6 Insights on the State of EdTech in Asia with Dirk Hopfl

In this episode we speak with Dirk Hopfl, an experienced higher education professional with 20+ years of experience, currently based in Singapore. Dirk is the founder and Managing Director of eduALTO, a consultancy to help create successful universities. In parallel, he works as an education expert at Asaya Group and strategic advisor for the EdTech company Speechsquare. Dirk led the APAC region for Proeduca Group, the largest online education provider in the Spanish-speaking hemisphere. Prior, he was instrumental in the growth of IE University in APAC as International Development Director from Madrid. He then established the regional office in Singapore covering Southeast Asia, ANZ, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. 

High growth in the certification of skilling people: 

What are the trends in education in Asia? 

I think we see different trends. On one side, we see a very strong growth in the certification of skilling people, taking short courses, especially Coursera. This is very, very strong here in Asia with significant growth due to individual needs to upskill and stay current with the changes after COVID. On the other hand, we see a trend where many people want to return to physical spaces, especially in India. More people are going abroad than ever before, which is another trend we notice. 

Impact of AI on Education in Asia: 

How has the format of education shifted? 

But let’s say there are still no AI tutors who actually take care of all your learning, and this will still take time. In Asia, people are still attached to the traditional teacher-student relationship, and they may be a bit more traditional when it comes to education. They are open to new solutions but remain cautious. 

Speed of Adapting and Delivering Solutions: 

How do you approach with introducing companies to the Asian market? 

Asaya is a small SME, focusing on introducing non-Asian companies to Asia to help them discover their growth path in the region. We might be too small to make grand statements. However, as you rightly mentioned, we see significant tech development in countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, and India. This growth is due to factors like labor costs and the speed of adapting and delivering solutions. Many organizations are relying on teams in these markets. 

Human Relationships are Crucial: 

What Considerations should American Tech Companies have? 

So, it’s not an AI operator who introduces the product to tons of companies, and you just click a button to get your contract signed and everything automated. This will not happen, and hopefully, it will not, because otherwise, we would just sit on the beach and enjoy our drinks. I believe there will be an impact on AI, mainly on the operational side. In terms of business development, I think it will have less impact because human relationships are crucial, especially here in Asia. 

Localized Players in the Tech Industry: 

How is AI shaping the region?  

You have a significant AI development in China. The government has invested heavily in AI, and you see companies like Baidu and TikTok, which are as cutting-edge or even more so than Western counterparts. Smaller Asian markets have localized players in the tech industry. While Japan is quietly investing in AI and robotics, especially in elderly care. 

The markets are very different: 

What is your Advice for Entering the Asian Market: 

Start small, the markets are very different. Choose a specific country for market testing before expanding. Singapore often serves as a gateway to the Asian market due to its strong GDP. It allows you to start and get a feel for how the market operates in the region. At the same time, you can test your product in a smaller market. Avoid trying to operate in multiple countries simultaneously; it can become unmanageable. 

Kryterion’s Approach to AI-integrated Test Development and Delivery 

At Kryterion, we clearly see the opportunities and disruption that AI is bringing to our industry. Our top priority is to provide clients with the best mix of security, innovation, service, and value in our tools for test development and delivery. AI is quickly becoming an integral technology in our products and direction. The path we are on with AI encompasses the immediate benefits it provides while maintaining a sharp awareness of its evolution allowing us to ensure our products continue to meet or exceed the needs of our clients.  

Want to take control of your certification program? Schedule a call with a Kryterion expert who can further discuss how important AI is to our future and our clients. Kryterion been a leader in the testing industry for over 20 years. Our experts can address your organization’s unique testing goals and provide insights on how to grow and scale your certification program.

Want to keep up with insights on AI in the testing industry? Listen to the Kryterion podcast 

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