South Asia’s largest online Higher education company - upGrad came into existence to solve the three larger macroeconomic problems plaguing the Indian education system - accessibility, affordability, availability of quality education.
India’s K-12 segment, i.e., the school-going population, roughly holds about 300 million people, out of which only 270-280 million students are currently studying, including the rural areas, with a participation rate of about 80% in schools. As we move towards higher education, the overall participation ratio or the Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) takes a steep cut and can be roughly estimated to be around 25-30%. It also means that for every individual, there are three individuals who have not gone or enrolled for higher education in India. Here, offline institutions alone cannot bridge the gap, given their restrictions in terms of size & capacity. That’s where an online platform such as upGrad can aid accessibility at scale.
Secondly, its available to one and all. With the rapid penetration of giant network players and high-speed internet availability into the Indian market, connectivity challenge is steadily decreasing. Today one cannot overemphasize the importance of skilling for mid-career professionals in an era where the half-life of knowledge is reducing more rapidly than ever. The subject knowledge taught in college in most times becomes redundant by the time one graduates. So, for professionals with a decade of experience or more, for them the subject most in-demand today was most definitely not taught as part of the curriculum. Therefore, to address such demands, upGrad with its industry-relevant online programs is reaching out to millions, thereby motivating them to upskill, while they already have a lucrative job in hand.
Thirdly, the problem of affordability, where students and working professionals were required to travel to other locations which could be significantly expensive and must bear the accommodation cost along with other miscellaneous expenses. The cost impact is higher if you take into account the opportunity cost of leaving the job to pursue education. These challenges were also eliminated with upGrad’s online learning model.
100+ courses in collaboration with top-notch global universities like Duke Corporate Education (US), Michigan State University (US), Liverpool John Moores University (UK), Deakin Business School (Australia), Swiss School of Business Management, (Geneva), IIT Madras (India), IIM Kozhikode (India), and others. With an 80% program completion rate, it has now become India’s largest EdTech company in the country. upGrad’s journey started off with an entrepreneurship program and soon expanded its online portfolio in the areas of Marketing, Finance Operations, HR, Law, Strategy & Leadership, Analytics, Big Data, loT, Cyber Security, Al & Data Science.
upGrad offers a seamless and qualitative learning experience wherein the online programs are divided into modules with recorded sessions, quizzes, case studies, live sessions, and career guidance. upGrad also offers an integrated platform to code tests and submit solutions. It provides learners with steadfast placement support, resume building, interview support for career switch, assignments, grading and many more services. It's ability to provide meaningful career outcomes to its learners, stands as the biggest differentiator amongst other EdTech players in the Indian market.
The classroom model allowed students to learn from the mentors available locally. However, with online education taking the forefront, EdTech platform upGrad has made it possible to avail programs from international universities as well. upGrad offers a plethora of online programs that are designed and delivered in collaboration with top-notch national and international universities like IIT Madras, IIIT Bangalore, MICA, BIMTECH, NMIMS Global Access, Jindal Global Law School, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University and others.
upGrad recently announced its partnership with Amrita University (Vishwa Vidyapeetham) and added two new degree programs to its robust online learning portfolio. It includes the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA) degrees, powered by upGrad. This partnership will enable learners to get access to quality online education at affordable prices anytime, and anywhere.
upGrad's mission is to power career success for every member of the global workforce as their trusted LifeLongLearning partner and hence the M&A strategy borders around how upGrad can travel the entire lifecycle of a LifeLongLearner. The focus for this year will be on the skilling segment and to own the college and SAS space however it is too early to share any further details on this.
The brand has been expanding its global presence by leaps and bounds. It has recently announced the appointment of Vice President, University Partnerships, for the US market followed by the appointment of General Manager for North America. Beginning of this year, upGrad had also announced the CEO for the APAC region followed by the country head for Indonesia and the four-member board comprising of distinguished leaders for its UK operations.
Over this fiscal year, upGrad has noticed a remarkable spike in student enrolment from over 50 countries with the largest chunk coming from the Middle East, followed by the United States of America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. upGrad also has a ground presence in Singapore, Indonesia, the USA, UK, and the Middle East.
upGrad, ever since its inception, has been working towards making the online learning model the way of life, and guess the current situation has given it a new impetus. Also, migrating to an online ecosystem is not just about placing a webcam in front of the teacher, but the quality of education is equally imperative. It will plummet if sessions, participations & evaluations are not supervised with equal precision like in an offline setup. Therefore, upGrad has invested 100 crores to build their proprietary tech platform, which is more of a digital campus to provide offline institutes a platform that can seamlessly replicate their classes, online. upGrad Live supports multiple assessment formats like coding tests in its inbuilt coding console, quizzes, individual, and group projects. Plagiarism checks and proctored exams allow for fair grading of assignments. Over 100 colleges and universities in India, are using upGrad Live currently, with around 1 lakh students logged-in to the platform at any given time.
“Recently, we have crossed the milestone of impacting over 1 million learners across 50+ countries which bears testimony to our robust content pedagogy and delivery infrastructure. As we move forward, we look at powering career success for every member of the global workforce as their trusted LifeLongLearning partner and drive meaningful career outcomes. In the next two years, we will be linking all the dots in LifeLongLearning – from anyone entering college to all the way to retirement, and everything in between," said Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and MD, upGrad.
With such speedy growth in just 6 years of existence, this Edtech platform has positioned itself as the gamechanger in the EdTech industry.