VCCircle conference on Edu-Investments, November 18, Gurgaon, India – My notes as a Panelist

I was part of two sessions, one as a panelist and the other as a special invitee… Here is my notes – Pre-event, during Event and post thoughts…

PANEL

Edupreneurs: Revolutionising the Effectiveness of Education Delivery Systems (How can edupreneurs work in a dichotomic market like India to merge the chasms between the organized and highly unorganized education sector in the country, mainly higher education? Building sustainable businesses is the key to being a successful entrepreneur. How should entrepreneurs and institutes walk away from working in silos and leverage each other’s strength in creating a robust education system?

Panel Members –

– Manjula Pooja Shroff, Chairperson, Kalorex – Moderator
– Bindu Rana, Director, Millenium schools
– Prachi Windlass, Director, Michael and Susan Dell foundation, INDIA
– Gopal Devanahalli, VP, Manipal Global Education, Manipal Group
– R. Sreenvasan, Co-Founder, CL Educate

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Each one planned to introduce oneself and ones work, in short….

My Pre-Event NOTES of CL Educate Intro…

Career Launcher is a leader in –
– Test Prep
– K-12 education – Indus world schools
– Skill education – skill schools

Also through the following entities, CL does capacity building of University and Corporate

– CL Media – Digital Presence
– GK Publications – Curricula and Pedagogy; Curriculum Support & Publishing
– 361 degree – On Demand  Learning
– Accendere – Research Incubator
– Bilakes – Business Incubation & Seed Funding
– Kestone – Corporate empowerment and building institutional Partnerships

Statistics in Numbers

CL – 265 locations, 1.5 million engaged, over 1.5 lakhs more than 50 hours
Accendere – Research incubation, Patenting, Journal publishing
CL Media – 163 institutions trust with us for branding, outreach and awareness building
Kestone – integrated marketing,events, customer activation, training, staffing; 100 corporates, 500 events – wipron nokia, microsoft, snapdeal, PayTM
G K P – 1.5 million books.. career and education
361 degree – largest in India – online enabling partner for University and corporates over 20K learners

Footprint – 20K schools and colleges; 1.5 lakh students > 18,200 hours on our web offerings per week

What CL does at UNIVERSITIES AND INSTITUTIONS

Academic Thought Leadership, International Presence, Institution Credibility

– Capacity building of universities and institutions, learning institutions
– Consulting Visioning Strategic Thinking
– Faculty, Academic development, Research and innovation
– Admissions: Outreach and Application – TAAF Services
– MARTECHING
– skill education
– Incubation and entrepreneurship
– Career Development Center – Employability, Higher studies facilitation

—CONTEXT——- current market scenario —–challenges for the nation

Only 18% graduates are employable in India
91% software professionals lack programming and algorithm skills while 60% lack domain skills
71% lack soft and cognitive skills while 73% lack English speaking and comprehension skills
57.96% have poor analytical and quantitative skills
For core jobs in mechanical, electronics/electrical and civil jobs, only a mere 7.49% are employable


The session was supposed to be on higher-education, but the panel felt that the continuum from school to university has similar challenges and reforms are needed across the segments. Also opportunities and investment needs do exist across. So the pre-session discussion covered the entire spectrum.

Pre-event notes of each of the panelists..

Issues I noted down ..

– Democratization of Learning and its access
– Contestability of markets, access to Universities
– Digital technologies and creating impact
– Mobility and the influence in learning; Global Mobility
– Integration with industry; Industry funding research
– Opportunities for entrepreneurs and Funding possibilities

– Life-long LEARNERS, COURAGE, HUMILITY : Key, How to instill?

Gopal Devanahalli wanted to talk about

– I would like to focus on higher education and continuing education for working professionals.
– Changing learning needs of working professionals – esp in certain industries like IT
– Online courses & types of courses that are relevant to the learners
– The effectiveness of the online delivery model and how to make it more effective.
– Regulatory issues

Prachi Jain Windlass  wanted to talk about the following –

– Opportunity areas in K12 education, college entrance and career readiness.
– Opportunities for collaboration and leveraging the ecosystem. Many of our portfolio companies: Avanti, Convegenius and OnlineTyari are taking this approach. understanding their core and leveraging the ecosystem for non core areas.
– Our experience in breaking down the silos in the govt education system, and the role that private sector players can play, risks involved.

Manjula Pooja Shroff of Kalorex wanted to focus upon
– Changing scenarios
– Integration of k-12 to Higher Ed
– Teaching Learning delivery process

Bindu Rana’s concerns included

– Challenges in running schools – to deliver the intended
– Regulations stifling the effectiveness
– Challenges in setting up rural schools – quality, price point, training, delivery

– Why cannot the government see education as any other industry? With challenges of access and quality existing all across..

  • Promote PPP models across
  • Engage and bring in private partners to collaborate in school and university systems
  • Use technology to improve training of teachers in enriching content, pedagogy and all processes
  • ….

Other Issues discussed across panels – My notes

Is the nation ready for only digital? Is that trend every where?
– hybrid model is the most successful one
– engaging is the key, mentoring, giving the confidence

Lessons from failures? Key to success
– Team with vision
– sustainable relationship within and with customer
– respect with disagreements in board room and among the team members

Skill education went through cycles.. now we are in the third..
A. IT education – 80s and 90s
B. Sales upgradation – 2000 onwards..
C. now vocational? Entrepreneurship
– quality of higher education is lacking
– rote to conceptual learning, how will we make it happen
– concept of job, loyalty shifting
– nature of learning will have to shift
– propensity to entrepreneurship
– learning to learn paradigm

How do we enable learners to face VUCA?

– VUCA – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity
– learning, calling passion from within, help others raise their capabilities

Public education….how to revive?
– policy enablement

– Rote to Conceptual learning?
– edtech – retrain teachers, students,
– appraising teachers, reward them, being discipline,monitor

Home schooling
– becoming popular
– investment opportunities?
– work-life, work-home balancing

Key to succeed in Education space

Quality first, then scale
Be prepared for long haul, then scale
Then comes franchising

—————————————————– As a special invitee..

AKAMAI Presentation – Digital delivery platform, especially Video that will be 80% of the content on-line in the near future..

– formats : 5 min and 20 min content
– launch has to be fast, else you lose the client/subscriber

High quality
– no stalling/no buffering;
– always available, relevant,
– no data plan restrictions

Education on mobility? what are the trends, and what will be challenges of the future..

Instant user experience – FB provides
Consume as much as possible
Offline content goes online – you tube
Download during nights, local content play while travel
Challenges about space on device
Battery running out – delete the app

Here is the link to a set of photographs of the event uploaded by VCCircle on their FB page https://www.facebook.com/VCC-Events-1176152369113449/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1355409131187771

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Lasting impact with design and mobility – Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Collin Cole, Frog Design @ Indialogues

Colin Cole received his Bachelor of Fine Arts , Design from the University Of Texas, Austin.

He was the founder and president of Virtual Studio , from 1994-96. The company produced award-winning business to business projects for leading high tech companies, such as Compaq, Dell, AMD, Texas Instruments and other high tech leaders.

As Vice President of frog’s new Design Realization group, Collin ensures intensive collaboration between frog’s strategic design teams and technology developers worldwide. With over 20 years of experience in both design and engineering management, Collin brings focus and multi-disciplinary expertise to this critical phase of the delivery process. Collin also leads and supports frog’s expansion into new markets throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

In 1996, Collin co-founded frog’s digital media group, leading the company in its integration of hardware and software design to bring more innovative products to market. This group has since grown to take on projects across the entire spectrum of digital platforms, including web, software, mobile devices, consumer electronics, and other emerging technologies.

Over the last 20 years, Collin has worked as a designer, creative director, technology manager, and project lead. He has been in senior management, operations, and business-focused roles across the US, Europe and India.
—————————————————————————-

About FROG –

Multidisciplinary from product design, 43 years old, 15 locations, 3 in India. 1600 people, 450 designers, 1000 software engineers

Personally – 25 years in design, 16 in frog, 10 frog business cards (various roles), 3.875000 airline miles at frog, 18 visits to India

We undertake a lot of Software design in India, for various projects of FROG.

Software as a platform of change – education, communication, access

  • We are fanatical about improving the world
  • We choreograph cultural change through design
  • We are not just abusiness
  • Our work outlasts movements and fads
  • Quality…

We work with Unicef in the areas of maternal Health and infant health project in Africa

Mobile Mandate – Mobile tech combined with research will have significant impact. How can the impact be made? Here are three projects that is creating an impact. How systems thinking and design can make a difference..

 

  1. Kibera slum – connecting people
    1. Connecting people less than 2 dollars a day
    2. Slums are overwhelming
    3. Conditions are horrific
    4. There are people bettering themselves and raising families
    5. Mobile is a pride and gives sense of identity

i.      Connects families, employment and information

    1. They buy prepaid cards – swapping cards and mobiles
    2. Hesitation to lend their phones
    3. Sharing phones is the key to solve… how do we go about

 

  1. Mobile money
    1. Afghanistan
    2. A lot of people are trying to live normal life
    3. 97% of people do not have bank account
    4. This is not unique to Afganiztan
    5. How do we help them to keep their money
    6. Almost every one has mobile phones
    7. M-Acer. Mobile banking

i.      Trust

ii.      Cultural issues – saving money?

 

  1. HIV awareness in South Africa
    1. Highest HIV positive citizens in the world – in some 40% of people
    2. Less than 5% know their status
    3. Not due to lack of resources
    4. 85% of men do not want to test  – social stigma
    5. They are waiting and watching, friend loses life… am I next
    6. 78% want to test it at home, if there is a way
    7. 101.3% of South Africa has mobile access..

 We came with multiple parts – mass awareness (MTN) + Self-testing (design research – self testing kit) + community (involved them to understand needs)

  • kit has instructional notes
  • Equipment
  • Method
  • 1 bn messages
  • 300% increase in incoming calls to National Aids Hotline

 Once you found out yourself and engage with Hotline, even discreetly you can find a way of progressing ahead, talking to counselor.

Creating a good software is not about tech problem. It can really have a big impact…

 

Insights and understanding

+

Appropriate technology

+

Thoughtful, culturally aware design

+

Multidisciplinary collaboration (community participation)

 Take ownership, Create your own change.

 Profitability of the models?

Two of the three projects is HIV. They are for community facilitation

 Focus on software has its own problems. Would you like to share some thoughts?

Being involved upstream and involved can be of immense value. It is not about engineering aspects but entire systemic.

Impacting society (radio, mobile):Readings to introspect for the day – 120511

Can India rise up through radio?

Pioneering broadcasters use mobile phones and creative programming to push the limits of India’s ban on news radio.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/110420/india-radio-news-freedom-of-speech

Interesting issues dealt with in this Pull in Radio station –  CGnet Swara is a platform to discuss issues related to Central Gondwana region in India. To record a message please call on (080) 4113 7280.

http://cgnetswara.org/

Dabba Radio is India’s first independent news radio network. We create great shows on a range of important topics: from news, politics, and current events to food, art, music, and culture. We then disseminate these shows over as many mediums as possible, including cell phones, internet streaming, and podcasts. Named after the eight-sigma dabbawalas of mumbai.

http://www.dabbaradio.org/Site/Dabba_Radio_Home.html

By going mobile, developing world leaps ahead

Commentary: Networks, devices will change way business is done; India, China and Africa will lead the growth of the world economy!!

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/by-going-mobile-developing-world-leaps-ahead-2011-05-12?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Gramin Radio Inter Networking System v0.3
Documentation

If you want to set up a radio station, here you may find good info and advise…

http://gramvaani.org/docs/

Physical Fitness, a dip-test of outlook towards life

Just 55 years young...keeping 20 year olds on toes

Just 55 years young...keeping 20 year olds on toes

Over three hundred members of larger Career Launcher family assembled for CL Olympics at Jasola sports complex in Delhi from across the spectrum of endeavours of the movement. The assembly included a few professors, quite a few functional and operational heads (age 35-60), but predominantly (80%) youngsters in the age bracket of 22-32, including students from the business school, IWSB. It was a day that took away most from the mundane and placed them into arenas that one really regaled in the childhood – sports and games – football, volleyball, throwball, cricket, table tennis and badminton. Check out for the photos

The day began with cheerful faces and enthusiastic bodies eager to indulge in one game or the other. In the next couple of hours the cheerfulness still existed on the faces of the most, but only a fraction had their body mobile and agile. As the day progressed beyond lunch, it became very clear that the very same handful are still going strong and excelling in each and every sport, surprise of the surprises, most were in the wizened bracket of 35+, all with same alacrity and swiftness, devoid of any breathlessness. Every winning team was anchored by this priceless and ageless group!!

This throws a few questions for us to ponder upon –

Where does fitness and health figure in our priorities of life? Am I responsible enough?

– How serious and passionate are we about whatever work we do, when we are not really serious about our own personal well being?

Catching up... after they made sure the young opponents could never catch up with a score line of 5-0 by half time in soccer finals

Catching up... after they made sure the young opponents could never catch up with a score line of 5-0 by half time in the soccer finals

– Can I really take care of the bigger issues in life, or health of an organization, if I cannot take care of my own health?

– What has our education system brought upon the youth of today? What have we really contributed, as facilitators or parents in the learning phase of the children’s life?

– What is the real essence of education, if it cannot enable an individual to think rationally and be healthy in mind, body and soul?

I am a very enthusiastic person on physical fitness (an hour of continuous swimming whenever I enter the pool or pursue running and gym for a couple of hours every day, I do go on a couple of treks / out-bounds and long purposeful walks every year), yet the latest comprehensive medical examination yielded that my cholesterol counts are unusually high even while the Tread Mill Test reports that my cardiovascular system is at 110% of what is expected of a male at my age. I have been advised to watch out on what I eat, while increasing my physical activity agenda!! My only indulgence of once in a month ‘gol-gappe’ goes out of the window, and my vegetarianism moves a few more notches up, to raw, sprouted or boiled!! I am discovering the freshness of unadulterated !!

Of late, I have come across youngsters, in their twenties, suffering heart stroke. I am sure you would not want to be one? So it is time for each one of us to get our priorities right. I will certainly be a proponent of including some form of Physical Fitness Index (BMI – Body Mass Index and a couple of other physical fitness parameters) integral to annual performance evaluation, whether in the school, university or at the work place.

As a parting shot, when we were exiting the arena at the end of the day, one youngster summed it up saying,  “In buzurgon ki fitness dekh Mujhe Sharam aarahi hai, Mujhe kuch karna hoga!” (Looking at the fitness of these elders, I am really ashamed and embarassed, I have to do something!)

What do you think? Kindly comment…

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