“From the boardroom to the classroom” — that’s how Anand Chakravarthy, former Managing Director of Group M’s Essence, describes the vision of his new venture, Results and Outcomes.
In an interview with BestMediaInfo.com, the Co-Founder of the edtech platform said, “The boardroom is where the C-suite sits. They have a vision for the organisation and want it to move in a certain direction. But today many organisations find it challenging to fulfil the boardroom’s vision as they do not have the capabilities in an ever-changing market. So we want to build courses that will help the boardroom achieve its vision. And deliver these upskilling courses in our classrooms by people from the boardroom, who are domain experts.”
After over two decades of helping brands and businesses scale and succeed, Chakravarthy has now shifted his attention to helping working professionals achieve their career goals. Through his latest venture with Tarun Katial, former CEO of Zee5, he aims to help these professionals upskill in different digital transformation-related domains.
During his tenure at Group M, the adoption of digital gained more relevance for their clients. But they lacked trained digital human resources to cater to this demand. This skill gap urged him towards launching this platform.
“Five to six years ago, the reality was that the industry never had trained digital people. Most were learning on the job because we had never done digital marketing before. Suddenly, with the penetration of smartphones and increased consumption of the internet, the consumer was moving very quickly on to digital and so brands had to follow. So we spent a lot of time, both individually and as teams, to upskill ourselves,” he said.
In his two-decade career in multiple domains, including market research, advertising, broadcasting and media, training has been Chakravarthy’s personal passion, “Training my team, allied teams, and being part of the training ecosystem within my organisation, as well as teaching in colleges. I've always enjoyed teaching and it has always been close to me,” he said.
However, he didn’t quit Essence with Results and Outcomes in mind. Explaining his switch to the edtech space, he said, “I had worked with some very good edtech brands at Essence—Upgrad and Vedantu. So edtech was an area of interest. The category really fascinated me because of the possibilities it had to change education in this country. The reality of education in this country is that it is far away from what the business world needs today.”
“After I left Essence, my partner and I were working with MICA to help them design a comprehensive digital transformation course. And while designing this course, it struck us that if we have to really create value for organisations and for working professionals, then the course has to be designed in a way where it really helps them implement what they learn. That's where Results and Outcomes was born—with the vision of building courses designed and delivered by domain experts,” he added.
His last stint at Essence makes him believe that working professionals need to be taught by domain experts who understand how that particular domain functions and the challenges students face there. “During my stint at Group M, I was very fortunate to work with some fantastic brands, including some of the really young, upcoming D2C brands. All of these categories were catering to a new-age audience that bought and consumed products online. During this time, we experienced a dramatic shift in how important digital has become for brands across different categories. So my teams and I had to truly upskill to learn digital. So we spent a lot of time creating training programmes that help our teams execute and not just gain knowledge,” he said.
They have launched their first course, ‘Advanced Digital Transformation Program (ADTP)’, in partnership with MICA, and are in the process of recruiting students.
While marketing their first course, Chakravarthy said they didn’t have to spend too much money as the founders made the most of their vast network on LinkedIn. “The audience we're talking to is available on LinkedIn, as they're looking for professional advice and better career opportunities there. Between Tarun and me, we organically have a very large network on LinkedIn and through that, we've been able to drive a lot of conversion of students,” he said.
Their marketing spend will be entirely focussed on digital. And even within digital, they’re focussing only on a couple of platforms, including a business news platform, because they believe that the kind of courses they’re offering demands a certain environment to speak to the students.
“There's no point being on Instagram, etc., where people come for entertainment and not for career growth. So, the context is incorrect to use those platforms for advertising education programmes,” he said.
Apart from that, they’re conducting weekly webinars on subjects related to digital transformation, where subject-matter experts speak on what’s happening in this space. It is open for all and generates a lot of interest.
They propose to launch at least four to five more courses before the end of this fiscal year. All their programmes would focus on areas where digitisation is creating an impact. In the second and third years, they intend to build the right team and processes to create an organisation that can deliver high-quality upskilling across various domains.
Many players are entering the edtech space in recent times, making it a competitive space. Results and Outcomes intends to stand out from the rest through their high-quality courses.
“The most important reason for any working professional to upskill is to move ahead in their career. So the kind of upskilling you provide students and working professionals and how it helps in their careers is important. We are currently the only platform where courses are designed and delivered 100% by domain experts. We believe our upskilling programmes will clearly be superior to what the market is offering currently. Our ambition is not to have a large number of students in the first year. Instead, it is to create a portfolio of high-quality courses that attract the right audience and create real value for them,” he said.