Analytics today is one of the leading areas for Professional Up-Skilling and Re-Skilling in the country. Companies are increasingly demanding a Data Analytics-equipped skill set in their professionals, in order to capitalize and make meaningful conclusions about the huge quantum of data at their disposal. Jigsaw Academy is one of the premier Online Analytics Education Company, functioning in the Ed-Tech space today.
As through our conversation with Ms. Geetika Goel, CTO at Jigsaw Academy, we attempt to identify the key trends in the professional education ed-tech space and how Jigsaw Academy differentiates itself from other Ed-Tech Players.
Q1. Jigsaw Academy today is one of the leading providers of Analytics focused courses. How has the company achieved scalability in the Indian market since its inception in 2011?
At Jigsaw Academy, we have focused on emerging tech right from the start, Analytics being one of them. Our founders, who were Data Scientists themselves, faced a severe demand skill gap in their professional career. Hence they executed the idea, that it is crucial to train people on emerging technologies to solve current and potential future skill gap. AI, ML & IoT are some domains where this problem exists, where the skill potential is not sufficient for organizations. We were an online school for a very long time. Towards 2015-16, players offering classroom coaching started entering this industry, & people were drawn to their programs. While we realized our strength lied in the online business, we figured there was at least a need for Blended mode of learning. Blended programs did better for us, but the challenge was keeping the price point down. Now with the Covid situation, our adaptability and experience towards the online delivery of programs helped us to make a smooth transition.
Q2. How big a learner base does Jigsaw Academy have currently? Which target audience segment is dominating its learner profile?
On the Consumer level, at any given time we have close to 5,000 active learners. Overall it would be around 40,000+ learners. We focus on Mid-Career professionals as primarily they would be the ones working on end to end data skills. We have done trainings for senior management as well, but those are different kinds of programs. The larger programs that teach a student end to end from programming to creating strategies around data are focussed on mid-level professionals who looked for career transitions across jobs/industries.
Q3. In a massively fragmented industry for re-skilling and up-skilling programs in the country, how does Jigsaw Academy differentiate itself from players such as upGrad, Simplilearn, Coursera, Udacity, Great Learning and others?
We have a primary focus on courses that provide outcome-based learning. Students should become production ready as soon as they join an organisation. Hence, students are made to practice on Industry data sets, with live problems coming directly from our industry partners. This gives our students an edge over other academic programs. Our cybersecurity program offers guaranteed placement with HackerU, a leading Israeli Cyber Agency. Learners majorly go for such programs for Career Transitions and getting Placements, and hence we lay a major focus on that too.
Q4. Can you briefly explain the business model of the company?
We do our research to identify what program and what technology to offer to our audience. We then identify Subject Matter Experts & corporates in the space who are leaders in the space, for gauging industry relevance of content and creating industry assignments. Price point is finalized keeping in mind the paying capacity of the end user and our delivery and course creation cost. We have an in-house production team that creates video content, animations, voiceover from SMEs or separately. We have in-house faculty as well, and content creation could vary from video to video as well. University-partnered programs come part handled by the university and some part handled by us apart from some content actually co-developed.
Q5. Which is the most traction gaining course segment for the company in terms of learners?
Cybersecurity we have released one batch about 6-7 months back, with batch experiencing good traction. We also offered placement guarantee in the program. IoT is a space actually being encouraged by NASSCOM and as of April 15th, there were 1,800 learners in our program. While we do have a good traction for AI & ML, it is not as high as Analytics itself, which ultimately forms close to 50-60% of our learners.
Q6. A prominent bottleneck encountered by online skilling platforms is the low completion rates of programs. How is the company endeavouring towards bucking the trend of low course completion rate?
We ensure that there are a lot of Practice assignments & focus on Example Based learning. We are known for our content widely & it takes us generally 8-9 months to develop the course. Industry relevance is included in form of Industry projects. To keep people engaged, we keep putting up small contests, and have a dedicated student engagement team for keeping in touch with the student’s progress across the course.
Q7. What are the program delivery modes that the company offers to its learners?
We focus on Blended delivery mode as of now. We have classrooms in our office, where students come on weekends and attend classes. We have courses in tie-ups such as with IIM Indore, where there are campus visits but a lot of teaching is Live-Online. We also have self-paced videos that we advise students to go through before they turn up for the live lectures. We try to make videos Byte sized to capture larger engagement and attention.
Q8. Which business segment is Jigsaw more focused on? How does the B2B (Corporate Training) segment of the company compare with other segments?
Majority is individual focused learning on the consumer side of our business. B2B has picked up very well in last few years, and now we are at 60-40 ratio for B2C & B2B segment. We recently got acquired by Manipal Global Education Services (MAGE), and they focus on college education as a segment. We do receive updates from Manipal about prospective colleges for the student programs, but it is a bit early for me to comment on that.
Q9. What future trends are you expecting to encounter in the vastly changing online skilling industry?
People are taking to online learning/skilling a lot now. With the Covid situation, even schools are forced to embrace online learning at least partly. With Manipal and Jigsaw coming together, we would be focusing on a CCC agenda- Curriculum, Career, Continuum. We want to ensure that right from the Curriculum mode (College learning) of Students, we should be able to assist them to Re-Skill or Up-Skill at any stage during their career. We want to be able to assist students all throughout their Development cycle and help them achieve a Continuum of learning. Our goal basically revolves around solving the employability gap that exists today at academia level and re-skilling requirement at professional level today and in future.
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