Would you tell us about yourself, Your Journey, Initial Struggle?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : I am Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar, Director General of ImaginXP. I didn't have to struggle initially because I appeared in multiple competitive examination and interviews and cleared all of them but chose the Army over other options. I have completed B.Tech in Mechanical engineering (NIT, Jamshedpur), M.Tech (IIT Delhi) and MBA(DU).
I was a topper throughout these courses. My Journey started with the Indian Army. During my 30 year tenure with the Army, I was Dean, Director, Chief Instructor and Head of Department in several institutions of repute of the Armed Forces. I was awarded Chief of Army Staff commendation thrice and was decorated with Vishisht Seva Medal for my distinguished service in the forces. After retiring from service a few days before getting Brigadier rank, I continued my passion as an Educationist at DIT University, Dehradun. I joined DIT as Director and served there for 13 years.
I joined ImaginXP as Director-General in 2017. At the time, ImaginXP was engaged in running part-time certificate courses. I took the initiative and signed
MOUs with various universities to provide future skills courses such as UX design, Product Design, FinTech, Blockchain, RPA, AI & ML, Data Science and Analytics, Cyber security etc. In 2018, we partnered with 4 Universities eventually expanding to 10 universities by the end of 2019. In 2020, we successfully took the tally to 18. At present, we have more than 25 university partnerships and more than 75 faculty members.
Past Experience: Director Academic Administration (12 Years) DIT University, Dehradun (Uttarakhand) Indian Army, EME Corp. (30 years)
Education: M. Tech from IIT Delhi (2 Yrs. Full-time course, batch topper with CGPA 9.25)· MBA (Delhi University)· B. Tech, Mechanical Engineering from NIT Jamshedpur (Topper of university)·
How do you stay on top of changes in the process, changes in thought of industries that you are going to look at more now?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : Our curriculum has been curated by a team of industry experts and academicians and imparts skilling through the Learning by doing approach. Our in-house content team of 12 experts updates it in a continuous mode and conveys the same to various universities. Our master classes are run twice a month by subject matter experts in the corporate sector from throughout the world.
We have signed MOUs with 1250 Corporate subject matter experts and our hired faculty members of 75 professional come from renowned institutions like IIT, NID, NIFT and other reputed organizations. We provide a mandatory six-month paid internship to every student with a stipend ranging from 30-35K per month (before pandemic) and 15-20K (during the pandemic). Our curriculum focus is 70% on skill development and 30% on the theory which ensures that most interns get subsequently hired by the companies.
We also provide Live project under the mentorship of industry leaders of India and abroad. 40% of the classes are online and we prepare students with mock interview, soft skills training and help in the preparation of a portfolio. Passouts from our future skill training have been recruited in leading companies in a salary bracket of 10-12 lakhs per annum. Our robust platform runs these courses online since February 2020 and equips the students with 21st-century skills making our student the best fit for the industry.
We have a jury based evaluation system comprising experts from Corporate and Academics. Through these initiatives, we are able to bridge the lacuna in the educational system and stay on top by meeting industry requirements.
What incident had most influenced your career choice?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : While I was Director of DIT University, I found many students with outstanding performance in examination unable to clear the campus selection process despite a stellar performance in clearing exams but don't have employability skills. It was a difficult role to pacify those students who were crying and approaching me for help and sympathy. The fact that many students with good marks don't have employability skills wasn't easy for them to digest. I authored a book entitled "Sorry, you aren't employable - build a mindset for employment".
The theme of the book is a way to inculcate employable skillsets in students and create a mindset for getting employed. Those incidents influenced me to take the present role at ImaginXP where our focus is on skill development and employability skills. A large proportion of our graduates don't have employability skills as they are lacking soft skills & hard skills and are unable to apply the concepts they have studied. Teaching and mentoring has always been a passion for me. Unless the youth aren't skilled, the nation won't be in a position to reap the demographic dividend of a young country.
What/Who Inspires Imagin XPtoprovide the platform for certified courses & other UX services? How is it going for you (The Business)?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : ImaginXP is an Ed-Tech company running university partnered and embedded courses at 25 universities. We were engaged in the process of developing our own platform but the pandemic forced us to expedite the process of development. Since last February 2020, we are conducting all the courses at universities and certificate courses effectively on our platform. We conduct live virtual classes (synchronous mode) so that students can clarify their doubts by asking questions to the faculty members.
There is the provision of recording the lecture which is given to the students so that they can refer as per their need. Even an online jury is being conducted for the students. Many Corporate coaches from India and abroad are imparting knowledge to the students through our platform. The platform also enables us to train students in soft skills, mock interview and challenges. Continuous mentoring and counseling of students are also done through our platform.
What kind of support did you need when you started ImaginXP?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : ImaginXP is founded by Mr Shashank Shwet(my son) and some of his colleagues. Initial fund was raised by family members and the company was co-located with our other company Fortune Cookie UX Solutions which was acquired by Ernst and Young (EY) and subsequently, ImaginXP started
functioning independently. We designed our certificate courses in the area of UX design, Design Thinking, Wire framing and various other skills in consultation with corporate experts in the relevant discipline. We received generous support from friends, family members, corporate experts and educationist who not only inspired us but also guided us in curating the industry-relevant curricula.
What are your views on today’s industry scenario? What is your strategy to reach new people?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : With respect to today's industry scenario, we believe that Indian Corporate is under-invested in emerging technologies. While digital transformation is the buzzword in industry circles, factors like upskilling and data security are on the backburner. A robust digitalization strategy should include upskilling of human resources and cyber security professionals to keep the system safe. We are reaching out to the student community by launching the Virtual Education Counselling Mela 2021 and a large number of students are actively participating in it. In addition, we also do one-to-one video counselling for our prospects. We have a team of BDA's (Business Development Associates) who are counselling the leads generated by the marketing team who are using social media like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp to source the leads. We also get leads from Shiksha and other sources.
How does ImaginXPwork on making mankind better? & what can be expected from ImaginXPin in the upcoming years?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : ImaginXP works towards making mankind better by imparting future skills to professionals and bringing change in the life of youths. A large number of employment opportunities exist in the space with very little expertise available in the job market. ImaginXP is filling the gap and making students industry-ready and plans to expand the scope and number of courses in the upcoming years. We expect to tie up with more than 60 universities in the long term and also plan to set up a high-end design institution. Skilled people are an asset to the nation and also get a better salary which raises income levels and overall standard of living. ImaginXP by developing a huge pool of skilled human resources is helping India towards the mission of Atmanirbhar Bharat and contributing towards the $5 trillion economy.
How do you keep up with the latest technology/resources advances?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : We at ImaginXP are at the forefront of keeping our faculty abreast of the latest developments in technology. Our faculty comprising 75 experts attends seminars and workshops to constantly be ahead of the curve. We utilize various digital and print medium to keep updated on the latest research and
development in the best universities across the world. We obtain information from research magazines and newspapers. We also ensure that the best corporate subject matter experts from across the world take classes of our students through an online platform and thus continually improves the quality of delivery and this process enhances the knowledge of our regular faculty members regarding the latest developments in the field.
With advances in crypto currencies, Block chain technology has gained momentum while digital transformation will necessitate a corresponding advancement in cyber security. UX design forms the user interface which is required in any technology. The technological domain is a fast-evolving one and ImaginXP actively monitors and keeps up with changes in the industry and updates our students accordingly with print, digital and research journals.
How do you evaluate success?
Prof. Col. Shishir Kumar : We evaluate our success through the success of our students. 100% student passing out of ImaginXP course is successfully employed. We are able to ensure higher wage difference between professionals who have taken our courses vis-a-vis regular graduate or postgraduate students by focusing on Learning by doing methodology. We have become change agents in the
education system by imparting practical knowledge and improving the ecosystem. Our students score higher in employability & salary. Our Work-integrated courses for working professionals enable them to move up the corporate ladder faster and improve their status in the working environment. By also ensuring faculty development, we are creating a large number of Human Resource Development professionals from reputed institutions across the world.
An Educationist, Author, Blog Writer and Life skills trainer.
More than 25 years’ experience as Director, Dean, Chief Instructor & Head of Departments at the category `A’ institution of Indian Army such as MCEME, Staff college Wellington, EME School Baroda, EME centre Secunderabad, MCTE Mhow
Awarded Chief of Army Staff commendation thrice and Vishisht Seva Medals for distinguished service and devotion to duty.
Committed to student development, overlooked placements of 3500 students, raising the placement percentage to 98% in 2011.
Member of ISB, Hyderabad initiative “Strategies of Building excellence in higher education”
Member of IIM Indore MDP “Developing positive work culture”· Numerous papers
published in various international journals on Quality cost and TQM· Commanded many units including the largest unit in Asia, participated in IPKF, commanded a unit in Op –Vijay with commendation, raised ad hoc workshop in record time during Operation Parakram.
Email : email@example.com
Website : www.imaginxp.com