Higher education & professional skilling to see unprecedented growth: Abhinav Upadhyay

The first to bring ‘Live & Interactive’ anywhere learning in digital format, Talentedge is changing the way India learns. Offering courses jointly with leading institutes such as IIMs, XLRI, MICA, SPJIMR, eCornell, amongst others, Talentedge enables working professionals to plan their future course of action and fast track their careers. The platform has touched the lives of over 500,000 learners with a product continuum for 18-year to 60-year olds. The company has more than 500,000 active learners on its platform and has partnered with more than 30 institutes. The company has launched 15 courses and plans to launch another 15 in the coming years.

The company has recently unveiled their new brand identity. The new identity represents the promise of Talentedge to young dreamers and aspires to provide their careers an edge by standing beside them in helping them fulfil their ambitions. The new identity represents the core ethos of the brand as a leader and the key solution driver for inclusivity, efficiency and productivity in higher education. In conversation with Adgully, Abhinav Upadhyay, Chief Marketing Officer, Talentedge, speaks about the company’s new brand identity and also touched upon the various challenges that the company has faced and how they tackled them, as well as te road ahead.

The online education space has accelerated fast in the last few years with severe competition. As an online learning company, how is Talentedge differentiating themselves to add value in students’ career journey?

Online Education is a wide domain and currently, we are aiming to resolve few critical aspects concerning higher education, including upskilling, and making education accessible.

  • India has only a 27.4% Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education and while around 40 million students get a degree, over 109 million Indians have no access to Higher Education. This is approximately the same as the population of Germany and Canada put together. Imagine the growth potential we could tap if we move GER over 40% in the near future. We are trying for greater inclusivity in higher education in line with the vision of the Government of India’s National Education Policy 2020 (NEP2020). By being early starters in India’s Online Program Management (OPM) space, we can call ourselves pioneers, especially with path-breaking tie-ups with some of the NIRF Top 100 Universities, who have the government’s approval to launch Online Degrees.
  • Due to limited seats in premium educational institutions many talented people do not get access to quality education. We were the first in India to launch Live & Interactive learning concept 5 years back. With multiple partnerships with leading institutions, we expanded the reach of courses to a bigger audience.
  • We focus on outcome-based education that is more inclusive and provides job assurance to both early learners and working

All of the above offerings of OPM for Online Degrees, Professional Skilling via premier institutions, and Outcome-based education that assures jobs and career progression, truly make us stand out in the higher education domain in India for virtual learning.

What has been your objective/ purpose behind creating the new brand identity? How does this new rebranding exercise benefit the organisation and what kind of expectations are set?

Before talking about an identity, it is absolutely critical to understand “Why does this brand exist?.” We started with a rigorous research process to gather clarity about our brand’s purpose since it marks the beginning of a brand’s journey.

After a lot of research and deliberations, we finally arrived at our purpose, “To let no ambition go unfulfilled”.

Once we had finalised our brand purpose, we had to bring this to life in the form of our new brand identity, brand expressions, brand structure and more. The whole objective behind this exercise was to find our North Star that guides us. We tried to make our brand stand out by being easy to understand and relatable at a human level.

When we find something important while reading it, we underline it.

As a brand, we believe every human being has talent within them. We are here only to help them realise their talent, and full potential (#GetTheEdge). This thought led us to our Brand Logo and Identity, which is bold, with the edge being underlined to show that we give the EDGE to the Talent within all.

A brand is a culmination of all experiences that it exposes its audience to. Hence, by redefining our brand purpose and brand identity, we have decided to build a rocketship, where we focus on every touchpoint and enhance user experience. This new brand purpose and identity gives us a new meaning and also a new design language.

By including every single colour in our palette, we represent inclusivity that we truly stand for. 

How do you plan to promote and create awareness about new identity? Have you outlined any structured media strategy to heighten the awareness of the new brand identity?

As a company, we are focused on growth with unit economics. As part of our growth marketing efforts, we have already revamped the website along with new internal communication and branding concept to let our employees start living the new brand purpose.

Besides, our growth and brand marketing efforts both have synergised around the new brand concept. The visuals and language on our social media handles resonate with the new design philosophy.

We also have certain media plans beyond the performance marketing efforts, which we will share soon.

What are some of the challenges that you faced during the pandemic and how have you coped up and addressed those challenges? Any new learnings that you would like to share?

The pandemic has been a life-altering experience for all. Instead of a challenge, I see it as a learning experience, with 3 key takeaways:

  • With the pandemic, people’s preferences changed as many opted to invest in courses, to gain job security. This pushed us to develop new innovative course designs, including the Job-Assured program, ensuring learners a paid internship and an assured job.
  • As a company and brand, we genuinely believe that business needs and empathy go hand in hand. Focusing on numbers doesn’t mean we can’t be empathetic towards people, partners, customers and vendors. The pandemic taught all the value of empathy, especially to businesses that aim to be infinite leaders.
  • Consumer behaviour has changed rapidly over the last few months. From being not so sure due to the pandemic, we witnessed a rise in people’s trust in future as the economy started to bounce back. Also, with Gen Z entering the workforce, there are many aspects of their behaviour, values, beliefs that we need to factor in as we serve customers from 18 to 60 years. Hence, it is vital to cater to everyone’s needs, while ensuring empathy, inclusivity and simplicity.

India is filled with a young teeming population and the need for knowledge through well planned education is most important. What would be your piece of advice to these generation next students in building their career through learning?

India has a massive young population with almost no access to quality education due to a lack of infrastructure and good educators. The only way out is by making Online Degrees, Diplomas, Certifications from top-notch institutions more accessible and promoting constant upskilling and relearning.

My advice to the next generation of learners would be:

  • Consider yourself your only competition and try to better yourself constantly. We at Talentedge also believe in same as we help people know their talent and then give it an edge.
  • Pursue what brings you joy and gives you a sense of growth, so look for study programs accordingly.
  • Keep on upskilling and reskilling yourself to stay ahead of the game

There has been a rapid acceleration and transformation in the digital space. With the advent of online learning in a big way, what kind of leap and growth can one expect from the online education industry in the next 3 years?

Rapid digitalisation has seeped into every aspect of our life today. Education is no exception. Technology taught us how to keep the learning going remotely for all age groups.

The education ecosystem from an online education perspective is likely to witness consolidation by players with deep pockets. With the increase in capital flow in the education sector, emerging technologies and new areas of learning are becoming more relevant for the new world order.

At Talentedge, we are mindful of this change and are tracking industry, consumer, policy and environment trends. We believe that the Higher Education domain is likely to see immense growth:

  • Emergence of Online Program Management (OPM): Since the government has allowed the NIRF Top 100 Universities to apply for and offer Online Degrees, the OPM will play a massive Talentedge is an early leader in this space and our end to end offering ensures that Universities can collaborate Online degrees with us in a matter of days. This is going to be a HUGE growth driver.
  • High demand for Professional skilling and executive education: As the world evolves, our professionals will need to upgrade themselves by learning new skills. Both new-age skills and some old world skills will stay relevant to tap in growth graph.
  • Outcome based Inclusive Education: We shall continue to see very high growth in Outcome-based education like the Modern Business Masters Jumpstart program that we offer. We believe that education must have outcomes and our combined efforts with various universities have many takers today.

With all of the above showing massive traction and the journey having just about accelerated, the higher education and professional skilling segment will see unprecedented growth. From new consumer segments to higher revenues and ARPUs, the movement in the online higher education segment has just begun.


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in Media