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In Interview with Mr Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India

Mr Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India

Mr Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India

  1. What is WileyNXT and how does it aim to act as a bridge between the skill gap and the future-ready talent? 

WileyNXT is a product of  Wiley India – the Indian subsidiary of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a leading global publisher and was founded in 1807. WileyNXT aims to bridge the education ecosystem to develop the workforce of the digital transformation era and is about adapting AI-enabled adaptive learning which benefits the learner according to its own pace of learning and competence, gives hands-on training and business solutions, and personal remediation. 

WileyNXT is Wiley’s brand which aims to bridge the skill gap and developing a future-ready workforce. It helps learners in universities be prepared for their first jobs and helps existing professionals be prepared for their future jobs. WileyNXT focused on job roles that are underpinned by new and emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, IoT, cybersecurity, cloud, RPA, and others, as well as by 21st-century skills such as design thinking, customer centricity, user experience, and data storytelling.

To build these skills relevant for a digital economy, WileyNXT adopts a unique learning methodology designed for the millennial generation that enables learners to contextualize technology skills with deep business awareness as well as a problem-solving mindset – overall making the candidates highly skilled for businesses with a clear competitive edge. The contextual or application-focused skills are developed by integrating a lot of case studies, skilling problems, labs, simulations, projects, use cases, and continuous assessments.

WileyNXT has designed this methodology in consultation with top industry leaders in emerging technologies, who constitute the Wiley Innovation Advisory Council, as well as Wiley’s extensive network of subject matter experts and thought leaders around the world. These experts also participate in developing courseware, use cases, curriculum, and also bring industry to the classroom by delivering masterclasses in Wiley programs.

The outcome is to help participants become completely business ready and productive from day one.

  1. Could you please share more on your partnership with IIM Lucknow and about the main features of the program? What kind of skills will it help people acquire? 

Wiley has 200 years of experience in Learning and Research and is a partner to 189 universities worldwide. In India, we are happy to find synergies with one of India’s top tier business school and its experienced faculty who helped us design a course that would help product managers learn data analytics and design thinking. It is a seven-month course for executives. On completion of the program, candidates will get a joint certification from WileyNXT and IIM-Lucknow. The skills that will be acquired during the duration of the program are analytics and machine learning techniques, Design Thinking and UX frameworks, Blockchain, AI, RPA trends through which one will learn to solve complex problems, leverage market dynamics, create customer-centric prototypes, etc. 

  1.   Tell us more about the industry and the competition in this particular segment. It would be great if you can share some market trends in the industry.

India has only 20,000 product managers compared to an estimated 1.8 million product managers in the US alone and about 40% of all new products fail in the marketplace representing a waste of over a half-trillion dollars or more worldwide. It is because the same mistakes are made over and over again. Hence, we can proudly say that this is one of the only Executive Education Program to Converge Product, Marketing and Development Strategy across Product Lifecycle with Data Analytics and Design Thinking, for scaling customer and market-centric businesses Education Program to Convert scaling customer and market-centric businesses. 

  1. Since this is an executive program that aims to upskill the workforce, who all can be a part of the program? 

87% of organizations have claimed digital transformation and data analytics to be a critical success factor, but only 11% have been able to implement it at scale. It’s clear that the majority of enterprises are not prepared for a data-driven future and their top challenge is the skill gap in their workforce to be able to achieve this. WileyNXT has been at the forefront of introducing professional upskilling pathways in the Indian learning ecosystem to ensure post-COVID-19 job readiness. To bridge the gap, Wiley recognized the importance of online upskilling armed with problem solving and contextual learning pedagogy besides the academic exposure of individuals in their institutions. We implemented this methodology way before the onset of Covid-19 which has created an upheaval in the standard school of learning. Through constant research and in-depth evaluation of Indian graduates and their career paths, Wiley has realized that continuous learning of adjacent, new, and emerging skills is of prime importance especially. Hence, Product Managers, Business and Product Unit Leads, Product Heads, Product Marketing Managers who are looking to gain industry-proven and data-driven expertise for accelerating career growth and software development and tech professionals, Entrepreneurs Marketing managers who aspire to get into product management roles can all be a part of this course. 

  1. How does the program guarantee career success and job skills? Share some more information about the chief architect of the course? 

WileyNXT programs are designed after an extensive gap analysis and benchmarking in consultation with over 70 top corporate leaders of the Wiley Innovation Council. Combining industry inputs with Wiley’s best in class courseware delivers learning outcomes that are applied to the business context.

The program is co-curated with global practitioners like David Fradin– President | Spice Catalyst is the chief architect of the course. He is a distinguished Professor of Practice and an Advisor to Product Management Programs, WileyNXT.

David has experience in building successful products since 1969, at organizations including HP as well as Apple, where he was at the same management level as Steve jobs. David also heads a professional development company specializing in building insanely great products, product management, product marketing and has trained thousands of managers throughout the world based on his experience at Hewlett-Packard, Apple, and across 75 products and services and 11 start-ups. 

And the other co-creator is Bala Girisaballa– Leading Expert in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, techno-business leader, Ex-President – Techstars India, Advisor Product Management Programs, WileyNXT Faculty, IIML-Wiley Data Driven Product Management Program. 

Bala is an entrepreneur and the founder of two start-ups alongside two decades in the technology space. Until recently, Bala Girisaballa has been the President of Techstars India, the world’s largest accelerator platform for start-ups and innovation. Prior to Techstars, Bala was the Managing Director at Microsoft Accelerator India, Microsoft’s flagship start-up program. His previous experience includes leading innovation at Yahoo, enterprise products at Oracle, and a partner in a global management consulting and research firm. 

Similarly, WileyNXT faculty consists of industry leaders who bring with them years of valuable experience, wisdom, and real-world insights. 

  1. The pandemic acted as a catalyst for businesses to go digital and hence we are looking at a huge skill gap since the workforce is not future-ready. What kind of digital tools will be taught during the program and how will it help in running a business? 

The future of workforce 4.0 is all about the partnership between humans, machines, algorithms, and to make this collaboration successful, humans need to equip themselves with digital tools. Tools like Python, Tableau will be introduced, to analyze and visualize data. They can also be used in storytelling and in deriving and communicating meaningful insights. Tricks and tips on how to leverage Google Analytics and Jira will also be taught.  

  1. What kind of learning experience can the students expect from this program? 

Students can expect a one-of-a-kind action and immersive learning experience. Where proven product management and analytics concepts will be taught while using cases and intensive case studies from the industry. They will also get the opportunity to work on an end-to-end business case to develop robust product strategy from conception to scale-up and will get to work with various analytics techniques and algorithms that can help maximize market and customer understanding as well as build sharp strategies based on data-driven methods. 

  1. Since this year has been a good year for the ed-tech companies with education being moved to completely digital, what kind of trends do you think will be seen in 2021 and how will WileyNXT contribute to those trends? 

It’s quite clear that online learning is becoming the new normal. We expect that the professional education space will keep growing in double digits even after the end of the pandemic because of the ball of transformation that it has set rolling. More than 16Mn professionals from the IT/BFSI sector need re-skilling to meet their organizational digital transformation roadmap. Partnership with WileyNXT enables Industry and Institutions to build a lifelong learning program that propels contextual learning with business problems, case studies, simulated project tools, alongside hands-on learning and mentoring. This will ensure that the universities can build a tech talent pipeline that evolves as fast as the industry. Wiley aims to act as a catalyst to this momentum by branching itself not only as a knowledge and learning organization but also as a pioneer in providing a skill-based career solution to individuals and academia. 

  1. Could you please give us an insight into any new partnerships or any future roadmap and any year-end numbers or comments on Wiley’s performance for this year?

Wiley is sealing partnerships across India and Asia in the emerging skills domain. WileyNXT certifications are approved by the Singapore Govt under the Job and Skill initiative and have trained over 10,000 learners. We are also active across multiple universities in SE Asia. We are hopeful that many more partnerships with a diverse set of competence focus will be rolled out with premiere business and technology schools in India quite soon. 




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