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Ronnie Screwvala's UpGrad scores another, ties up with SP Jain Management institute

Sindhu Kashyap
7th Apr 2018
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Online higher education company UpGrad has tied up with Mumbai-based SP Jain Institute of Management and Research to launch a post-graduate programme in Technology Business Management. The programme aims to assist working technology professionals’ transition to managerial positions.

Founded by Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar, UpGrad believes the IT industry is witnessing a significant shift to offering product-oriented solutions as against services-oriented solutions it once pioneered in. This change, coupled with the advent of new technologies such as Blockchain, IoT, cloud and Artificial Intelligence, calls for a new breed of Technology Business Leaders. 

UpGrad has also entered into partnerships with leading institutes such as IIIT B, BITS Pilani, MICA and IMT Ghaziabad. The plan is to partner with four to five more institutions to offer flexible and skill-focused postgraduate education for working professionals in India and globally.

The programme with SP Jain Management and Research Institute will equip learners with requisite business skills, and help them understand how to leverage their technology skills. It is targeted towards anyone looking to boost their career trajectory in the IT and IT-enabled sectors over the next three to five years. 

The programme has been designed to empower them to move from purely technical to techno-managerial roles while updating themselves on the emerging technologies (AI, IoT, blockchain etc) that will change the face of the IT and IT-enabled sectors in the years to come. 

The programme has a mix of management learning, design thinking, and understanding of emerging technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain and others. Started in July 2015 by Mayank Kumar and Ronnie Screwvala, UpGrad is an online higher education company that provides industry relevant programmes.

L-R: Mayank Kumar and Ronnie Screwvala. Co-Founders UpGrad

The opportunity cost of attending an offline programme is high. The working professional has to incur huge fees and let go of one to two years of salary to do a post-graduate programme and this can be a tough proposition for many and the reason they forgo opportunities to learn from the leading universities. Ronnie Screwvala says, 

“We have seen a strong acceptability of our programmes in India where our platform operates at scale with over 170,000 users with most willing to pay over Rs 2 lakh for online programmes. Not only that, our programmes have seen a 90 percent completion rate and 50 percent NPS (Net Promoter Score) score - which demonstrates very high engagement and satisfaction level amongst our learners.” 

In April last year, Ronnie had announced Asia’s first online scholarship fund with an initial corpus of Rs 100 crore. The scholarship fund would be aimed at skilling individuals in relevant areas, and equipping them with industry-relevant knowledge.

UpGrad Team

“We, at UpGrad, are on a mission to bring postgraduate education from universities where they are established leaders for professionals without the need to take a career break. We bring the subject matter expertise of the university combined with industry domain expertise to the student through UpGrad’s learning experience,” says Mayank. 

He says the company partners with universities to co-create programmes. The university faculty and the UpGrad content team together identify the learning outcomes for the learner, and develop a cutting-edge curriculum and subject matter that is relevant. 

“UpGrad does the heavy lifting in terms of bringing in contextual industry demonstrations, keeping the learner motivated through the programmes, giving them feedback on their assignments and projects, getting the learner career ready, and connecting them to suitable career opportunities,” says Mayank. 

The future plan is to take UpGrad’s portfolio in the areas of Data, Marketing and Management, and Product and Technology to South East Asia. “We have established a small presence in Singapore to test out the local market requirement,” concludes Mayank. 

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