Visiting faculty will include industry veterans such as Piyush Pandey, CVL Srinivas, Prema Sagar and Roshan Abbas. The School will offer a professional three-year programme based on a work-study model
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | July 24, 2015
Located on ISDI’s campus in Mumbai, the ISDI WPP School of Communication marks WPP’s first foray into the Indian education sector. The partnership will help create India’s first professional three-year undergraduate diploma programme in communication based on a unique work-study model that will bring together a strong academic and creative curriculum combined with practical application.
The admissions process is currently underway through an online application form. The school recently hosted its first Accepted Students Day, where students and their parents had the opportunity to interact with the leadership team and faculty. The inaugural batch will commence in August 2015 with the first cohort of 60 students.
The ISDI WPP School of Communication is WPP’s second education initiative globally. In 2011, WPP, in partnership with the Shanghai Arts and Design Academy, established the WPP School of Marketing and Communications in China. The programme has just completed its fourth year with 220 students enrolled.
WPP and WPP companies have worked closely with ISDI to develop the School’s curriculum and hire full-time faculty. Radha Kapoor, Founder & Director, ISDI, will lead the School’s board of directors. Additionally, senior staff from WPP companies will serve as part-time faculty and act as mentors. Internship and training opportunities will also be provided to the students. An Executive Council has also been set up to oversee the smooth functioning of the three-year programme. ISDI is represented by Dr Indu Shahani, Dean, HR College; Radha Kapoor and Siddharth Shahani, Directors, ISDI; and WPP India by Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager; Paul Mower, Country Finance Director; and Madhukar Sabnavis, Vice Chairman & Country Head of Discovery & Planning, Ogilvy & Mather.
While the list of visiting faculty will be marked by celebrated names such as Piyush Pandey, Executive Chairman and National Creative Director at Ogilvy & Mather, and Roshan Abbas, Managing Director, Encompass Events, the programme directors will include the likes of Madhukar Sabnavis and CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM for South Asia, among others.
Commenting on the partnership, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said, “Amid strong growth in the wider economy and, more specifically, in our sector, India is facing a pronounced talent shortage, one that is expected to become even more acute in the future.” He added, “As the leading communications group in India and the world, WPP is committed to helping India to further develop the already high level of creative and professional talent in this sector.”
Speaking on the supply-demand gap for fresh talent in the industry, Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager – India at WPP, said, “We employ approximately 15,000 people (including associates), and on an average we need 3,000 new recruits every year, including replacements and first timers, and this school is just a small beginning. We hope to expand this to be able to cover a significantly large part of our requirements and turn out 400-500 young men and women every year from our school. Our first batch of 60 students is just the beginning.”
Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director, ISDI, added here, “The joint establishment of the ISDI WPP school to nurture world-class creative talents and the development of a new model in the collaboration between colleges and companies is a new exploration on the path of higher vocational education for the ISDI.”
The School will offer students a three-year undergraduate programme, wherein, the first year comprises basic marketing and communication subjects and the second and third year offers students four major specialisations to choose from – Advertising and Communications, Media, Activation and Digital Marketing and Public Relations. WPP Lectures will run from Monday to Saturday, in the afternoons.Throughout the three years, students will be taught and mentored by top professionals from WPP and the industry, will work on live projects, build a portfolio, develop practical work skills, and have the opportunity to intern with WPP companies and get international exposure through student exchange and study abroad programmes.
Graduates will receive a three-year Undergraduate Programme certification from ISDI and WPP, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Mumbai, IDOL (Institute of Distance and Open Learning).
Going forward, Kapur said, “We would like to take it forward and open another branch in New Delhi in the future.”