Upgrad entering competitive exam prep space, setting up Upgrad Jeet

Mumbai: Upgrad, an online upskilling platform for working professionals, is entering the government competitive exam preparation space with a new subsidiary, Upgrad Jeet, and targetting a large pie of the Rs 40,000-crore market.

The small town-focused Upgrad Jeet, which is a souped up version of its recent The Gate Academy, will be mostly focused on the Hindi-speaking small town folks who are looking for mid-scale government jobs, Upgrad co-founder and Chairman Ronnie Screwvala told PTI.

The new venture will be officially announced on Monday.

Its co-founder and Managing Director Mayank Kumar said that to begin with, they will have coaching in Hindi and English mediums, but more language options may be offered in the second phase of expansion.

Screwvala also said the next venture for them will be civil services, medicine and engineering, as well as banking exams.

Explaining the rationale for a separate arm, Screwvala said the lower-scale government jobs preparation a Rs 40,000-crore annual market. The company is looking to tap into a portion of it to begin with, he added.

“We will offer 9-12 months training charging Rs 8,500-12,000 from each depending on the duration,” Screwvala said.

The move to focus on non-gazette posts in the central and state government jobs as well as public sector banks follows the recent government announcement that a common eligibility test (CET) will replace all the multiple tests, saving both time and resources.

For this, they have also tied up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the All-India Technical Education Society and the Union skill development ministry.

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On revenue and enrolment targets, Screwvala said the company is looking at training 60,000 job seekers in the first year and 3.5 lakh in the first three years.

When asked about meeting a target of Rs 1,200 crore revenue run rate by the end of the year, Screwvala said the company will top the target.

Last month, Mayank Kumar had told PTI that since April, its revenue run rate has grown over five times and will close the year topping Rs 1,200 crore up from Rs 230 crore in 2019-20.

Revenue run rate is a term used in online retailing to indicate the total value of merchandise sold through the marketplace over a certain period of time.

Also, from around 5 lakh professionals who took to its learning and upskilling between its founding in 2015 and March 2020, the lockdown months alone saw the same crossing 1 million by December.

Upgrad was founded in 2015 by Screwvala, Kumar, Ravijot Chugh and Phalgun Kompalli, who have collectively invested over Rs 170 crore, most by Screwvala.

The city-based online higher education platform provides upskilling and reskilling programmes in collaboration with industry. It offers certificates in association with leading universities and has grown to become the largest facility in the country in the past five years.

On the benefit of upskilling, especially since the lockdowns, Kumar said students who pass out from Upgrad have been getting on 46-55 per cent pay hikes and blue chip companies have been hiring them. Some have even landed up new jobs with double the salaries.

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Since April, over 450 companies have hired around 1,200 Upgrad graduates with an average increment of 46-55 per cent. And, hiring jumped two times since Diwali.



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