upGrad fuels domestic expansion with senior hires; to enter 10th year of growth

Bangalore, March 15th 2024: upGrad, one of Asia’s largest integrated learning skilling and workforce development majors announced the appointment of Shailesh Mahale (former Zepto) as Corporate HR Head and Kumar Anshu (former OLX Group) as Head of Human Resource for Working Professional, Study Abroad and Offline segment. With this Vandana Kaushik Goel has been elevated as the Head of Human Resources for upGrad’s Enterprise arm.

In line with upGrad’s growing footprint and team strengths, these three key India appointments will augment operational efficiency and wider employee engagement across the organisation. With a strong background in HR technology and operations, including successful implementations of systems like PeopleSoft, SAP Success Factors & Darwinbox, Shailesh helped build Zepto in its initial months. Having also worked at other industry-leading brands like TCS, Dow Chemicals, and HDFC Life Insurance, Shailesh has been specifically appointed to drive Corporate HR transformation at upGrad.

In his current role, he will lead the Corporate HR functions encompassing operations & digitisations, Employee experience, Payroll & Compliance, and HR Audits, leveraging his extensive expertise to propel organisational growth.

With 15 years of diverse experience across Business HR, Consultancy, HR Strategy & Software engineering at Siemens, EY LLP, OLX and Wipro, Anshu bridges business and people needs effectively. In his prior role at EY, he project-managed and consulted GOI in the development of an e-learning organisation, demonstrating strong consulting abilities. He has also led large transformation & strategic initiatives as part of his earlier roles.

Vandana’s exceptional capability in change management has been pivotal in driving efficiency within the organisation, and her strategic acumen and leadership qualities position her as a driving force in advancing upGrad’s business goals. With over 17 years of experience in the HR domain across notable sectors such as education, software, and professional services, she will continue to lead HR business partnering across the entire Enterprise arm at upGrad.

Commenting on the road ahead, Saurabh Deep Singla, CHRO at upGrad noted, “With the rapidly evolving business landscape, it’s important that we bolster our HR capabilities to ensure seamless operations and an enriching employee experience. While our primary focus remains on driving career growth for our learners, maintaining a people-first organisational culture is non-negotiable. These strategic hires are not just tasked with traditional HR functions but would be instrumental in shaping the future of skilling and workforce development. Their expertise coupled with a deep understanding of technology and business needs, positions upGrad as a front-runner within the skilling ecosystem while also having it redefine how organisations approach talent development in the digital age.”

upGrad has bolstered its leadership team with key hires over the past 9-10 months, while also recording tangible YoY business outcomes. “upGrad is on the brink of entering a decade, marking an important year of growth for us. We’ve evolved from a small team to an organisation comprising nearly 5000 colleagues spanning across various states and nations. The increasing diversity within our teams, coupled with our shared goal of making upskilling a global reality, reinforces our faith in this institution,” added Singla.

Shailesh Mahale will be based out upGrad’s HQ in Mumbai while both Kumar Anshu and Vandana Goyal will oversee operations from Delhi NCR.