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upGrad bolsters UK, US top teams to accelerate overseas biz

upGrad bolsters UK, US top teams to accelerate overseas biz
Photo Credit: upGrad
18 Jun, 2021

upGrad, on Thursday, announced the appointment of three senior hires to strengthen its leadership team in the UK and the US as the company takes the next step in international expansion amid the Covid-19 induced edtech boom. 

Tom Atkinson joins upGrad as VP for sales and partnerships in the UK. He will be responsible the company’s business in the UK, Europe, and Middle East. This will include launching upGrad’s B2C (business-to-customer) arm in the region, developing industry partnerships across sectors, and creating innovative new B2B (business-to-business) offerings, the company said in a statement. 

 Read: International growth is a critical part of our $2 bn revenue goal: Ronnie Screwvala, upGrad

Along with Atkinson, Octave Auger also joins upGrad as VP for growth in the region. He will oversee upGrad’s marketing and communications. This will include brand building across social media, PR, and events, growth-driving initiatives across bought, earned, and owned channels and improving the end-to-end customer journey.

In North America, Aaron Edgell joins as VP of marketing. In this newly created role, Edgell will lead end-to-end marketing where he will manage all aspects of digital marketing, advertising, brand strategy, PR, and SEO. Prior to joining upGrad, Edgell spent the past four years building an in-house marketing agency at the National University System (NUS) in San Diego.  He has also held marketing leadership positions at fast-growing companies and agencies working across the education, technology, and health and wellness sectors.

“We are thrilled to welcome Atkinson and Auger at such an important juncture in upGrad’s growth journey. There is a serious need for digital upskilling in the UK which is why we have chosen to focus our efforts on this market. Leveraging Atkinson and Auger’s expertise across sales, partnerships, and growth will be key to building more world-class partnerships and products that will help to plug the digital skills gap,” Saranjit Sangar, CEO – EMEA, upGrad, said.

“The US market is our second largest contributor of international paid learners and is a key growth market for us. We are thrilled to have Edgell as part of the upGrad family, and more so, to have him at the helm of our brand-building efforts as we aggressively expand our footprint by delivering high quality learning outcomes in North America,” Karan Raturi, General Manager, North America, upGrad said.

The new hires join upGrad at a time when the Unilazer Venture backed higher education provider is aggressively trying to expand business across geographies, with the UK and the US at the heart of its growth ambitions. In April, upGard appointed Brian Saunders as vice president of university partnerships in the US market.

As part of its expansion plans in the US market, upGrad looks to close eight university tie ups, launch 20 Ivy League certification programmes and five graduate programmes over the next 12 months.

In February, upGard announced the appointment of an independent UK board of four members to accelerate its expansion in the UK.  

According to the statement, upGrad aims to close March’22 at half a billion dollar revenue run rate.