Karan Shah Trains India's Youth To Succeed In a Digital World
IIDE specializes in equipping students with various skills required for the digital medium - from marketing and digital design to coding and machine learning
Employers today look for candidates with multiple skillsets, more than they ever have before in the history of the formalized workforce. Experts are good, yes, but companies want people who can pitch in, in other aspects of the business as well.
For example, marketing graduates today are expected to know not only branding, advertising and client servicing, but also social media marketing, media planning, influencer management, search engine optimization and content strategy, among various other things. Colleges in India, unfortunately, don’t always offer well-rounded courses which delve into the various aspects of a subject matter, and while some freshers do get the opportunity to learn on the job, for many, it means giving up their chances of getting a decent job.
Looking to plug the gap between what employers want, and education existing colleges provide, edu-preneur Karan Shah launched Indian Institute of Digital Education or IIDE in 2016.
The Digitization Boom
Owing to Karan’s efforts to ensure that his students are trained in the technical skills and necessary soft skills and giving them 100% placement assistance in some of the top Digital Agencies in the country; the institute - which offers offline and online has trained more than 60,000 students, and grown 3x every year. The company has largely been self-funded till now, and boasts a strong bottom line.It expects to remain profitable in the near future as well, banking on the Government of India’s push to digitize the country, as well as the advent of 5G capabilities on mobile phones, which is expected to revolutionize the way people surf the web.
“India is a very fast-growing digital space, and hence a very lucrative market for us,” said Karan Shah, CEO&founder, IIDE, on the sidelines of the Indian Education Congress event held in Bengaluru.
Over the last couple of years, three very important things converged to push digitization in India, explains Shah: the first was the rise in the number of smartphones in the country, thanks to the entry of players such as Oppo, Xiaomi, Redmi and others, which helped lower prices; the second was the launch of Jio, which disrupted the telecom industry in India with its dirt-cheap data prices; and the third was the intense price-competition Jio’s ingress sparked, which forced the other major players in the country - Airtel and Vodafone - to also slash data prices.
“Data rates in India are some of the cheapest in the world, and that has allowed more people to access the internet. With the way e-commerce, fintech, social media, and other teleservices are growing, mastering the digital space has become an absolute necessity for students graduating today,” Shah says.
“Also consider how many businesses are preferring the online medium versus brick-and-mortar formats, globally, and you’ll realize that increasingly people are turning to web services. For that business, driving web traffic to its store is the only way it can earn money, and that’s something only someone who knows how SEO, or search engine marketing works can help you with,” he adds.
Students who’ve undertaken courses at IIDE in the past have been placed with ad-agencies such as Foxymoron, Glitch, L&K Saatchi & Saatchi - a Publicis Group company, and A&B, among others. Industry experts from these companies often teach courses at the company too, to give students a real-world taste of the industry.
“Unfortunately, the Indian college education is not yet where it needs to be, going by global standards. So, I firmly believe that if you’re not upskilling - either at your job, or via an external source - you’re just falling behind, and that affects your employability as well as your earning potential,” Shah quips.