Masai School founders Nrupul Dev, Prateek Shukla and Yogesh Bhat
TheNFAPost Podcast
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Mumbai, NFAPost: Masai School, India’s first career-focused alternative education startup, announced its first-ever acquisition of Bengaluru-based design institute Design Shift Academy.

The acquisition will help strengthen Masai School’s existing curriculum by introducing comprehensive learning programs on UI & UX Design, and Product Management, taking the company from a coding-centric to a career-focused learning platform.

Masai School currently offers programs in Full Stack Web and Android Development and follows the ISA or Income Sharing Agreement model which offers learners the ‘Study now pay later’ option. The company recently closed its Series-A round of funding at USD 5 million in the month of March 2021.

Founded with the ideology that “institutes should be equal stakeholders in student outcomes”, Masai School’s vision is to be able to help young professionals launch their careers in a field of their choice, irrespective of what background they come from. Through the Income Share Agreement (ISA) model, the company is continues its efforts towards democratising access to quality education.

Sharing his thoughts on Masai School’s first acquisition, Prateek Shukla, Co-founder and CEO, Masai School, said the acquisition of Design Shift Academy is a first for Masai School, and is a significant milestone in its growth journey.

“Having made our mark as a coding-centric platform, we now aim to sharpen our focus towards becoming a career-focused platform. We are happy to collaborate with Design Shift, who will bring to Masai School the expertise and knowledge of the UI/UX design space, and in turn help create holistic learning programs,” said Prateek Shukla.

He further added the collaboration between software professionals and designers in tech and IT companies is a streamlined process, however, it is largely fragmented at the moment.

“There is a growing need for coders, be it frontend or backend, to understand how UI and UX design works, and drive products in the right direction. With this, we look forward to making design education a multidisciplinary aspect through this acquisition,” said Prateek Shukla.

Prateek Shukla said Masai School hopes to continue innovating across its learning programmes, and achieve the company’s vision of being the most trusted platform for students to come and start their career.

Design Shift Academy, Bengaluru was established in 2017 by Preeti Sheokand and Sudhir Mor, both UX designers. Offering weekend skilling courses in UI/UX Design, this boot-strapped company started as a home-based business with just 8 students, and today has a student base across India and countries like Turkey and Australia.

The company currently has a 15 member team of designers who work full-time jobs and teach design over the weekends.

Speaking about Design Shift and the acquisition, Design Shift Academy Cofounder Sudhir Mor said when Design Shift Academy started, there were only a handful of design institutes, and the demand-supply gap was much skewed.

“The tech industry was also evolving, and the role of design in tech products was gaining significance. However, most design aspirants did not possess industry-relevant skills, posing a challenge for companies to find the right talent. Our aim was to enable aspirants with the right skill set, and focus on the actual science of design and the role of human intervention,” said Sudhir Mor.

He said it was this outcome-driven approach that aligned with the vision and mission of Masai School, who were already betting big on factors like inclusivity, accountability, and accessibility.

“The rigour and the outlook with which Masai School was looking at the industry were reasons enough for Design Shift to find conviction in this acquisition. We are happy to join Masai School and are hopeful of positively impacting careers of the country’s future tech workforce,” said Sudhir Mor.

Design Shift will continue to focus on its own goals and operate under its own umbrella post the acquisition by Masai School. The new design programs to be introduced by Masai School will include six projects with portfolios and live projects which offer learners the experience of collaborative work between digital designers and software developers.

On completion of the course, learners will receive assistance in portfolio preparation and review, mock interviews and job placements. The company also aims to introduce programs in Product Management.

Masai School is a 21st-century career-focused skill-building school that offers a variety of learning tracks such as Full-Stack Web and Android Development with programs on UI, UX, Data Analytics and Product Management being launched in the next few months.

The company follows the ISA model which allows for students to ‘Study Now and Pay Later’. Till date, Masai School has graduated over 200 students across 8 batches, with a placement rate of 91% at an average CTC of Rs 6.75 LPA.

With a core focus to empower aspiring professionals by focusing on discipline, attitude, problem-solving and logical capabilities; we are working to create professionals who are capable of navigating the unknown and desired by the best tech companies. Masai School’s hiring partners include Samsung, Sharechat, Urban Company, Instamojo, Airmeet, GlobalLogic, Lendingkart, MPL, Nobroker and Paytm.

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