WPP recently forayed into the Indian educational sector with Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP inaugurating the ISDI WPP School of Communication in Mumbai in partnership with Indian school of Design and Innovation. Exchange4media speaks to Radha Kapoor, Founder and Executive Director at ISDI, who is also credited for bringing New York-based ‘Parsons, The New School for Design’ to India. Excerpts:
How long did you take to build this partnership with WPP? And what was the idea behind starting this Communication school?
Sir Martin Sorrell visited our campus while he was in India in August last year. He was very impressed by our vision and infrastructure facilities. He said he needed to hone talent for his company here in India. So together we decided to launch the ISBI WPP School of Communication. It will offer students a three year undergraduate programme. The idea was that we have mentors coming in from the industry like Piyush Pandey and Roshan Abbas from the top WPP group of companies. Together we developed the curriculum for this. Our classes started in August and when Sir Martin Sorrell came recently we had the ribbon cutting ceremony for the campus.
How involved has the WPP been in putting together the curriculum?
Just like Dr. Indu Shahani-- our academic chair-- Ranjan Kapur, the country head of WPP India has been very involved right from day one. We have had several committees, round table meetings with the representatives from WPP. We have had a lot of brain storming sessions to come up with this curriculum, together. It would be unfair to say that it was just us or just WPP which did all the groundwork. It is a partnership in the true sense of the word.
Does an entry into the ISDI WPP School guarantee an entry into the WPP agencies after graduation, according to the programme?
That is the idea. But I don’t know if 100% of the graduates would go to the WPP companies. However that is one of the commitments why this school was set up because Martin Sorrell said they needed more talent pool from within India. So basically at ISDI we train the students for what the industry really requires.
How different would this be from any other Communication school?
We wanted to develop a new age model of education where the students are industry ready and have real world experience, work on live projects and internships, where people coming in from the industry can give them first-hand experience and the students can aspire to work hard towards working for these prestigious agencies in future.