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upGrad ropes in former Disney chief as CEO of Asia Pacific region

upGrad ropes in former Disney chief as CEO of Asia Pacific region
Zubin Gandevia  |  Photo Credit: upGrad
12 Jan, 2021

Mumbai headquartered upGrad Education, which runs an edtech platform, has appointed Zubin Gandevia as CEO for the Asia Pacific region.  

Gandevia, who is the first APAC CEO at the startup, will be based out of Hong Kong and lead upGrad’s expansion plans across the APAC region, a statement said.  

Gandevia joins the company from FOX Networks Group Asia, where he served as the president for Asia Pacific and Middle East. He had moved to the Walt Disney Co-run firm from Star TV Network, where he created and scaled the National Geographic Channel.   

While at university, Gandevia co-founded one of India’s first cable networks that went on to become Hathway, upGrad said in a statement. 

Through partnerships with governments, universities and businesses, upGrad said it is set to launch localised online courses to boost the career prospects for thousands of people, as countries look to pivot towards new digital and Industry 4.0 skills in response to rising unemployment.

“By 2025, WEF predicts that around 85 million people will lose their jobs. Over the same period, 97 million new jobs will be created, (and) these will require very different skills,” Gandevia said.

“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,” he said.

Commenting on the appointment, co-founder and chairman Ronnie Screwvala said, “He brings an enviable track record of starting and scaling successful businesses and I’m excited for the potential we can unlock with his leadership.”

Earlier this month, upGrad announced an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for 600 employees, along with a flexible leave policy for its 2,500 employees.