iB Hubs CEO Kavya Dommeti
iB Hubs CEO Kavya Dommeti

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual reality (VR), Augmented reality (AR), etc., the world is experiencing the fourth Industrial Revolution. From the invention of the steam engine in the 18th century to the recent internet-ushered revolution, we have come a long way. The education system, on the other hand, has changed very little. Now, iB Hubs, a Hyderabad-based company has come forward to solve the very problem.

Speaking to the Free Press Journal, iB Hubs CEO Kavya Dommeti opened up on the flaws in the Indian education system, 4.0 technologies, and more. A graduate of IIT Basar, Dommeti has led the execution of various initiatives that has impacted more than 5,400 youth and professionals across the country. Working along with more than 50 IITians, she has envisioned making India a global leader in 4.0 technologies.

Here are edited excerpts from the interview:

1. Do you think the Indian education system needs a revamp? What do you think are the current flaws in our education system? Do you think any student who completes any course irrespective of the institute is industry-ready?

Absolutely yes! The Indian education system needs a big revamp. The academic curriculum is unable to match the pace of the technological advancements happening in the industry. Consequently, there is a huge gap between industry and academia. After spending many years of time, a lot of money, and substantial effort, today’s graduates are not industry-ready. Many surveys have pointed out that more than 60% of Indian graduates are unemployed today even after having a degree. On the other hand, companies are struggling to find the right talent. A lot of companies and their CEOs, across the globe, are worried about getting the right talent when required.

Whether a student becomes industry-ready or not depends on several factors like the curriculum, trainers, teaching methodologies, keeping up the motivation to learn, and more. What level of success a student achieves depends on how well a course/program is designed on all these fronts. For instance, the curriculum is an extremely important aspect. There is a need for a curriculum that equips an individual with the skills required by the industry. Our experts have designed a Reverse Engineered curriculum after an in-depth understanding of the requirements of the industry. This means the students will learn exactly those skills the companies are looking for.

2. What do you think are the changes required in our education system?

Traditional academics is designed for multiple objectives, including higher studies, research, etc. It is not particularly focused on making an individual industry-ready. Also, because of a lack of awareness of the nature of jobs in the industry and the skills they need, students are settling for salaries 2 to 3 times lower than their capabilities.

A major change that would bring the maximum impact is the curriculum. An industry-guided and building skills through real-world projects is the need of the hour. The National Education Policy 2020 is a much needed and welcome step in this direction.

3. What is iB Hubs doing to solve the problems in our education system?

NxtWave, powered by iB Hubs, is on a mission to bridge this gap between industry and academia by rapidly building industry-relevant skills in people, and connecting them with 21st-century jobs. We’re imparting the right knowledge to youth through various programs and empowering them to seize the 4.0 opportunities that are available to them in abundance.

In line with this, NxtWave is building India’s Largest 4.0 Tech Student Community by bringing together a group of forward-thinking students across India. It’s already 50,000+ strong with students from 1500+ colleges across the country. This community serves as an ecosystem to help students build skills and careers in 4.0 technologies. Also, NxtWave has launched a suite of learning programs under the Continuous Capacity Building Program 4.0 (CCBP 4.0) umbrella. While all the programs are aimed at building in-demand 4.0 skills among individuals, each one is designed to meet specific needs.

For those looking for an immediate tech job, can enroll in CCBP Tech 4.0 Intensive program and will get an assured tech job of ₹4.5 to ₹9 LPA with 4.5 months of training. For those who want to explore the landscape of 4.0 technologies, can get started with our CCBP 4.0 Foundations program and receive certifications in 7 technologies. For students, working professionals, or those not in immediate need of a job, can build industry-ready skills early on with our structured CCBP 4.0 Professional program, to land a high-paying job.

Also, through Project ‘India 4.0 - Dr. APJ’, one crore children from financially backward families will be given free 4.0 education. In addition, children are also trained to develop the right mindset, accelerating both their personal and professional growth. Our slogan for this program is "Every Child Counts", and it truly captures the project’s vision to empower as many children as possible from every part of the country.

4. What exactly is 4.0 Education & 4.0 Technology and how will it help students excel in their respective careers?

We’re in the midst of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It is characterised by the convergence of cyber and physical systems. A new wave of technologies is rapidly changing the landscape of 21st-century businesses in every sector across the globe. At the same time, these 4.0 technologies are creating tremendous opportunities. Transformative technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Machine Learning, Data Science, IoT, AR/VR, Blockchain are some of the 4.0 technologies. Irrespective of the branch, the careers of today’s undergrads will lie around 4.0 technologies. If an individual is equipped with industry-relevant knowledge in these technologies, they can land high-paid jobs.

5. As you mentioned, iB Hubs is working with a vision to make India a global leader in 4.0 technologies. Could you explain in detail?

In every industrial revolution, the countries that adopt the technologies faster, went on to become the global leader in that era. During the first and second industrial revolutions, it were the countries in Europe that adopted the technologies first and became the global leaders. When it came to the third industrial revolution which was brought up by the semiconductors, the internet and IT, the USA was early to adopt them and achieve tremendous progress. Now the fourth industrial revolution presents new opportunities for countries across the world including India. At iB Hubs, we’re committed to making India a powerhouse of 4.0 technologies and consequently a global leader. To realise our vision, we’ve designed a comprehensive approach: 1. Developing world-class products in advanced technologies. 2. Providing end-to-end assistance to startups to help them rise to a global scale. 3. Creating a powerful workforce in 4.0 technologies. 4. Application R&D in 4.0 Technologies.

6. According to the WEF report, 13.3 crore new jobs will be created in 4.0 technologies by 2022. Based on this projection, do you believe it will become essential for everybody to be well equipped with 4.0 technologies?

In this decade, the 4.0 technologies are going to transform every aspect of our lives just like smartphones did in the last decade. This time it’s not just the phones, the Internet of things (IoT) is going to turn virtually everything you use daily into a smart gadget right from a light bulb in a room to the wallet in your pocket. Virtual reality (VR) & Augmented reality (AR) are transforming the way you entertain yourself, how you learn, how you shop and more. AI is going to bring to life applications that you never thought were possible. Similarly, many other technologies are finding wonderful applications in our everyday life. As the 4.0 revolution is building on the digital revolution brought up by the internet and IT, the pace of innovations is really fast.

These technologies aren’t just changing the nature of tech jobs, but also how the businesses will be built and managed. They’re creating new business models which never existed. For example, take the internet and smartphones, they’ve resulted in new businesses and business models like Amazon, Netflix, Uber and more. Even for the professionals in the management or entrepreneurs, it demands new-age skills and approaches to run their business successfully in a tech-dominated world. So, it’s a good idea for everyone to skill up for 4.0 and get ready for the abundant opportunities with it.

7. You have worked with several state governments, institutions and conceptualized and led skill-building programs for thousands of youth. Tell us about the experience.

Firstly, the governments and officials are highly supportive of the upskilling initiatives. In our experience, we observed that if you go to them with the right plan and purpose, the officials are ready to work with you towards the outcome. On the other hand, the majority of the students are unaware of the opportunities they have and how to get ready for them. They’re becoming enthusiastic about learning these advanced technologies once we make them aware of 4.0 technologies.

8. What are the next steps for iB Hubs?

Going further, we’re looking forward to scale up our upskilling initiatives in 4.0 technologies and entrepreneurship. We’ll focus on supporting our existing startups in building world-class products and nurture student entrepreneurs through our flagship iB Hubs Startup School program.

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Free Press Journal