Building on digital marketing in the Bric countries

 

Asia Briefing:The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) has set up a €3 million strategic alliance with Asia’s largest IT trainer, NIIT India, to offer digital marketing education and professional certification in India.

The news comes hard on the heels of a similarly valuable tie-up in South Africa, and with Russia and China also on the cards in the near future, it seems the DMI is keen to fill in the complete Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) picture.

The institute was founded in Dublin in 2008, and is the global certification and education body for the digital marketing industry.

As part of the alliance, DMI will run specialist training programmes with the NIIT faculty. More than 150 experts were involved in developing the curriculum, and DMI expects to educate 25,000 students in India over the next three years as part of the deal.

India is the world’s third-biggest internet user, and education-related searches on Google in India are the second highest in the world.

Three-quarters of young people use the internet, and mobile internet usage has grown by a factor of five in the last five years.

Enterprise Ireland put DMI in touch with a consultant in India through which it was able to contact DIIT.

“What was surprising for us was the speed with which NIIT were able to move. It was a six-week process, which is an indication of their agility as a company and their appreciation of the importance of digital, something we see more in emerging markets than in the so-called old-world economies,” said Ian Dodson, Digital Marketing Institute chief executive.

Some 5,000 of the students are expected in the first year. Global digital media spend is expected to exceed $104 billion (€79 billion) in 2013 and is growing at a rate of more than 10 per cent annually, according to industry data.

G Raghavan, chief executive of career building solutions at NIIT, said at the launch of the partnership in New Delhi that he hoped the tie-in with DMI’s expertise in certification and training, would create a globally competitive workforce for the digital marketing industry in India.

“In bringing its flagship course – the Global Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing – to the Indian market, the DMI will make a substantial financial investment and create a number of new jobs in Ireland and Asia,” he said.

A lot of the negotiation was done by video calls over Skype, and the commercial aspects were signed during a visit by NIIT representatives to London.

Dodson stressed the importance of a local presence.

“In order to seriously penetrate any market you can’t do it from Ireland,” he said.

“A local presence is absolutely crucial. Our model is to find significant local partners and then employ local account managers on the ground.”

He said the company has already begun the process of recruitment for both South Africa and India.

“What’s interesting is not that we are sitting here choosing those countries, those countries are choosing us,” said Dodson.

“It’s really a question of what regions are awake to the opportunities of digital marketing. This has been dictated by the speed at which partners in emerging markets are prepared to move,” he said.

The DMI is also busy negotiating in Vietnam and Malaysia, and expects to make announcements in early next year, he added.

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