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Interview: Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-Founder of Scaler Academy says, “The ed-tech sector has been a silver lining during the pandemic”

In an interview with TechGraph, Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-founder of InterviewBit & Scaler Academy said, “The ed-tech sector has been a silver lining during the pandemic. It has transformed the education system drastically and has brought a paradigm shift in teaching and learning methodologies.”

Read the full expect here:

TechGraph: Let us start with the first things first, can you tell our readers more about Scaler Academy?

Abhimanyu Saxena: Scaler is an upskilling platform by InterviewBit, that enables both students and working professionals to unlock their talent. Our offerings cater to tech-enthusiasts in university (Scaler Edge), young working professionals (Scaler Academy), and those looking to transform into future CTOs and entrepreneurs (Scaler Plus).

Our meticulously structured programs which vary from 6 months to 24 months, act as career accelerators by enhancing skills through offering a modern curriculum with exposure to the latest technologies. Our students have access to over 1000 working professionals from top software companies across the globe including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter among others who act as instructors, teaching assistants, mentors, and career coaches.

Currently, we have over 2200 students and working professionals enrolled with us. The Scaler programs are being developed as an inclusive ecosystem of engineers and mentors to help talent scale and build the next generation of global tech leaders.

InterviewBit was started in 2015 as an online platform providing interview prep to aspirants to make them job-ready. We had over 10 lakh registered software developers with over three lakh monthly active users on our platform.

After the initial success of InterviewBit and realizing the need for an exclusive upskilling platform for tech-enthusiasts, we remolded ourselves and launched Scaler in early 2019.

InterviewBit has been an operationally profitable entity since its launch. We have also raised a total of 21.5 million USD in investment to date and are backed by marquee investors like Sequoia India, Tiger Global, Global Founders Capital, and Rocket Internet among others.

TechGraph: What are the industry challenges you have observed that coerced you to jump into the ed-tech space?

Abhimanyu Saxena: I started my career with Progress Software as a Programmer and later moved to Fab.com as a Software Architect, where I worked for over three years. During my days at Fab.com, I had to recruit new talent for projects, which turned out to be a tedious job.

Even after screening hundreds of resumes and conducting interviews, we were only able to find the right talent in single digits. Almost 90% of the candidates we interviewed did not have the necessary tech skills that were required for the job.

This was when I experienced the scarcity of skilled tech talent in the industry and realized the gap that exists between the university curriculum and the skills that are required to succeed as a software engineer. My co-founder Anshuman Singh, who was one of the early tech leaders at Facebook, had also faced the same challenge while recruiting talent for Facebook’s rapidly growing tech team.

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In 2015, together, we started InterviewBit as an online platform providing interview prep to aspirants to make them job-ready, thereby also addressing the challenge faced by recruiters in hiring the right talent for the job.

Later in early 2019, we launched Scaler as a full-fledged upskilling platform for students and working professionals. At Scaler, the pedagogy of the courses have been created and structured basis interaction with recruiters and industry leaders (CXOs) as it helps understand what companies are looking for in candidates, and we then train our students with those skillsets accordingly.

TechGraph: Could you please shed light on Scaler’s innovative product offerings?

Abhimanyu Saxena: Scaler is an exclusive upskilling platform for tech-enthusiasts. The pedagogy of the courses on our platform is meticulously designed based on interaction with recruiters and industry leaders, which helps us to understand what companies are looking for in candidates, so we can then train our students with those skillsets accordingly.

Further, we undertake admissions in batches to ensure personalized coaching and 1:1 mentoring. Our students have access to over 1000 working professionals from top software companies across the globe including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter among others, who act as instructors, teaching assistants, mentors, and career coaches.

TechGraph: The past few months have been challenging for the businesses, how did you deal with the pandemic?

Abhimanyu Saxena: The ed-tech sector has been a silver lining during the pandemic. It has transformed the education system drastically and has brought a paradigm shift in teaching and learning methodologies. People have now realized the importance of upskilling and reskilling to stay relevant in a competitive world where technology changes every few months.

Hence, there was an unprecedented demand for online personalized coaching and upskilling courses. We at Scaler Academy are looking to onboard over 500 remote, part-time instructors, mentors, and teaching assistants by this year-end to cater to the demand for courses on our platform.

TechGraph: What kind of growth did Scaler Academy register during this pandemic?

Abhimanyu Saxena: The pandemic has accelerated the demand for upskilling. Both students and working professionals are now turning towards ed-tech platforms to either acquire new skills or re-skill to become ‘future-ready’.

We have seen a 127% increase in the average session duration on the Scaler platform in the last six months (Apr’20 to Sep’20) of the pandemic as compared to earlier Oct’19 to Mar’20). The number of sessions held per user has also witnessed a 200% increase with students now spending more time engaging with platform content.

TechGraph: Is there any plan to enter new verticals too?

Abhimanyu Saxena: We believe that ‘industry-academia’ partnerships are the way forward for the education sector. We also think ‘learning and development’ modules will gain more prominence in organizations in the months to come. We are looking to see how we can leverage these trends. For now, we will continue to expand our reach and product portfolio.