EdpowerU - How this Startup is Helping Students and Professionals Reach Their Career Highs

One's workplace behavior has a lot  to do with one's performance and progress at workplace. How you deal with your colleagues and team, how you handle stress, your decision making power or your creative skills and innovative thinking, everything plays a crucial role in your career. While traditionally the focus was only on technical skills required for a job, of late the intangible skills required in the workplace is being given importance. Considering this requirement for development of non-technical, intangible and soft skills for career development, EdpowerU, a startup based in Mumbai is offering various programs for students, executives, managers and corporate leaders, to help them give and achieve their best at workplace.

EdpowerU Highlights

  • StartupName-EdpowerU
  • HeadQuarter (city)-Mumbai
  • Founder-Shubika Bilkha
  • Sector-Education, Training and Leadership Development
  • Founding Year-2019
  • Registered Company Name-ImpactU Edu Solutions LLP

About EdpowerU and How it Works

EdpowerU is a first of its kind initiative in India focused exclusively on workplace behavior and personal leadership development relating to the millennial and GenZ audience through specialized “Campus to Corporate”, “Career Enhancement” “Executive” and “Leadership Development”programs.

Their unique Workplace Behavior Assessment (WBA) developed by global experts in organizational behavior, works with universities, graduate programs and corporates with a view to assess candidates on the key intangible future ready workplace skills needed in their roles.

As specialists in workplace behavior through detailed insights and research on the development of the younger (millennial and GenZ) workforce, EdpowerU focuses on building intangible workplace skills, enhanced self-awareness and management, building emotional intelligence, and addressing the challenges of individuals towards career development and acceleration, and corporates towards improved performance, productivity and retention.

Their specialized Millennial Management Program is designed to work with leaders/managers as they navigate the changing dynamics of a young workforce to become partners of their millennial employees.

EdpowerU's 5 point coaching framework of Discovery, Identification, Challenge, Accountability and Transformation, based on the Co-Active model, is an intensive process of self-awareness with a view to enhancing personal effectiveness, finding balance, streamlining objectives, increasing personal accountability and driving individual development through a commitment to change.

Powered by experts from across industry and guided by the philosophy of ‘Educate to Empower’, Edpower-U is committed to raising the Career Quotient (CQ) and improving the personal leadership development capabilities of 1 million millennials by 2025.

EdpowerU - Market and Industry

At EdpowerU, the focus is on inculcating key workplace behavior skills and leadership development capabilities to drive individual growth, enhance performance, improve productivity and take individuals to the next stage in their professional journeys. Their work with executives, managers, leaders, entrepreneurs and graduates across industries to enable them to manage themselves, their teams, their workplaces and their careers in the 4.0 workplace. They focus primarily on millennials and the GenZ that today constitutes almost ~50% of the workforce slated to increase to 70% by 2025.

"In the age of the Fourth Revolution or the 4.0 world, we have found that as global connectivity increases, the on-demand culture emanates, machines get smarter, new media comes to the forefront, and mindsets, approaches and behaviors see a shift, an area of significant change is coming in the way we work, what defines work and the skills needed for the evolving workplace." quotes EdpowerU founder Shubika Bilkha

The World Economic Forum (WEF) identifies the Top 10 skills for 2020 as cognitive flexibility, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, complex problem solving, creativity, people management, collaboration, judgment and decision making, service orientation and negotiation. Forbes in their August 2018 report added some skills such as awareness and sensitivity, reading intelligently, communication, analytical, leveraging technology and learning how to learn in their recommended future ready skills.

Whether its feedback received from think thanks, or leaders such as Mukesh Ambani to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the future ready skills for the 2020 world are all largely non-technical or intangible in nature. It has been estimated that 60% of workplace success comes from those intangible skill sets.

In India, this is a significant shift away from our traditional educational ecosystem that has operated with a keen focus on building technical capabilities rather than individual workplace skills.

At EdpowerU through the extensive work with millennials and GenZs in the workplace, they have defined these key intangible skills that are slated to contribute to 60-70% of workplace success as follows:

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

  • Self- Awareness
  • Self- Management
  • Self- Motivation
  • Communication/Social Skills
  • Empathy
  • Resilience

Behavioral Skills

  • Business Etiquette
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Time Management
  • Navigating Difficult Situations
  • Relationship Building
  • Confidence
  • Commercial Awareness
  • Decision Making

Other Key Skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Problem-Solving
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • Creativity/Innovation

Founders of EdpowerU and Team

Shubika Bilkha, Amit Bose and Lina Bilkha are the Founding Partners of Edpower-U.  

Shubika Bilkha is a business advisor, entrepreneur, author, media spokesperson and leadership coach. An alumnus of Mount Holyoke College(USA) and Columbia Business School (USA), Shubika is an Associate Member of the Chartered Securities Institute (CSI) in the UK; and has completed the “Building Excellence in Higher Educational Institutions” program at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad. Shubika has rich experience of working with large companies such as Deloitte, and managing two early-stage start-ups in the technology and education sector. She has also experience of working in various positions in financial, e-commerce and real estate sectors in India and internationally. Shubika is also a published author.

Amit Bose, a mathematics graduate from Mumbai University, and an IIM- Ahmedabad alumnus, Amit has 40 years of rich and diverse experience in Senior Corporate Leadership roles and as an entrepreneur. Amit specializes in Strategy, Marketing and Consumer Technologies and has worked extensively in India and across Asia

Amit worked as President(Tata Teleservices), President (Reliance Infocom), CEO (Mattel India), Vice President (Pepsico, Asia Pacific) and Head of Marketing Foods (Hindustan Lever) to name a few. He also worked with Bakrie Telecom, and own and investee Startups in E-Commerce, Social Commerce, Mobile Platforms and Enterprise Messaging

Lina Bilkha, a graduate in German language and Psychology and post graduate in Linguistics, from Bombay University, Lina specializes in Inter-cultural Consulting, Executive and Life Coaching, Leadership and Talent Development, High Performance Team Building and Gender Diversity Consulting. Lina has over 25 years of experience of working with blue chip Companies in Financial Services, Technology, Telecom, Pharmaceuticals, Consulting, and Government Organisations. Lina has international certifications in Executive Coaching and Gestalt Training from the AoEC UK.

Lina's latest accreditation is of MEWS – A Managerial and Executive Wellbeing Survey from Eek. Lina is also Director India of Talking Talent ( a Global firm specialising in Parental Transition Coaching, Progression Coaching and Inclusion and Diversity Coaching)  and Cross Cultural  Consulting ( India and UK). Lina is also a member of the International Coaching Federation, the Mumbai Coaching Association and several Business Associations including IBG, CII and BBG.

Swati Patel Vasan is the Head of Business Development and Training at EdpowerU.  Swati Patel Vasan joined EdPowerU’s network with nearly 14 years of experience with the U.S. Federal Government, 11 of which were as an U.S. Diplomat with the U.S. Department of State.  While Swati was inducted as a Public Relations Officer, she has worked in several portfolios to enhance bilateral or multilateral relations between the U.S. and the countries in which she was assigned.  

In her last posting with the US Consulate, she oversaw all educational and professional exchange and cultural programs for the USG for all of Western India.  Once settled in India permanently, Swatiworked with an educational company as Director of Outreach.

Swati’s passion is people.  She taps into her experience in public speaking, negotiations, liaison work, mentoring, strategy, soft skills training, leadership and management programs, policy, marketing, etc. to enhance EdPowerU’s work focused on the millennial workforce.  

Making an impact and actively working on providing opportunities as they develop individuals to maximize their potential is the key motivational factor for all of the core team members.

How was EdpowerU Started

There have been a number of factors and influences that have contributed to the creation of EdpowerU.

The founding partners have been actively involved in the educational landscape in India having established key vocational training institutes that prepare both graduates to improve their employability, as well as executives and leaders to enhance their potential. It is through this insight and experience with key stakeholders across industry, corporates, educational institutions and the government that the gap in terms of honing these key intangible skill-sets was first identified.  

EdpowerU - Startup Launch

Before the launch, EdpowerU actively approached corporate and industry leaders, deans of educational institutes, presidents of industry bodies and the investor community across their extensive network for their feedback on the EdpowerU proposition. The team received an encouraging response from all stakeholders, as well as some very helpful insights on how they could build the business.

The market need for their offering has been so robust that they had customers and business opportunities on Day of the launch of the business. Their repeat customer rate has been extremely high and EdpowerU is growing steadily in this domain to establish themselves as specialists.

EdpowerU - Logo and Tagline

EdpowerU's tagline "Educate. Empower. EdPowerU" is driven by the fundamental belief that it is through an increased understanding and insight of oneself and one's environments, as well as by taking an evolved or educated perspective, everyone can be equally empowered to achieve their fullest potential.

EdpowerU - Business Model and Revenue Model

EdpowerU's revenue model is fee and license based.

EdpowerU - Startup Challenges

As a unique proposition that focuses on building workplace skills and developing individuals, EdpowerU envisioned some challenge when explaining their proposition to the customers. However, given the proven initial track record, the teams' domain expertise, the excellent client feedback that the company received, as well as the overall market need, the EdpowerU team has been able to overcome this proposed challenges.

EdpowerU - Competitors

There are a number of players both Indian and International who provide corporate training services and career focused programs. However, the landscape is extremely fragmented with global brands, business schools, as well as independent providers.

The formula of driving individual growth and development through self-assessment and awareness as a first step is what differentiates EdpowerU's offering. Their delivery methodology and interactive but practical learning formats make their programs relevant and engaging. Their extensive research on the characteristics of the generation they focus on has enabled them to develop the content in  a manner that resonates with the multi-generational audience.

Whether in group programs, individual sessions or web formats, it is EdpowerU's focus on the individual and addressing those personal challenges that has most worked in their favor.

EdpowerU - Advisors & Mentors

The EdpowerU team is being mentored by Industry experts like Siddharth Bhansali, Dr. Ann Means and Tina Trikha

Siddharth Bhansali an alum of the University of Southern California (USC), USA founded, a technology solutions and services company that focuses on enabling digital transformation for the enterprise. Siddharth has  experience of working extensively across the domains of Banking and Financial Services, Food and Beverage, Education as well as Retail and FMCG.

Siddharth also serves as a technology advisor and consultant CTO for leading Indian start ups such as StyleCracker, MissMalini and FoxyMoron. Siddharth believes that while India can generate technologists at at a very large scale, these technologists enter the job market with skills that limit their ability to deliver value.

Dr. Ann Means is MsC and PhD in Organisational Behaviour from Birbeck College, London and a BA in Modern Languages from Birmingham University (UK). Ann has 30+ years of experience in corporate consulting with research, training and government service. She specializes in developing the skills and knowledge essential for success in international business, in particular intercultural, team and leadership capabilities. Ann has experience of training and coaching individuals and groups across industries and locations worldwide.

Tina Trikha is currently head of communications and talent development for SeaLink Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Mumbai.  She has close to two decades of experience working with companies in the United States, India, and South-East Asia. Prior to SeaLink Capital Partners, Tina was Vice President of corporate planning and strategy at Godrej Industries Limited.  She also worked with Scholastic, a children’s book publisher and distributor in New York, and financial companies like McKinsey & Company (New York) and Credit Suisse (New York and Hong Kong

EdpowerU - Growth

EdpowerU have had an encouraging start since their inception earlier this year and have been growing steadily month on month. Their programs and offerings are increasing on a quarter on quarter basis, and they are seeing very encouraging traction across large conglomerates, fast growing SMEs, funded startups, industry associations and educational institutions.

Additionally, EdpowerU has a number of key affiliate organizations who are specialists both in India and globally in the realm of leadership development and training. These organizations work extensively with large companies across the world in sectors such the financial services, pharmaceuticals, professional services, technology, among others.

The focus for the startup is on industries that have a high component of millennials and GenZ leaders and EdpowerU are gradually building their expertise across the digital, technology/IT, financial services, FinTech sectors, to name a few.

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