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Interview: Navakoti Ram M.A, managing director, Upswing Learning

August 11, 2020
Sukanya Nandy
Anuradha Kamath

Anuradha Kamath

Founded by Navakoti Ram M.A along with Anuradha Kamath, Upswing Learning (estb.2016) is committed to developing and providing interactive learning solutions for education providers. Based in Bangalore, the edtech company collaborates with educators, promoters and teachers across the crucial segments in the domain of teaching and learning, K-12, colleges, universities and training centres.

“The unique edtech solutions (of the company) are built through collaborations between cross-functional teams of academicians, technocrats, administrators and teachers, with an in-depth understanding of the critical hurdles faced by institutions. We position our products as technology ideally designed to help the sector overcome these issues,” says Navakoti Ram M.A, who is also the chairman and managing director of Upswing Learning.

Excerpts from an email interview with the managing director:

What are the courses Upswing Learning offers, how many students, teachers and schools are currently enrolled in the courses?

For India to become a knowledge economy with our children and young professionals being able to think and act critically, the role of the teacher/mentor is understated. All our technological solutions and tools are developed, having the educator/teacher at the core. Our proprietary technologies ensure that teachers and administrators have easy to use tools at their disposal, for them to conduct their roles and responsibilities efficiently and timely.

The myriad of solutions we offer our partners includes Learning Experience Systems (evolved from the LMS), Automated Admissions, AI-powered proctored exams, Skill development and mapping platforms and our very own virtual classroom technology. Understanding and being watchful of the teaching and learning ecosystem has allowed us to partner with some of the best of schools and higher education institutions.

As a team, we recently reached a milestone of engaging with 50 schools and universities across India, impacting over 25,000 students, with many more currently in the pipeline. A milestone achieved in 300 days!

What, according to you, are the upcoming digital learning trends in the field of education?

With the recent announcement of NEP 2020, it is clear that to achieve India’s goal of being the knowledge capital, a structural overhaul and change of approach is required. Technology will play a pivotal role in achieving the vision laid out by the new policy. With digital transformation undertaken over time by sectors such as retail, supply chain, fin-tech, manufacturing amongst others, education as a sector has been traditionally conservative. However, the industry too has evolved to understand the benefits that technology provides to ensure efficiencies, transparency and delivery.

Covid-19 forced all educational entities to shut their gates and go digital to ensure that the teaching-learning process continues. In India, a study by KPMG states that the current 1.6 million paid online education users will increase to 9.6 million, and the total growth will be USD 1.96 billion over the next five years.

Hybrid classrooms through flip learning methodologies will soon become mainstream as institutions move forward. Advantages of AI, Machine Learning, will allow for greater insight into students’ skill sets and strengths, with pedagogies evolving to ensure effectiveness across each individual learning curve, making differentiated learning addressable and achievable.

Do you think the complete implementation of edtech is possible? Explain with reasons.

Yes, I think the complete implementation of edtech is possible. In my view, the way forward is for a successful marriage between educators and technology with both being complementary to one another that allows for endless synergies to be gained. Technology cannot and should not aim at substituting the role of a teacher/mentor or a school but instead facilitate them to perform their tasks effectively and focus on what they love to do, i.e. ‘educate’.

What are the future goals of Upswing Learning?

As a team, we at Upswing Learning strive to adapt, innovate and excel. Our focus is to continually develop technology that will empower educationists and educational institutions in India to impart knowledge and life-skills to our next generation, in par with the global education system. Currently, we are working in partnership with educational institutions in Karnataka and look forward to catering to institutions across the country in the foreseeable future.

Read: Can EdTech replace classroom learning in times of COVID-19 pandemic?

Also read: The potential of edtech in rural India to provide new employment opportunities

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