AI Business recently interviewed Pranav Kapadia, Mergers & Acquisitions Lead at City & Guilds Group. Last week, Pranav led and completed the sixth acquisition for City & Guilds – of digital credentialing company Makewaves and its sister organisation DigitalMe.
City & Guilds Group operates across 80+ countries providing certification, corporate eLearning and Leadership and Management development training. Their clients include prestigious brands such as Rolls Royce, Vodafone, Barclays, Johnson & Johnson as well as public and private training providers globally and in the UK.
Pranav attended The AI Summit in London last month, so we were keen to get his thoughts on that, as well as his broader view of AI in the enterprise – and specifically at City & Guilds from an education perspective.


Pranav Kapadia city and guilds

Pranav Kapadia of City & Guilds


Pranav is assured that AI will have a comprehensive impact on the business world: “AI applications have the potential to develop new products and services across many sectors”, he said. “This could lead to hugely beneficial applications, such as robust image recognition software that helps improve security, or faster diagnoses of medical conditions. Businesses and consumers will benefit from advances in AI as computers self-learn by processing large data sets and improving the quality of decision making.


But the transition into an AI-enabled enterprise will not be seamless. As Pranav outlines three challenges businesses face as they look to incorporate AI, the financial side is at the forefront of his mind:

“Firstly, significant investment is required in technology to develop and deploy AI technology. Only large corporates will be able to support this development initially.

“Additionally, data available currently may not be sufficiently organised currently to maximise the benefit from machine learning. Corporates will need to invest significantly in data design to get meaningful insights on their data.

And finally, the people, as Pranav points out that “skill shortages could potentially further inhibiting adoption of AI”.


Discussion turns to The AI Summit, and Pranav tells us his key takeaways from the event – both for himself and his company:

“The key takeaway for me was the increasing adoption of AI for some areas such as IT support and the huge potential the technology has for the industry.

“At City & Guilds, the primary purpose is to support individuals into a job, on the job and in progressing to the next job. AI can help deliver tailored learning and assessments with applications such as Adaptive Learning. The event highlighted the rapid deployment of AI in other sectors and the potential of AI in education and corporate training sectors”.


City and Guilds Group



Thinking about the role AI has to play at City & Guilds in the near future, the focus is on delivering better learner outcomes, more efficiently:

“In the short term we would seek to build close partnerships with organisations that are successfully applying AI and improving learner performance using the adaptive learning/machine learning technology.

“There are number of interesting adaptive learning tools in the Education space such as Knewton and Adapted Mind which appear to provide the personalised learning experience to the learner”.

Longer term, the goal is more broad – investing further in developing AI solutions which improve learner and business performance.


So what about the education industry as a whole? Pranav sees AI solutions helping at both the back-end in administration and at the front-end – in the teaching itself:

“AI can provide personalised learning paths and tailoring to individual needs which can speed up key businesses processes such as on-boarding and compliance training.

“Publishers and colleges could provide more personalised content for the students. Languages courses could use active speech recognition to guide the learner, for instance. In online learning modules, AI-powered virtual coaches could interactively support learners”.


Pranav concludes with the bigger picture:

“It was evident at The AI Summit that AI technologies and adoption are progressing rapidly. The bottom line is, AI has the potential to change the way we work and learn in the future. Businesses and individuals will benefit significantly as the AI technologies become mainstream”.


We spoke to Pranav after he attended the inaugural AI Summit in London on 5 May together with over 400 other influential AI and business leaders. The second, larger AI Summit takes place in San Francisco on 28-29 September. To find out more, and to join us at the Fort Mason Center in September, visit:


AI Summit San Fran print screen


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