India’s Employability & Skilling Puzzle: Experts’ Views on Ways to Solve the Problem

Is ISA model in India a successful one? How gamification has been or will be of any value in EdTech and is any firm using this as a unique value proposition?

Answering this question from the audience, Sunitha says she sees initial evidence that a properly structured Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) can work well in India too. However, she clarifies that it will only be effective if the program ensures placements. ISA is a way to solve financial constraints, and the program still needs to be successful by itself, she added.

On gamification, Sunitha says it is a means to an end and – by itself – is not sufficient. According to her, it’s an excellent way to keep the learner engaged, but the pedagogy is crucial to ensure learning outcomes, and EdTech startups use it as a hack to engage with the learner, but it’s only an enabler.

Piece of Advice to Emerging Skilling Startups

On being asked to give one tip to emerging skilling startups in India, if anything specific that needs to be kept in mind, Sunitha says it’s going to be all outcome-driven; something that startups need to keep in mind. “We are moving away from a world of certificates and degrees. We’ve always been a degree-holding nation. I don’t think that’s going to work in the real world. In the future, it’s going to be all about ‘can you deliver?’. You don’t need to have a degree from an IIT or from any of the premier institution. If you have the right skills, you can get employed, and you can earn as much.

Balamurugan says they have never separated learning from the outcome, or the placement, or the jobs. “Because only then people are able to stay motivated in the learning and then go for it. But the question is when do you start this skilling process or should it be part of your day-in and day-out activities? Any startups getting into the space have to make sure that the learning be inculcated in the day-in and day-out activities of the learner. It should not be kept as a separate activity which he needs to go through. If we could build a solution with respect to this, obviously more adoption, more engagement, will bring more revenue for the startups.”

Amit Nevatia – We have an intrinsic fear of failure, and when we are moving to this new-age world where we are trying to be innovative, to be entrepreneurs, I think we need to shed that fear of failure. We need to learn from our failures and move ahead fast. Second, in a country like India, whatever may be your solution, look at how you are going to scale that solution. Because there have been many pilots which have failed in India primarily because they have not been able to scale. Today cloud becomes an enabler to help you scale. So look at scaling options and don’t be afraid to fail.

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