Karan Shah, Founder at IIDE - Indian Institute of Digital Education
Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
Karan Shah: Almost 10 years back, when I was working in Asia’s largest digital agency - Social Kinnect, we found out how very few people in India knew what digital marketing was. Even when we had to hire digital marketers, we faced a lot of challenges. I noticed a huge skill gap. While training my colleagues in digital marketing, I got positive feedback from them. Knowing how our country needed to learn digital marketing combined with my ease in teaching difficult concepts, I decided to quit my job and set out on a mission to reduce the digital skill gap by educating the youth of India in digital marketing. This is how the idea of founding IIDE came to me.
Great Companies: What are the various Services provided by IIDE - Indian Institute of Digital Education
Karan Shah: Our major service specializes in providing Digital Marketing Training. We further categorized our service into segments based on the requirements of individuals. The two main channels are B2B and B2C.
In B2B, we train top multinational companies and corporates in digital marketing. All the advertising managers, sales managers, brand managers, marketing managers as well as executives in digital marketing fall under this bucket. To give you an instance, we recently trained all the Area, Sales & Brand Managers at Mahindra & Mahindra. We coached them on how to migrate all their traditional marketing budgets towards digital marketing budgets. Likewise, some other setups that hired us for digital marketing corporate training are Leo Burnett, Pfizer, Cipla, Volkswagen, Asian Paints, Abbott, North East India Tourism (in association with the World Bank), Publicis Groupe, and more.
In B2C, we offer postgraduate programs and advanced certification courses which are mainly for fresh graduates and working professionals. The postgraduate programs are for individuals who want to professionally train in digital marketing and specialize in it. The advanced online certification course is for professionals who want knowledge in digital marketing to progress in their careers. The main goal here is to prepare these professionals to become valuable assets in the workforce of the digital marketing industry and help them bag relevant jobs.
Great Companies: What makes IIDE - Indian Institute of Digital Education different from hundreds of other similar service providers?
IIDE’s learning pedagogy makes us different from hundreds of other similar service providers. We follow a 3 step methodology which we also like to call the 3-Teacher Method. Under this methodology, we have got on-board industry experts from companies like Google, Facebook, Disney, and more to record high-quality video lectures teaching the subjects and concepts they’re maestros in.
These video materials are provided to the students as the first step of the learning process. After watching the videos, they’re supposed to attend live/offline classes with the local teachers to work on live projects and assignments, solve their doubts, etc. After the second step, if a student still holds any queries, we give them a facility to book a unique mentor for a personal session via our LMS (Learning management system).
In this way, we’re making available 3 unique teachers to each student under every topic in our curriculum. The aim is to equip them not only with academia but also industrial knowledge. Where other institutes have a single teacher dedicating more than 100+ hours, we have 3 teachers dedicated to solely teaching a single subject in 15+ hours that they have expertise in.
Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?
Karan Shah: Being in the education industry, we have faced many challenges year on year. In the first year, we had an infrastructure-related problem. We had started out in a garage with a few basic chairs and a local teacher. But today, we have multiple campuses, the biggest one being our headquarters in Andheri, Mumbai along with a well-established online school. We also faced some struggles in recognizing the needs of our students.
For example, many of them were looking for government certification. As we moved ahead, the students started realizing the quality education we impart, and today, all students are confident in enrolling in a private school as IIDE because they’re confident that our certification holds industrial importance and value.
Lastly, the Covid-19 pandemic posed challenges for almost every industry and we were no exception. We had to shift all our offline campus training to online classes but in no time, we came out stronger and became one of the best online digital marketing institutes. Hence, we faced many struggles through the years but we never looked back and we’re proud of how far we have come.
Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for IIDE - Indian Institute of Digital Education?
Karan Shah: India’s largest and most premium school for digital education is what IIDE is going to look like 5 years from now. We will not only have a nationwide presence but also capture other Asian subcontinent markets. We will also be expanding our services by teaching other digital skills such as data science, AI, Machine Learning, etc.
Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Karan Shah: Be obsessed with customer feedback. Not only your paying customers but your employees as well. They are your first customers who are buying into your vision. Analyze how your company is functioning through employee feedback and improve your products/services through customer feedback. Aim to make both of them happy to ensure your solutions are accurate and that you gain recognition for being problem-solvers. To sum it for you, be obsessed with making your internal and external customers happy.
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