WPP and the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI), which is into arts and design vocational education, have joined hands to establish ISDI WPP School of Communication in Mumbai.
This is WPP’s second education initiative globally, after it established the WPP School of Marketing and Communications in China in 2011.
In Mumbai, the institute will offer what is billed as 'India’s first professional three-year undergraduate diploma program in communication'. The course will be based on a work-study model bringing together academic and creative curriculum combined with practical application, informed a WPP statement.
The admissions process is underway and the inaugural batch will have 60 students. Among industry practitioners to engage and mentor students will be Ogilvy & Mather's Piyush Pandey, JWT Encompass' Roshan Abbas, GroupM's CVL Srinivas and Genesis BM's Prema Sagar. The statement added that WPP and its companies worked with ISDI to develop the curriculum and hire full-time faculty. Radha Kapoor, founder and director, ISDI, will lead the school’s board of directors.
An executive council has also been set up to oversee functioning of the three-year program. WPP India representatives on the committee are country manager Ranjan Kapur, country finance director Paul Mower, and Madhukar Sabnavis, vice chairman and country head of discovery and planning, Ogilvy & Mather.
Reasoning the initiative, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP, said, “Amid strong growth in the wider economy and, more specifically, in our sector, India is facing a pronounced talent shortage, one that is expected to become even more acute in the future.”
Ranjan Kapur said, “We employ approximately 15,000 people (including associates) and on an average, we need 3,000 new recruits every year, including replacements and first timers and this school is just a small beginning. We hope to expand this to be able to cover a significantly large part of our requirements and turnout 400 to 500 young men and women every year from our school. Our first batch of 60 students is just the beginning.”
ISDI commenced in July 2013, in association with Parsons The New School of Design, New York.
Radha Kapoor, founder and executive director, ISDI, said, “WPP and its companies are known for their world-class internal training programs. WPP will share its experience in developing such programs and making them relevant to ISDI and its students. Upon graduation, students will have a solid academic background and creative skill sets, providing them with good employment opportunities in our industry.”
Graduates will receive a three-year UG certification from ISDI and WPP, in addition to a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Mumbai, IDOL (Institute of Distance and Open Learning).
Kapur said that WPP hopes to replicate this model in more cities, starting with New Delhi.