Dean – Academy | Newly Established Upskilling Institution
NGS Global secured an exceptional candidate to lead the pedagogical practice at a technology training academy.
Founded in 2000 by a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, our client was a global not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development. In response to the vision of India’s prime minister to incorporate know-how of emerging technologies like AI/ML, blockchain, cloud computing, and digital technology into day-to-day government operations across India, our client set up a technology-focused training academy in 2020.
The objective of this academy was to upskill senior policy makers, bureaucrats and technocrats with relevant technologies and their application to their respective ministries, departments, agencies and missions.
Our client was looking for an accomplished technology practitioner and corporate trainer to establish and run the pedagogical aspects of this training academy. Since the majority of upskilling was intended for those working in the higher echelons of the government, the ideal candidate would have experience of sensitizing and training senior executives on emerging technologies, their impact and nuances, and how best they could be deployed for improving governance.
This was a role that was not going to teach how technology worked but rather, how it could be used to solve the challenges faced by government, using case-based learning drawn from the participants’ own administrative areas.
The academy needed someone who had a sound grip on current and emerging technologies like data science, AI, digital infrastructure and cloud computing as well as their practical application. In addition to excellent communication and presentation skills, and an ability to carry oneself credibly with senior government personnel, it was important that the successful candidate had a keen interest in the intersection of technology and government/policy, ideally with some understanding of how government worked.
Above all, the person had to be motivated with giving back to society and making a difference at a national level, as what we had on offer was not another corporate job.
Strategy and Approach
We followed a structured process to scope out the talent landscape by focusing on four potential candidate types:
• Senior delivery leaders with private sector institutions that were focused on technology training for corporate executives
• Academicians with a significant portion of their career in training working professionals (and not students)
• In-house training leaders with large technology products or services companies
• Accomplished practitioners of modern technologies like data science, AI/ML, and cloud computing and importantly, with some experience of delivering training in these subjects to working professionals.
Our focus when approaching potential candidates was on the valuable contribution that the successful candidate would make to the way India was governed by imparting technology know-how to government personnel. Attracting interest from the private sector had some challenges, but we knew that the transformative aspects of the position would be exciting to the right candidate.
We were able to interest several exceptional individuals in the role, from where we presented a shortlist of five candidates to the client, out of whom one was offered the position. This person had 20 years of experience both as a data science and analytics practitioner, as well as a trainer and leader of training programs customized to large clients’ needs, all of it in the private sector.
Our NGS Global Value-Add
• Partner-led search execution helped in attracting the most suitable candidates.
• Close engagement with our client throughout the project enabled us to continuously refine our candidate evaluation process, thus ensuring that we presented only the most relevant candidates for the client’s consideration.
• Providing strategic inputs on the search strategy based on our market research.