Accelerator for new age career opportunities
For the last two decades, Greycells Education has been focused on new age careers in media, entertainment and sports management industry, in India and the Middle East. Bela Desai, Promoter & Director, Greycells Education (brands EMDI and Ironwood Sports Management) speaks about effectively enabling remote global learning in sectors where interpersonal and hands on experiences are key
Greycells Education owns and conducts courses under the brands EMDI and Ironwood Sports Management in India and Dubai. While EMDI Institute of Media & Communication provides courses in event management and experiential marketing, advertising, IMC & PR; Ironwood Sports Management Global Academy offers training in sports management. “It is said that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, this is true for us as well. For a while now we have been attempting to take some part of our knowledge dissemination online. The uniqueness of our courses has always been interactive classroom teaching coupled with live industry experiences. The classroom sessions form the basis of interactive knowledge sharing and the live industry experience is what enables the students to learn interpersonal skills in addition to industry relevant skills. For us this time of the academic year is when the students are engaged with the Industry. The current situation had us pushed the ACT NOW button to take the sessions online,” says Bela Desai, Promoter & Director, Greycells Education, adding that the support they have received from the team, alumni, industry as well as the students’ enthusiasm has been heart-warming.
EMDI has been using LMS for a while now, and they are looking for further ways to integrate it this year as well. “We expect this to streamline the operations and also improve team productivity,” states Desai.
Pointing out that the courses are designed to enhance industry relevant skills which stem from interpersonal and hands on experiences, Desai mentions, “In a situation like this, which leaves us minimal opportunity to prepare; even though it is a challenge for us to replicate the experience online, it is a massive advantage of the connectivity that technology permits that we have the opportunity to continue our courses remotely.”
The initiatives, during this period, are multi-fold. Says Desai, “Using the time on hand, away from the routine of office, we are taking the opportunity to engage our students with global experiential learning with our faculty from different campuses coming in together. We are connecting with global industry experts to share experiential learnings with students in their respective fields. We have also been able to conduct student evaluations online.”
As an effort to keep people engaged in a positive and meaningful manner, EMDI is offering short online courses at no costs. “These are open to everyone who may be interested in addition to our current students. Our hope is that these will open up career and reskilling opportunities for many. Our team, faculty and students have quickly adapted to this new format and the response we are seeing is truly amazing,” she states.
At a grassroot level, taking encouragement from the Government of India’s support for online education for degree courses, from the forthcoming academic year, Greycells will be offering Bachelors courses in the streams of event management, sports management and marketing management in association with D Y Patil School of Open & Distance Learning. “This will be supported by sessions by industry professionals and hands on experience thereby giving the students a good blend. Due to our global presence we also get many enquiries from students from other countries who for different reasons are unable to dedicate time and resources for the course during the entire tenure. We are evaluating options which will allow them to have the same learning experience from their home country and then travel to our facilities for the interactive learning and live projects,” informs Desai.
She believes that tertiary education and theory oriented courses will continue to have a huge opportunity using technology as a facilitator. “For professional courses, the industry interactive learning will remain the focus with the support of technology to the extent possible,” adds Desai.
Desai reminds that for India, with the largest youth population in the world, the entrepreneurship spirit; the drivers of Indian growth are deeply structural which suggests they are also sustainable. “The possibility of more youth looking at opportunities within the country is likely to increase. The investment by the Government in infrastructure, and the beginnings of an ambitious program to upskill 400 million Indians will all be accelerators for skill training in new age career opportunities. Companies like ours have been doing this for almost two decades. Some support from the Government will go a long way in youth empowerment, entrepreneurship and having a energised youth to take the nation forward,” she concludes optimistically.