Everyone knows there is too much gap between resources pool and the employability of these resources in the current industrial scenario. Even with the resources present in the market currently, their placement is uneven, due to which the income gap also resonates indifferently. There is a massive demand for people with the right skillset or multiple skillsets for a particular job opportunity. To fulfil that, the gap between the industry and academia needs to be bridged immediately.
ImaginXP which is a leading organization for future skills programs in higher education has taken initiative to mitigate the challenges arising out of these gaps. It is working intending to enhance the digitalisation in the country. The company was established by Shashank Shwet – Founder and CEO, Shishir Kumar – Director General and Nitesh Rohatgi- Chief Operating Officer with a vision to reduce the un-employability rate in India.
ImaginXP’s genesis took place in the year 2013. Before that the founders had a sister-concern company called Fortune Cookie UX Design that was working into digital consultancy and taking up digital transformation projects. In 2008, when Fortune Cookie was started, UX Design or Customer Experience Design was at its nascent stage. The requirement for digital projects has increased tremendously in India since then.
The need to ensure that the workforce is trained skilfully led to the idea of conceptualising ImaginXP.
How it All Began….
Many requirements for formal training were coming from working professionals. Initially, ImaginXP launched a course called as UX Jumpstarter in the physical classroom mode at its headquarters in Pune.
The response received was excellent. And gradually, the course became so popular and came under Top Five UX programs in India being delivered across 16 physical centres across India.
In 2017, when the honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, gave a vision of digital India worth a five trillion-dollar economy, much digital transformation in India paved its path for the future growth.
Bridging the Gaps
The universities have been teaching the traditional curriculum, the gap between industry requirements and students’ skillset has not been getting bridged. ImaginXP curated the first-degree program in digital design space i.e. User Experience Design.
ImaginXP team designed curriculum for Bachelor of Design in User Experience, Master of Design in User Experience, and a PG Diploma program in User Experience in consultation with industry and academia. They signed a MOU with four universities to kick start the initiative. ImaginXP became a complete academic/knowledge partner as part of the university collaboration.
ImaginXP’s advantage is Industry led curriculum, access to industry experts, experienced faculty, industry participated delivery, and differentiated experiential pedagogy. As a part of the program, ImaginXP provides complete academic delivery with expert IN-HOUSE faculty, 1250+ corporate Subject Matter Experts, live projects, paid-internship opportunities, and placement as well. This is the value proposition that ImaginXP brings to the universities and the owners, who are visionaries & looking forward to such programs in future skills..
“It can facilitate many placement opportunities and hiring opportunities for the students, and they may definitely tie up with ImaginXP,” conveys Shishir Kumar. In 2018, the company had four university partnerships. In 2019, it had 11 university partnerships, and in 2020, it had 21 partnerships. Currently, the company is having partnerships with over 30 universities in India.
In 2020, ImaginXP has launched its E-Learning Platform, which is named as My Coach. The platform was made live on 17th November 2020, and a pilot “Design Thinking & Innovation” program was executed successfully for five existing University partners.
The new education policy by Indian Government, which came in last year’s pandemic, has opened many doors for the company. As per UGC, 60% of the program can be taught offline, and 40% can be conducted in an online mechanism.
Till date, ImaginXP has trained 11,500 students, and this program was made as the compulsory program for two credits by the partnered universities. ImaginXP envisioned and wanted to make the My Coach platform a one-stop solution for all university students whether they are going through their programs or some other programs. They have mapped the entire life cycle of the students.
They have provided a coding platform within the My Coach platform for B Tech CS students. Currently, ImaginXP has a pool of 1250 corporates’ subject matter experts. These experts come from different Design, Business, and Technology backgrounds, have empanelled with ImaginXP, and have also signed MOU with the company.
Dynamics of Blended Learning
At present, ImaginXP has 90% pre-placement offers for the under-graduate programs and 78% pre-placement offers for the PG programs. All the features of live-project, internship, placement-assistance, and the entire student life cycle is mapped on the My Coach platform. That is how the company is offering blended learning and completely online learning as well. This has also helped ImaginXP penetrate the untapped students at their university partners by providing them FOR CREDIT certification programs.
Nitesh Rohatgi, the COO of ImaginXP expressed, how the company helped students to learn flexibly. He said, “The flexibility of our specialisation programs on My Coach is that we integrate the specialisation programs with the curriculum structure. So, we set the subject, and if the university is okay, we will start it for 2nd or 3rd year with equal distribution of subjects respective to the semesters- So, the learning goes continuous, and the extra load does not come on the students. This enhances the employability of students. ”
Everything is enabled on the My Coach platform. The flexibility of online learning has helped the company to bring corporate trainers from across the globe to teach these subjects. ImaginXP ensures that for the specialisation programs 100% of the delivery happens through corporate coaches only in fully online mode.
ImaginXP is a one-stop solution, whether a student wants to pursue an under-graduate degree program, post-graduate degree program, or want to go through some short-term certification programs in Design , Technology & Business streams
Forging an Educational Pathway
With the success that ImaginXP has shown in the last three years, many premium institutes have collaborated for conducting executive programs. The company has currently tied up with BIMTECH (Birla Institute of Management Technology), for two master certification programs, one is Strategic Management in Digitalised Ecosystem, and the other in Disruptive Entrepreneurship. With MIT (Shillong) for Executive MBA, & with IIT Roorkee for Advance Program in Supply Chain Management in Digitalised Economy.
Currently, the company has almost 350+ corporate recruiters associated with it. Slowly and gradually, it has developed an ecosystem in last five years and now these recruiters are more than happy with their association with ImaginXP by getting skilled fresh & experienced talent pool who are readily deployable.
The team of ImaginXP stated how the company had reached its benchmarks. “We always wanted to become a bridge between the industry and academia. So, we have been doing that, and we have been successful. We want to keep ensuring that we keep the value, trust, and quality for the students, for the university stakeholders, and for our industry partners,” said Nitesh Rohatgi
At core, it is an academic organisation in the higher education space, which aims to curate the new-age programs and deliver them.
Re-Imagining the Future
Education and the right skillset are the keys to success. “We firmly believe that we have the power to grow into introducing new programs and courses in the right future skills demanded by industry in the higher education segment,” states Abhayjeet Singh – Chief Academic Officer. The goal is to ensure that the team at ImaginXP can contribute to India’s trillion-dollar digital economy by producing skilled staffing, who pass out of colleges and universities, ensuring that their degrees are worth and that students are job-ready.
Its plan includes connecting with corporates world-wide through corporate coaches and mentors from the industry who work first on curriculum, then provide master classes, special sessions and live projects and recruit the students. This ensures that student is ready for the rapid changes in the industry.
ImaginXP has been approached by recruitment heads of various reputed corporates to nurture and provide fresh talent pools coming out from Universities so that they become ready to deploy within minimum timeframe. One of the biggest costs that companies would want to avoid is that of hire-train-deploy. Today companies are looking for first-day-deployable resources. They don’t want to spend on training and reduce the cost of campus hiring. To solve this, ImaginXP has recently launched “Turbo Placements Program” for final year students who will be evaluated and trained in mapped job skills which are required by these recruiters. The qualifying students’ will get direct access to grab these job opportunities with packages extending up to INR 12 lacs.
When we asked the team of ImaginXP where they see the company in the future, they said, “We foresee ImaginXP in next five years to be partnered with over 50 universities having very well infrastructure across PAN India and running around 25-35 unique degree programs, which caters the ambition of digital India growth. Then make ROI for students as seamless as possible with such industry led degree programs.”
“We aim to become the unique organisation and the most sought-after organisation in higher education, future-skill degree and for-credit certification program. Ensuring the practice-based learning, economically affordable degree programs for the students, along with ROI of the student,” they concluded.