Without having done his graduation or post-graduation in English, Vineeth T Kurup, a native of Kerala’s Pathanamthitta, has become a successful English tutor with the help of TikTok. He now owns an online English academy named Manglish World.
“I had no interest in the English language when I was a kid, even though I studied in an English-medium school,” Vineeth tells The Better India. “But, after four years of engineering and 23 backlogs, I understood that while I may pass the exam, I need to be fluent in English to find a job,” he adds.
He knew he could easily find a job outside India, but wouldn’t be able to survive by speaking only his mother tongue. Vineeth reads and writes in English, but was not confident enough to converse in the language with others.
“I didn’t have any friends or family members who could help me learn English, as they didn’t know how to speak it themselves,” he says and adds, “I realised only I could help myself, so I started watching English movies.”
He added that he stopped watching English movies with subtitles when he realised he would not be able to learn the language if he continued doing so. In the initial days, it was difficult for him to understand the dialogues, as the pronunciation of the words was completely different from what he had learned in school. He watched the movies more than twice and slowly began understanding the pronunciation, and improved his listening skills.
“Even though I had improved my listening skills, I was still bad at speaking English. I didn’t have anyone to communicate with in the language, so I started repeating dialogues from these movies to myself. Not only did I improve my pronunciation, I also learned many new words,” Vineeth says.
Mechanical Engineer turns English Tutor
Even though Vineeth had cleared his BTech backlogs, he was not interested in the profession. He waited for a job that would make him happy, and as destiny would have it, found himself an opportunity as a marketing executive in an English academy four years ago.
He went for an interview at the academy in Pathanamthitta district. Impressed with his English skills, the academy gave him his first job as a marketing executive. Soon, he also began training IELTS students. “I trained students without having an IELTS qualification. And now, I have passed the exam, too,” he says.
“While working as a tutor, I had a TikTok account, but hadn’t uploaded any video on it. It was one of my students from the academy who suggested I upload one. As I didn’t know how to sing or dance like other TikTokers, I uploaded a short video in which I gave the English meanings of famous Malayalam dialogues. The Mollywood film dialogue I used was “pillecha savathil kuttharud”, which means, “Do not add insult to injury”. In one day, the video went viral, and I got over one lakh followers, and one lakh likes. I started uploading short videos on TikTok about how to learn English easily, and gained many followers,” Vineeth says.
As per his TikTok followers’ request, he also started a YouTube channel named Manglish World, where he teaches basic English to his subscribers. He has also shared short videos on his Instagram page. Vineeth has 15.8 lakh subscribers on YouTube, 18.7 lakh followers on Instagram and 5 lakh followers on TikTok.
Business Idea To Survive Lockdown Changes Career Course
“It was during the lockdown that I thought about starting an online academy of my own. As I had a good amount of followers on social media, I was sure people would come to me to learn English. Many had requested me to begin online classes. On May 25 this year, our online academy, Manglish World, was launched under VINFOTRAIN Private Limited.”
The three courses available at Manglish World academy are spoken English classes, OET classes (healthcare professionals) and IELTS classes. The fee for one month for spoken English starts from Rs 4,500, IELTS starts from Rs 7,999 and OET starts from Rs 8,999.
The academy has students between the ages of 15 and 50, including school and college students, as well as people working in government firms, and even actors. Most students have enrolled in IELTS classes. One to two and a half hours of training are provided to students every day, and the classes are available six days a week.
Besides Kerala, students at Manglish World come from Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu. Indians residing in UAE, Oman, Baharin, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Canada, New Zealand, The UK, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and South Korea are also learning at the Manglish World.
(Edited by Divya Sethu)