During our weekly Saturday ritual event, we had a little chat with Sourav Banerjee. He is the head of community relations at the online learning community – Learn For Cause. It is one of the biggest virtual professional learning communities.
He started this learning community with the major aim to promote open-source learning among the community by providing training, guidance, and awareness about the opportunities in the field of software and various others to students and professionals and providing them with the exposure to work into live open source projects.
Sourav has found his passion in building professional learning communities and serving people within these online communities of learning. He began his career as a campus ambassador and has worked in various roles in almost 17 different companies. He has successfully hosted and managed many events.
In this exclusive conversation with Sourav, we got to know:
- Sourav’s definition of community
- Business strategies for growing community members
- Content hacks for higher engagement
And much more… So let’s get reading!
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What Is His Definition Of Community And Community Management?
According to Sourav, a community is basically when a group of people with similar thoughts and skills join their hands together in creating something larger than their identity. It is something very big that creates value in the process and delivers value to other people as well who aspire to become a part of the community in the future.
Talking about community management, he tells us that it is a process of creating an authentic community where people talk about business-related communities. It is a way where business relates to its customers and creates a network where they can connect, share and grow their products.
Give Us A Little Brief About VYAM
VYAM is relatively a new initiative that Sourav has started. It is a brand aggregator where gym goals and gym builders are listed. VYAM is an aggregator and that too, it is addressing a community popularly known as the gen z community (the new age people). That is why they are in the process to create an overall fitness-related community that will be sponsored by VYAM.
They are building a brand-based community where they will be reaching out to different colleges in India and hosting different events related to VYAM and the overall fitness industry as a whole. They have noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions and disinformation spread across the fitness fraternity. So, through their VYAM community, they are somehow taking the initiative to clear all the misinformation which has been a part of the fitness industry for so long.
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What Is The Idea Behind His Learning Community?
Sourav had a lot to talk about Learn for Cause because it is something where he has cooked the entire idea. However, in the case of VYAM, it is still in the process of getting the raw materials.
So, talking about Learn for Cause, it is a student-led learning community for students, by students where they are hoping to upskill people. As of now, they have placed 500+ students in different startups and MNCs. The motto of Learn for Cause is to upskill the entire learning community with the concept of open source.
This is communicated very highly abroad but we do not see the same concept in India. So, through Learn for Cause, they are trying to solve that problem of making the world an open-source learning community. They are currently in collaboration with many different colleges in India, mainly the engineering colleges because open-source is related to the engineering world.
How Is Learn For Cause Structured?
They have a different hierarchy which they maintain when it comes to keeping the learning community alive. On the lowest level, they have different campus ambassadors in different colleges. They are the lowest level to start within a larger community. These campus ambassadors are led by a group of university leads. Followed by them, there are city heads and then there are state heads.
All these people are from the Learn for Cause community itself. From the company’s perspective, a group of executive community managers handles these people. These are the people who are forcing all the activities which the learning community is doing on a daily, monthly, or annual basis. So, that is how the whole thing works.
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What Are The Resources Each Person Who Joins The Learning Community Gets?
This is a very important thing that needs to be addressed. There are a lot of things that these people will be getting. They will be allowed to join the different live projects which are sponsored by Learn for Cause.
Learn for Cause also has a research domain where a lot of research is done. They are technical partners with different universities all over the world. They have also partnered with different research institutions based out of Berlin, San Francisco, etc.
So, people associated with their community get the opportunity to work on these projects and upskill their resumes in the process. Also, there are different events, workshops, and webinars that they conduct. Needless to say, the student heads and all these chapter heads continue to make the entire event successful.
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