Marina Tognetti: A Pioneer in Live Online Language Education

We live in an era of ever increasing online education. Language education is critical in a world of globalization. Marina Tognetti, the Founder and CEO of mYngle is a pioneer in live online language education. She is a significant player in this segment. In an Interview with Insights Success she exhibits her journey and contribution in the field of online language education through mYngle.

Below are the highlights of the interview between Marina Tognetti and Insights Success.

Give a brief overview of your background and your role in mYngle.

Before mYngle, I had a successful career by large multinationals: Procter & Gamble, Philips, Sara Lee, The Boston Consulting Group and eBay; living and working in different Countries, and have an MBA from INSEAD.

My role is primarily to develop the long-term vision and drive the company towards it, foster the company culture and values, guide and align the team, represent mYngle with the outside world, our investors and all stakeholders, and with the education industry in general.

How do you diversify your organization’s solutions that appeal to your target audience?

Constant focus on customers and their needs is one of our key strengths. Education was (in large part still is) operating in the old traditional way, offering learners what is available, not what they need. But “One size does not fit all.” By understanding the customer and diversifying our offer in terms of teacher- content- frequency, we can match each specific need.

We constantly monitor our users’ reactions and adjust accordingly, using NPS (Net Promoter Score), which defines that only excellence counts. Being OK is not good enough for us. 95% of our learners, rate mYngle trainings as excellent. Average lessons’ scores are 4.8/5.0.

What is your approach towards latest technological innovations? How is it changing your role?

We are always researching best ways to help our clients and partners. Be it improving the way we allow our users to communicate with each other or improving our development process through continuous builds and more efficient end-to-end automated testing; using machine learning to help us identify points of improvement faster and with more precision.

My role did not change much as innovating is in our company DNA. It is important that we keep a climate in which innovation can flourish. That means stimulating a culture of experimentation and allowing mistakes. At mYngle we look for entrepreneurs, people that think and not only do jobs.

Describe some of the vital attributes that every CEO should possess.

  • Have a strong Vision to set the direction and anticipate and navigate challenges. That also means being able to ‘Think out of the box’’.
  • Be able to adapt and change in order to keep the business successful, especially nowadays as the speed of technological advancement increases.
  • Not be afraid of taking risks, as great, and sometimes unforeseen opportunities come from taking risks. Embracing risk also helps overcome the fear of failing.
  • Have courage and decisiveness to model the vision with actions, making the tough calls and taking decisions that can have high consequences.
  • Strong communication skills to align and guide the organization, inspiring and motivating others to translate the vision into actions.
  • Able to constantly learn to live at their growth edge. In order to learn, they must also have no ego and recognize what they do not know.

What are the experiences and lessons that you’ve learned across your journey?

Step out of your comfort zone. No one initially believed in the idea beyond mYngle. I had to take the plunge. That is what makes the difference between visionaries and followers.

If you don’t succeed at first, try again. Being innovative meant that there was no set path I could follow. I had to discover the way, keeping the vision clear ahead of me.

Don’t always stick to the plan. The biggest challenge was to ‘pivot’ to a completely different business model. Things might evolve differently than you had initially anticipated. Take advantage of it.

Learning is the key to success. In order to learn, you have to recognize and accept that something can be done better. That is a sign of real strength.

According to you which are the technological innovations that will play the important role in shaping businesses in coming times?

Data Analysis and Machine Learning are making great improvements. Algorithms are getting better, products are becoming more accessible, knowledge about best practices are being shared and collaborated at a very fast pace. This enables businesses of all sizes and segments to use ML and data processing algorithms with much lower effort than before. Data analysis and machine learning helps us triage new products better, it helps us understand clients and try to anticipate possible issues better, it also helps Sales department with forecasting, funnel analysis, staff coaching, and the list goes on and on.

Where does mYngle sees itself in the near future and how do you plan to sustain its competency?

Growing further and further! We help companies achieve their goal in communicating better across languages and borders. We love doing so and we plan to keep improving ourselves in this process and helping even more companies. To achieve this goal, we must continue to always seek improvements, always give our users, staff and partners ways to work better and more efficiently.

The main challenge will be keeping ahead while the market moves from early stage to more mature. This means being alert about what is happening around and especially keep on listening to our customers.

What advice would you like to give to the young minds?

Stop comparing. The stories you read about the few that ‘’got it all’’ are rare exceptions and often not the full truth. Women in particular tend to do injustice to themselves: if we are not perfect, we feel we are not good enough. Let that go of that. Let go of trying to imitate types of leadership you see around but which are not you, and be really true to yourself.

That is why, when I talk about my experience, I try to give the genuine picture of who I really am, with all the different experiences that formed me and brought me where I am now, the good and the bad ones.

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