Startup Circle: How is Scaler Academy creating and upskilling future coders?

By : |October 23, 2020 1

Scaler Academy: Today, all of us are surrounded by technology. Millennials are growing up with different gadgets and applications. Computers, smartphones, gaming devices, and more are all a part of our lives. All of them operate through codes. Therefore, coding has emerged as a new literacy. It has become a fundamental language in this digital age.

Thus, the idea behind Scaler Academy is a much-needed push towards adopting Coding. Co-founder, Abhimanyu Saxena charts out the journey and the future of the startup.

What is Scaler about?

Scaler is an upskilling platform by InterviewBit that enables both students and working professionals to unlock their talent. Our offerings cater to tech-enthusiasts in university (Scaler Edge); young working professionals  (Scaler Academy); those looking to transform into future CTOs and entrepreneurs (Scaler Plus). The meticulously structured programs which vary from 6 months to 24 months, act as career accelerators by enhancing skills through offering a modern curriculum with exposure to the latest technologies.

Our students have access to over 1000 working professionals from top software companies across the globe including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and Twitter among others who act as instructors, teaching assistants, mentors and career coaches. Currently, we have over 2200 students and working professionals enrolled with us. We develop the Scaler programs as an inclusive ecosystem of engineers and mentors to help talent scale and build the next generation of global tech leaders.

Tell us about the team.

Both InterviewBit and Scaler were co-founded by Anshuman Singh and myself (Abhimanyu Saxena). Saurabh Saxena, our COO and serial entrepreneur Naren Krishna joined us very recently. He is the business unit head of Careers at Scaler. Overall, we are a team of 160+ people across Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai.

How did you come up with the idea?

I started my career with Progress Software as a Programmer. Later, I moved to as a Software Architect, where I worked for over three years. During my days at, I had to recruit new talent for projects. It turned out to be a tedious job. Even after screening hundreds of resumes and conducting interviews, we were only able to find the right talent in single digits. Almost 90% of the candidates we interviewed did not have the necessary tech skills for the job.

This was when I experienced the scarcity of skilled tech talent in the industry. Here, I realised the gap that exists between the university curriculum and the skills one needs to succeed as a software engineer. My co-founder Anshuman Singh, who was one of the early tech leaders at Facebook, had also faced the same challenge while recruiting talent for Facebook’s rapidly growing tech team.

In 2015, together, we started InterviewBit as an online training platform. It provided interview prep to aspirants to make them job-ready. Thereby, it also addressed the challenge faced by recruiters in hiring the right talent for the job. Later in early 2019, we launched Scaler as a full-fledged upskilling platform for students and working professionals. At Scaler, the pedagogy of the courses have been created and structured basis interaction with recruiters and industry leaders (CXOs). It helps understand what companies are looking for in candidates. Then, we train our students with those skillsets accordingly.

What is the trend that you have observed on the Scaler platform?

A vast majority of the workforce today gets little to no guidance and mentorship about what companies demand or require. Consequently, the lockdown and remote working environment made for an excellent opportunity to connect with peers and leaders across the industry to understand their requirements and expectations better. It has ended up accelerating the demand for upskilling. Both students and working professionals are now turning towards ed-tech platforms to either acquire new skills or re-skill to be ‘future-ready’.

The pandemic has affected every sector. How are you coping?

We have seen a 127% increase in the average session duration on the Scaler platform in the last six months (Apr’20 to Sep’20) of the pandemic as compared to earlier (Oct’19 to Mar’20). The number of sessions held per user has also witnessed a 200% increase with students now spending more time engaging with platform content.

We see a lot of traction across all our three programs – Scaler Edge (for university students), Scaler Academy (for early tenure professionals) and Scaler Plus (for mid tenure professionals). The college companion program, Scaler Edge, is especially seeing tremendous interest from engineering students. We launched our first batch last month, and we got a phenomenal response for it with 5x oversubscription.

What is your business/market growth?

We are quite happy with the way we are growing and how this year is shaping up for us. The company’s revenue has grown by more than 180% in Quarter 1 of FY 2020-21 as compared to Quarter 1 of FY 2019-20 amid the current pandemic situation. Further, we are aiming to double our growth in the current year.

How important is coding for all age groups?

Today in the digital age, coding is considered basic literacy.  As technology increasingly becomes embedded in our way of life, coding will become an indispensable part of our lives. For instance, until a few years ago, the majority of people considered coding, a skill limited to Computer Science students. But today it has become ubiquitous. More and more non-tech positions require coding as a qualifying skill.

Take, for example, Business Analysts and Financial Analyst roles – quite a few organisations today expect their analysts to use computer programming to mine data and unearth value from it. Likewise, Web Designers are also now doubling up as Web Developers to effectively put their designs into action.

What are your post-Covid plans?

We believe this is the “new normal”. Things cannot go back to how they were in the pre-pandemic world; at least in the education sector. In a competitive world where technology is changing industries every single day, individuals need to reskill themselves at regular intervals to stay relevant.

Hence, from now on, upskilling is likely to maintain the prominence it has gained in the lockdown. We believe that ‘industry-academia’ partnerships are the way forward for the education sector.  We also think ‘learning and development’ modules will gain more prominence in organisations in the months to come. As for us, we will continue to expand our reach and product portfolio.

Please share funding details.

We have raised a total of 21.5 million USD in investment to date – 20 million USD in Series A Funding & 1.5 million USD as part of the Sequoia Surge Program. We are backed by marquee investors like Sequoia India, Tiger Global, Global Founders Capital and Rocket Internet along with several high-profile individual investors.

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  1. Bert van Hijfte
    #1 Bert van Hijfte 23 October, 2020, 11:50

    Many will work in an international environment. What about soft skills and intercultural competence and intercultural communication skills in particular?

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