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upGrad Co-founder Mayank Kumar’s mantras for building a credible & relevant brand

Co-founded by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar and Phalgun Kompalli in 2015, online higher education platform, upGrad, has grown from strength to strength. Starting with its first program in Entrepreneurship, upGrad has created some of India’s largest online programs to help thousands of professionals achieve their career goals in the areas of data technology, and management.

Now, in a move to accelerate its global expansion, Upgrad has allocated $250 million for M&A deals. As per media reports, the edtech start-up is valued at almost $4 billion.

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Delivering the opening keynote address at the inaugural edition of Adgully’s IMAGEXX 2021 Summit, Mayank Kumar, Co-founder and Managing Director, upGrad, had several deep insights to share on ‘Building a credible brand in education’.

At the outset, Kumar emphasised that building a credible brand is a very important aspect for the education sector and added that “to be a brand is what you really stand for, what people will speak about you and your organisation and your product behind your back.” Kumar added, “For me a brand is, ‘If I am not in the room, what will people speak about this brand’. This is an important part for what brands really start for, because once we understand this, all the other things start falling in order to ‘How do I build a credible brand in the Education space?’”

Adding further, he said, “When it comes to education, it is very important to know who your audience is and who your consumer is. Knowing who your consumer is, is the first question that an education brand needs to answer, because many a times when I talk to entrepreneurs, founders and people who are setting up start-ups, sometimes they are not clear about who their customer is, and that is the first thing that you as a brand need to answer.”

Once you know who your customer is, the next thing you need to know is ‘What problem are you solving for your customer?’ and ‘How are you solving that problem?’ Once you understand this, the final question is, ‘What do you stand for?’

Mayank further said, “When we were starting upGrad, we took a lot of time to get an answer for what we stand for and the answer that we got from everyone in the organisation wasv that we have to stand for Career Success for a learner and that was the time when we decided to take a very clear and sharp positioning that whatever that we do, we want to stand for being a career partner for our learners, we want to power career success for a billion-plus workforce in the ecosystem globally. And when we decided that this was what we wanted to stand for, a lot of things such as communication and others started becoming very easy for us.”

Watch the entire event here


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