upGrad Signals APAC Growth; Appoints ex-Disney Chief Zubin Gandevia as CEO, APAC
India’s online higher education startup, upGrad has signaled its commitment to grow its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with the appointment of Zubin Gandevia as the CEO of the region.
An entertainment industry leader, Zubin last served as the President, APAC & Middle East, at FOX Networks Group Asia (part of the Walt Disney Co.) and led FOX to become Asia’s number one Pay TV network. He brought leading media brands to consumers in over 30 countries. Zubin has high instinct of predicting consumer demand, and has championed digital innovation and built strategic partnerships, which resulted in impressive market share growth for FOX.
Prior to this, Zubin was the COO APAC & Middle East at FOX, where he orchestrated its key merger with Star, and the acquisition of ESPN Star Sports. He had earlier worked with Star TV Network where he created and scaled National Geographic Channel. Zubin’s entrepreneurial zeal saw him co-found India’s first cable networks that later became Hathway, while still in university.
On welcoming Zubin to his new role, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-Founder & Chairman, upGrad, said, "Zubin brings an enviable track record of starting and scaling successful businesses and I’m excited for the potential we can unlock with his leadership. Having built a proven and trusted edtech brand in India, we are now poised for growth with plans to scale our offering to support more people in building their future careers, and Zubin is very well-placed to help us achieve this. He brings a lifetime of commercial wisdom and is a proven change-maker with a passion for lifelong learning, which aligns squarely with upGrad’s values. His background in forging strategic partnerships and his keen interest in digital content delivery will be key accelerants for our expansion in Asia. I look forward to working with him to realise our vision of reaching a billion people through upGrad.”
At upGrad, Zubin will lead the company’s APAC expansion. upGrad will partner with governments, universities and businesses to launch localized online courses to boost the career prospects of thousands as countries look to pivot towards new digital and Industry 4.0 skills in response to the rising unemployment.
“By 2025, WEF predicts that around 85 million people will lose their jobs. Whilst, over the same period, 97 million new jobs will be created, these will require very different skills. Without the ability to reskill people quickly, and at scale, millions will potentially be displaced from work. It will require new technology and a fresh approach to partnerships between the government, industry and academia, if we are to meet this challenge head-on and in doing so, truly change the lives of millions for the better,” said Zubin Gandevia, Chief Executive Officer, upGrad - APAC.
“I’m excited to be part of this transformation, helping to benefit individuals and societies by making it easier to continue to learn new skills throughout our working lives. What particularly attracted me to upGrad was the company’s entrepreneurial approach and obsessive devotion to making the learner experience creative, connected, interactive and immersive - just like in the world of entertainment,” added Zubin.
Zubin Gandevia starts his new role from January, 2021 and will be based out of Hong Kong.