The digital makeover of McGraw-Hill Education

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American educational publisher McGraw-Hill, known for long in India for its books published in collaboration with the Tatas, is now independently charting out the new course of the future – in digital learning.

With the international publishing market being flat for awhile, McGraw-Hill, under its new owners, private equity firm Apollo Global Management, which acquired the business from McGraw-Hill Companies in March 2013 for $2.4 billion, has invested heavily in digital education.

The recently appointed chief marketing officer of McGraw-Hill Education, Chris Marjara, hired to lead the marketing team through the business model transformation, told IANS in an interview here about the changes in company’s 125 year old publishing business.

“It is a time of trnasformation and change in McGraw Hill Education, with the firm completely repositioning the brand from a book publisher to a learning science company,” Marjara said.

“Here in India, we became independent, bought out the Tatas and invested heavily in digital education,” he said.

From being a tradtional textbook publisher, McGraw-Hill Education is now known as a learning science company that delivers personalized learning experiences that help students, parents, educators and professionals improve results. Its learning solutions are available in nearly 60 languages.

“In the last couple of years we’re really seeing the digital transformation of education picking up pace all the way around the world,” Marjara said.

“Through software, the company now gives learning tools that provides one to one, personalized, tailored, education experiences, or learning experiences,” he said.

Marjara said that McGraw-Hill, which has proven content and learning expertise, now has the technology to provide advanced scientific learning. Its products are bettering learning outcomes for students, educators and administrators via e-learning solutions.

“The use of technology is helping professors, instructors, teach and assess the progress of their classroom,” he said.

“Software and online tools are bringing dramatic changes in education that is improving student outcomes for all levels of students . Students all over are getting better results, in the US, for instance, by a full grade,” he added.

Last year, McGraw-Hill Education generated $321 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization on revenue of $1.3 billion.

Earlier this month, the company announced it has filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering.

“India has huge internet penetration and looking for online learning tools. The software is available on smartphones, laptops and ties in well with the Digital India initiative,” Marjara said.

The McGraw-Hill group owns McGraw-Hill Financial whose businesses include the ratings agency Standard & Poor, and Platts, the risk managers and analysts.

Biswajit Choudhury / IANS