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Interview: Our aim is helping build careers, says Diwakar Chittora, CEO, IntelliPaat

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Diwakar Chittora, CEO, IntelliPaatDiwakar Chittora, CEO, IntelliPaatDiwakar Chittora, CEO, IntelliPaat

IntelliPaat provides online instructor-led training, self-paced e-learning training and corporate training, and offers more than 150 courses for professionals. It has over 6 lakh professionals learning from about 55 countries and more than 200 corporates using its courses for upskilling their employees, says Diwakar Chittora, CEO, IntelliPaat. In an interview with FE’s Vikram Chaudhary, he adds that from the start of the lockdown last year till now, the demand has been rising for courses on data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, digital marketing and cybersecurity. Excerpts:

During the lockdown, did you get a new set of learners, or learners taking new kinds of courses?

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The demand has been rising for courses on data science, AI, cloud computing, digital marketing and cybersecurity. Due to the rise in digitalisation, these skill sets have gained in popularity, while the demand for manual testing as well as automation testing has seen a drop.

Over the next 10 years, AI and machine learning are expected to make waves across industries, such as healthcare, education, banking and so on. Also, it will become the responsibility of organisations to make provisions for upskilling their workforce and reinvent learning in a manner that integrates it into the flow of work and life.

Did IntelliPaat add any new courses during the lockdown?

We added multiple courses during the period of the lockdown. We have launched a category of courses pertaining to project management, which also includes business analyst training offered in collaboration with the IIBA, digital marketing certification in partnership with top institutes like SPJIMR, Mumbai. We also worked on designing courses on cloud computing, such as Azure (in collaboration with Microsoft), as well as courses on cybersecurity in partnership with the EC-Council.

It is argued that online training gives Indian training providers a global reach. What kind of foreign student/learner participation has IntelliPaat seen?

We have learners from over 55 countries (55-60% of our learners hail from abroad). We are witnessing an increase yet again from both Indian and foreign learners, rising by 50-65% as compared to March 2020.

As far as foreign learners are concerned, are these more in the B2C space or the B2B space?

They are more in the B2C space, but we are seeing an increase in enquiries from B2B as well.

The founder of edX recently told me that ‘modular learning’ and ‘stackable learning’ are the future of education. Do you see learners at IntelliPaat also taking short courses (as needed) and ‘stacking’ these up over time?

We offer both short-term and long-term courses, which are inclined not just towards vocational training, but rather help a person in career transition. Most of our courses are designed keeping in mind that they will be making the learner employable in a specific arena that she is being trained in; in the specific skill that the course is created for. Most of our courses are 4-6 month long, while some are 6-9 month long, all aimed at increasing employability and catering to career transition. Courses on the EdX platform are more inclined towards imparting knowledge, but they may lack the career transition element. At IntelliPaat, we primarily focus on building careers of our learners and setting them up for professional success.

Do you think training providers such as IntelliPaat are pulling students/learners away from business schools (those who would have otherwise pursued, let’s say, a one-year MBA for career progression)?

Yes! At IntelliPaat, basically our students are finishing school. Those who don’t come from a programming background, we make them skilled in such a manner that they become adept at programming and coding, as against regular PG diploma or degree courses like MTech, MS, etc.

All our courses are industry-aligned and curriculum-designed to provide 90% hands-on exposure, which leads to career transition, as against degree programmes which hardly provide 20% practical exposure. Hence, professionals who are looking from a growth perspective as well as who see themselves stagnant in their career join our courses.

We have seen about 60% of our students achieving their upskilling objective within three months of course completion, and a majority of them see a switch in their role within their existing companies or reported job switch to the skills they learnt. Our courses are also much more economical as compared to regular college courses.

Who are the trainers at IntelliPaat, and who create courses?

Our trainers are subject matter experts, who have been working with big brands like Amazon, Flipkart, Adobe and premier IT companies. Earlier they were associated with us on a contractual basis, but now we have a strict evaluation team that assesses potential trainers for their technical knowledge, teaching pedagogy, and how they pass on their knowledge while teaching, before we hire them full time. Our courses are designed by in-house subject matter experts in tandem with trainers.

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