Dr Santanu Paul, MD & CEO, TalentSprint, points to the huge investment being made by both the IT and Banking Industry in upskilling their staff. Excerpts from an interaction with Elets News Network
India now has a ministry that focusses on skill development, entrepreneurship and youth affairs. What are your expectations from the new government?
Historically, the focus of government schemes are on bottom-of-the-pyramid skill development wherein immediately after training, employment is available, This, by definition. covers low skilled and un-skilled jobs, However, one of the key issues faced by the society is the under-employment of graduates and lack of industry skills among educated youth. We know that over 70 per cent of the graduates are not ready for employment. Schemes focussing on this category. which is highly aspirational, qualified but not industry-ready. need to be focussed upon. Also. there are many competing government welfare schemes (like guaranteed employment) which require to be reviewed in light of willingness and commitment to skill and get skill-based jobs for the beneficiaries.
Set up in 2009, TalentSprint is growing fast in professional skill-development and integrated talent management. Can you list your achievements in the last five years?
We focus on the ‘Graduate segment’ looking for jobs in IT and Banking Industry. Thus. by definition. we focus on high end. white collar and knowledge – intensive job categories. Since 2009. we have trained over 40.000 graduates and over 3()O companies recruit the talent trained by us. We work closely with 100 technical and graduate colleges to skill the st udents when they are in the college itself. We have won Ii awards including Best Partner Award from the ational Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) two years in a row (2012 and 2013).
You have set a mandate to create 500,000 new IT and Banking professionals by 2020. Are you on track to achieve this target? Please elaborate.
Yes. We have currently 50.000 trainees and with the focus on the college and online skill development activities. we believe that we will achieve the numbers. We have focused on effectively using technology to enable scale without diluting quality. Our online and technology enabled courses have been found to provide effective skilling without diluting quality. We hope to continue our journey on the path of high volume with high quality and arc confident that we will exceed the numbers well before 2020.
What has been the feedback from IT and banking industry on efforts to upskill workforce?
Huge investment is being made by both IT and Banking Industry in upskilling. We work closely with many companies in creating leadership pipeline in the middle and senior management cadre and also domain training for some companies. Today. many companies look to use the services of experts to get the best-in-class training and we have been able to position ourselves uniquely. thanks to the wide range of industry experience available with our team.
Your organisation is working with 80 colleges. Is it a win-win situation for Talentsprint, colleges and students?
We have moved upstream from off-campus graduates to in-campus students so as to enable those undergoing college degrees (technical and others) to get trained while in the college itself. This benefits the students as they are geared up to exploit the campus recruitment drives more effectively armed with our training. Colleges benefit through industry centric experiential learning courses designed and delivered by TalentSprint. From the TalentSprint perspective. it is a high volume institutional business which is generating not only revenues. but also brand for the company and positioning with the current and future students. Talentsprint is on an expansion mode aiming at 100 locations through franchise model.
Can you briefly tell us the business of setting up skill shops?
Skill development activities are always a function of reach and quality. While we have effectively used technology to ensure quality of skilling delivery even in the remotest of the places. we are embarking on a centre network expansion plan through franchisee route. In this model. entrepreneurs who are looking to set up skill development activities in their locality can benefit from the brand. course curriculum. content. technology and placement support engine created by TalentSprint and serve the local community by setting up our franchisee centres. We already have 5 centres working on this and we are expanding to over 100 locations over the next five years, This model endeavors to benefit not only the aspirants for IT / Banking industry in the locality. but also makes business sense for our partners as well as for us.
Any time frame to focus on online and distance mode of learning in future?
We already have a full online learning process in place for the banking indus try. Since the launch in April 2014. we already have over 100.000 users for our online program with over 2.000 paying customers who prepare for the highly competitive banking career opportunities online. The course has been receiving outstanding feedback from the customers and enables flexible learning without loosing the effectiveness of learning through well-structured video delivery. Live web classes helping students to elarify the doubts is a big draw among our students. We are aggressively positioning our online learning products in the market and are seeing a very encouraging acceptance.