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If you’re as chronically online as I am, you’ve probably come across ads for MasterClass. An American online learning platform, students are guided by well-known figures in the industry like Gordon Ramsay and Dr. Jane Goodall. 

It’s an interesting concept as their personal experiences lend more weight to what’s taught. After all, wouldn’t you rather hear from people who have actually been in the field, as opposed to motivational speakers?

But it can be rather hard to relate to the mentors of MasterClass, as we have different challenges in Malaysia.

Image Credit: DIRI

Enter DIRI, a new Malaysian edutainment streaming service that aims to redefine traditional education and corporate training.

Local content by Malaysians, for Malaysians

“DIRI fills a unique gap in localising content. While similar to MasterClass in content delivery, we focus on making our content more localised, relevant, and accessible to a broader local audience,” Sheng Wong (Sheng), the founder of DIRI, shared with us.

“Our stories, personalities, and content are tailored for local audiences, which goes beyond what subtitles can achieve.”

Hence, the courses are available in English and Bahasa Melayu with matching subtitles.

Stills from DIRI’s courses with athlete Nicol Ann David (left) & astrophysicist Dr. Mazlan binti Othman / Image Credit: DIRI

Designed for flexibility, DIRI’s courses are accessible on both desktop and mobile. Students can opt to watch the lessons in full-length or bite-sized bits, depending on their personal learning preferences.

To Sheng, the more students can identify with their mentors, the stronger the connection. When there is a good match between a mentor and mentee, it’s easier for both to communicate and relate to one another. 

Aside from that, what sets DIRI apart from other online learning platforms is its focus on imparting timeless life lessons. This in turn enhances the value users can derive from them.

Mentors who have made a name for themselves

“The inspiration for DIRI came from realising that experts are great at doing [their crafts], but often need help to be equally effective at teaching [them],” Sheng said.

Growing up, he noticed that the value he received from being surrounded by good mentors wasn’t something that most people had. 

Stills from DIRI’s course with banking exec Nazir Razak / Image Credit: DIRI

With that in mind, he wanted to offer others the chance to learn from the best in our nation. Which is why you can find part of DIRI’s Malaysian mentor lineup to include: 

Mentors of DIRI are selected based on their expertise and ability to provide insights on topics like leadership, communication, and innovation.

So whether you’re a young adult seeking personal growth, or a seasoned professional wanting to upskill, Sheng believes DIRI has something for everyone. 

A structured learning experience

Speaking candidly, Sheng shared that it wasn’t easy to convince mentors to join. “Their main concern was entrusting their personal brand to us and ensuring high-quality content representation.”

After numerous attempts and demonstrations of DIRI’s commitment to quality, the brand managed to soothe their worries. Once a few notable names joined and DIRI honed their messaging, the process became more streamlined.

Stills from DIRI’s course with Abdul Wahid Omar, Chairman of Bursa Malaysia / Image Credit: DIRI

“Our goal is to ensure mentors are recognised and rewarded for their contributions,” he stated. 

As such, the courses at DIRI are a collaborative effort between the platform and the mentors. To break it down, mentors will contribute their expertise to the topic at hand, while DIRI guides them in structuring the course for maximum impact. 

He explained that none of the courses at DIRI are scripted. Rather, they follow a structured approach that incorporates instructional design for clear and actionable takeaways.

As for what the mentors themselves gain from this, DIRI explained that it’s a combination of monetary compensation and exposure.

For self growth and talent development

There are two kinds of courses at DIRI—one for individuals and another for corporate clients called DIRI for Business. Both are flexible in nature, ranging from two and a half to three hours, and structured into bite-sized lessons.

So far, only DIRI for Business has been launched, with a 12-month subscription for corporate clients. The subscription can cost as low as RM10/month/employee. It comes with progress tracking, so that employers can monitor the growth of their company’s talents.

This way, companies are able to ensure that their investment in the team’s education, training, and development is effective.

“Our pricing aims to be competitive and accessible, with various tiers for different company sizes, including Human Resource Development Corporation (HRDC) claimable options available.” If you’re a company interested in this, the platform is offering a Limited Early Adopter Package.

Image Credit: DIRI

As for individuals, DIRI will be launched by early next year along with its mobile app. You could opt to purchase standalone courses, or subscribe annually to access its full library. At the time of writing, Sheng shared they currently have around 14 courses, with more in development. 

“We’re focused on breaking down barriers to learning”

For now, DIRI isn’t offering certificates for students who complete their DIRI courses. But the founder believes that this shouldn’t deter people from joining the platform. 

“Completing our courses provides a lifetime of wisdom and knowledge. It’s like earning a virtual trophy of knowledge and being able to stand on the shoulders of giants,” he stated.

This aligns with the brand’s goal of breaking down barriers to learning and knowledge sharing. 

Though, I personally believe that providing a certification would incentivise people to sign up. It might not help much in terms of one’s career, but having a tangible token to showcase your commitment does boost your drive.

Sheng, the founder of DIRI / Image Credit: DIRI

In the long run, Sheng shared that DIRI aims to partner and work with as many entities and agencies to make their content accessible to underprivileged or at risk groups. The goal is for anyone with an internet connection to be able to learn with them, regardless of personal background.

  • Learn more about DIRI here.
  • Read articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Featured Image Credit: DIRI

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)