New Delhi, 17th June 2021: upGrad, South Asia’s largest online higher education company announces the appointment of three senior hires to strengthen its leadership team in the UK and the US.
Tom Atkinson joins upGrad as VP for Sales and Partnerships in the UK. Atkinson brings with him a wealth of experience in international expansion, having led the successful sales growth of edtech businesses ITPM and Ducere Global Business School. At upGrad he will be responsible for strengthening the business’s foothold in the UK, Europe, and Middle East. This will include launching upGrad’s B2C arm in the region, developing industry partnerships across sectors, and creating innovative new B2B offerings.
Joining Atkinson in the UK, with a strong track record of leading the growth of some of the most successful scale-ups in Europe such as Paddle, GoCardless, and Skrill, Octave Auger joins upGrad as VP for Growth in the region. Passionate about LifeLong education and upskilling, Auger 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.
Across the pond, 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 as the edtech company scales up operations in this region. Prior to joining upGrad, Edgell spent the past four years building an award-winning in-house marketing agency at the National University System (NUS) in San Diego. Prior to joining NUS, he held marketing leadership positions at fast-growing companies and agencies working across the education, technology, and health and wellness sectors. Edgell holds a degree in Economics from Brigham Young University, Idaho, and completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tom and Octave at such an important juncture in upGrad’s growth journey”, said Saranjit Sangar, CEO – EMEA, upGrad. “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 Tom and Octave’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.”
Tom Atkinson, Vice President – Sales and Partnerships for UK, upGrad said: “upGrad has huge growth ambitions and I am joining at an exciting time as we make further inroads in the UK. The UK is synonymous with quality education, and we are poised to help UK universities reap the benefits by exporting services to geographies all over the world where demand is high. It couldn’t be a better time to help our new partners unlock this potential.”
Octave Auger, Vice President – Growth for UK, upGrad said: “With a huge global demand for outcome-driven, lifelong learning upGrad’s blend of unique content and engaging technology could help a new standard for higher education. upGrad occupies a unique space in the market by combining the excellence of academic education with the real-world knowledge from industry experts, offering a fantastic springboard to help universities reach more global students and help these students reach the career outcomes they desire. I look forward to driving this growth across the UK, Europe, and the Middle East.”
The new hires join upGrad at a time when the global entity is aggressively strengthening their foothold across geographies, with the UK and the US at the heart of their growth ambitions.
Talking about the growth plans and new US appointment, Karan Raturi, General Manager, North America, 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 Aaron 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.”
“Quality, learner-focused, online education is the future, and upskilling is more relevant now than ever. I am excited to be part of the dynamic upGrad team who are making a positive impact on people’s lives and look forward to driving growth in the US and, most importantly, driving meaningful career outcomes for our future learners,” concluded Aaron Edgell, Vice President – Marketing for North America, upGrad.
upGrad has been expanding its global presence by leaps and bound and in its recently held company meeting announced that it aims to close March’22 at Half a Billion Dollar Revenue Run Rate.