Creating IT Expertise Ecosystems in Russia

Mail.ru Group

4. Quality Education

Overview

The company offers free IT education to the general public ranging from schoolchildren to adults. The innovation in the offered courses is that they create an educational ecosystem and pass knowledge about new technologies. This ecosystem creates a culture of knowledge sharing, involving external and internal expertise and extends it to young people who are interested in developing IT technologies. The level of influence of such a market leader as Mail.ru Group is very high, so we can safely say that the company is contributing to the UN's Global Goal # 4 "Quality Education".

Authors

Iskander Ibragimov

Iskander Ibragimov

Arina Shadrina

Arina Shadrina

Alena Sorvina

Alena Sorvina

Anna Kocharyan

Anna Kocharyan

Malika Sadykova

Malika Sadykova

School

National Research University Higher School of Economics

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Professor

Ekaterina Ivanova

Ekaterina Ivanova

Innovation

Mail.ru Group uses its own resources to educate students. They develop IT throughout the country and share knowledge. Such type of training is offered totally free of charge. Of course, there is a competition for each program, which can be entered by students with the necessary level of training. But despite this, the company tries to make open courses, lectures and maintains its own channel on YouTube to teach and train students.

Department of organizational development in Mail.ru Group sets up the programs within an existing educational system. Each year they visit different universities, schools, and other locations to share awareness about their offers and innovations. All of these activities are aimed not only at maintaining the company's brand, but the main mission is to help develop its knowledge by all available means and make it accessible to anyone.

The company supports the 4th UN Goal "Quality Education". A better world could be achieved through online platforms that create opportunities for learning, which is extremely important in COVID times.

Creating IT Expertise Ecosystems in Russia

Inspiration

"The inspiration for creating the concept of affordable learning came from understanding the situation around the world of technology. This is a dynamic and fast-growing environment that has a huge impact on the world as a whole. Mail.ru Group as a leader in IT could not ignore the importance of maintaining the transfer of knowledge within itself and outside," told us Miron Puzanov.

Certainly, IT is a thriving area today and it is developing quite quickly. Indeed, a giant like Mail.ru Group sets trends. The main trend of the day is the opportunity to train your staff, and not only staff. Mail.ru Group has gone further and now offers to develop IT skills within its project for free, which makes its contribution to sustainable development more significant. Miron proves that the dynamic world has inspired them to share knowledge, at the same time it is key to the success and development of Mail.ru Group now and in the future.

Overall impact

"The company offers online courses via Coursera, Stepik, YouTube, and other platforms that make quality educational content accessible to young students and adults. The courses, which are delivered by our employees and well-known IT specialists, offer practical skills, insights from the IT profession, and career advice.", told the interviewee.

Throughout the year ambassadors from partner universities act as official representatives of Mail.ru Group in their home city and universities, telling other students about the Group, the IT industry, new technologies, and IT education. Ambassadors develop skills in communication and management, as well as soft skills with digital skills, and some of them then take part in new product development processes. Over the last two years, Mail.ru Group has taken part in more than 900 events (434 in 2018/2019, more than 470 in 2019/20).

The company has developed a special program for technical university students in which Mail.ru Group evaluates and develops the technical skills of students. Every year Mail.ru Group welcomes more than 150 of the best students as interns and employees.

The short-term benefit is an increase of employer brand awareness and the long-term benefit is the inclusion of talents in Mail.ru Group's team.

Business benefit

The main business value is attracting talented students to the promising IT business. The company also creates conditions for employees who want to teach, thereby supporting their involvement and interest in the sharing of knowledge.

In a short-term strategy, it may seem that the company can only waste efforts on people who already are interested, but this is not the case. Mail.ru Group invests in the human capital, increases the loyalty of the ecosystems, educational institutions, and their stakeholders to their company, which indirectly increases their capitalization in the long term.

Also, more than 150 of the best graduates of educational initiatives for technical students are now interns and employees in Mail.ru Group. Digital Camp welcomed 93 students, while 140 joined VK’s Digital Media course. The Ambassadors program has produced more than 100 ambassadors from 45 universities this year.

Social and environmental benefit

First of all, educational projects are an excellent social lift for future specialists. Lacking skills and experience but possessing basic knowledge and desire, talented “freshmen” have the chance of getting into one of the largest IT companies in Russia and the world to build the necessary skills.

Secondly, the company improves the level of education in the country, fulfilling a social function. Regardless of whether in the future students will work at Mail.ru Group, the market is replenished with specialists.

Also, Mail.ru Group uses modern technologies for the education process instead of books and papers, which is more eco-friendly nowadays.

Mail.ru Group launched the CharityTask project, in which employees of different divisions of the company use their expertise to solve various problems of non-profit organizations and help them pro bono in developing strategies for promoting projects, selecting and creating IT solutions to develop and increase efficiency.

Mail.ru Group invests in Uchi.ru - the leading Russian service for students who want to study subjects, prepare for exams, and take part in Olympiads online. The share of Mail.ru Group in the project at the start will be 25%, in the future the company will be able to increase it through options.

The Uchi.ru platform is the leader of the Russian market for online school education: on it, users can learn basic subjects for free or with a subscription - mathematics, Russian and English, and others. In addition, on the website, you can learn programming and goal setting, prepare for school exams, and participate in Olympiads.

Interview

Miron Puzanov, Educational Project Manager Department of organizational development, educational projects, Mail.ru Group

Photo of interviewee

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Mail.ru Group

Mail.ru Group

Moscow, Central Federal District, RU

Business Website: https://corp.mail.ru/en/

Year Founded: 1998

Number of Employees: 5001 to 10000

Mail.ru Group is the largest internet business in Russia in terms of total daily audience. Mail.ru Group is developing the leading domestic internet communications and entertainment platform. The company is focused on creating services that make users' lives easier and better. Also, it invests in technologies, supports scientific and research projects, and offers grants. Mail.ru Group actively cooperates with the leading educational institutions: employees give lectures at schools and universities, contributing to secondary and higher education.