Atlas, an initiative by edtech company Sinorbis, is the “the natural evolution of Sinorbis to move into a pan-Asian marketing platform”, according to CEO and founder Nicolas Chu.
“We are moving from being an app for China to becoming an integrated marketing platform for the whole of Asia,” told The PIE in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Australian International Education Conference, where the product was launched.
The platform will help institutions to “publish content all across Asia, across all channels — to engage with their audiences”, he explained. It will allow clients to engage with media platforms such as Zalo in Vietnam; Kakao in Korea; LINE in Taiwan; WeChat in China; Telegram in Indonesia; Telegram in Singapore; WhatsApp and Facebook in India.
“The whole idea is to be able to circle back and give institutions the visibility on their prospective students across the region,” he said.
The company has always tried to actually “find the right balance in trying to be ahead of the curve, but not be too much ahead as well”, Chu continued.
“Experience tells us that it is important to be ahead of the curve, but also be aligned with the market, at the same time,” he noted.
“This is the approach we want to follow for the Project Atlas as well. We are going to open it for the rest of Asia in early 2023 and we are going to invite all our clients to be beta testers of our platform, to contribute to its evolution, and to provide us with the right feedback on where are the pain points and where we could add value.”
The company hopes its success in the Chinese market over the last five years will guide further growth in other regions.
Key target markets of India and Vietnam are a focus for next the phase of expansion, with Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Singapore, as well as South Korea and Japan important markets in which to penetrate deeper.
“I started Sinorbis with the aim to get into [perhaps] the most difficult and also the largest market, China, to help international institutions to create, measure and optimise their digital presence in China, without a need to be [physically present],” Chu informed.
“After our launch in the Chinese market, we realised that we were adding a lot of value to the international education sector and we expanded very quickly within Australia as well, with six universities coming on board.
“We are expanding really fast in North America and Europe as well”
“We are expanding really fast in North America and Europe as well,” Chu told The PIE.
He said that China is complicated due to the “firewalls, regulations, censorships, and due to a different ecosystem, but Asia is not easy either”.
“The complexity [in the Asian market] is really huge in the sense that one has to take into account the different channels to engage with students, across different countries.
“So there is no single digital marketing platform or channel that allows you to engage with the whole of Asia — and therefore through Atlas, we want to expand the service of Sinorbis to all over Asia,” Chu said.