Thursday, February 4, 2021

upGrad Creates UK Board With Four Prominent Figures In Global Education

* Cairneagles partner, Advisor at Wells Advisory, Reader at Judge Business School, LEK partner among upGrad-UK’s independent Board members~

upGrad, India’s largest higher edtech company announced the appointment of a four-member independent board to build their UK-based operations and accelerate expansion. The board comprises distinguished leaders such as Professor Sir Deian Hopkin, Julie Mercer, Dr. Kishore Sengupta, and Ashwin Assomull.

Sir Deian is currently Principal Advisor at Wells Advisory and Associate Partner Anderson Quigley. Sir Deian was previously Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive at London South Bank University (2001-2009) and Expert Adviser, First Minister of Wales (2012-2020). Also on the board is Julie Mercer, who was Global Industry lead for Deloitte’s Education Practice over her 20 years there and is currently a partner at Cairneagle Associates. Another seasoned professional on the board is Dr. Kishore Sengupta, who has been associated with INSEAD and Naval Postgraduate School, California in the past and is now Reader in Operations at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.  Rounding up this quad of illustrious leaders is Ashwin Assomull who is currently a partner at LEK Consulting, and a former Partner and Member of the Emerging Market’s Leadership Team at the Parthenon Group.

Phalgun Kompalli, Co-founder, upGrad commented, “We are excited to work with our board to help us achieve our global aspirations. The appointment of this board signals our commitment to moving aggressively ahead with our international expansion strategy.”

The edtech company aims to build a strong UK-based business operation to help expand in the region and undertake development plans in the global markets. The board comes with vast experience and myriad skillsets, well-equipped to attract, and build meaningful partnerships, understand the market and its ever-evolving requirements, and build credibility for the brand.  

"One clear consequence of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic has been to widen the search for new ways of delivering high quality higher education. upGrad is a highly successful innovator in the delivery of online learning. Building on its excellent track record of achievement, working in partnership with key universities and major technology enterprises, it is now poised to expand its provision globally and help to transform the future workplace," said Sir Hopkin.

Julie Mercer added, “I am excited to be working with upGrad to support their plan to bring their offer to the UK.  There has never been a better time to bring a digital-first, student-centered approach to higher education and upskilling and reskilling as we work to rebuild and reshape our economy. Working with university partners and experienced career coaches with a focus on employment outcomes, I believe that upGrad will play an important role in supporting students learn online in partnership with some of the best universities in the world.”

Appointment of the illustrious board members comes within a month of the onboarding of Zubin Gandevia as CEO, Asia-Pacific. In 2020, upGrad had also announced an appointment of Saranjit Sangar taking over as the CEO, UK & EMEA. By strengthening its leadership team, upGrad is all set to expand its penetration into the international markets.  

About upGrad

upGrad is India’s largest online higher education company. Founded in early 2015, upGrad has impacted over 1 million individuals globally, within a short span of 5 years. 

upGrad provides online programs in the areas of Data Science, Technology, Management and Law to college students, working professionals and enterprises. These programs are designed and delivered in collaboration with top-notch universities like IIT Madras, IIIT Bangalore, MICA, BIMTECH, NMIMS Global Access, Jindal Global Law School, Chandigarh University, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University and others. With an 80% program completion rate, robust tech platform, outcome-based learning approach, industry-relevant curriculum, finest university credentials, strong mentorship, and steadfast placement support, upGrad has established its position as the leader in the Indian education system.

upGrad ranked as India's No.1 startup, as per the LinkedIn Top Startups 2020 list. This is the third time in a row that upGrad has been featured in the top startup list by LinkedIn. The edtech major received the title of 'Best Education Brands' by Economic Times in 2020 for the second time, post winning the same title in 2018. The brand made it to the prestigious GSV Global EdTech 50 List 2020. upGrad has emerged on the list of BW Top Education Brand 2020 and has been titled as the Best E-Learning Company of the year by Business World. Owing to its world-class learning platform. upGrad won the 'Best Communication and Teaching Platform' in the Education Innovation Awards 2020 by Entrepreneur India as well as received the title of ‘Best Tech for Education’ by IAMAI in 2019.

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