Arvin Vohra: Making Education Successful

Posted on December 20, 2010, by , under Featured Interview.

Education expert Arvin Vohra discusses the success of his tutoring tools as well as becoming a best selling author. Vohra believes that innovating a product is more important than expansion and also  thanks client input for the constant improvement and success of his on-line and off-line products.

Tell us about your company Arvin Vohra Education.

I started AVE in 2001 with a general sense that I wanted to do something major in education. I began by offering standard private tutoring. have had to develop many of my materials essentially from scratch, which has allowed interesting innovations. The curriculum that I developed became the core of a teaching philosophy called the Vohra Method. Without getting into too many of the details, the Vohra Method is designed to be as targeted as tutoring, while offering total scalability – one teacher can effectively handle a large number of kids at different levels, while providing them excellent, tailored education. Similarly, the software programs I have designed – Vocabulary Synapse, the soon to be released Math Synapse and various Language Synapses – were developed to help with the overall goal. I made Vocabulary Synapse because there were no software programs or books that could force any student to learn vocabulary, and that’s what I needed.

How would you describe your on-line and off-line brand?

The online and offline brand both try to show the core of my ideology. As it says on my website, Difficult is not Impossible. In practical terms that means I don’t view dyslexia, problems with math, lack of motivation, or ADHD as unfixable. Instead, I believe in innovating and finding ways to fundamentally improve them. Both brands also emphasize that there is much more that an excellent program can offer advanced students than what schools currently offer. To use a parallel: Modeling agencies use the selection effect. They don’t make people prettier, they just find pretty people. Doctors use the treatment effect. They don’t find healthy people, they make sick people healthy. My belief is that education should make struggling students brilliant, and make brilliant students even more brilliant. I try to make my online and offline brands reflect this.

How has connecting with the right people helped your business?

I have been extremely lucky in the people that I have met. Many of my clients – parents, students, and educational companies – have been extremely helpful in spreading information about my business. I get so many students both locally and from all over the country because these clients have been so generous and willing to tell others about my products and services.

You are the author of a book: The Equation for Excellence: How to Make your Child Excel at Math. What did you learn about that process that you wish you knew at the beginning?

I don’t know that it would have helped me to know this at the beginning, but I have been really surprised at how willing people are to help first time authors get their messages out. The Equation for Excellence has been on the news, discussed on NPR (I wasn’t even part of that discussion), and has given me several speaking opportunities at schools and parent groups. It was even republished in China. It was a much more dramatic reception than I had anticipated, especially given the fact that The Equation for Excellence pretty bluntly challenges many of the most cherished assumptions in modern education.

When someone Googles your name in three years, what search results do you want to appear on page one?

Whatever the newest curriculum, software program, book I am working on. AVE’s hallmark is innovation, and I intend to improve each area, not let anything stagnate. It’s one reason that I don’t bother much with elaborate copyrights and patents. I fully intend that each year, our offering with fundamentally improve. Given a choice between expanding the market and improving the product, I choose to improve the product.

What is something most people don’t know about your brand?

I think people don’t know about the personality aspects before they get involved with my program. For example, if you decide that you are done with being bad at math, and are now going to excel at math, more than your math skills change. Your fundamental perspective on life changes. That’s why so many of my students, once they have improved academically, find themselves driven to improve in all other areas of their lives.

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