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Ronnie Screwvala’s UpGrad ties up with Cambridge, commits Rs 200 Cr for Int’l expansion


Online education company UpGrad is going to offer a digital marketing course in collaboration with Cambridge Judge School of Business starting 2018 and will subsequently tie up with top-ranked universities from the UK, Australia, and Singapore to offer customized courses.

The program will combine Cambridge Judge Business School faculty along with experts and select corporate partners from local markets. The first batch of the Digital Marketing Strategies will begin in January 2018.

UpGrad, promoted by entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala, has also earmarked Rs 200 crore for international expansion into South-East Asia and Middle East markets. The company will first expand into Singapore and Dubai.

Also Read: Ronnie Screwvala’s UpGrad seeks opportunity to expand in global market

UpGrad has already invested Rs 100 crore in India in the last two years and of the total outlay it has now pegged for further investments.

The fund will be utilized for content development, manpower hiring and brand marketing. Right now, UpGrad has 200 employees and it wants to take the headcount to 350 over the next 18 months. Most of these hires will be for sales and marketing roles.

“With over 400,000 marketing professionals across South East Asia and Middle Eastern Markets who require upskilling and an Executive Education market size of $110 million, these markets are an attractive avenue for UpGrad,” said Ronnie Screwvala and Mayank Kumar, cofounders, UpGrad, in a joint statement, reported ET.

The development assumes interest as this would be the first time an online education company from India is venturing out to other geographies at a time international players like edX, Coursera and Udacity are looking to capture global markets though unpaid Moocs (massive online open courses) and other paid courses.

In India, it competes with the likes of Simplilearn, Edureka, igsaw Academy, to name a few.

In 2015, Screwvala and Kumar, along with Phalgun Kompalli and Ravijot Chugh launched UpGrad, an online higher education platform which provides a range of programs consists of digital marketing, product management, entrepreneurship, data analytics, data-driven management and digital technology management.

The company has had multiple partnerships in the last two-and-a-half years. It has partnered with universities such as IIIT Bangalore, MICA Ahmedabad and BITS Pilani.

Besides, its partnership with Government of India’s Start-up India initiative was aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs and to help them get clarity for their journey. Under the Start-Up India education programme, the edtech firm claimed to have offered services to over 150,000 individuals.

Beyond universities and government, the platform has also tied up with corporates to help students get the right career transitions.

According to Google KPMG report, the online education market will be around $2 billion by 2021. Overall higher education is estimated to be over $10 billion.

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