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Mr. Rajesh Puri on 'digital education' with India Education Services

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Mr. Rajesh Puri on 'digital education'

In exploring information with Bridge School of Management, a management school launched by Apollo Global, Inc. (USA) and HT Media which is one of the world's leading higher education providing organisations, it was indicated that there is a wide chasm between what the Indian Universities are producing and what the industry actually needs.

There is a great challenge to map higher education with the industry requirements. Being a student and corporate focused school, understanding what the customers want and need, and helping them get what they need has been the primary objective of Bridge School of Management.

In an interaction with Oneindia Education, Mr. Rajesh Puri, CEO, India Education Services Pvt. Ltd., highlights some of the major factors of influence and the prevalent system of higher education and corporate education in India.

Rajesh joined HT Media Limited in 2012 as the CEO of Indian Education Services Private Limited (IESPL), a JV of HT Media Ltd and Apollo Global. Before joining IESPL, Rajesh had successfully built Meru Cab Co Pvt Ltd, India's largest and the world's second largest radio taxi company to a leadership position and a respected brand. Rajesh has rich Corporate experience of 25 years building brands and businesses across the Telecom, Life Insurance and Consumer Durable Industries, having worked in Companies like Tata Teleservices, Bharti Airtel, Kotak Mahindra, Whirlpool and Godrej-GE Appliances.

Let us find out on what Mr. Rajesh Puri has to share on some of the key aspects of Indian education system like training working professionals, plans of introducing global best practices and technology into the management education system, education-employment mismatch, corporate and digital education in India and more.

1. What are the immediate plans of India Education Services in training working professionals?

At a time when there is a clear need for education that caters to the requirements of business and industry, India Education Services has decided to focus on providing corporate education through Bridge School of Management.

As a part of its immediate plans, HT Media Ltd recently launched the BRIDGE School of Management through a joint venture, as the company decided to focus on corporate education for working professionals. The institute has been launched under India Education Services Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture between HT Media Ltd and US headquartered Apollo Global Inc with the aim to address the "education-employment" mismatch and to equip professionals with skills and practical knowledge of real business values for a global workplace.

There are plans to open 50 centers across India in the next ten years to educate working professionals. The company is currently imparting education to its first batch of 125 students at its two centers - at Gurgaon and in Noida. We are targeting to provide executive education programmes to mid-level working professionals with 3-8 years of work experience. The aim is to train a total of about one lakh students in the next decade.

There is a need to bring industry and academics together, and build the industry focus in management education. The opportunity is huge in India and at India Education Services; we believe that this is the right step in the direction of meeting the demand for corporate executive education in the country.

2. Comment on the level of influence that 'digital education' has on the future learner. Are there any offerings revolving around this subject in Bridge School of Management?

As we look around ourselves, we find that use of technology has become prevalent in our lives - from smart phones, to computers etc. We are no longer uncomfortable with technology and India is amongst the top few countries in terms of Internet connections. As the Internet access increases and people become more aware and comfortable, Digital Marketing and Management is likely to emerge as an area of interest for students who wish to use this channel to reach potential customers at a fraction of the cost being incurred on other media. Also, as consumers we are very comfortable getting information through the internet.

Our belief is that over time, world class education would be available on the internet, as has started, with some of the world's top universities offering education options to people desirous of availing. We at Bridge School believe that offering Education through a blended mode allows us to harness the benefits for both-the Internet as also the human touch of a teacher in a Face to Face interaction.

Online education allows us to get the world's best education to India, and make it available to anyone across the nation. It allows the student to not waste time and money on commuting and be able to access education at his/her convenience from the comfort of their home or office or use the travel time to learn and read. Face to Face Interaction at our state of the art, well appointed learning centers helps clarifies doubts, do real time industry case studies and projects, and also network with other students and faculty. This is also an opportunity to significantly upgrade one's soft skills, which are becoming an essential requirement in today's corporate world.

3. By introducing global best practices and technology into the management education system, what are your major challenges in leveraging innovative learning environment with limited outlets?

The Indian education market was worth $40 billion in 2008, according to a CLSA Asia-Pacific markets report published in April 2009. According to the Planning Commission, the country will spend Rs.4.13 trillion on higher education in the five years to March 2017, about four times more than the Rs. 84,943 crore allotted during the preceding five years.

There is a huge employability gap in our country. The gap between the skills required and those churned out by the universities is widening, thus causing under employment or unemployment on one side and lack of trained manpower leading to poor Industrial growth on the other side. Hence, there is a dire need for a scalable and affordable model in this area.

Several reports in the last few years have said that a majority of India's graduates, including those from the engineering and management backgrounds, are not job-ready and there is an enormous need for providing new skills to working professionals.

BRIDGE School of Management has been conceived to address the ‘employability' gap to help India's rapidly growing Service and Manufacturing Industry educate and empower employees for a 21st century global workplace.

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