined Quipper, I have been making efforts so that I can contribute to the expansion of Quipper’s businesses in order to deliver this mission. I was told my influence on other people with passionate efforts was another reason for being picked as an MVP, but I have to say my biggest motivation that moves me is this mission of Quipper.
At Quipper, I have had opportunities to learn quite a lot of things such as how to launch a new service, how to design a product that would be accepted by the market, business senses and so on.
In the next fiscal year, our plan is to focus on operations scalability for Masterclass so that the service can serve more and more users. Apart from that, I personally want to continue to refine Masterclass as a service in order to deliver the right values and exceptional qualities to students in Indonesia.
* The business (including business name and business description), people and titles introduced in the article are those at the time of the interview. It may be different at this time.