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Deccan Chronicle interviews Mr Srinivasa of GlobalGyan on building student's careers

DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Feb 13, 2020, 8:31 am IST
Updated Feb 13, 2020, 2:22 pm IST
GlobalGyan Academy is an EduTech start-up that helps students and managers build their careers.
GlobalGyan’s network of experienced leaders provide practical knowledge that professionals can use immediately.
 GlobalGyan’s network of experienced leaders provide practical knowledge that professionals can use immediately.

When it comes to education platforms in India, GlobalGyan Academy needs no introduction. In lieu of this, we took the opportunity to interview Mr Srinivasa, CEO and founder of GlobalGyan to understand what’s their mantra for success and how it is bridging the otherwise impossible gap in education in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.

What made you enter the Management education Market? Brief us about GGA's Journey in India.

 

Over the next decade itself, India will have a surplus manpower of 40 to 50 million. Gainfully employing them and the 300-350 million current workforces requires a tremendous effort in building skills. Just skilling would not be sufficient – new enterprises need to be created and grown rapidly by new entrepreneurs. We will need millions of new managers to build infrastructure, develop and market products, and drive innovation. 

As Indian companies and entrepreneurs pursue growth opportunities in competitive domestic and international markets, the availability of high-quality talent is becoming a major constraint. In fact, this talent shortage is often listed as one of the top concerns that keep CEOs awake at night. 

In India particularly, industry and academia have historically had a poor connect with each other. GlobalGyan was born with a desire to address three major gaps in capability development: first, to make learning a continuous journey rather than once in a life degree programs or one-off training events; second, to build content that was relevant to the Indian business context; and third, to build a platform for experienced industry professionals to contribute to learning and development of the next generation of managers. 

Our goal is to help students and professionals progress their careers with learning and mentoring from industry leaders. Through our mobile app, interactive content and personal coaching, GlobalGyan’s network of experienced leaders provide practical knowledge that professionals can use immediately. We have worked with over 8000 managers from India’s largest corporates in developing business acumen and leadership capabilities since 2015. 

We also realised that if we want to make high-quality learning content available to large numbers of managers, we have to use the power of technology. We have built a Digireal learning platform that tries to recreate the engagement and interaction of face-to-face programs, with the personalisation and reach that digital provides. Participants have consistently said that GlobalGyan’s digital learning is like having a personal tutor by one’s side, and this is reflected in very high completion rates of our digital programs. 

We have been fortunate to receive the support of various luminaries from the industry and academic world. Our investors include Mr Ratan Tata, Dr Jagdish Sheth and several other business leaders in India and overseas.

Tell us about the G.A.M.E. app and it how it delivers training content in an easy-to-use manner?    

We enable practical learning from experienced leaders at our students’ fingertips. Our learning programs on our G.A.M.E. App are extremely interactive and byte-sized, to suit the learning style of the current generation.

Self-paced digital learning is offered through our mobile (Android & iOS) and web apps. Our programs are designed as learning journeys over a period of time, with an investment of about 15-20 minutes daily – most participants can finish their lesson for the day during their work commute or in a short break during the day. Our content is highly interactive, offering personalised & conversational feedback. Unlike the linear flow of most e-learning videos, our algorithmic videos enable multiple decision paths and options, similar to how a classroom conversation would flow. 

The digital learning journey is interspersed with simulations and assessments which encourage the immediate application of concepts. In addition, participants are able to engage in real-time with the faculty and other learners through periodic webinars and if required, classroom sessions. 

Finally, our leadership network continues to provide ongoing content and advice to managers, even after they have completed the learning program, through short videos, articles and podcasts.

How is GlobalGyan bridging the gap, in education in Tier 2 and Tier 3 India? 

Even though India has some of the best academic institutions and has top-quality talent in the corporate world, most students do not get access to these capabilities. As Mr Adi Godrej said, “I don't think there is a dearth of jobs in India. What exists instead is a clear gap between skilled people and the work at hand.” 

GlobalGyan has developed a digital learning program to bridge this skill gap in college students. We are excited to partner with the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) in ensuring that high-quality professional skill training is accessible to all students who need it. The CII Smart Manager Certificate Programme has been designed and delivered by highly experienced CXOs and academicians including Dr Ashok Korwar, a leading corporate consultant and former Chairman-PGP, IIM Ahmedabad, Gagandeep Singh, a visiting faculty at ISB, INSEAD and IIMA and Usha Rangarajan, a former CXO with experiences in Wipro, Tata Teleservices and IHCL. 

A program like this gives an equal opportunity to all who make the effort to learn, not just the ones who have managed to gain admission to top-ranked colleges. Priced affordably, this certification program not only upgrades student skills but also gives them exposure to job opportunities that may not be available in their colleges. 

Skill development remains a buzzword, how do you see this sector shaping?  

It takes more than theoretical knowledge to get ahead in one’s professional career; students are required to develop problem-solving, decision making and people management skills as workplaces are getting more complex and competitive. Employers routinely find that freshers lack analytical ability, managerial skills, creativity, and the willingness to learn.

Two major shifts will shape the skill development market. 

Degrees will become irrelevant. Corporates are going to play a bigger role in education and skilling, than they have ever before. Hiring and career progress will happen on the basis of capabilities rather than the ability to crack entrance tests and getting admission into elite colleges.

Digital (enabled) learning is the only scalable solution to the skilling needs of India. Not only is it accessible and affordable, it also enables lifelong learning which is the need of the day. 

What are your views on the recent edtech trends happening in India?

Edtech is the future of Indian education. But it has not yet had the impact that it could have. That is because e-learning is usually just videos of classroom sessions, uploaded to a portal, along with a few quizzes and assignments. Digital learning is positioned as the poor cousin of a classroom program, and therefore, priced very cheap or even free. Completion rates, therefore, are in low single digits.

Digital learning is and can be made superior to classroom programs. Digital should aim to substitute and replace a live class. Except for a few specific instances, digital learning programs can be designed to disrupt the education market in future. Digital content should adapt to the context of the learner; based on who the learner is and what the learner says or does, content should adapt itself. Digital content should be built in various forms, to cater to multiple learning styles of individuals.

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