Recipient of the ASEAN Achievers award, Divya Jain aimed to address certain gaps in employment that not just adversely affected the youth of the country but also the Indian economy. She co-founded Seekho, an ed-tech startup which is a video-based social platform to help address these issues and fill the gaps.
Jain also conceptualised the first mobile container skill schools in India and has helmed several government contracts while leading several spaces in logistics.
In an interview with SheThePeople, Divya Jain talks about her ed-tech platform, the employment gap still prevalent in the country, how AI can help drive upskilling, and what makes her function as a leader in technology.
Divya Jain Interview
What led you to start Seekho? Was entrepreneurship in this space a conscious choice or did it happen organically?
The decision to start Seekho was a conscious choice driven by my passion for addressing the issue of unemployment among the youth of the Indian subcontinent. Over the years, I witnessed the challenges faced by young individuals in finding suitable employment despite having potential. This inspired me to create a platform that could bridge the gap between job seekers and employment opportunities. Entrepreneurship in the ed tech space felt like a natural fit, as it allowed me to leverage technology and innovation to provide scalable solutions to a pressing social issue.
You’ve been working for the past ten years to provide a solution for the massive unemployable youth of the Indian subcontinent. What kinds of problems have you come across when it comes to unemployability?
Over the years, several challenges pertaining to employability have made themselves evident in the Indian job market. These include a persisting skill gap emerging as a consequence of a lack of an education system that encompasses relevant industry skills, limited access to opportunities for upskilling and re-learning, and limited exposure to practical learning, which can be crucial for professionals and students to self-assess their knowledge while gaining practical experience.
Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach that combines skills development, access to quality education, and industry collaboration to bridge the gap between job seekers and employment opportunities.
In your opinion, how can AI change the game in learning patterns and education standards? Are there any major changes you've encountered lately?
AI has the potential to revolutionise learning patterns and education standards in several ways. It can provide personalised learning experiences, adaptive assessments, and intelligent tutoring systems that cater to individual needs and learning styles. AI-powered platforms can analyse vast amounts of data to identify knowledge gaps, provide targeted interventions, and offer real-time feedback to enhance learning outcomes.
Additionally, AI can automate administrative tasks, enabling educators with time to focus on personalised instruction and mentoring.
AI can also facilitate the development of immersive and interactive learning experiences through virtual reality and augmented reality. It is now important more than ever to make your career decisions wisely so that your career is future-proof.
The pandemic compelled us to move towards digital platforms even in education. With the rise in ed tech platforms in the country, do you think we can revamp age-old education patterns?
In the era of digital transformation, our focus on leveraging technology and innovation sets us apart as a disruptor in the education landscape. Our ed-tech platform is not only driven by a strong social mission to address unemployment among the youth but also operates with a clear vision of profitability. We work closely with industry leaders, employers, and educational institutions to understand the evolving needs of the job market. This enables us to make students ready for what the future demands.
How can personalised learning through AI and data-driven approach upskill the youth?
Advanced technologies such as AI and ML enable various advantages that can drastically improve learning experiences for students and professionals. Everyone is unique, and the process of learning can greatly differ from person to person. AI-based learning systems can provide educators with useful insights into every individual student’s learning process, abilities, and progress, allowing them to customise their teaching methods according to a student’s needs. Ethical, secure and transparent processing of students’ data can enhance every area of study. Further, AI-enabled chatbots can provide personal help and guidance for students, helping improve their motivation to keep learning.
As a leader yourself, how do you suggest the Indian market can empower more women in leadership positions?
To empower more women in leadership positions in the Indian market, it is important to prioritise gender diversity in recruitment and provide equal opportunities for career growth. Promoting flexible work policies and fostering a supportive work culture can create an environment where women can thrive.
Establishing mentorship and sponsorship programs, driving policy and regulatory changes to drive inclusion, and celebrating and showcasing women leaders are crucial steps towards achieving gender equality and empowering women in leadership roles.
From when you started to now, what factors have impacted your growth as an entrepreneur?
Throughout my journey as an entrepreneur, one factor that has significantly impacted my growth is the power of perseverance. Starting from the early stages of my career, I encountered numerous challenges and obstacles that tested my determination and resilience. However, I firmly believed in the vision of addressing the issue of unemployability among the youth, and that belief propelled me forward even during tough times.
Another factor that influenced my growth as an entrepreneur is the ability to adapt and embrace change. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and being open to new ideas, technologies, and market trends has allowed me to stay ahead of the curve. It has enabled me to pivot, innovate, and identify emerging opportunities that have contributed to my growth as an entrepreneur.
Lastly, maintaining a relentless focus on learning and personal development has played a significant role in my growth as an entrepreneur. Continuously expanding my knowledge, honing my skills, and staying updated with industry trends have empowered me to make informed decisions, take calculated risks, and navigate challenges effectively.
How do you think women’s entrepreneurship can help bridge the gap in the market and establish equality in the true sense when it comes to the business world?
Women's entrepreneurship contributes to economic growth by directly creating job opportunities, generating income and stimulating innovation. A diverse and inclusive market results from more women entering the business world. Traditional gender roles and stereotypes are also challenged by increasing women's entrepreneurship, which helps to change societal perceptions, encouraging more women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and empowering them to take on leadership positions. Their unique perspectives and experiences can lead to the development of innovative products and services that cater to diverse consumer demands. Women entrepreneurs serve as role models and mentors for aspiring female entrepreneurs, providing guidance, support, and inspiration.
Mentorship can help bridge the confidence gap and provide the necessary tools and knowledge for success, encouraging more women to enter and excel in the business world.
Women's entrepreneurship fosters networking and collaboration among women in business, creating a support system and empowering them to share resources, experiences, and opportunities. This networking helps to overcome barriers and challenges, facilitating growth, and establishing equality.
What advice would you give aspiring women entrepreneurs in your field?
Women embarking on a similar entrepreneurial journey like mine must always remember to believe in themselves and have confidence in their abilities. It is vital for women to pursue their passion and choose a field that aligns with their respective interests. When you are passionate about what you do, it fuels your motivation, resilience, and determination to overcome challenges and build a successful venture. Continuously learn and stay updated with industry trends, build a strong support network of mentors and like-minded individuals, and embrace failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.