Excedo: How a new language learning company is born

By Tas Viglatzis, CEO - Excedo

2018 saw the birth of a brand-new approach to language learning.

This approach takes Business English out of the classroom and into the real-world context of meetings, negotiations, collaboration and cross-cultural experiences.

It came when a team of experienced language learning executives approached Nikkei and FT with an innovative idea. Ever since Nikkei acquired the Financial Times in 2015, they’ve been collaborating on new projects – not only in the field of news and analysis, but also in education.

Together, we formed a new way to help companies and business professionals achieve global success.

Excedo CEO Tas Viglatzis
Tas Viglatzis, CEO - Excedo

And after extensive research and testing, we launched.

The collaboration with FT and Nikkei gives us the best of both worlds: the agility, modern tools and fresh thinking of a startup, combined with the experience and deep knowledge of two of the world’s foremost media organisations.

A global team with first-hand insight

Out team brings deep expertise in education, language learning and digital technologies.

But just as important is our multi-cultural perspective. Business people need to be able to communicate effectively across borders and cultures; no-one knows that better than our own team, which is about as global as it gets. We’re 15 nationalities and counting, working in 11 countries on four continents.

This means we all have a personal insight into our customers’ needs and challenges. There’s nothing like first-hand experience to help you understand the need to communicate well in international business and build good working relationships. Knowing the importance of this gives extra energy to our efforts.

What’s the verdict?

The result of our efforts is Excedo, a new approach that goes beyond simple language learning. Right from the start, we’ve worked closely with several companies who have helped us develop an effective approach to learning for business professionals– pinpointing learners’ needs, testing the product and piloting it. After a year’s close relationship with learners, we are able to create a pioneering product that meets their specific needs.

It’s always a moment of truth when you unveil something new to the world. Will people like it and want it? Have we given them what they need?

Happily, during our product testing and trials, the response has been very positive – from both organisations and their employees. Buyers like the program’s innovative approach; typical comments include “Microlearning is a good fit to our working style” and “Strongly agree with the importance of active learning.”

Meanwhile, learners have enjoyed the experience: the practicality, convenience and flexibility. One learner told us, "It's nice that you can learn whenever and wherever you are with your smartphone." And another says, “The content is very practical and can be used in real business situations," while yet another likes “how you can learn in small parts."

And what’s next?

Our approach so far is promising and we’ll continue to work closely with our customers and learners to increase effectiveness even more. Armed with confidence from our learners’ enthusiastic feedback, 2019 is the year we’ll open Excedo to more professionals as we bring it to market.

We’re initially launching in Japan and will later expand to additional markets. Our aim is to help professionals around the world to develop effective communication skills and become equipped to do business globally.

2018 was quite a year. Now, as we enter a new year, we’re fired up about our plans to take Excedo further as we build in our customers’ feedback to make Excedo better still. We invite you to join us on this journey - contact us or come meet our team at our launch event in Tokyo.

Excedo global language learning team
Dr Christoph Grau (COO), Thu Doan (CCO), Harutada Bando (Japan Country Manager)