EIQ Akademija: Adopting new ways of working to improve efficiency and increase growth
Vaida Zibalyte always had a passion for learning. While travelling abroad, Vaida was inspired by seeing young children from many countries being able to calculate large arithmetic sequences using a specific technique. Wanting to share this technique with the children of her home country, Lithuania, Vaida left her job in a bank to do just that.
In January, 2013, she set up her own business ‘EIQ Akademija’ and began teaching a small group of children. Later, with a successful model and an entrepreneurial spirit, they grew from teaching 40 children to 1,300 pupils, with over 4,000 children already having finished the academy. Vaida explains, “Our mission is self-confident children who are able to find joy in the learning process and learning results.” However, during the pandemic, Vaida’s education business ground to a halt.
Vaida explains, “Since our goal is to be top-quality and because direct in-class participation was required to implement some of the techniques, we decided to choose a different approach. The entire lockdown period was dedicated to staff training, development, to the adaptation and development of the techniques and the creation of new programmes. Also, we maintained connection with clients by adapting our training methods and providing free remote seminars.” After the lockdown, the business offered clients a more intense training that allowed them to catch up with what was missed during quarantine. Vaida says, “Around 70% of our total clients returned to this training, even though we expected a return rate of no more than 30%. Furthermore, both during and after the lockdown we have been preparing a new training methodology which will be effective irrespective of the format (direct or remote). Our product and service portfolio was expanded. Overall, despite challenges, we managed to achieve stability and expect growth in the near future.”
In order to adapt to remote training, Vaida turned to learn online herself: “The digital-marketing knowledge that we acquired earlier by independently learning through the Google Digital Garage platform helped to achieve business efficiency and growth. The basic know-how of digital marketing and communication is crucial to anyone who is starting a business.”
On the practicalities of remote working, Vaida explains: “The online training on remote work was also valuable. Although our academy has branches in different cities and our employees have to communicate remotely, a complete transition to the new way of working was challenging. Knowing how to efficiently use Google Meet, Google Docs, Spreadsheets and other tools, we managed to start working more quickly, smoothly and effectively, also developing the relationships among our staff.”
When asked whether or not Vaida considers her business to be a digitally savvy business, she responded: “We are still learning, and we are more aware that the possibilities for improvement are endless. Throughout our company’s history, the pandemic became the number one driver for us to adopt more technologies in our work.”
During the lockdown, EIQ Akademija created several new training courses. Furthermore, they revamped their website, launched a rebranding campaign, and are finalising their training programme designed specifically as a remote training course.
Vaida says, “Our approach to work has been broadened – previously, teachers never taught online, whereas now this will be some of the activities that will supplement physical classes.”