Enter TalentSprint that offers ‘employability training programs’, to graduates and final-year students, aimed at bridging the gap between, in some cases, out-of-date college education and current industry needs.
Founded in December, 2008 by J A Chowdary, Santanu Paul, Madhu Murty Ronanki, the company today employs 100 people.
It offers training modules to 10 colleges in Andhra Pradesh and plans to expand to some 90 colleges across southern India in two years. Nexus Venture Partners (NVP) and the government-run National Skill Development Council (NSDC) are stakeholders with the latter owning a six percent stake in the firm.
Madhu Jalan, senior vice president (marketing and program development) spoke to SupportBiz about the company and its plans, having raised INR20 crore from NVP. Excerpts from the interview:
How many graduates/students have you trained so far?
About 3,000 graduates have been trained and 80 percent have been placed so far.
We have built a corporate partner network of 60 companies. They let us know of their hiring requirement.
How do you train graduates?
We use a virtual classroom model. We have developed a technology platform called iPEARL (Interactive Platform for Employability and Remote Learning) that provides for two-way audio and video interactivity.
What challenges do you face in your line of work?
Finding the right trainers, people who understand the industry, is key to our business model. We work with some very good trainers and are building a content repository and standardizing content wherever possible.
The other issue is that there are a lot of training providers, some small and others big. We have to differentiate and our USP is that we talk about the quality of our trainers and our training modules.
What is your advice to budding entrepreneurs looking to enter this field?
This is a really good space to be in, both from a social and from a business returns standpoint. But you cannot compromise on quality. Numbers – people employed and graduates trained matter – but you have to ensure you maintain quality as you scale up.