India is quickly becoming the startup capital of the world: Arun Rajamani, Pluralsight

From the very beginning of their careers, technology professionals are ‘programmed’ to learn new skills as new technologies emerge and change. And this comes with an understanding that the failure to keep their skills up-to-date can result in the loss of career opportunities as old tech is phased out and new ideas are adopted. Pluralsight, a US-based enterprise technology learning company, has recently forayed into India with the aim to empower companies and individuals to move at the speed of technology, increasing proficiency, innovation, and efficiency. Arun Rajamani, Country Head, Pluralsight, India in an interview with Techseen talks about the latest trends in the enterprise technology learning space in India. Excerpts:
Techseen: You have recently entered into a partnership with betterU, an online learning marketplace. What does this partnership entail?
Rajamani: While our primary focus is to serve enterprises through their digital transformation by helping them close the technology skills gap, we also serve technology professionals who need to acquire the latest skills to remain relevant in their fields. We strategically partnered with betterU—who shares a similar mission—to help us reach millions of learners across India who want to advance their skillset. betterU is a great fit for Pluralsight. Through their education marketplace, they will offer our Pluralsight and Code School subscriptions, empowering India’s tech talent to upskill at any time, place and pace most convenient for them. Today the need for professionals to upgrade their skills continuously is more acute than ever, and this partnership is perfectly poised to close the technology skills gap in India and around the world. It is worth emphasizing that Pluralsight subscriptions give members unlimited access to training on many technology specializations, and we believe that this unique concept is an exciting prospect for both enterprises and technology professionals. The value is a great opportunity for the Indian learner as affordability is a key factor we look for from our partnerships.
Techseen: There are many other players like Coursera, edX, etc. that provide online courses. What makes Pluralsight a better option than these players?
Rajamani: There are companies that provide online learning solutions, but none provide the expert-driven technical breadth and depth that we offer. In fact, because of the technical depth of training that we offer, we’ve found instructor-led training to be our biggest competitor.
The ecosystem of learning tools that our technology learning platform offers—skill measurement, expert-recommended learning paths, expert-curated courses and live, on-demand mentoring—poise us to become the new go-to source for professional technology learning.
In this competitive space, where most companies have brought skills training to beginning and mid-level enthusiasts, we are cementing our status as a career catalyst and go-to resource for the serious technology professional.
Techseen: How does Pluralsight plan to tackle the knowledge gap in India when it comes to rapidly growing industries like IoT, AI and cloud computing?
Rajamani: Our platform is geared towards the professional, so it would be great to focus on that gap. Pluralsight’s cloud-based platform provides on-demand access to more than 5,000 courses that cover the most relevant technologies of today. Our network of industry experts curate courses that pace the global demand of technology skills. Pluralsight’s platform will help close the technology skills gap—including the gap created by the rapidly growing tech trends like IoT and AI—in India.
Techseen: You have also partnered with Tableau to train virtually in data analytics. What is the value of data analytics in the enterprise sector today and what vision do you share with Tableau?
Rajamani: Demand for data analytics skills has risen globally and employers seek to hire data-driven people. To address the skills gap, both the players are helping teach those without a background in data analytics. Pluralsight and Tableau share a common vision to empower everyone to learn valuable data analytics skills, which would help them be successful in their careers, no matter what role they have in the organization.
Techseen: Do you operate on a subscription basis? When a customer has subscribed to your service, how much access does he/she get to your services?
Rajamani: Yes, Pluralsight is available through a subscription—at the individual or enterprise level. Once the subscription has been purchased, members can log into the platform and get immediate and unlimited access to our full collection of video courses, assessments, learning paths, and interactive labs. They’ll also have access to live mentors who provide members with help with code, advice on best practice or assistance with a particular Pluralsight course.
Techseen: Affordability and cost management stand to be the top priorities for startups and SMBs. Do you offer any special provisions or subsidized courses to startups?
Rajamani: India is quickly becoming the startup capital of the world, and we see tremendous potential in this segment. Our platform is as relevant to the learning needs of startups and SMB companies as it is to large enterprises. Startups need learning solutions that help their employees onboard quickly and find relevant content in real-time to solve problems on the fly.
We have a solution called NEO which helps onboard employees quickly both in small and large companies. We have a significant number of startup and mid-sized companies in our client roster in India.
We find that startups love our cloud-based subscription model as it is in tune with the way they envision their businesses as being cloud-first or mobile-first when it comes to the services they provide to their customers.
Techseen: Technology is a field that changes and evolves constantly. While designing your courses, how do you know where to draw the line?
Rajamani: From a technology content point of view – maintaining quality and relevance of content is a challenge. We know that the ‘two-year half-life’ syndrome – only half of the tech skills that you have today will be relevant in two years’ time – is real. So, content must stay in tune with technology changes.
Quality of training content is a huge challenge the tech industry in India is facing today. To provide relevant and high-quality learning resources, Pluralsight has built an author network of 1,000+ industry experts across the world who exclusively curate courses for us.
We have a full-fledged tech content team that stays ahead of the technology curve and builds our content roadmaps to match the latest technology roadmaps from across the world.
Techseen: You have made eight acquisitions in the last 3 years, including that of Train Simple in July this year. What is the reason behind this acquisition spree?
Rajamani: Our acquisitions have been a strategic play to provide a superior and integrated user experience with digital tools and best-in-class content that significantly improve learning effectiveness. Our vision is to be regarded as the most preferred technology learning platform globally, and we will continue to build on our capabilities as we achieve this vision. To that end, we will keep all options open, including acquisitions.
Techseen: Can you comment on your upcoming expansion plans globally? Do you plan to engage in more partnerships?
Rajamani: Pluralsight is closing the global technology skills gap, and to fulfill this goal, we will continue our global expansion into new geographies. Our plan is to engage in more partnerships that help us fulfill our mission—and this includes partnerships in India.
We are here to serve all technology professionals—from enterprises to the independent professional. We are in active discussions with several partners and hopefully we will make some announcements soon.

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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