Sonya Hooja- Transforming Careers Across Various Industries

Sonya Hooja Imarticus Learning

Imarticus Learning is a technology-driven educational institute that has immense expertise in transforming careers across industries such as financial services, analytics, and AI, business analysis, and core technology. Having educated over 35,000 individuals, they have also pioneered the concept of professional degrees, “Prodegrees” in collaboration with global giants such as IBM, KPMG, Genpact, Rise Mumbai by Barclays, Moody’s Analytics, Motilal Oswal along many others to revolutionize learning by allowing aspirants to acquire skills demanded by the industry.

Since its inception in 2012, Imarticus Learning has evolved into the preferred sourcing, training, and skill development partner that caters to the human capital and up-skilling needs of over 120 firms, which include leading KPOs, global and domestic banks, consulting technology, and analytics firms such as HDFC Bank, BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Aditya Birla, KPMG and Accenture amongst many others.

In a talk with Ms. Sonya Hooja, Co-Founder and COO at Imarticus Learning. She shared her journey till now and how Imarticus Learning is transforming businesses.

Brief us about your journey till now

My journey as an entrepreneur began with Imarticus Learning back in 2012. I am happy to have devoted so much of my time, effort, and soul to making Imarticus Learning the success story that it is today. Along with my Founder, Investors, Stakeholders & an entire bunch of Imarticans, we have built an internationally recognized professional Education brand from the ground up. In less than a decade, our organization has positively influenced thousands of lives and careers along the way, much to the benefit of India’s citizens and growing national skilled workforce requirements.

Being a woman business leader has undoubtedly brought with it unique workplace challenges and tribulations. However, by staying focussed and motivated to exceed expectations and perceived limitations, and with the support of my amazing family, co-workers, and employees, I have been able to make huge strides, both personally and professionally, during my relatively young entrepreneurial journey.

What were the initial challenges you faced? 

Imarticus Learning decided to establish Imarticus Learning at a time when the phenomenon of professional education was just about gaining massive traction, so the industry competition was building up. Just like any other bootstrapped start-up, we had to bring in everything we could within our capacity.  To create a niche for ourselves, we had to identify the professional specializations that we could significantly contribute to, with our flagship Investment Banking Certification Program (CIBOP) initially leading the way for us in terms of business and revenue growth. Imarticus Learning invested, developed, and drafted the program’s curriculum and method of training delivery, to ensure that CIBOP would be exactly what aspiring Banking & Finance professionals need to become job-ready and launch successful careers.

Which was that point that triggered the growth of Imarticus Learning?

There are several, but I would rate the immense success of our Certified Investment Banking Operations Professional (CIBOP) program, our expansion into Tech and Analytics professional training, the close business partnerships we have forged with world-renowned organizations and institutions, and the rapid tech adoption to address the recent surge in demand for online tech-enabled learning, as some of the key trigger points for business growth.

If we are going to be part of the solution, we have to engage the problems.

Majora Carter

What is the reason behind Imarticus Learning’s long-standing success?

We have managed to identify the exact industry skill gaps, particularly in future tech skills, and train young professionals to meet the talent requirement of the corporate world. This has resulted in a phenomenal placement record, giving us the reputation of perfect education brand for ‘Future Tech Skill Education’ & employment. Besides this, the fact that we have consistently delivered on our promises to our students and business partners, be it in terms of quality of learning, facilitating job placements, and expanding our portfolio of educational offerings to cover rapidly-growing industrial specialization, is what has kept Imarticus Learning in good standing.

What are the products/services Imarticus Learning focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?

We focus on ‘New Age Careers’ & ‘Future Skill Careers’. Essentially, we provide keen learners and corporate clients with world-class tech-based professional training programs that comprehensively cover future skill sub-specializations in Finance, Technology, Analytics, and Marketing, empowering their industry knowledge and transforming them into well-rounded highly-skilled professionals.

While the competition is intense, we have had great success by distinguishing ourselves as a New Age tech-driven institute for professional learning with a proven track record of helping students launch rewarding careers.

How do you decide to take Imarticus Learning a step further in terms of your products/services? *

Evolution is natural, and we always strive to improve on our services and standards the more we learn in real-time. As things stand, our next moves to further our reputation and business interests will be bolder than what we have done in the past. We are actively expanding our operations and penetrating new international markets like the Middle East, North Africa, Singapore, and the USA. Our products and services will be modified to suit these markets accordingly.

Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?

A host of them. Soon, we will be launching MBA in Fintech, MBA in Investment Banking. On the Tech front, we are planning to introduce programs covering Cloud Computing & Cybersecurity. We have strong plans to further develop our ISA (Income Share Agreement) programs. Besides this, we are building a strong portfolio of products in collaboration with leading Indian & global universities.

Can you please brief us about your professional experience? *

My professional history includes stints as a Senior Analyst and Consultant at Accenture, a Business Analyst with Lehman Brothers, and the role of a Project Manager at ACS. I have been the Co-Founder & Director of Imarticus Learning since 2012, and I haven’t looked back since.

I would also like to highlight the wonderful experience I had while conducting workshops with the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore, teaching Key Consulting, Problem Solving, and Project Management skills, which would then be applied in their Advisory operations. My 7-month role as a Consultant for the Government of Brunei, wherein I provided Advisory services for the country’s Tourism and Education Ministries was another life-altering professional experience for me.

What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey? *

Playing a major part in the incredible journey that Imarticus Learning has had in such a short time is the highlight of my entrepreneurial journey so far. I believe that everything that I have accomplished and all the career milestones that I’ve lived through would not have been possible without my Imarticus family.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

Steve Jobs

How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?

We are very selective with our employment methods, and those who join us tend to stick around for the long haul. In return, I make sure that every deserving employee is routinely rewarded with a fast-track career growth that brings along handsome earning potential.

According to you, what are the main factors that businesses should focus on to be relevant in the market after Covid-19 outbreak?

If it wasn’t obvious before, it is now: Technology drives everything in the business world these days, and companies should willingly embrace cutting-edge tech solutions to remain competitive and offer their customers the best possible service/product they can realistically deliver. The ability to leverage the power of New Age Tech like AI, ML, RPA, Blockchain, Data Science, Data Analytics, Cloud Computing and much more will determine how successful a business can / will be.

According to you, what needs to be done to promote women entrepreneurship across the country?

I believe Women’s entrepreneurship is the sure-shot way to break all the glass ceilings. It’s encouraging to see so many women stepping up to be entrepreneurs. India as a society has taken great strides, particularly in the new millennium, realizing the need for 50% of the population to be treated as important as the other 50%. Today, we have several incentives by the Government to help women entrepreneurs. Besides monetary incentives, what would encourage more women to take the plunge in my opinion is special incentives for women from every walk of life including those from the Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns and socio-economically backward regions.

It’s a rat race out there. How do you cope with that?

Work-life balance. Despite being entrepreneurs, we as an organization encourage each one of our staff to strike an optimal balance. As for me, I believe in eating healthy, clocking the right amount of sleep, investing in physical & mental fitness, and most importantly, spending time with our loved ones.

Did You like the post? Share it now: