What went wrong with UpGrad’s Insofe in Gachibowli unit?

Over 800 students, who wanted to undergo training and get certified as data scientists by learning AI/ML suddenly found themselves of being ‘fooled'

What went wrong with UpGrad’s Insofe in Gachibowli unit?

HYDERABAD: Over 800 students, who wanted to undergo training and get certified as data scientists by learning artificial intelligence/machine learning suddenly found themselves of being ‘fooled’. Their natural intelligence was benumbed, leave alone gaining a qualification in artificial intelligence.

Insofe, a data science training institute, has been in operation since 2011. The company was founded by two technocrats with no mean qualifications or experience.

The company offers course of B.Sc in data science, postgraduate courses in mechanical engineering with AI specialisation, biomedical engineering with specialisation in digital health analytics; different other post-graduate programmes with specialisations in AI and machine learning; and MBA.

The company tied up with a few international universities.

Its founder Dr Dakshina Murthy V Kolluri is a post-graduate and a doctorate from the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University and worked as a data scientist in Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratories. His co-founder Dr Sridhar V Pappu did his post-graduation in material science and also Ph D from University of Texas, Elon.

Also Read: Software firm shuts down office in Gachibowli, dupes 700 employees

Insofe was acquired by Edtech company UpGrad in May 2022 on a share-swap basis for a consideration of USD 33 million (equivalent to 1.1 per cent of UpGrad at a valuation of USD 2 bn.)

With such robust background, the company has been training students. It used to stand guarantee to the students who would join various courses and deduct their stipend amount for paying the loans.

However, the company could not give salaries (stipend) to the trainees and in return could not pay the EMIs to the banks. It has branches in Bengaluru and Mumbai also. However, the news broke when students staged a protest in the office of Insofe on Tuesday in Hyderabad demanding the payment of their stipend and also clearing the bank loans.

Dr Dakshina Murthy, however, stated that the bank loans would be cleared in 45 days and no-objection certificates from the banks would be ensured to all students towards clearing their loan amounts. In fact, Insofe has opened a training company, Turing Minds, through which it is imparting trainings.

But, what went wrong in a company that has been imparting training to students for over a decade now. What’s puzzling is that this kind of a disturbance occurred in less than a year after the acquisition by Edtech giant UpGrad.

In fact, Newstap has been trying to elicit more information from the management about the issue.

When the techies launched a protest, the Cyberabad police were also informed. But, the techies, on being assured by Dr Dakshina Murthy and Dr Sridhar, backtracked and did not file any police complaint.

Dr Dakshinamurthy Kolluru and Dr Sridhar Pappu, President – UGDX, Institute of Technology (Formerly INSOFE) in a joint statement said: “We would like to clarify that we are not shutting down our offices or operations in Hyderabad. We remain committed to our presence in the city and continue to invest in our people and projects. However, we have discontinued one of our programs in AI and ML due to the global economic meltdown. This has resulted in the cancellation of some of our projects, which has impacted some of our trainees who had either self-financed or taken loans through our NBFC partners?

“We understand the difficulties faced by our trainees and we would like to assure them that their loans will be taken care of by us in the next 15 days. Moreover, they will receive the NOC from the banks within 45 days.

“Additionally, we have already cleared loans for 200 people, who have received their NOCs. We are making every effort to provide unwavering support to our trainees during this difficult period.

“To that end, we have set up dedicated zoom links, phone numbers, and email to address their queries and provide them with the necessary support. We are committed to continuing our operations in the city. Our company values its learners, employees, and community, and we are doing our earnest best to support them through this challenging time.”

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