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Since June, 200 aspiring and established creators across India have been attending virtual training sessions three times a week. From high-performance coaches to transgender rights activists, sustainability consultants, and bestselling authors, they’re all learning to use various tools on a social networking platform as part of a 10-week incubator programme. 

Some of these sessions are helmed by popular creators like entrepreneur and author Ankur Warikoo, and content creation and learning startup Nas Academy’s chief executive Nuseir Yassin. 

Regular ‘creator accelerator’ fare, right? Not quite, when you consider the platform that’s organising all of this—professional networking giant LinkedIn.

In February, LinkedIn launched launched LinkedIn Meet the first class of LinkedIn's Creator Accelerator Program in India Read more its first Creators Accelerator Program in India, which is part of its US$25 million investment in creators globally, announced late last year. India is only the second country after the United States where the American platform has taken this programme. And for good reason, too—India is its second-largest market second-largest market Statista Leading countries based on LinkedIn audience size Read more , with over 90 million registered users.

The timing of the launch is opportunistic, too. India’s creator economy, which we’ve written written The Ken Leveraging likes for a living: Inside India’s Rs 900 crore influencer economy Read more  about, has boomed over the last few years and is worth Rs 900 crore (US$113 million). The country likely has more Instagram users than television-owning households, while a suite of local social media apps like Moj claim to have over a hundred million monthly users each. 

But while creators have become synonymous with platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and MX TakaTak in India, a professional network like LinkedIn sticks out in this coterie. The 200 creators who have been selected for the Creator Accelerator Program will produce content around topics like entrepreneurship, financial literacy, health and wellbeing, semiconductors, and ethical artificial intelligence. Not quite your usual beauty/skincare influencer on Instagram or motivational speaker on YouTube.

But even with a niche use case like professional networking, sheer volumes make India an extremely attractive market. Job portals like India’s Naukri.com and US-based Monster.com claim users in the tens of millions in the country. There are also blue-collar job portals like unicorn Apna Apna The Ken Apna targets the double helix of blue collar jobs and learning in India Read more , which boasts of 22 million users and aspires to be India’s LinkedIn. 

AUTHOR

Soumyajit Saha

Soumyajit covers the operations of Big Tech companies and OTTs in India. Before The Ken, he covered equity and currency markets in Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand for Reuters. You can hit him up via email about anything, except money he allegedly owes you.

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