CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Sarita Digumarti, Chief Learning Officer, UNext.
How Is UNext Enabling Enterprises To Have A Future Ready Workforce And Drive Innovation With Its Talent Transformation Programs?
What do you see as the most important trends and challenges facing enterprises today?
From our experience working with several enterprises and brands, the primary challenge we’ve observed is the stark disconnect between digital transformation strategies on paper and the competencies of current workforces to tackle, adopt, and embrace the change. The effort required to achieve the necessary technical and associated behavioral skills is vastly underestimated.
What skills and competencies do you think are essential for success in the new tech era?
In 2023, it’s inevitable for an organization to be data-smart. Almost all decisions today – right from the placement of a CTA button on a website to revisiting business models – are data-driven. So, every employee needs to converse in the language of data and visualize it for effective communication. Holistically speaking, other crucial competencies include expertise on Artificial Intelligence, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and ESG.
How do you think technology is changing the landscape of the industry, and what opportunities and challenges does this present?
Technology is at the crux of global functioning today. The recent potential displayed by Generative AI models like ChatGPT or DALL-E are an indication of the rapid advancements in the complexity of technology and its applications. While there is always talk of emerging tech replacing jobs, we cannot deny the fact that they are also creating newer and more niche opportunities that have the potential to be more rewarding . The only challenge right now is to find ways to ensure that workforces are able to keep up with the changes in technology and are leveraging the full potential of these technologies in their job roles to drive impact
What do you think are the most effective ways to bridge the skill gap in the industry in terms of skills and talent development?
Implementing well designed talent transformation programs is the ideal way to go about it. This is the perfect time for enterprises to assess their digital quotient and take a call on the domain-specific competencies they need to develop to not only stay relevant but become future-ready as well. That’s where our programs also arrive as effective solutions for enterprises to bring in seamless learning and development.
How does UNext differentiate itself from other providers of online learning and training courses?
To start off, we offer the most practical transformation programs that are stringently aligned to enterprises outcomes and goals. We design and develop content from scratch, feature industry-specific case studies and assignments, and deploy industry veterans as faculty and SMEs. Besides, we are also rooted in the KASH model, where we move away from making upskilling a one-time-affair to a process of perpetual learning. And we are able to design programs for both very large volumes of learners with no loss in effectiveness, or for small cohorts that need a lot of depth in a particular technology or application area.
How does UNext ensure that its academic model and pedagogy are of the highest quality?
We work extensively with industry experts as well as academic experts to continuously refine our pedagogy and teaching models. Our audience primarily consists of experienced professionals, and the time they have available for learning, their expectations around breadth and depth of learning, and their insistence on focusing more on application than concepts requires very different teaching and learning frameworks and models, and we have built strong expertise over many years and thousands of enterprise learners to design effective programs that deliver very precise outcomes.