Amex is one of the first technology platforms in the online education space in Nigeria. The platform targets customers between the ages of 16 to 40 years who could be in secondary schools, universities, or already in the job market. These should have access to the internet and are willing to learn animation and cinematography. Key rivals include international online education firms like Udemy and Khan Academy that quickly gain market share in the Nigerian market (Anwar, Shah, and Hasnu, 2016). The company’s strategy of having a deep understanding of the local Nigerian film, entertainment, and media industry and providing content based on customers’ local needs is essential. It will ensure that it gains a competitive edge over its close competitors like Udemy and Khan Academy (Barrow, Barrow, and Brown, 2018). Its other competitive strategy is cost and use of local tutors who understand the students’ needs and can address them better. Udemy and Khan Academy has a combined market share of 10%, while the substitute Youtube platform has a share of 20% (Sherman, 2017). The remaining 70% of the market is unexplored and hence a big opportunity for the firm.
Supplier Bargaining Power
Amex Online Education firm suppliers include cloud hosting services providers for its online platform and video production and graphics materials and equipment providers. It also deals with suppliers of office equipment and various business software, all of which are based either locally or internationally. The company has many suppliers worldwide and can dictate terms and easily switch from one supply to another; hence, supplier bargaining power is low.
Buyer Bargaining Power
The company’s customers include millions of young people across Nigeria and other African countries who have access to a personal computer or smartphone and stable internet. These customers can easily access the lessons and tutorials of the company through the Amex Online platform. These students need high-quality but affordable cinematography and animation lessons that can help them gain extra skills for the highly competitive job market (Bi, Davison, and Smyrnios, 2017). The students are many and hence they have low buyer power and cannot dictate terms to the manufacturer and switch to other competitors (Block, 2015). Amex has more power due to its huge number of customers. In countries like India, where the Bollywood industry booms, the business idea can be implemented to target millions of Indian youths who would want to enter into the creative industry but cannot due to high cost. The company can also work with universities and colleges to identify students to gain students who could be interested in learning animation and cinematography while giving the university or college an opportunity to market its other courses on the platform.
Threat of Substitution
The company offers unique and high-quality online education on cinematography and animation and can adequately compete with substitute online platforms such as YouTube. Another advantage is that the firm is built by local founders who understand the local languages, local entertainment industry, and media industry. Therefore, it can provide students with the appropriate knowledge that serves the local market’s needs (Chioatto, Zecca, and Amato, 2020). However, instead of competing directly with local filming schools, streaming companies, local Disney firms, and independent filming companies, the company can partner with them (Cunningham, 2020). These firms have rich content and have been in the industry for a long time, and can give the firm access (Brown, 2021). In exchange, the company can allow its students to practice or intern in these firms as they gain first-hand experience in the video industry.
The Threat of New Entry
The online education market that offers film and entertainment tutorials and content has a high barrier of entry. There is a shortage of software engineers that can develop high-quality mobile and web applications and online education content (Link, 2017). It can be difficult for new firms to enter into the segment and compete with Amex, and therefore, the threat of new entry into the market is low. However, the firm can diversify into gaming animation, which is still an untapped market in Nigeria (Donovan & Ila, 2015). This will increase its revenues by 200% in the next few years (Sylvanus, 2019). Consequently, the threat of new entries will be significantly minimized.
Segmentation Analysis and How to Achieve Competitive Advantage
The company’s current customers are people with the following general characteristics; they are computer literate can communicate fluently in English, Arabic, Hausa or French. They can also dedicate at least three hours daily to attend the online classes held for six months. They also have access to stable internet and possess a computer or good smartphone. The firm’s customers include high school students, college students, and career professionals. High school students are those aged between 15 years to 19 years. Filming and animation could be their hobby and is what they would wish to pursue in the future. Their role models include prominent actors, media personalities, or graphic designers. Their parents or guardians are supportive and can afford to pay for the lessons. Finally, they reside in urban centers where there is strong internet access.
The second category of customers is college students aged between 20 to 26 years who are keen to pursue a career in filming and graphic design. These students can afford to pay for the lessons and pursue similar courses in college or another course or are willing to switch careers. The third category of customers are career professionals who are much older people of 27 years and above, and they could be senior graphic designers, film producers or media personalities at their workplaces, and their main objective of joining the online education program would improve their cinematography and video skills.
The film industry in Nigeria has recently been growing steadily. It has a potential of 30,000,000 million customers who live in urban areas and can easily access stable internet and communicate in fluent English, Hausa and French (Prinz, Jan, and Thomas, 2015). Currently, most Nigerian youths use YouTube to learn cinematography and animation online (Sammons, 2021). Youtube represents a 20% market share, followed by Khan Academy and Udemy (Sherman, 2017). These established multinational online education platforms have a combined market share of 10% (Tawodzera, Cameron and Sujata, 2017). The traditional colleges in Nigeria still do not have any serious online presence and hence are not a threat to our activities (Usua, 2017). The company can gain a competitive advantage in Nigeria by maintaining lower prices to attract a larger number of users, providing unique and relevant content and use of local languages to ensure the locals are covered.
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