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Upskilling Educator: Kali Prasad Gadiraju

EducationWorld March 2024 | EducationWorld People
-Reshma Ravishanker (Bengaluru)
Kali Prasad Gadiraju

Gadiraju: industry-aligned programmes

Kali Prasad Gadiraju is chairman of the Hyderabad-based EThames College (estb.2009) affiliated with Osmania University which offers three undergrad programmes (BBA, B.Com and BCA) to upskill students to make them industry-ready and secure well-paid employment.

Newspeg. To celebrate its 15th anniversary, on February 19, Gadiraju launched the EThames Global School of Design which is set to offer innovative fashion, digital, graphic and interior design study programmes.

History. An economics and commerce alum of Sri Venkateshwara University, Tirupati and Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, equipped with globally recognised certification in Internal Audit, Information Systems Audit and Fraud Examination from the US, Gadiraju began his career in 1985 serving in several accountancy firms before signing up with Ernst & Young, Delhi in 1995. After serving for over two decades and retiring as Managing Partner of EY, Hyderabad in 2019, driven by “a passion to make a lasting impact in Indian higher education,” Gadiraju acquired EThames, an education brand started in London in 2021.

Since establishment of the college in Hyderabad in 2009, 3,500 students have signed up (tuition fees range Rs.1.45-2 lakh per year) for EThames College programmes and 1,400 have graduated and have been recruited by MNCs like Deloitte, EY, PwC etc.

Direct talk. “During my long career in EY, I discerned a huge and widening gap between Indian industry and academia. The country’s universities are churning out a large number of ill-qualified youth through delivery of outdated syllabuses and curriculums. On the other hand, India Inc needs graduates with well-developed skills in emerging fields like cyber security, data science etc. To address this problem, we have assembled a group of highly qualified mentors and industry professionals from top-ranked firms and companies including Deloitte, EY, PwC, TCS, Infosys, and Accenture to develop industry-aligned study programmes for our students,” says Gadiraju.

EThames provides students full access to 5,000 courses on the Coursera platform, and to 42 short duration business management programs by connecting students with the ManageMentor program of Harvard Business Publishing Education.

Future plans. Encouraged by public response, EThames has drawn up plans to expand the menu of industry and job-oriented professional courses. “Certified GRC (governance, risk, and compliance), Certified Assurance, Certified IT risk and Certified ESG (environment, social, and governance) professional courses are almost ready. In addition, we plan to offer part-time courses in data science, analytics, and cloud technologies, essential in today’s tech-driven jobs market,” says Gadiraju and adds that Indian industry is not interested in white collar business management and commerce graduates. “They need to be equipped with complementary skills that make them industry-ready,” he says.

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