Technology is playing a vital role in enhancing the relationship between teachers and their students today. Now, learning doesn’t stop at the end of the school or college day. Technology enables students to learn from anywhere, as per their convenience, and is hence, making education more fun and meaningful. By integrating technology in different teaching methodologies, teachers are becoming the trusted advisors and mentors of digitally aware students, as they can relate to them more easily.
Career Point, a leading name synonymous with quality education, has been taking great strides in the field of education by closely integrating advanced technologies in their teaching mechanisms. We interviewed Mr. Mahesh Bhangriya, Vice President – Corporate Strategy, to know about how Career Point attained this success in a highly competitive sector, how they facilitate learning with digital tools, how are their teaching methodologies different and what changes to they foresee in the education sector in the next 10 years. Read on.
1. Let’s start with a brief journey of Career Point (CP) group from inception till today.
Founded in the year 1993, Career Point is one of the leading public listed Indian education players. Initially, the company had its presence in test-prep businesses for engineering and medical entrance exams. Presently, the group caters to the needs of a student throughout the life cycle of a student – that is K.G. to PhD.
Career Point operates in both, formal and informal education streams, including pre-school, school education, tutorial, e-learning, higher education and vocational education. We have an extensive network of branches, franchisee centers, K12 schools, colleges and Universities in multiple geographies. Essentially, we are in a very noble profession of enlightening young minds to become visionary change agents.
I believe, that drives our passion and that is how we could transform Career Point from a pure coaching institute to a complete educational services’ company.
2. How are your offerings different from what’s there in the market?
As we are primarily in to the service industry, the key differentiator is none other than our service delivery. We pride ourselves on the experiences and quality of education we provide. Our ‘Student First’ approach offers a conducive environment for learning and growth-oriented mindset.
In this rapidly evolving industry, we continue our focus on developing benchmarks and standards through unique teaching aids, leveraging technology, quality resources and personalized education. We now have a vision to empower the society through the power of education while building a most ethical educational brand.
3. Which digital products or platforms do you use to facilitate learning?
Keeping the power of technology in mind, we use a variety of digital products and platforms to facilitate effective, convenient and affordable learning. Our digital platform ecareerpoint.com offers both online and offline video lectures along with adaptive assessment product.
Our e-Learning solutions also include a social learning marketplace with online tutoring and Question-Answer service. We use online knowledge depository, MOODLE and other advanced technological tools to take education experience to a new level of excellence at Career Point institutions, including Career Point World Schools and Career Point Universities.
4. Career Point has inked a deal with e-learning company Plancess EduSolutions. Shed some light on this development.
The deal with Plancess is in-line with our strategy to spread deep with fast and cost-effective solutions, while reinventing the delivery of exemplary education. Mumbai based Ed-tech company Plancess Edusolutions developed advanced technology based proprietary content including video solutions, assessment platform and study material for various competitive examinations.
The transaction will certainly strengthen Career Point’s existing e-Learning division and make a compelling proposition to tap the large opportunity of reaching wide spectrum of student base. We would further look forward for similar opportunities to strengthen the entire educational offering.
5. You are also working in the field of skills development. Which types of trainings do CP provide? Any development project or partnership to this effect?
The skill development division was set-up to fulfill the growing need in India for skilled manpower across sectors and narrow the existing employability gaps.
We are approved training partner of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Rajasthan Skill & Livelihood Development Corporation (RSLDC) and affiliated to various Sector Skill Councils (SSCs). Our vocational courses include both service sectors such as retail, BFSI, IT & ITeS, healthcare and industrial sectors such as automotive, electrical and electronics etc.
6. Technology is playing a larger role in many aspects of day-to-day life, and education is no different. Which new and emerging technologies CP group is using or has plans to use to achieve its goals?
Yes, the technology is a great enabler in the field of education and expanding the entire education market. Actually, the technology applications are contextual.
At CP, we use basic IT tools i.e. MathML, LMS to complex enterprise level CRM solution or emerging AI, ML and AR to advance the frontier of learning for Career Point students.
From the use of cloud infrastructure to data privacy solutions, or robotics in our University division to gamifications in school level offerings; the objective is to improve the experience at each level of interaction and enhance the learning outcome by simulating real-world environments.
7. How do you address the digital transformation needs of corporate customers and your organization?
In today’s world, every customer including the corporate or individual, looks forward for a customized solution to address the specific requirements. At the same time, every solution provider targets higher degree of standardization because that is the key for next level of growth. Here comes the role of advanced technologies to bridge this gap and we can see many examples around us with validation.
Another important point to address the organization’s digital transformation needs is the top management’s mind-set towards technology. In this regard, Career Point is privileged with Mr. Pramod Maheshwari, CMD for his passion and a sound understanding of the technology that delivered many firsts and industry leading innovations to the group.
8. You have worked in both – education and banking sectors. How has your experience been?
I am fortunate to have the combination of education and finance as my domain and functional expertise, respectively. Thanks to the dynamic role as VP and head of Strategy as well as IR function at Career Point, I further got a chance to hone my skills in both fields simultaneously.
My global exposure of education sector during my seven years stint at HSBC in equity research division has significantly helped me in responsibilities at Career Point where I have been associated since 2012. I believe, this exposure and combination led to enrich the business excellence in my strategies, which are a fine balance of expectations from all the stakeholders.
9. What role does NBFC play in an education company?
Finance is an integral part of every business and education is no different. NBFC plays a role of making education accessible. Srajan Capital Limited, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the education company, deals with financing to students, educational institutions and selective SMEs for their business needs. Apparently, education being a negative working capital business also gets an added advantage through NBFC and improved capital efficiency.
10. While working as a manager, your role involves team management and mentoring, so which tools do you use for easy collaboration. Please brief.
Thanks to the technological advancements, now we have very effective dashboards for almost all MIS that is needed for strategic decision making.
Tools for live meetings address the geographical barriers between different teams, whilst ERP solutions provide me the integration among different teams, wherever required. Last but not the least, I am fortunate to have a team and the colleagues who are insightful to understand the value of collaboration for organizational as well as personal effectiveness.
Suggested reading: “Cutting-edge technology can enhance the guest experience, but nothing can replace the human touch.” – Vikas Chadha, Executive Director and CFO, Berggruen Hotels Pvt Ltd
11. As per you, what are the four important facets of our education system which should be incorporated in the new education policy to enhance overall credibility of the system.
We need to understand and incorporate multiple aspects of Indian education system to have a comprehensive and impactful education policy. My top 4 picks would be regulatory, accountability, reservation and financing. A description on all 4 aspects can be further assessed in my article published in Mint newspaper dated 10 Oct 2016 – titled ‘Evolution of the education policy’.
12. What sort of changes do you see coming in the future for the education industry in next ten years or so?
Actually, the industry has different verticals and the dynamics of each vertical is different than others. At macro level, the sector is divided in two verticals that are formal and informal education divisions.
Formal division is the mainstream education which is regulated and non-for-profit by the law. Informal education division is parallel non-regulated education i.e. test-prep, e-Learning, publications etc.
Broadly, I foresee the major changes with respect to higher regulatory controls, improved clarity at policy level, application-oriented learning outcomes, greater accountability and consolidation in the industry to attain sustainability.