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Hello English – Language Learning for the Next Billion*

ET Cases - FLAME, 7 Pages
AUTHOR(S) : Dr. Tanjul Saxena - Associate Professor, IIHMR University, Dr. Bharti Sharma - Associate Professor, Dr. Kavaldeep Dixit - Professor & Vice-Principal, International School of Informatics and Management

Case Preview

Hello English – Language Learning for the Next Billion



In Nashik, Maharashtra – India, during the lunch time workers in a factory hurry up with their lunch and sit to utilize the remaining time learning English through their mother tongue Marathi. In Rajasthan, a Rajasthan State Administrative Services officer smiles proudly at the just finished crossword on his mobile screen. Two friends in Gujarat look at their facebook page and hi five their new high score of perfect new words in English. A group of very busy tech gang in Bengaluru finish their afternoon lunch of curd rice and dosa scrutinizing the day’s newspaper in Spanish with as much ease as they would treat an English or Malayalam Newspaper. The young girl from China assures her mother in Kolkata that she is learning Mandarin fast along with her MBBS degree. Welcome to CultureAlley, a new tech start up based out of Jaipur, touching and transforming some 3 crore lives across the country and beyond, through their online language education platform...............


Hello English, the fastest and most subscribed app of CultureAlley (that boasts of several apps facilitating learning several international and national languages) is the physical manifestation of entrepreneurial track treaded by two young technopreneurs, Pranshu and Nishant Patni, through its intuitive processes designed by linguists from across the world............

English in India

Throughout India, there is an extraordinary belief, among almost all castes and classes, in both rural and urban areas, in the transformative power of English. English is seen not just as a useful skill, but as a symbol of a better life, a pathway out of poverty and oppression. Aspiration of such magnitude is a heavy burden for any language, and for those who have responsibility for teaching it, to bear. The challenges of providing universal access to English are significant, and many are bound to feel frustrated at the speed of progress. But we cannot ignore the way that the English language has emerged as a powerful agent for change in India...........

Hello English

The startup Culture Alley launched “Hello English” (HE) (“Hello English: Learn English | Best English Speaking App”, 2017) in October 2014 as their flagship app which became India’s numero uno language learning app (Exhibit I). Within months of launch it was Asia’s most downloaded free language learning application (Exhibit II). Eight months down the timeline it was featuring as the number one App on Google Play Store. As of January 2017, it has attained the position of the third most rated educational app across the world. With more than 550,000 user reviews on Google Play Store and consistent average rating of 4.6............

Enabling Structures: Physical, Human Resource, Marketing and Financial

Going by more click and less brick, the Hello English is housed in a modest office located on a glass partitioned terrace of the founder’s own personal space facing the pristine picturesque white Birla Temple in Jaipur. About 25 Engineers, linguists and designers with their laptops and a vivid informal work ambience complete the picture of physical infrastructure.........

Epilogue: The Strategic Dilemma

It was a warm lazy Jaipur summer afternoon when Pranshu returned from the corner medicine shop next to their office and was eager to share with her now-life-and-venture partner Nishant about her experience with the pharmacy retailer who was innocently and enthusiastically talking about his Hello English experience to her, not knowing she was one of the idea initiators of the product. She found Nishant contemplative and busy with speed reading the report on his laptop...........

Assignment Questions

I. Analyse the external and Internal environment for language learning Industry.
II. Develop the Porters Model of competitive Advantage for Hello English.
III. ...........


Exhibit I: Features of Hello English

Exhibit II: Summarized Achievements of Hello English

Exhibit III: B2B Customers of Hello English for Enterprise

Exhibit IV: Press coverage of Hello English and CultureAlley

Teaching Note Preview

Hello English – Language Learning for the Next Billion



The case “Hello English – Language Learning for the Next Billion” is an academic case meant for class room discussion. The case revolves around creation and development of a new startup CultureAlley, over three years from inception in October 2014 till October 2017. The startup’s hottest selling product is an App, Hello English that facilitates English language learning through vernacular languages for those seeking proficiency in the language. The modules are designed around fun, inquisitiveness, practice, challenges and interactive methods and are self paced and self regulated. Offered free for the retail individual consumers, the financial model is built across advertisements of sponsors on the retail platforms and Hello English for Enterprise which is charged per license basis and has differential pricing for different levels of proficiency offered.

Contented with the fast paced growth in a small span of time, CultureAlley is now faced with a strategic dilemma for a new promising customer segment of Hello English that has wide socio economic variability. The protagonists are at a crucial juncture where they have to take tough decisions regarding creating value proposition for different types of customers within same broad segment. The readers are expected to systematically approach the case for recommending strategic business options for the protagonists.

Case Positioning

The rationale for the study involves analyzing challenges and opportunities in entrepreneurship, studying the feasibility of a business idea, assessing customer needs, designing product-service offering and being unique. The case relates to tech start up and the organization considered is CultureAlley. The case focuses on the dilemma faced by the founders to strategize differential value creation strategy for same customer segment.

Target Audience

The case is expected to be appreciated by a range of serious to leisure readers and would specifically help students, faculty and learners of management, business management, strategic management strategic marketing and entrepreneurship. The small group approach of 3-5 students discussing on the issues and comparing and encouraging elaboration on other groups ideas will be ideal way to approach the case.

Any suggestions can be directly sent to founders on email id given on the website in references.

Learning Objectives

1. To enable undertake desk research on language learning industry and perform an External Environment analysis for the Industry
2. To utilize Porter’s framework for analyzing of competitive advantage
3. To assist readers appreciate the internal environment of the business in terms of strengths and weaknesses.
4. To synthesize the external and internal scenario by capturing learnings in SWOC framework
5. To apply knowledge of strategic options flowing from Environmental scanning in terms of value creation for newly emerged ready to serve segment.

Concepts Requirement to Undertake Analysis

1. External and internal environment of Business
2. Porters Model of Competitive Advantage
3. SWOC Analysis
4. Value Chain analysis ( particularly value creation, addition and pricing strategy)

Assignment Questions

I. Analyse the external and Internal environment for language learning Industry. (15 minutes)
II. Develop the Porters Model of competitive Advantage for Hello English. (10 Minutes)


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Product code: ENTP-2-0032, ENTP-2-0032A


Over the years there have been many significant changes in the way education is planned and delivered in different parts of the world. Today, technology is a momentous catalyst behind change, and sometimes plays an important role in innovations in educational design and delivery. Fusion of technology and education results into a great outcome if used together with a right reason and vision. With technology, educators, students and parents have a diversity of learning techniques at their fingertips. There are innumerous cases where improvement in education can be highlighted when it is embraced with technology. Various researches indicate that educational technology applications produce a positive effect on performance achievement.

The case “Hello English – Language Learning for the Next Billion” is scripted to capture the entrepreneurial track treaded by two young technopreneurs, Pranshu Bhandari and Nishant Patni, who traded their successful high tech careers in Silicon Valley and India to convert the gnawing problem of learning languages into a relevant business opportunity. Their venture makes learning a new language simple, engaging, engrossing, easy and interesting in comparison to rote and boring old school pedagogy through its intuitive processes designed by linguists from across the world. ‘Hello English’, developed out of Jaipur, became the number one English learning and speaking app on the India Google Play store within eight months of launch in October 2014.

Hello English is happy with the fast track growth so far and is looking at the international vistas with open dreamy eyes. At this juncture of growth, the founders receive a report from an independent research team about the efficacy of their product. The report findings lead to a promising business opportunity and a strategic challenge. The case has used mixed methods of narratology, content analysis of qualitative contents available on website, corporate presentations and records.

Pedagogical Objectives

  • To demonstrate ability of external environmental scanning for a new startup
  • To undertake competitive advantage analysis using Porter’s Model for a new startup
  • To analyse internal environment of the startup based on inputs given in the case
  • To integrate internal and external environment to approach SWOC landscape for Hello English
  • To strategize value proposition for a new product based on market segmentation

Case Positioning and Setting

The case can be best used for under graduate and graduate programmes having courses on Entrepreneurship, Business Management, Strategic Management and Strategic Marketing.


This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Caselet
- Teaching Note (**ONLY for Academicians)

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