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WPP & ISDI partner to launch communication school in Mumbai

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MUMBAI: WPP and the Indian School of Design and Innovation (ISDI) have joined hands to establish the ISDI WPP School of Communication in Mumbai. 

 

Located on ISDI’s state of the art campus in Mumbai, the ISDI WPP School of Communication marks WPP’s first foray into the Indian education sector. The partnership will help create India’s first professional three-year undergraduate diploma program in communication based on a unique work-study model that will bring together a strong academic and creative curriculum combined with practical application.

 

The admissions process is currently underway through an online application form. The school recently hosted its first Accepted Students day where students and their parents had an opportunity to interact with the leadership team and faculty. The inaugural batch will commence in August 2015 with the first cohort of 60 students.

 

The ISDI WPP School of Communication is WPP’s second education initiative globally. In 2011, WPP in partnership with the Shanghai Arts and Design Academy established the WPP School of Marketing and Communications in China. The program has just successfully completed its fourth year with 220 students enrolled. 

 

WPP and WPP companies, which are globally recognized for their in-house training and development programs, have worked closely with ISDI to develop the school’s curriculum and hire full-time faculty. ISDI founder and director Radha Kapoor will lead the school’s board of directors. 

 

Additionally, senior staff from WPP companies will serve as part-time faculty and act as mentors. Internship and training opportunities will also be provided to students. An Executive Council has also been set up to oversee the smooth functioning of the three-year program. ISDI is represented by HR College dean Dr. Indu Shahani, ISDI directors Radha Kapoor and Siddharth Shahani and WPP India by country manager Ranjan Kapur, country finance director Paul Mower and Ogilvy & Mather vice chairman and country head of discovery & planning Madhukar Sabnavis.

 

While the list of visiting faculty will be marked by Ogilvy & Mather executive chairman and national creative director Piyush Pandey, Encompass Events managing director Roshan Abbas the program directors will include the likes of Sabnavis and GroupM for South Asia CEO CVL Srinivas among others. 

 

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell 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. As the leading communications group in India and the world, WPP is committed to helping India to further develop the already high level of creative and professional talent in this sector.” 

 

Speaking on the supply-demand gap for fresh talent in the industry, WPP India country manager Ranjan Kapur added, “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 400-500 young men and women every year from our school. Our first batch of 60 students is just the beginning.” 

 

Committed to introducing a new education model, ISDI had welcomed its founding batch in July 2013. Founded by Kapoor in association with Parsons The New School of Design, New York, ISDI’s partnership with WPP will help create the right mix of design, innovation and effective communication that will shape the careers of future industry leaders.

 

Kapoor said, “The joint establishment of the ISDI WPP school to nurture world-class creative talents and the development of a new model in the collaboration between colleges and companies is a new exploration on the path of higher vocational education for the ISDI. 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.” 

 

The School will offer students a three-year undergraduate program, wherein, the first year comprises basic marketing and communication subjects and the second and third year offers students four major specialisations to choose from- Advertising and Communications, Media, Activation and Digital Marketing and Public Relations. WPP Lectures will run from Monday to Saturday, in the afternoons. Throughout the three years, students will be taught and mentored by top professionals from WPP and the industry, will work on live projects, build a portfolio, develop practical work skills, and have the opportunity to intern with WPP companies and get international exposure through student exchange and study abroad programs.

 

Graduates will receive a three year Undergraduate Program 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).

 

Going forward, Kapur says that it will hope to replicate this model in more cities. “We would like to take it forward and open another branch in New Delhi in the future,” Kapur said.

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