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Tech Mahindra's ex-CEO Gurnani joins upGrad's board of directors; Here's why

ISN Team
New Update
cp gurnani joins upgrad board

Edtech unicorn upGrad has announced the appointment of C.P. Gurnani, former CEO and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra, as an Independent Non-Executive Director. 

According to the company, Gurnani's tenure begins in January 2024, marking a significant addition to the upGrad board.

Who is C.P. Gurnani?

CP Gurnani is the former CEO and Managing Director of Tech Mahindra. He joined Tech Mahindra in November 2004 as the President, where he headed global operations, sales & marketing & competency and solution businesses. He also held a foundational role at HCL Perot JV.


As part of the joining, Grunani will focus on global expansion, leveraging upGrad's strong market presence. Gurnani aims to transform upGrad into a highly export-oriented product, tapping into both B2B and B2C markets. He emphasizes the importance of smart content and individualized learning trajectories for diverse learners.

Commenting on the development, C.P. Gurnani said, “It's interesting to observe how upGrad is reversing the pyramid, empowering millions, and addressing the rising demand for upskilling, particularly in times of AI. It is creating a talent pipeline for the world, and I am committed to guiding them on building more smart content and individualised learning trajectories for learners from diverse backgrounds and geographies. I intend to work with the Board and mentor the management to set audacious goals that align with positioning upGrad as the global smart content factory."

upGrad's strategic direction

“We have laid our business roadmap for coming years and are set to embark on a journey of driving sustainability. There’s a very strong demand coming out of global economies for constant learning and the pedagogy we have built is witnessing wider acceptance and getting deep-rooted with every passing year. Learning, skilling, and workforce development continue to enjoy a reputation of being one of the very important & transformative sectors of the 21st and 22nd centuries. Aware of our sound growth, we are actively deploying a well-structured governance model - guided by leaders who are aligned to support upGrad’s development over short-term gains,” said Ronnie Screwvala, co-founder and chairperson at upGrad.

Expanding the board

Gurnani joins the board as the second Non-Executive Director after Chegg’s Dan Rosensweig. The board now comprises seven members, including founders Screwvala and Mayank Kumar, and representatives from investors Temasek and International Finance Corporation. 

Focused on global expansion

While the company is present in 10 countries, upGrad now aims to expand its global footprint and balance its B2B and B2C offerings. It plans to invert its current revenue break-up from 80% B2B and 20% B2C to a 40-60 ratio in the next two years.

Despite doubling its turnover in FY23, upGrad faces the challenge of widening losses, which increased by 67% to Rs 1,142 crore.

Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD of upGrad, said the company focuses on achieving profitable growth and long-term investment in the skilling, careers, and job placement sectors.

He claimed that upGrad is on track to be operationally profitable by the second half of FY24 and continues exploring growth opportunities in Asia and globally. Notably, upGrad achieved unicorn status in August 2021 and has since acquired several startups, positioning itself strongly in the edtech sector without resorting to layoffs.

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