Learn with Leaders is the rapidly growing, education company with a unique business model and promising value proposition.
Shubham Gupta is one of the company’s co-founders. We had an opportunity to talk with him about the company, his journey and his views on education and educational value.
One of the things that makes Learn with Leaders stand out is its focus on building networks and mentor relationships with career and academic leaders while students are still in high school – giving them exclusive learning opportunities and personal connections.
We asked Gupta what was about that, or the mission of his company generally, that drew him in.
“I was a student who spent most of his time outside the classroom,” he said. “So, for me learning was more actionable and experiential and I wanted to see what I have read in my textbooks in action. But I realized none of my classrooms provided this kind of learning. And even being in one of the top schools of the country, I realized that it was still caught up with the 15th century education method of rote learning,” he said.
“The first real life experience came to me only after college, when I started my first venture,” he said. “And in these seven years of my entrepreneurial journey I asked myself why I didn’t start this practical learning much earlier, then I realized that this is not only my experience but a structural issue with the entire education system,” Gupta added.
In that experience, learning best by seeing and doing, Gupta is far from alone.
“That is when I decided to launch an experiential learning platform for high school students today known as Learn with Leaders,” he said.
Considering the explosive growth of the company, especially so early in its history, we asked when it was that he realized he was on to something big, that he may have unlocked a big need in education. “To be honest,” he said, “I knew I was on the right path when I launched Learn with Leaders and I never doubted it because I had personally felt the hunger for such a learning experience and it was the need of the hour.”
Just now a year into the venture, Gupta added, “Having these students create a global network at such an early age and taking these friendships forward after the program and collaborating to come up with new projects and implementing these projects – that’s when I realized for sure that we were on the right path because students started accepting the fact that learning can be experimental, learning can be collaborative, learning can be fun,” he said. “And in the end, it’s not a competition, rather every student is a winner – and that’s our approach at Learn with Leaders.”
Considering his seat on education’s global stage, we also asked Gupta about his views on education in general – what one thing in education he would change or fix if he could, and why.
He said, “The education system today must focus on skilling individuals with market relevant, futuristic skills.” That too is a refrain we hear often.
“The mismatch between what academic institutions teach and what the market demands needs to be narrowed and a better synergy between the two needs to be developed. This should entail learning with sufficient market exposure, field activities, and mentoring systems with professionals attached to students. This will give them the power to truly explore their personality and gain from the experiences they add to their basket,” Gupta said.
Finally, we asked what he saw as the next steps for Learn with Leaders.
“We at Learn with Leaders really believe in problem solving and project-based learning,” he said. “And we want to create a borderless education system that will accentuate and deliver those. Right now, even though we’re already working with more than 10,000 students across 80 countries, we are looking to expand our reach and the aim is to make this new form of learning accessible to more than 50,000 students in the coming year.”
Given what they’re doing and the response Gupta and his team are already receiving, a 5x growth path in the next year does not seem even slightly unreasonable. Gupta and Learn with Leaders are both worth watching – not just to see if they get there but to see what else they accomplish along the way.