Given the backdrop of a constantly changing world, not least because of the pandemic, it has been impossible for EdTech to remain standing still. Change, as it so often is characterized, can indeed be for the better, and ever since I began my journey in the sector in 2003, I have noticed that EdTech has been in a continuous state of evolution.
Over the years, I’m extremely heartened and excited to see the increased democratization of higher-learning – especially when you consider that previously, while there was a lot of learning and knowledge available, it still remained inaccessible, and was the preserve of the privileged few. In fact, it’s this much-sought after entry and access that we are making available to everyone, and it is the force that drives us at the Eruditus group.
Before I was a part of Emeritus, I was headhunted by Ashwin Damera in 2012 to be a part of the parent group, Eruditus, as a coach for the Wharton Accelerated Development Program. It was here that I sensed an instant connection and alignment of my purpose, ethics and values with Ashwin and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu—it was a natural fit! I felt comfortable being led by them, and of course I considered the business model to be very powerful. Significantly also, I believed in their mission of making higher-learning accessible. After a couple of months at Eruditus, I told Ashwin that if he were to start a new venture, to count me in. Now, I’m pleased to say that he did, and that’s how my fulfilling and enriching adventure with Emeritus began.
Opportunities in EdTech
The proverbial and transformational bolt from the blue that is COVID-19, has provided society with an incredible opportunity to accelerate the development and understanding of online learning. It has given us pause for thought, and it will trigger innovation to make the online learning experience even more powerful and engaging. Eruditus has been on this journey for some time, and the prospect of expanding the number of voices in the industry is exciting. Unique to online learning is the ability to use data to further understand the student at a very granular level, and thereby provide a more customized and tailored product to learners. I’m excited to see the developments in this area.
Good and challenging days
A good day at work is often defined by finding solutions that move things forward, by deriving insights to make a process X-times better, and of course by positive feedback from learners, as we readily see the difference we make in their lives.
On the flip-side, I consider a challenging day to be one when I get to know that one of learners is unhappy about some aspect of their course – that the experience has not met their expectations, and we could have done better.
This feedback keeps us focused on addressing these issues with data-driven decisions. Using data, we find solutions which work well for our learners, and at the same time takes the Learning team to the next level of efficiency and effectiveness.. Our current focus is on reducing the manual element, by effectively automating a large proportion of our processes, with a view to reducing the risk of error.
Innovations large and small
At Eruditus, we are blessed to have an agile and talented team that is ceaselessly engaged in problem-solving, and in providing a more robust and improved product for our learners. For example, when COVID-19 hit us, we created a new product called Live Online, and had it up and running in about a month. In those first weeks, the team implemented little innovations on a daily basis. At an organization level, I count our entry into China and LATAM, and our experimenting with new business models for learning as examples of large innovations.
My journey with the Eruditus group has been an exhilarating and exciting one, and I would recommend it to others who love being challenged. We are always on the lookout for people who are agile and are natural learners — those who are willing to adapt, change and grow. In fact, I can’t wait to see what we achieve next, and who knows, you could be the just the one who spurs us on our way, and leads us to the next milestone on a new, rewarding and thrilling journey!
This article first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse