The Upside Learning team is a mix of talented individuals from various domains with a shared passion for 'All things learning'.
I got my first taste of workplace learning at a shop floor of an up and coming chemical plant. I realized that on the shop floor, the workers learned only through doing their job and observing others doing theirs. After a few humbling experiences during my stint in automobile sales, I landed – almost by chance – into the workplace learning industry working in a dotcom start-up in 2000. Here, I noticed the similarities between Instructional Design and advertising. This fascinated me, and I got myself certified in Instructional Design.
A few years working in leadership roles growing that start-up propelled me to start Upside Learning in 2004 with the tagline - ‘Better Learning, Improved Performance’. And there was no looking back.
I have been fortunate to work with clients all over the world helping them achieve tactical and strategic goals on this wonderful journey. Over the last 2 decades, it has become my passion to help organizations derive real business impact from their learning and training initiatives.
I continue to learn everyday in the field and feel obliged to share my experience through speaking sessions, blogs, webinars and eBooks. I am humbled to have been included in the eLearning Industry’s movers and shakers list for a few years.
On the personal front, I am very excited to see my 11 year young daughter pick Tennis as a sport and commit herself to learning it and sweating it out on the court.
With over 18 years of experience in the eLearning industry, Sonal heads the content services team of 100+ eLearning specialists at Upside and is responsible for successful execution of all projects and solutions delivered by the team.
Sonal builds on her earlier experience of working in different domains including Graphic Design, Instructional Design and Project Management to innovate and create better learning. She has been instrumental in augmenting Upside's portfolio by introducing innovative solutions and services.
Sonal holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Symbiosis (her most recent achievement), a Post Graduate diploma in Journalism & Mass Communication from Symbiosis, a Dual Diploma in Web Engineering from Arena Multimedia, and a Bachelor's degree in Physics specialising in Photography & Mass Communication from Fergusson College in Pune, India.
With over 12 years of experience in eLearning and mobile learning development, I have worked on a a large number of HTML- and Flash-based projects, Mobile App development, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality based projects, eBooks.
At Upside Learning, I have architected and developed HTML-based course frameworks for multi-device responsive curriculum. With my work on myriad of projects, I have gained mastery in adhering to eLearning standards like SCORM, AICC, and xAPI, Web standards like WCAG, Section 508, and WAI-ARIA, and integrating them into different Learning Management Systems.
At Upside Learning, I have the greatest opportunity of constantly looking for new technologies and tools to help define efficient technical solutions and improve internal standards and processes.
I hold an Engineering Degree in Electronics and Telecommunication from the University of Pune, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Wireless Technologies in Mobile Computing from C-DAC.
An HR manager with over 6 years experience, Dhawalshri manages and administrates the organisation's HR function. She plays a crucial role in end to end HR activities such as developing & implementing policies & procedures; taking care of employee welfare, compensations & benefits, statutory compliances, employment laws, and overseeing recruitments. She has extensive hands-on experience in delivering effective employee relations services to employees of all levels and in bridging a healthy relation between management and employees.
Dhawalshri holds a MBA in HR from MIT, Pune. An avid fan of Indian Classical dance forms, she is a trained Kathak dancer.
“Change is constant, and so is learning” is a motto that I live by. I believe that if you stop learning, you stop living.
15 years of working in the eLearning space, has given me rich and diverse experiences in myriad of domains. I have worked on more than 200 projects of varied sizes, technologies and tools. My experience includes eLearning courseware development of different levels, Web and SharePoint based development along with Mobile Apps. I have had the chance to get well-versed with all phases of learning development life cycle, and have hands-on experience in visual design strategies.
Over the years, I have worked with companies and clients based out in America, Canada, Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and India.
I have been responsible for the day-to-day control and administration of Upside Learning's fiscal operations and statutory compliances since 2009. I also support the management in budget development and handling long term financial planning for the company.
With over 20 years of finance and accounts experience, I began my career in 1998 working for a Public Accounting firm that specialized in local government auditing, accounting and consulting services, where I worked for seven and a half years. I also worked for various MNCs and handled the finance and audits for them.
I hold a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting and Taxation and enjoy travelling and reading in my free time.
I have worked in core IT system administration for the past 11 years. At Upside Learning, I ensure that the team works on a robust and high performing IT infrastructure, manage server migrations, information and data security, cloud-based services migration, process compliance implementations and disaster recovery. I have been instrumental in developing the entire IT team, setting up metrics and processes, and inculcating a culture of visibility, accountability and transparency in operations. Part of my job is to manage vendors for hardware and software services, ensure 100% adherence on software licenses and high user satisfaction for internal stakeholders.
Other than work, in my free time I love to go on a hiking expedition, go swimming and do some gardening.
With over 9 years of graphic design experience, Mahesh Shinde currently leads Upside Learning's Graphic Design team.
Mahesh is responsible for the graphic design function. He is responsible for delivering and maintaining the high standard of graphic and visual design across all projects executed by Upside Learning. He is also responsible for training his team and keeping them abreast of the latest technologies and trends.
Bachelor's degree holder in Applied Art, Mahesh enjoys travelling and watching movies in his free time.
While doing my graduation in Mechanical Engineering and crunching engineering formulas, I found solace in writing poetry and short stories. I realized that I enjoyed the beauty of the written word much better than the numerical formulae. My inclination for storytelling and writing made me switch from engineering to advertising and marketing communications.
I started off as a design engineer, learning the concept of design thinking, aesthetics, simplicity and usability of any design on my way. I did my PGD in Marketing and Diploma in Film Making. I then migrated full time towards marketing and communications to help brands create engaging campaigns for their products and services. While working for two different start-up advertising agencies I helped them successfully acquire and service top notch national and international brands across various Industry verticals like Education, Health Care, FMCG, Real Estate, Travel & Hospitality, Manufacturing and others.
I am involved in the marketing function for Upside Learning and come with over 12 years of work experience in marketing and corporate communications, brand management, strategic planning, copy writing, film and animation production, conceptualizing and implementing marketing & advertising campaigns across various channels.
I believe that technology is only as good as the people using it, so it’s my job to keep track of the company’s knowledge base and implement regular process improvements. My responsibilities also include; conducting project risk assessment and mitigation action planning with the project manager; using best practices and coding standards; conducting reviews and providing feedback; focusing the team to ensure an on-time delivery of the agreed products; monitoring progress on a day-to-day basis for all team activities; and ensuring deliverables are prepared to satisfy the project requirements, cost, and schedule.
In my leisure, I like to unwind with trekking, photography, and music.
Sandip has over 10 years of experience in eLearning and software testing domain. He has worked on more than 70 projects with different technologies and tools, such as HTML, Flash, Articulate Storyline, Captivate, Lectora, etc. for multi-device platforms. His work experience includes web & mobile app testing, eLearning courseware compliance, and accessibility testing (SCORM, AICC, and xAPI) on different Learning Management Systems.
Sandip is well-versed with all phases of software development & testing life cycle, and has hands-on experience in various testing methodologies like Functional Testing, GUI Testing, Database Testing, and Regression Testing.
Sandip heads the team of Quality Executives at Upside Learning and is responsible for maintaining quality on all projects, and reviews all quality and audit reports to ensure that quality standards and consistency are maintained. He plays a key role in setting and improving internal standards and processes.
Sandip holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from University of Nanded, India.
I come with more than 20 years of experience in Digital Learning & Technology solutions with extensive experience in Visual and Experience Design development. I started off as a digital learning visual designer and have developed numerous projects for Corporate and K12 domains for fortune 500 organizations.
I am a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and have worked as an Onshore and Offshore Senior Project Manager & Delivery Head in my career. Considering the business needs at Upside Learning I was instrumental in setting up the Europe and Asia Pacific Business Unit and Development Team.
Over the course of my career, I have worked with global customers and acquired vast knowledge in various markets like United States, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. I think my strength lies in the ability to provide the right solution to key business stakeholders, leaders, and decision-makers.
After some fun stints in field sales and computer hardware, I landed in the eLearning industry in the early 2000s, a time when instructional designers made the entire courseware all by themselves. My co-evolution with the industry took me places and taught me things. From wine-tasting courses in Europe, to focus group testing for Japanese school students, to working with schooling families in the US, to collaborating with ex-military veterans, to working on workforce development programs on a global scale, my profession sure has been a rewarding one. Conceiving and establishing various methods and tools in companies globally, one of my personal favorites has been inter-cultural orientation that was taken by a variety of individuals when I coordinated with an ever growing global pool of talent on a constant basis. Developing school, college, and corporate learning, I was happy to observe corporate learning consumption in practice during a recent staffing stint from a user perspective in a company.
Believing in the ‘never stop learning’ attitude, I love having conversations with people on what makes them curious, committed, and confident. I’m amazed to see how its significance plays out even in my personal life as my daughters grow and navigate their learning and experiences: be it my older one’s script writing, or the younger one’s horsing around. My involvement with improv theater helps me go off script at times for exploring newer perspectives. Blessed with an amazing team to work with at Upside Learning, it’s always an exciting day, seeing how scores of learning challenges are identified and solved.
As AVP Business Solutions for Upside’s business in USA, I am responsible for ensuring that Upside Learning’s customers receive an exceptional experience. Delivering exceptional customer experiences is something I have always been focusing on. I am passionate about customer advocacy and I consistently endeavor to generate continued growth for Upside Learning through customer acquisition, retention and expansion.
I have over two decades of experience in sales management, executive relationship management and customer success, with expertise in Digital Content Services, I have a keen interest in emerging technologies.
Prior to Upside I have served as AVP Business Development at Indecomm Digital Service APAC and US geographies.
I have done my Bachelor of Computer Science Degree from the University of Mumbai.
Being a voracious reader, enjoying playing tennis and outdoor activities are my thing.
Even though I walked into the Instructional Design domain quite by accident, it has been 15 years in the making. Having worked across diverse functions like Operations, Learning and Development, and Human Resources, I found myself gravitating towards projects and initiatives that involved breaking down concepts to create models that were both actionable and measurable.
Instructional Design allows me to focus on these solutions, and apply them to the area of adult learning. I'm deeply interested in “humanizing” learning experiences by designing for simplicity; and the past 6 years have given me the opportunity to apply this design philosophy to learning interventions across varied industry sectors like technology, banking, finance, aviation and NGOs.
On the personal front, I enjoy exploring history and philosophy - whether it's through reading, or watching content online. My 13 year old – with his constant curiosity and novel perspectives – keeps me on my toes. Exploring the world through his eyes has been both my biggest challenge, and my go-to way of de-stressing.
Being in this industry for about 10 years, I've got an opportunity to extensively work with clients across geographies and domains.
Project Management has always been my passion. Over these years, I've executed a vast number of projects and handled about 60+ clients across various domains. My journey from an Associate Project Manager to the Delivery Manger/Relationship Manager has been truly exciting in terms of new learnings. I strongly believe that team work and collaboration is the key to successful Project Management.
It is exciting to be a part of the Upside Learning team with like-minded people and super-creative teams around. My role at Upside Learning involves Key Account Management, Project Delivery Management, strategic collaboration with the Sales team, active involvement in Pre-sales, and constant focus on quality of deliverables.
I have earned my Masters in Business Administration Degree from the University of Pune.
I like to spend free time in doing creative activities like crafts and portrait paintings. Love spending time in nature and listen to music.
I started my career with Upside Learning and have been looking into the overall client account management for 13+ years now.
Over the years, I have executed hundreds of projects for clients located in the USA, the UK, Australia, Singapore, the Middle East and India from the education, banking, finance, healthcare, training, manufacturing, soft skills, and aviation industries. The projects included product training, process training, application training, compliance training, game-based learning, and mobile solutions.
As a Delivery Manager, I look into the overall account management and ensure that the right levels of service and quality are delivered to the clients. My responsibilities also include guiding a team of project managers, and I am also responsible for the profitability for my unit and for engaging with prospects to work out solutions/proposals for new projects from time to time.
I have earned a Master's in Business Administration in Systems degree from the University of Pune and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from MIT, Pune.
I got my first insight into the eLearning domain quite by chance – a fortuitous meeting on a flight with a fellow passenger. This chance encounter was an eye-opener and it certainly piqued my interest. As I read more about the domain, it caught my interest and I took up my first stint in the industry 5 years ago.
It has been an exciting journey full of learning since then. Having stayed in Europe for more than 2 years while pursuing my master’s degree in management, I developed a good understanding of the culture of the region and dynamics of the market. My association with Europe has continued since then, seeking business opportunities in the L&D market.
At Upside Learning, I aim to explore further and expand our presence in the UK and Europe. I am well experienced in Business Development, Client Engagement and Account Management, having worked with customers across the world. Having a passion for solutioning and a keen interest in emerging technologies, I aim to assist customer’s in coming up with innovative solutions.
On a personal front, I am an ardent Football fan and am fond of reading/watching Science Fiction. I love being outdoors and exploring places – whether it’s trekking, going on Safaris or going for road trips on my motorbike or car.
My passion for learning goes back to my school days when my parents introduced me to learning and thinking tools. Mind-mapping my way through post graduation, I discovered my penchant for Instructional Design on the other side of a Life Sciences degree.
Having stumbled upon ID, the last 8 years have seen me immensely appreciate the power of research and analytical skills in ID and learning design - right from analyzing business requirements to going beyond the stated challenges to crafting meaningful interactions - crucial steps towards making well-informed design decisions that remain relevant in the fast-changing workplace of today.
This and the changing face of L&D and of the nature of work itself - all keep me hungry for innovative learning interventions rooted in human-centered design and smart ID. And I am thrilled that my role at Upside Learning feeds me opportunities to explore these and to contribute to impactful solutions.
At Upside, I’ve had the chance to work on unique ID solutions involving scenario-based learning, microlearning, gamified learning, and campaign-based interventions. All different projects, approaches, industries, and geographies—yet each being driven by what I like to call the ‘People-Content- Environment’ triad, a common denominator for any learning intervention. The chance to co-author an eBook on Compliance Training has also broadened my understanding of perceptions in and of L&D as I continue to learn and work in this dynamic space.
With a Master's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Bremen, Germany), I'm certified in Advanced ID and Project Management (IT) from Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning (SCDL, Pune), and am currently excited to dive into some more learning programs.
If not working or learning, you’ll find me perched over a drawing board working on my Mandala art, or over my Guitar strumming some (easy!) favorites.