IPL 2020 : upGrad CEO Arjun Mohan to InsideSport, ‘we want to reach to masses via IPL 2020′

upGrad, one of the India’s largest online higher education company is betting big on the upcoming edition of T20 League – Indian Premier League (IPL), scheduled to commence on September 19th, 2020. In a move to accelerate the adoption of technology and online higher education, upGrad has got into a high-value deal with Star India, to run their latest ad-campaign across TV and the OTT platform Hotstar throughout the tournament. This marks upGrad’s first major sports association and the on-boarding of India’s largest higher edtech player on the Dream 11 IPL 2020.

Commenting on the association, Arjun Mohan, CEO – India, upGrad said:

“IPL enjoys vast viewership across the globe, not only for cricket fans but also for all members of the house, making it perhaps the largest co-viewing property in the world. It is also the most opportune occasion to reach out to individuals reminding them about the urgency to upskill and prepare themselves for the forthcoming competitive world”

InsideSport spoke to Upgrad CEO Arjun Mohan to check about their plans going forward –

Insidesport- What is the goal from your association with IPL; the kind of ROIs you are expecting, the kind of reach etc?

AM- From an Upgrad perspective, we are a company which have been growing at a healthy pace. This year a few things happened for instance- the covid 19, job losses and unemployment in the last couple of months.

But we think the time has come to take the leap and establish Upgrad as a mainstream product. This has been the entire marketing focus in Upgrad for the last few months. IPL provides the perfect platform to promote por products and gives brand visibility. There has indeed been a dull phase but with IPL, we believe all that will get sorted.

Insidesport- IPL 2020 has almost 200 advertisers on board; do you feel the advertising space is too cluttered?

AM-When you have great advertisement vehicles or properties, every brand will vye for it. What is happening with IPL will happen with CWC or some Bollywood niche movie. Ethically, it’s true, the customer gets frustrated with so many ads.

But the idea with IPL, or cricket events, the slots or the commercial break are very restricted, only a 40 sec window, but just with the sheer amount of people watching the sport, even if our ad has a reach of a fraction of it, it’s still a step ahead for us. We have great creatives and have received great response from our target market as well.

Insidesport- Naam ki Naahi Kaam ki Degree; What is the idea for this tagline, the driving force behind this?

AM- This was not just created overnight. It was created after doing a lot of consumer research, talking to a lot of learners. The idea is, be it an educated person, or someone who has completed his graduation or masters, when they are approaching for a job role, they are being told that whatever they have learned is not relevant to the skillset required for the job.

Upgrad stands for doing courses that will help the customers to get employed. To emphasis, the value proposition, this is to get our customers employed unlike big institutions like IITs or IIMs which gives you degrees. Our courses are also structured specifically with our trainers undergoing special courses and keeping the learners of Upgrad up to date with the industry standards.

Insidesport- Byjus, Unacademy have acquired big market assets; does Upgrad also have a similar roadmap?

Upgrad is a fairly younger brand and we will that we need some more time to do high profile branding. Currently, we need to tell our story of what Upgrad is about.

Once we reach the next stage where people know what Upgrad is that is when we can go for static branding. For example branding on cricket grounds,or branding on jerseys etc or an associate sponsor. We hope to get there in another six months.

Insidesport- This is Upgrad’s First association with a live sports event on a major scale like IPL; any more plans in the near future?

AM- We believe we are at a point where we can become a mainstream brand that’s why we are going sports heavy

Our plan to promote branding, jersey branding will be a constant and ensure that every customer who isn’t aware of such a brand, we make sure they know that we exist through our branding.

Insidesport- If given a chance, which IPL team would you sponsor?

AM- RCB