This article is written by Aditya Shrivastava, marketing executive at iPleaders.
Ever since I was a little kid, I have often felt my mom is allergic to things when she thought something was particularly cheap. She is of the belief that there can be only one reason why something is priced higher than the other, and that is the quality of the product.
Not that my mother is a compulsive shopper or a spendthrift, but she is very particular about the quality of what she is purchasing. She wouldn’t want to pay a rupee for something she thinks is not worth it and doesn’t mind paying a thousand for what she thinks is worth it. Belonging to a business family, my mother often told me about how quality is the key to purchase, of course, if you have the purchasing power.
I think these traits are embedded in me. While my friends would totally jump the moment they heard sale, I would stick to quietly understanding if the product is worth my pocket money. It matters to me what I am wearing or purchasing and whether it is worth the price. However, my friends would just call me pricey, and walk off.
I never understood how was I really pricey, when I would invest 5000 in shoes which would go on for at least 3 years, and they would buy shoes worth 2000 each and every year. If we look at the total expenditure, they would spend more than 6000 bucks and crib every time their shoes would tear. The frustration and time invested for buying the same thing over and over again were always beyond me.
Have you ever wondered why people buy iPhones? I asked a friend who bought an iPhone 7 at INR 55,000 last year. She said, “I had an iPhone 5 that lasted me for 4 years before its battery started giving up. I had bought it at INR 40,000 in 2013. I look at it as an investment because it saves me the trouble of looking for cheaper phones at a quarter the price every year. iPhones are durable.”
When I started working for iPleaders initially, I questioned Ramanuj a couple of times as to why are our products ranged high when all the other contemporaries are selling similar courses for cheap? I am sure that our sales would grow if we start selling our courses at discounted rates. I was very confident in what I had asked him and expected him to react in affirmative.
Much to my surprise, his reaction was a one-liner. “We cannot provide a course that is cheap because our quality doesn’t allow it.” That’s it. That is all he said. In my next few months in the organization, I tried to decode what he meant by this one line. I now realized why what my mom said was so true!
Cheap is exactly what it is means – Cheap!
Recently, my flatmate and I went for bedsheet shopping. I am a big fan of simple, plain bedsheets and I totally jumped at finding blue and grey ones. However, while there were similar looking sheets for a very low price, these ones were expensive. I wanted to really figure out what makes the difference.
Did you know a better cloth has more thread count? I was amazed to see that the bed sheets cost depended on its thread count. I mean, ideally that should have been the case, but I just didn’t know of it. Apart from this, there are other factors like the dye used, wear and tear quality, etc.
An online course works the same way. If you have ever wondered why would online course providers charge in the first case? It is simple, they have invested resources in it. Resources in terms of research, developing the technology to provide it online and on your phone’s, time spent on gaining domain knowledge, coordinating and locating industry experts, gaining practical insights, customer support, and the likes.
I urge you to go to any cheap online course provider and figure out their module and the panel who designed the course. You are likely to come down to two situations. One, you may not be able to find their course creators. Two, you will realise why our courses don’t sell for cheap because we only promise to bring you the best industry-academia panel and practical insights which no one can match.
You only get what you pay for!
One of the many postulates of the Karma Theory is, “you only get what you pay for.” It must have some basis to it, right?
Imagine this situation. If you have ever visited “99 Rupees Stores”, you must have realised that the products that are generally expensive elsewhere are available for Rs. 99 only in this shop. Have you ever wondered why? It is because these products are either close to expiry date or did not meet the quality standards of the company. You can imagine the utility of such products.
Let me give you another example. Have you ever shopped at the streets of Sarojini Nagar in Delhi? It’s a very popular hub where you can find clothes for as cheap at Rs. 80 (if you know how to negotiate well). It’s thronged with school students, college-goers and even working women. Those who shop there regularly are well aware of the fact that this is the market where you can find a Zara, Wills Lifestyle, Guess, Vero Moda, Only, Marks and Spencers, H&M, Forever 21, Jack & Jones for as cheap as 100 bucks! Wondering why? These are factory rejects that could not pass through quality control checks. In certain cases, you do find the export surplus in this market too. While women buy it, these clothes do not have a life-span of over six months to a year. The quality is what makes this difference!
It is all about what goes into the making of the product. I will give you an example which was an eye-opener for me. Certain courses provided by NUJS Kolkata have assignments which need to be completed as part of the course structure. We have a separate review team to review all the assignments to ensure that the quality of the work submitted by our students is meeting phenomenal standards.
Not just that, we have included mentorship programs in our courses where there are individual mentors provided to each and every student to provide them with 24×7 guidance. There are innumerable students like Sayli Petiwale, who have immensely benefited from the program. It is practically impossible to provide it for a price any lesser than it is. To verify you can see the modules of our online courses here.
Let us understand this. Any product is basically dependent on the costs that have been incurred to build it. The same goes for an online course too. It is not just the interface or the software that holds the cost. The major cost takes place through researching, getting the right person on board and providing the best practical expertise that you require to succeed in the area of your choice.
Why do you think there are certain professors who are paid more than the others? Can you equate the expertise and knowledge of a Harvard Professor to someone who has recently started teaching? Then, you might expect the same from online courses too. If the cost is cheap, imagine the kind of investment that the makers of the course have put in to develop it.
However, there are exceptions to every rule. There might be a possibility that you might find something of good quality for a really low price. However, it is for you to check. Do your homework beforehand and ensure that be it an online course or shoes or a mobile phone, it must be worth your money.