Plan To Expand In India, Middle East This Fiscal: ITLH Chairman
The company witnessed over 100 per cent year-on-year growth. It plans to hire more than 100 employees in 2023 for their office headquarters in Navi Mumbai
The edtech sector in India has been witnessing headwinds, including a funding crunch, rightsizing, and valuation concerns. Amid the uncertain market conditions, unlike most of the edtech startups, the UI/UX learning platform Information Technology Learning Hub (ITLH) has been witnessing 300 per cent growth over the past two years. Alex George, Chairman and Managing Director at ITLH, shared insights with BW Businessworld on various fronts of the company. Here is an excerpt from the conversation we had with him:
Brief us about your company, its business model, and its operations.
Information Technology Learning Hub (ITLH) is an incubator that helps students gain proficiency in coding skills and design (UI/UX) via the UIUX global course. It offers a lifetime learning and freelancing community for its student. It will provide advanced courses, freelancing gigs, and job opportunities, and facilitate the community members' networking with industry leaders. Phase one of the community launch includes a platform for its Flagship course of UIUX, with the name uiuxglobal.com.
What are the unique key points (USP) of your company?
The platform embraces a concerted action towards imparting students with the revised and updated industry intrinsic knowledge that is pertinent and helps in the propulsion of proficient careers. The company also provides lifetime placement opportunities to their students under ITLH’s UIUX Global course. The fact is that the ITLH is an initiative of an IT corporation 'Centillion'. As a result, we are able to keep an eye on the latest technological developments and market demands because it is co-directed by an IT firm.
What is the monetisation model?
ITLH has implemented a Practical Learning Approach in its entire teaching mechanism where we have implemented the entire course in a "Learn by Doing Mechanism"; you are not only trained by Teachers with subsequent Industry Experience but are instead required to complete a simulated project under the supervision of currently employed Industry Team Leads, Project Managers, etc. This is how we are able to magnetize money from our offering since we solve the problem of filling the skill gap.
What challenges are you facing in running your business?
Initially, the concept that having proficiency might lead to employment was not widely acknowledged. The Indian Education System is based on the assumption that a college's credibility/connections and network are necessary to get a fair salary. Implementing a Learn-by-Doing paradigm and obtaining instruction in a simulated project under the supervision of project delivery managers rather than teachers seems inconceivable. This idea was met with much hostility, especially among students who believed that a college degree was required for work. The same remains true until the harsh reality of the business is diametrically contrary.
How has been your customer's response so far post-pandemic?
Our team of seasoned trainers, hailing from tech giants such as Google, Tata Cliq, Accenture, and Salesforce, bring a wealth of knowledge and over 15 years of combined expertise. We leave no stone unturned in equipping our students with the best of the best, setting them up for success in the digital age. ITLH has grown tremendously over the past two years, with a 344 per cent increase, and year-over-year growth of 101 per cent. The year-end study reveals a fantastic participation rate from tier 2 and tier 3 cities, which stands at 60 per cent. There has also been a considerable increase in the number of women learners enrolled in the UIUX global course (56 per cent).
How do you look at expansion?
ITLH plans to hire more than 100 employees in 2023 for their office headquarters in Navi Mumbai. We’re anticipating growth of 10 times our current size by the end of this year. This year ITLH plans on introducing AI and Blockchain community. With the launch of the UIUX global platform, we further plan to expand our territorial reach to Pune and Bangalore and increase our focus in the Middle East by accepting more enrolments from global cities such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar, and Dubai.
What are your marketing plans?
We are focused on making ITLH a unique community brand that helps grow learners through practical exposure, phase one of this brand is the launch of the UIUX global platform. Where we are educating the people with skilled-based webinars and boot camps. Phase two will include an automated recruitment platform for bridging the gap between designers and recruiters. Phase three will be focused on developing a freelancing community with transparent bidding and verified clientele.
What has been the biggest learning so far?
Today's students are seeking more than just a big name and a hefty paycheck when they enter the job market. While we are proud to have already secured top-tier companies and salaries for our students, we've come to realize that our most ambitious learners are looking for something more. That's why our focus for the year ahead is on identifying companies that offer additional value beyond these traditional perks, ensuring that our students not only find satisfying work but also opportunities for growth and fulfillment in their careers.
What is the market size and opportunity?
In 2020, the UIUX design market size was valued at USD 38.2 billion globally. The market is anticipated to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3 per cent from 2021 to 2028, driven by factors such as the rising adoption of digital technologies and the growing demand for interfaces that are user-friendly and engaging. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift toward digital channels, creating a greater need for effective UIUX design. Consequently, the demand for UIUX design services is expected to continue to grow across various industries, including ecommerce, healthcare, finance, and others.
What are your future plans, with respect to the Indian Market?
Our experiential learning approach is both innovative and revolutionary, providing a simulation of the skills and competencies required in the workplace. Students in India trust us to help them advance their careers, which has enabled us to set expansion plans for both our team and business.
To continue our progress, we are expanding the number of courses offered, creating more in-depth corporate training opportunities for college students, and increasing the number of available placements. Our product basket now includes Corporate Training, Campus Training, Boot Camps, Master Courses, and a Freelancing Ecosystem.
In order to take impact-based learning a step further and make it experimental, we will also start working with non-profit organisations so that our students can assist in developing their projects.
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