Online higher ed company bolsters local presence
Indian online higher education company upGrad has signalled its commitment to the APAC market with the appointment of Zubin Gandevia as CEO for the region.
Gandevia has a background in the rapidly changing entertainment sector, including key roles at FOX Networks Group Asia (part of Walt Disney Co) and Star TV. His experience in anticipating market demand, championing digital innovation and building strategic partnerships allowed him to build an enviable track record of starting and scaling successful businesses — a skill set that Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and Chairman of upGrad, says will transfer.
“Zubin brings an enviable track record of starting and scaling successful businesses, and I’m excited for the potential we can unlock with his leadership,” he said. “Having built a proven and trusted edtech brand in India, we are now poised for growth with plans to scale our offering to support more people in building their future careers, and Zubin is very well placed to help us achieve this.
“He brings a lifetime of commercial wisdom and is a proven change maker with a passion for lifelong learning, which aligns squarely with upGrad’s values. His background in forging strategic partnerships and his keen interest in digital content delivery will be key accelerants for our expansion in Asia. I look forward to working with him to realise our vision of reaching a billion people through upGrad.”
Seeking to address the employment and upskilling challenges faced by many economies in the region, Gandevia will lead upGrad’s expansion plans across APAC. Through partnerships with governments, universities and businesses, the company will launch localised online courses to boost the career prospects of thousands as countries look to pivot towards new digital and Industry 4.0 skills in response to the rising unemployment.
“By 2025, WEF predicts that around 85 million people will lose their jobs, whilst over the same period 97 million new jobs will be created, which will require very different skills,” said Gandevia. “Without the ability to reskill people quickly, and at scale, millions will potentially be displaced from work. It will require new technology and a fresh approach to partnerships between the government, industry and academia if we are to meet this challenge head on and, in doing so, truly change the lives of millions for the better.
“I’m excited to be part of this transformation, helping to benefit individuals and societies by making it easier to continue to learn new skills throughout our working lives. What particularly attracted me to upGrad was the company’s entrepreneurial approach and obsessive devotion to making the learner experience creative, connected, interactive and immersive — just like in the world of entertainment,” he said.
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