PW’s Maheshwari Takes Over As IEC Chairperson, UpGrad’s Mayank Kumar Quits

Mayank Kumar

Mayank Kumar, the Co-founder and Managing Director of edtech unicorn upGrad, has stepped down as the Chairperson of the India Edtech Consortium (IEC), a self-regulatory body formed under the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) for edtech entities.

Taking over as the IEC Chairperson will be Prateek Maheshwari, Co-founder of PhysicsWallah, an edtech unicorn.

The IEC was established to uphold three fundamental principles for edtech companies: prevention of product misselling, ethical marketing and communication, and responsible financing policies.

Mayank Kumar, who had been leading the IEC alongside BYJU’S Co-founder Divya Gokulnath since 2022, cited the growing demands of upGrad as the reason for his resignation. In an email sent to IEC members on September 12, Kumar expressed that upGrad’s expansion required more of his time and attention, which he couldn’t balance with his co-chair responsibilities.

The IEC’s creation was prompted by the rise of controversies in the edtech industry, ranging from misleading advertisements to aggressive loan selling practices. As the edtech sector in India flourished during the Covid-19 pandemic, concerns about its practices also grew.

To address these issues, the IAMAI established the IEC to enforce ethical standards and ensure fair dealings within the industry. Last year, the Independent Grievance Redressal Board (IGRB) was formed as part of the IEC, with retired Supreme Court Judge BS Chauhan as its Chairperson. This body is dedicated to addressing grievances, including those filed by edtech learners.

The IEC aims to promote responsible practices within India’s thriving edtech landscape, where growth and ethical conduct are crucial for the industry’s sustainable development.

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