Interview with Mr. Srinivasa Addepalli, Founder & CEO – GlobalGyan Academy

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GlobalGyan Academy

Srinivasa Addepalli is the founder & CEO of GlobalGyan Academy which works with corporates and managers with leadership capability development services. He has been a visiting faculty in the strategy area at leading Indian b-schools including IIM Ahmedabad, NMIMS, TAPMI, IIM Nagpur, and IIT Hyderabad.

Srini’s teaching is focused on the areas of business acumen. He works with corporate management teams in the areas of strategic thinking, commercial acumen, M&A and integration, ethics & values, innovation, and leadership communication. Srini has (co-)authored several case studies, which have been published by ISB/HBSP, IIMA and Ivey. His case on business ethics was the Overall Winner at the ISB-Ivey Global Case Competition 2014.

Till mid-2013, Srini was Chief Strategy Officer at Tata Communications, a global provider of enterprise and wholesale telecommunication services. He was responsible for strategy
development and execution, and managed all new strategic initiatives at Tata Communications including growth plans, entry into new markets and mergers and acquisitions. Earlier, he worked in
the Tata group Chairman’s office, coordinating the various telecom activities of the group.

At Tata Communications, Srini was part of the leadership team that transformed a former public sector monopoly into a global leader in network services. He also managed the company’s innovation program, regulatory affairs, corporate communications and brand. He was responsible for the global launch of the Tata Communications brand, replacing the earlier VSNL and Teleglobe
names.

Srini was named in the Global Telecoms Business 2010, 2011 and 2012 lists of top 40 global telecom executives under the age of 40 who will lead the industry in future. Srini holds a Post Graduate
Diploma in Management from IIM Ahmedabad. Prior to that, he graduated with distinction in Electronics Engineering from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Surat.

1) With Covid19 outbreak, online learning has seen a new high-growth trajectory, what are your viewpoints on this?

It is true that the last few days have seen a sudden burst of interest in online learning, by corporates, academic institutions and individuals. Initially, most of the requirements are around replacing what was normally done in the classroom, like schools and colleges running live classes on virtual platforms. Or it has been about creating some team engagement and productive use of spare time, through online courses and webinars. The evident change is that everyone is exploring the possibilities of using digital platforms for learning; hopefully these experiments will lead to more substantial changes in behaviour and adoption of online learning, once we return to a semblance of normalcy.

2) GGA operates both online and Offline, after Covid19 what has been your online adoption ratio? How do you plan to extend your reach?

We have seen a strong interest from our clients regarding digital learning; our portfolio of highly targeted digital courses and virtual sessions are valuable for both engagement and education during this period. Given that many organizations have not invested in online learning platforms, we have made our mobile learning system free to all Indian companies for the next three months, so that they can get started on their journey of digital learning. We have also launched a series of free Master Classes to initiate dialogue on complex strategic and leadership themes.

3) Do you feel up-skilling shall help employees to WFH effectively? 

Working remotely is a different experience for most individuals and teams. It requires changes in communication, culture and performance management processes. It also means taking greater accountability for oneself. These are all new capabilities that all team members and leaders have to develop.

We are also likely to see job losses or a freeze on hiring; in such an environment, upskilling is the only way to stay ahead and competitive in the talent. Many individuals may be forced to or may choose to turn towards self-employment; being a Gig worker requires deep & credible expertise in a certain area as well as awareness of a broad set of entrepreneurial skills. The need for up-skilling will grow tremendously in the near future.

4) Brief us on ValYou Starter by GGA, and why its an ideal collaboration for employers.

ValYou Starter is GlobalGyan’s certification course for entry-level professionals. This program makes it easy for employers to on-board their new recruits, and easily trains them continuously. In these times, companies want to avoid normal, classroom based induction programs; they also want to ensure that their employees are productive as soon as possible. The ValYou Starter program distils several hundred years of corporate experience into a set of practical lessons, available at the employees’ finger-tips without the need for any travel or taking significant time away for training. The tailor-made courses in ValYou Starter include 50 hours of industry-based learning, with unparalleled guidance from industry experts.

5) Is remote working, the new future workplace? 

While remote working will not replace office space completely, there is no doubt that many organizations and individuals will increasingly prefer remote working. This is not new; many companies with globally or nationally distributed teams have successfully adopted remote working for years. What the current situation has done is that it has forced everyone to experience remote working. As we emerge out of this, I anticipate that many business leaders and HR professionals will ask if this cannot become the norm, if not fully, at least partially. The benefits are huge, for organisations and individuals, in terms of lower costs in office space and commute, and enhanced productivity. Of course, this has to be balanced with major changes in systems and processes that enable such remote working to be as effective as being in the same physical space.

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