Tajdin at Keeron: Shaping the future of upskilling

March 26, 2024

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In an era where digital transformation is reshaping every industry, Md. Tajdin Hassan stands as a luminary in navigating this evolution. Currently leading Keeron, an upskilling platform in Bangladesh, as the Chief Operating Officer, Tajdin’s journey is marked by a diverse array of experiences in multinational corporations and a passion for educational initiatives. Today, we have him with us to talk about his journey so far at Keeron.

Having amassed over 17 years of experience across various multinational corporations, transitioning into the edtech sector must have presented a unique set of challenges. Tell us about your decision-making process that led to this shift and what motivated you to embrace these challenges within the edtech realm.

In the corporate world, we often talk about having a purpose in our lives. But it’s not always like people will discover their purpose at the beginning of the journey – some do it before their career starts, some discover midway, while some find out once their career ends. In my case, there is a certain thought which provoked me to find this purpose.

I have noticed that the young generation entering the job market doesn’t have adequate support and mentorship. Back when I was a fresh graduate, I didn’t have any such opportunity at all. Now that there are resources and programs, people are getting confused about which path to pursue, and which platform to take help from. Often, opportunities seem to favor a select group of highly skilled individuals, leaving behind many talented yet less polished young professionals.

This imbalance, where potential remains untapped due to the lack of grooming and skill development, is the place where I wanted to contribute something and address this problem. This is where Keeron comes into the picture. The vision behind Keeron was to create a space where the untapped potential of young professionals could be shaped with the right opportunities. My journey was more about aligning my professional path with a purpose that resonates with me, than a career shift.

Do you think Bangladesh is ready for edtech? How long will it take for the market to become ready?

Before answering this with a simple yes or no, I think we need to look back at the journey so far. In the last decade, the economy, the infrastructure, and the digital penetration required to provide a ground for the edtech industry have evolved. Having an overall community supporting to lay this foundation is necessary, and we are having it. However, I think it will take another few more, maybe around ten years, for the edtech firms to reach more milestones; the ones that are looking at the bigger picture, and working for a bigger purpose, will sustain.

How do you envision overcoming the digital divide to make edtech accessible to all, especially in rural areas?

That’s an important issue to address. The government and the private sector need to come together to play a crucial role. Our government has launched the Smart Bangladesh vision, and this kind of agenda is good to be there. However, the true challenge lies in the execution and measurement of our progress against the set goals. The challenge is to assess how well we have performed in reference to the goal we set.

That’s where we have a lot to do. With the vision of Digital Bangladesh, our goal was to increase internet penetration. We need to solve more issues, like ensuring that rural areas have access to good internet, for example.

If we can go to the grassroots level and execute it properly, that will decrease the gap. For this synergy to happen, the dedication of the private sector is essential for making edtech a universally accessible tool, empowering all society segments with equal opportunities, and minimizing the divide.

Walk us through some of your key learnings since you began your journey in Keeron.

Firstly, it’s fundamental to assess the market, and come up with a product market fit – that’s a must. If the product will be scalable, if the monetization level will be satisfactory – for that to happen, you need to understand the market well. Secondly, start small. Don’t go on a hiring spree if your roles are not justifying the responsibilities of your edtech, and serving the purpose of your company. I have always tried to follow the lean startup methodology. Third, no matter how good candidates you hire with the most valuable profiles, if there’s no culture within the organization, it will be tough to sustain in the long run. Lastly, it’s important to strike a balance between growth and profitability. One must have the mindset to grow profit from day one.

What are some upcoming milestones that Keeron is looking forward to achieve?

We are looking forward to two milestones – launching a cohort based learning system from January next year, and launching Keeron Junior. We have previously launched pre-recorded courses, and realized that cohort based learning gives a more engaging experience for completing the program. Regarding Keeron Junior, we believe that children need to be well taught, and well mentored from an early stage which will help them shape up their future and also build a cohesive society in the long run. So, this is an initiative that will give them the platform to begin the journey at a younger age.

Do you believe that more entrepreneurs need to dive into this field to make the market bigger, or is it already saturated?

Bangladesh is a very good market to tap into, for any edtech. There’s still a lot of scope and opportunity to thrive, but we also need quality players in the market. When the edtech firms are building the right product with proper quality and serving the bigger purpose, there is a lot of scopes for more players to come, and ensure growth for the industry.

Have there been any mentors in your career who have significantly impacted your leadership approach at Keeron?

In my career, I’ve been guided and influenced by many, each of whom has significantly shaped my approach to leadership at Keeron. Locally, Ayman Sadiq is someone I follow. As one of the pioneers of the edtech vision in our country, his guidance has been invaluable. His journey, challenges, and success in the edtech landscape have provided me with a lot of insight into the sector. I take a lot of inspiration from the Indian edtech scene, particularly platforms like Growth School and UpGrad. Their innovative models, strategies for engaging learners, and ways of integrating technology into education have provided me with a broader view of what’s possible in this space.

The original interview was published in Yonkers Observer which is an American daily newspaper magazine based out of San Francisco.

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