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Cyprus-based LearnWorlds makes e-learning a ‘must-have’

“E-learning, since the pandemic, has gone from a feature that used to be deemed as ‘nice to have’ to being ‘must have,’” notes Limassol-based LearnWorld CEO Panos Siozos.
LearnWorlds CEO Panos Siozos

“E-learning, since the pandemic, has gone from a feature that used to be deemed as ‘nice to have’ to being ‘must have,’” notes Limassol-based LearnWorld CEO Panos Siozos.

LearnWorlds is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company dedicated to e-learning, and it is growing fast as demand for learning at home has surged in the Covid-19 crisis. “Our clients are primarily companies or professional educators and trainers, not universities or schools. Those institutions operate under slightly different and more structured conditions,” Siozos said.

Siozos talked to the Cyprus Mail about his company, the remote learning sector, and how Cyprus can be a solid base for technology companies with global aspirations.

“We mostly address the needs of educators who want to pass on their knowledge remotely and sell their lessons and training. So our business combines distance learning and e-commerce in one platform,” he added.

“We tell our customers to not strive for perfection, spending six months crafting a lesson and then going out to market and realizing there’s no demand for it. Try a quick lesson first, go to market, gather feedback and build on that.”

 

“E-learning, since the pandemic, has gone from a feature that used to be deemed as ‘nice to have’ to being ‘must have,’” notes Limassol-based LearnWorld CEO Panos Siozos.
The LearnWorlds offices, Limassol, Cyprus

 

LearnWorlds was founded in the United Kingdom in 2014, a time when the economies of both Cyprus and Greece were not conducive to new ventures. Since then, however, a number of things have happened which spurred the founders of the company to relocate to Cyprus with some parts of the business in Greece.

“Brexit was disruptive to us as it unsettled some of our customers”, Siozos said. “Sometimes we forget the many benefits being a European Union member entails, including GDPR, the common market, a common currency, consumer protection, and more,” he added.

“Of course, we want the virus to be eradicated as soon as humanly possible, but what we offer, the ability to provide education and training 24/7 around the world with no disruption is exactly the solution to the particular problem the outbreak has caused,” he explained.

The entire elearning market was estimated to have been worth around $325 billion in 2019, according to research by Global Market Insights. It is expected to reach $375 billion by 2025.

The market has not only grown rapidly over the past six months, but has evolved as well, opening itself up to professionals not previously associated with repeatable lesson plans.

“There were entire markets and industries where ‘canned lessons’ were not the norm and which had to adjust to current conditions,” Siozos said. “They had to start selling live lessons.”

“Yoga, music, gymnastics, fitness training, dancing, anything you can think of. People who hadn’t thought of themselves as a ‘teacher’ tried to find new solutions”, he added.

Siozos explains how LearnWorlds swiftly integrated new trends to meet customer needs. “Everyone has heard of people using Zoom. We very quickly identified that trend and offered Zoom integration with LearnWorlds’ platform, enabling people with not one single pre-planned presentation to connect Zoom with our platform and record a live lesson while delivering it for the first time,” he pointed out.

While other platforms exist which allow for the transferring of knowledge, LearnWords’ built-in and direct monetization of your content simplifies the commercial aspect of education to a great degree. “Most other platforms rely on ad revenue. Sometimes this is automated like YouTube, other times you have to find your own sponsors like podcasts. Our platform allows for direct monetization,” Siozos clarifies.

I asked Siozos about the talent pool in Cyprus. “It depends on the role. It’s a small market. For example, though there are some excellent developers here, most of our developers are in Greece,” he said, but he insisted that geography does not shape recruitment.

“The company has always had a geographically distributed model. When we founded the company we were all in different cities. So we never had the need to have our employees based where we had offices. Wherever we find a good employee, we hire him/her. But yes, we have some great developers from Cyprus who work from their respective cities,” he said.

Siozos said that though Greece has a bigger talent pool in terms of software development, Cyprus excels in other areas, such as marketing. “People we find in Cyprus, especially in Limassol where the Forex industry is booming, tend to have expertise in marketing, much more than in Greece. This ties in with the generally high level of English language knowledge in Cyprus”, he said.

Siozos said that the company is always on the lookout for talented people in Cyprus and hopes to provide opportunities that are mutually beneficial to both parties.

“The biggest asset for technology companies is their people. Our main priority is to hire people who are better than us! So one of the reasons we are trying to get our company out there is to attract capable people,” Siozos said.

“Our goal is to continue growing, both in Cyprus and Greece. We consider the people we find in both countries to be a major plus for us. People with world-class skills. They have nothing to envy from people who work for our competitors in the United States for example. On our end, we want to create world-class positions with commensurate benefits for the employees themselves,” he concluded.

 

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