At the end of September 2022, Erez Tocker, Joysy John and Cheryl Kirk visited Mumbai and Chennai to meet with our team in India. They met with around 40 people from 15 Representative organisations across the country, and teachers and students across all subjects in Mumbai. Trinity has a very rich heritage in India, with the first exam taking place in the Kolkata centre in 1878.
Martin Oetegenn, Trinity College London’s Market Communications Manager, spoke with Erez Tocker about his visit.
Erez Tocker, Joysy John and Cheryl Kirk visit Chennai and Mumbai
“It was incredibly valuable to us to be able to have that chance to meet with the team, our reps, educators, and students in person and to hear what they have to say. It took some of the reps longer to travel and meet with us than it took our team to travel from the UK!”
“I’d like to thank our team in India – Sachin, Sakshi, Sowmiyan, Sharbari, Dale, Anjli, Mark, Priya, and Joyce – for hosting us so well and ensuring that we have a fruitful and enjoyable trip to India. I also want to thank the whole team in the India who supported all of our network in India, particularly after the last two or three years during Covid.”
I asked Erez why it is important to him to have these types of interaction.
“We are very lucky to have such a great team and a unique network of reps in India. This is not just about meeting great people and enjoying the conversations, it is also an advantage we have as a company.”
“For example, I enjoyed visiting Musée Musical, our rep organisation in Chennai. Musée was established in 1842. When you enter the shop and music school, which a century ago was a massive elephant stable, you come across a big dining table crafted from a single tree, to be used during Queen Victoria’s visit to the country, surrounded by hundreds of musical instruments of all kinds. You are immediately immersed in the longevity of the culture of music. With such partnerships, the battle is half won. The question is how we can best support each other so that we can address the changing circumstances.”
“It is important to hear from people like Anthony, our rep in Mumbai, or Jyotishka, our rep in Kolkata, as they understand the market. They understand the customers, the learners, what’s happening in the schools, and they understand the education system and the regulatory framework.”
“Visits like this are hugely important because they inform us. They are also an opportunity to inform the market what it is that we’re thinking, so they can give us their feedback on it. Through that dialogue we can structure the plan and the path forward to success.”
“I was mostly there on listening mode. That is really why I travel – to understand what’s going on in the market.”
Erez shared some of the insights he, Cheryl and Joysy gained from these conversations.
“We gained lots of insights from conversation with our team and our reps. We came back with a long to-do list, questions and next steps. To Barry’s delight I uploaded that list on Asana as soon as we were back in the country. Some great practical insights there on supporting teachers through training and certification, pricing in India, digital products, service improvement. But also insights on the market dynamics and the competitive environment.”
I was interested to hear from Erez about the school visit in Mumbai.
“When we visited the school, teachers and headteachers talked about the way they’ve adopted our approach and the whole methodology around Trinity and applied that in the school.”
“We’re part of an eco-system. We can design things, but we then need people like these educators to be able to take it and run with it and support their students, to achieve learning growth. How they apply our tools and methodologies in the school makes a massive difference, so we were able to see how they do it and really create best practices.”
“We were also lucky enough to see some musical performances and speeches from very talented young performers who showed what Trinity does in their lives and how it helps them to be better communicators. It was a heart-warming thing to see how Trinity changes people’s lives.”
I asked Erez how he thinks the visit would promote progress at Trinity.
“It is important that our friends, colleagues and partners across the globe are connected. We all need to support them. So traveling to connect is important. But more important for us is to understand that this visit is not a one off and not the end of the process. We will be judged and tested on what we’re actually going to do with the information. It’s not about the two or three days we were there. That’s just the first step. We all have a lot to follow up on and we must work as a team.”
I asked Erez whether he is planning to make similar trips to other markets.
“Obviously lifting travel restrictions is a relatively new thing and, in some places, there are still restrictions, but I am glad to be able to start traveling again. To date I have only been able to visit Italy and India. My plan is to try and visit as many locations as I can over the next few months.”