Changing the State of Digital Marketing Education
The digital advertising market is set to grow to at 19,000 Crore in India, in
spite of experts thinking that digital marketing is still in its infancy. With
such a huge market and extreme job generation, there has been a rapid spread of
education pertaining to this field. However, not all education imparted is laced
with wisdom. Most digital marketing courses in India, unfortunately, focus more
on helping students gain jobs rather than knowledge, a gap which starts to show
once the student enters the workforce. As a result, India’s youth enters a group
of unskilled employees sluggishly moving along in the ever-changing world of
digital marketing. Knowing that this is a devastating state of affairs, Arbab
Usmani decided to take some action.
Hailing from a small town called Muzaffarpur in Bihar, Arbab Usmani entered the
world of digital marketing when he scored his first job at Blackdrop Source.
From there, he moved onto 4CM, a company that created quizzes and brought brand
knowledge to consumers. After single-handedly creating his own team to work on
the project, within 3 years, Arbab increased their OTT verified subscribers from
48,000 to 1.4 million subscribers – topping the work done by his predecessor, a
global advertising media giant. After that, Arbab was responsible for creating
the first team for Sasta Sundar (a company now primed to receive a 100 Crore
funding) and implemented content marketing strategies to drive their sales. At
that time, this was a revolutionary move as startups would not set aside
dedicated resources and budget for content marketing efforts and there was less
awareness about content marketing in the Indian industry." After driving their
sales, he realized that it was time to chase a new challenge.
He moved to Delhi in 2015, with no job but a trunk filled with confidence. He
received 8 job offers from a range of leading start-ups and picked a job within
the renting space, where he vastly improved the company’s performance. While
moving from challenge to challenge, he realized that he was good at teaching his
team, which ultimately led to the great performances that he is credited with
On speaking to Arbab, he credits his hunger as the main reason for his success.
“At every point in my career, whether I was struggling or feeling like I am
succeeding, I have always kept one thing to the fore – my hunger. My desire to
always learn more, be more, and do more is what helped me go from challenge to
challenge. Even today, I tell my students that it is not about the job or
company that you are working at. It is about feeling challenged and motivated to
learn more. This is one of the most important values that I impart to them –
just keep learning.” Said Arbab.
Having worked in the industry for many years, Arbab came across many young
professionals who, in spite of finding inspiring challenges in their job, were
not able to meet them head-on. A huge factor contributing to this were the gaps
in their digital marketing training. As most courses bring an ROI-focused
mentality to the table, their students cannot see beyond the simple act of
getting a job. They do not stay in touch with the creative side of
problem-solving or retain the desire to learn and grow. As a result, management
positions in the country are now filled with people who do not understand the
newer innovations in the field.
It was these issues that inspired Arbab to start UppSkill, a digital marketing
institute that focuses more on knowledge than ROI. Their vision is to skill
India’s youth in a way that teaches them to map out career arcs, instead of
single job growths. Through courses designed to understand the intricacies of
digital marketing, Arbab offers these young marketers the tools they need to
continually grow and improve their skills. This is, what he refers to as, “real
and beneficial learning”.
“My students still call me to discuss new innovations in the field as they do
not want to stop learning. As a teacher, I consider the importance of learning
to be the greatest thing I have taught them – not the industry related
information because the industry will always change. It will always grow. But
learning has to be the constant in your life.” Says Arbab.
Uppskill offers a comprehensive education in digital marketing, with its base in
Noida. The team, led by Arbab Usmani, places a strong emphasis on creating
structures that help the student learn about the entire scope of Digital
Marketing, instead of simply focusing on individual aspects. The institute is
already planning to spread the seeds of knowledge pan-India, with a few courses
already offered in Kolkata. These courses are offered within an offline space,
as Arbab firmly believes that online can always complement the offline engine
but can't replace it. After all, in training of skills like digital marketing
the human factor is irreplaceable. He aims to teach his students how to work
together in a team, which he knows cannot happen when students are learning
through their computers. He believes in the value of creating a community, and
this is what drives Uppskill.
UppSkill aims to bridge the gap between the skills a fresher has and the skills
that are required to do their jobs correctly. Moreover, their larger vision lies
in the fact that they want to change the ecosystem of learning and skill-based
education in India, keeping in line with Arbab’s firm belief that the country
can only move forward if the citizens are ready to learn and grow constantly.
TAGS: Digital Marketing Education
, digital marketing course