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This edtech firm is using Covid as springboard for growth

By Peerzada Abrar
August 31, 2020 12:21 IST
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Simplilearn said the pandemic had accelerated demand for skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data science and cybersecurity.

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the jobs market and resulted in layoffs, salary freezes and pay cuts, edtech firm Simplilearn is witnessing an increasing demand from professionals to upgrade their skills.

The firm, which provides digital skills training, is “doubling down” on its global expansion, especially in markets such as the Middle East, Africa and the Far East, where it is observing most of the demand for its products and services.


The firm said the pandemic had accelerated demand for skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data science and cybersecurity.

“There are concerns over job losses. Enrollments for our courses have grown by 100 per cent,” said Krishna Kumar, founder and CEO, Simplilearn, in an interview.

“There have been job losses across the sectors.

"But the sectors which have been impacted big time  (due to the pandemic)have not touched their digital skills teams such as travel tech which include data scientists and analytics professionals," he said.

The firm, which has dual headquarters in San Francisco and Bengaluru, is also witnessing a higher demand for its courses from professionals, who have lost their jobs and they are being provided free access to some of the courses through its app.

“The world has changed, it is not the world of our parents' generation, where you would get the job, do it for the rest of your life and get a pension once you retire.

"You now need to learn continuously and make sure you are desirable (for employment),” said Kumar.

“Otherwise, don't be surprised if someone who is junior to you looks for the same job and you end up losing that job,” he said.

Simplilearn said that it was identifying local partners who could represent it in different markets to provide its skilling courses.

The firm said it had bagged a major customer in the Middle East - Gulf Business Machines (GBM) - a leading end-to-end digital solutions and services provider there.

Through this partnership, Simplilearn will enable employee skilling programmes by providing access to an array of live instructor-led classes across new-age technologies such as AI, cloud computing, data science and cybersecurity.

This learning initiative will equip the employees with industry-specific skills, preparing them to meet the demands of a digital future and contribute to the organization’s growth.

The learning programme offered by Simplilearn follows a blended learning approach which combines expert instructor-led live classrooms with applied learning components. Programmes are available for beginner, intermediate and advanced learning levels.

Along with 24/7 teaching assistance, all programmes offer sessions with subject matter experts, industry-certified Capstone projects and hands-on practice on Integrated Labs.

On completion of the programmes, learners will receive certificates of completion from Simplilearn, and related industry partners and universities.

Simplilearn's Kumar said that the company was collaborating with partners in foreign markets such as Africa, which along with the government, were focusing on providing digital skills to youth.

He said with an increasing number of professionals working from home, regions such as Africa were expecting a lot of outsourcing projects.

Simplilearn, which is backed by investors such as Mayfield, Kalaari Capital and Helion Venture Partners, is expecting to cross revenues of Rs 500 crore in the financial year 2020-21.

The firm has helped more than 1 million professionals and 1,000 companies across 150 countries.

About 70 per cent of its business comes from outside India.

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Peerzada Abrar in Bengaluru
Source: source

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