Eruditus Co-founders Ashwin Damera (left) and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu (right)

Story of Eruditus Executive Education – Making World-Class Executive Education Accessible

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Leadership development skills have become more essential than ever, given the current ambiguous and complex environment. Nowadays, leadership development has been extended from the C-Suite to all the employees who are expected to make decisions aligned with their company’s corporate strategy. They need to be equipped with the adequate technical and communication skills, which cause the companies to spend heavily on executive education. They fail to get the desired return on investment mostly because traditional educators might not be adept in imparting the soft skills much needed for success today and in the future. On the other hand, the executives, too, are unable to access quality executive programs on a global basis.

Eruditus Executive Education collaborates with top universities to make world-class executive education accessible globally. Eruditus’ mission is to increase access to world-class executive education to executives from every part of the world. In fulfilling this mission, Eruditus has partnered with the best business schools in the world and creates programs delivered both in the classroom and online.

Eruditus, the Mumbai based EdTech startup, was co-founded in 2010 by Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu. Ashwin belongs to a South Indian family and was ‘expected’ to work for an MNC. It was when he studied at the Ivy League University in Boston that his perspective about education and life changed. He launched his first startup Travelguru and ran it for 5 years until it was acquired by Travelocity. Chaitanya is an INSEAD alumnus. When he was able to convince INSEAD to be their first partner, Eruditus was born.

“How many people from India, Southeast Asia, China, or Mexico can pack up their bags for two years, spend more than a crore, and get that education. In most cases, even though people want to, the schools only accept five-10 percent. Accessibility is a huge challenge. So, one of the things we set to do was solve this challenge.

2020 saw the mainstreaming of online education. People had looked at online as somewhat inferior to classroom education across categories. 2020 busted that myth forever. And you really know that it was a transitional year because even the government came up with a new policy for higher education where they allowed online degrees [for the first time]. So, that is cataclysm.… a pivotal moment for online education.”

– Ashwin Damera, Co-Founder and CEO

Eruditus started initially by offering classroom programs and continued with the same model for the next five years. Realising the limitations of scaling an offline business, the founders pivoted to online education in 2015 to reach students globally. Eruditus has partnered with more than 30 universities to date, including MIT, Columbia, Harvard, Cambridge, INSEAD, Wharton, UC Berkeley, INCAE, IIT, IIM, NUS and HKUST, launching more than 100 courses and serving over 100,000 professionals from more than 80 countries. Many courses are offered and facilitated in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. It also runs Emeritus Institute of Management, which provides short-duration online courses. The company designs and delivers leadership development programs that help organizations nurture business leaders. Their world-class programs are in collaboration with leading business schools and distinguished faculty.

The company offers a portfolio of classroom, online and blended learning programs to suit organization’s learning needs. The Enterprise Solutions team at Eruditus works with organizations to understand their learning requirements and translate them into a world-class learning journey. Their clients: HSBC, Microsoft, DHL, Bharat Petroleum, Nomura, Deutsche Bank, Vodafone, Asian Paints, Rockwell Automation and Reliance Group.

Eruditus has plans to increase its enrollment by more than 10 times within the next five years across certificate courses and online degrees. Emeritus is expanding into K12 education with the acquisition of US-based iD Tech, in an effort to closing the STEM skills gaps globally.

The founders decided to raise external funding at the stage when the company decided to expand to online and needed to make investment in technology and curriculum development. Eruditus raised $40 million in Series C funding led by Sequoia India in 2019. Till date, the company has raised a total of USD 118 million till Series D funding round, valuing the company at about USD 800 million.

In April 2021, India had about 13.8 million white-collar workers. There is a huge need for professionals and companies to upgrade themselves to remain relevant in this technology driven world. Eruditus is at the helm, bring cutting-edge, industry-relevant education programs to consumers at scale.

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