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Nalin Singh | Founder | Orbit Future Academy

Orbit Future Academy: Making Indonesia’s Workforce Ready for Industry 4.0 & Beyond

The global job market is rapidly modernizing. The main reason behind this is the dynamic nature of today’s business needs. Firms are continuously introducing technology-driven products and service innovations to attract consumers. To advance careers in such a scenario, it is now necessary for job seekers and the existing workforce of any age group to have the latest skills, knowledge, and digital readiness.

The radical changes brought by Industry 4.0 demand that the workforce be flexible enough to upgrade its skills whenever needed. The handsome salary packages that are earned from having specialized skills are good enough to entice anyone to seek re-skilling or up-skilling of their abilities.

Meeting the skill demands of modern businesses and giving a boost to the careers of millions of individuals in Indonesia is the academy known as Orbit Future Academy. It was founded by Ilham Akbar Habibie (Co-founder and President Commissioner), Sachin V. Gopalan (Co-founder and President Director), Nalin Kumar Singh (Co-founder and CEO), and Wan Nor Zaleha Radzi (Co-founder and Commissioner) in 2016.

Orbit Future Academy was established with the aim of improving the quality of life through innovation, education, and skills training. The Orbit brand is a continuation of the legacy of the late Dr. Hasri Ainun Habibie and the late Prof. Dr. Ing. B. J. Habibie, the third president of the Republic of Indonesia. They have both been a moving force in supporting the development of education, innovation, and technology in Indonesia.

Today, Orbit Future Academy is the training partner of some of the world’s top technology companies, such as Intel, Microsoft, and AWS, and has a cooperation to customize curriculum and training that is specifically suited for the Indonesia region.


Skills-For-Future-Jobs Initiative

Orbit Future Academy (OFA) is a Skills-for-Future-Jobs” initiative by PT Orbit Ventura Indonesia. OFA curates and localizes international programs and courses for up-skilling and re-skilling youth and the workforce towards the jobs of the future. 

OFA offers industry-certified courses in Artificial Intelligence, Startup Entrepreneurship, Educator Skilling, Digital Literacy, Life Skills, and more. Programs are currently available for ages 12–60 years and are aimed at job seekers and job creators of the future.

OFA is an education partner of the Indonesian government, in particular the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology.

OFA currently delivers programs to 500+ universities and is successfully running a nationwide skilling program for the K12 sector of schools and madrasahs, aimed at reaching 10,000 schools, one million teachers, and five million students over a five-year horizon.

Future Skills Teaching Programs

In terms of skilling, OFA has the Sekolah 4.0 and Madrasah 4.0 programs, which are future skills education programs for teachers and elementary school students. “The uniqueness of the School 4.0 program is that it is free of charge, where schools participating in this program do not have to pay anything to get international classroom learning modules and materials from OFA technology partners, delivered by OFA master trainers,” said Nalin K. Singh, Co-founder & CEO of Orbit Future Academy.

To be able to carry out the School 4.0 program for schools throughout Indonesia, OFA collaborates with corporations, state-owned enterprises, start-ups, and non-profit institutions that allocate their CSR budget for this education program.

In terms of up-skilling, the academy has an artificial intelligence training program across 500 universities, which is divided into two program options, namely “AI Mastery” for students majoring in engineering or IT and “Foundations of AI and Life Skills for Gen Z” for students majoring in non-engineering or non-IT. This program is fully supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (Kemendikbudristek) and the campuses that are part of the Kampus Merdeka program. 

In terms of re-skilling, OFA offers a cloud computing training program called AWS re/Start, which provides Cloud Computing Practitioner (CCP) certification free of charge, intended for unemployed, part-time workers, or under-employed individuals who plan to make a career move towards Industry 4.0. 

OFA has partnership programs being launched with the Ministry of Cooperatives and SME, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, and Ministry of Trade, each one to address the specific needs of their eco-system and stakeholders.

OFA is proud that it has a complete program for all levels of society, for the sake of readiness to face the Industrial 4.0 era in Indonesia,” said Sachin V Gopalan, Co-founder & President Director of Orbit Future Academy.

On the Mission of Transformation

OFA’s vision is to provide best-in-class, skills-based, transformative learning for job seekers and job creators.

The mission of OFA is to build a nationwide network of Orbit Transformation Centers to deliver certification-based future skills curriculum through its Digital Content Delivery Platform.

The company’s core value is inspired by the late Prof. Dr. Ing. B. J. Habibie, the Republic of Indonesia’s third president, who once said, “If not you, who else will build this nation? 

Creating a Tech-Focused Curriculum


When asked about the impact of modern technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence on the educational sector, Dr. Ilham A. Habibie, Co-founder & Chairman of Orbit Future Academy, responded by saying, “Industry 4.0 is rapidly changing the industrial landscape. Almost all industries are impacted by technology, and AI, ML, and cloud computing are foundational technologies at the forefront of this change.”


In addition, he said, “Without a basic understanding of these, future job seekers will be at a disadvantage in job prospects. It is imperative that these become a part of the curriculum at all levels of education.” 

Words of Guidance


Offering a word of advice to the entrepreneurs in the education sector, Ms. Wan Nor Zaleha Radzi, OFA’s Co-founder & Commissioner, said, “Education, even for profit, has a certain nobility attached to it. There is the gratification of knowing that what you do is impacting a generation of people for their future. Never lose sight of that and carry that responsibility with care, kindness, and compassion towards the learners and society at large.


The Future Looks Bright

OFA stands on a strong pillar of partnership with the Indonesian government, global technology partners, as well as private business institutions, governments, and non-profit organizations. “I see that both in quantity and quality, the foundation is solid and has proven to be able to keep OFA’s operations running smoothly since its establishment in 2016,” said Sachin V Gopalan, Co-founder & President Director of Orbit Future Academy. 

He adds, “What we then need to do is expand the coverage of OFA’s operational area and add a variety of programs for different markets that are currently not optimally accessible.”


In terms of expanding the coverage of OFA’s operational area, its management plans to have a physical presence throughout Indonesia. “Of course, this decision will raise the question: isn’t everything online nowadays, so there is no need for a physical learning process,” said Nalin K. Singh.


Answering this question, he added, “We will need to see the reality in Indonesia, especially outside Java, where the availability and quality of Internet connections are uneven, and the culture demands a certain in-person mentoring. Therefore, the online learning system is something that is not enjoyable for students from remote areas to follow.” 


There are still a number of advantages to the face-to-face learning process that cannot be replaced by online learning systems, one of which is real involvement and quality of participation between educators and students. 


OFA was called upon to solve this problem through our planned physical presence throughout Indonesia. In addition, we also continue to increase the variety and quality of program materials in order to accommodate the needs of Indonesian people from various walks of life and backgrounds,” said Dr. Ilham A. Habibie


Ms. Wan Nor Zaleha added that “the more national problems and societal challenges that OFA can solve, the stronger and more influential the OFA brand will be in the minds of Indonesians.” 


OFA’s Founding Pillars 

Dr. -Ing. Ilham A. Habibie 

Dr. Ilham is the Co-founder and President Commissioner of OFA. He is a serial entrepreneur and investor in the sectors of aviation, energy, natural resources, manufacturing, fintech, and education. He is the Chief Executive of the National ICT Council of the Republic of Indonesia, Vice Chairman of the Indonesian Association of Engineers (PII), and Vice Chairman of KADIN for Research and Technology. 

In addition, he holds the post of President, Director, and Co-founder of PT Ilthabi Rekatama, an investment holding company with businesses in multiple sectors, including PT Regio Aviasi Industri, which is manufacturing the R80, a new generation of turboprop aircraft. 

He is the Co-founder of PT Orbit Ventura Inovasi (OVI), an innovation development company, and Berkarya! Indonesia is a movement to create awareness about the culturalization of innovation. It encourages the nation to move from being consumptive to being productive. 

Sachin V Gopalan

Mr. Gopalan is the Co-founder and President Director of OFA. He is a serial entrepreneur and has been based in Indonesia for 25 years. He is the Co-founder of the Indonesia Economic Forum, the Indonesia Education Forum, and the Habibie Festival of Technology and Innovation.

Along with this, he is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Inotek Foundation and the publisher of several books promoting India-Indonesia relations. He was the founding CEO of Beritasatu Media Holdings, a leading media group in Indonesia, and the former Chairman of the national body, Cricket Indonesia.

Nalin K. Singh 

Mr. Nalin is the Co-founder of OFA and holds its CEO post. In a career spanning over thirty years, he has experienced a diverse life as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, as well as an entrepreneur and a filmmaker. He has held several leadership positions in India, Asia, Europe, and the US in Fortune 500 companies like Convergys, Thomson Reuters, and Hewitt (India Life).

He is also a prolific writer, life coach, speaker, and online interviewer. He has personally mentored and trained more than 5,000 startup founders across the region.

Wan Nor Zaleha Radzi 

Ms. Wan Zaleha is the Co-founder of OFA and holds the post of Director. A well-known media personality in Malaysia, she is the Co-founder of the CAST Foundation, the Transformaking movement, and the Habibie Makerland Festival, all of which aim to bring the maker movement to the grassroots level in the region.