As India stares at an unprecedented challenge of employability, many start-ups are entering the space of skilling and training. Government has also put this agenda on top priority creating numerous business opportunities in both public and private sectors. One such start-up tapping this opportunity is Thinkskills Consulting. The company is working with various state and central government entities to skill youth across various parts of India. We spoke to Mr. Ashish Aggarwal, Founder & CMD of the company. Some excerpts from the conversation:
Q: What prompted you to come up with the idea of skilling?
A: I was born in the remote village of Haryana. Due to lack of awareness youngsters could not decide what career they should pursue. Hence most of them ended up working as unskilled labourers even though they were qualified. Seeing this gap, we realized that there is a huge need for skill development in the remote corners of our country hence we thought of starting ThinkSkills Consulting. We are working in sync with Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and also working with various agencies and government entities to foster skill development in the country. Some of our tie ups are with Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Q: What are the areas / territories that are you working in? What are the areas of specialization?
A: We provide consulting expertise in various domains, like content generation, skill development and training. We have expertise in content development, mobilization, centre & hostel set ups, training delivery, placements and post placement hand holding. We provide trainings in Healthcare, Apparel, Hospitality, IT-ITES, Retail & Logistics sector. This year we will be expanding to Automobile, Leather and Handicraft sectors. Currently we have fully residential projects under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) projects of Ministry of rural Development in the states of Assam, Kerala, Kerala2, Manipur and U.P. We are in final stages of finalization of DDU-GKY projects in Karnataka.
Q: What challenges are you facing in skilling domain and what are specific challenges of being a startup?
A: Every startup has its own challenges. From designing module as per the industry standard to providing skill training has been a tough journey. Having worked in the industry for more than 7 years and having consulted businesses in various government and private sector projects was a boon to us. We wanted to maximize the use of technology in education so that we can impart quality skilling and training to the youths of the country. Being a startup cash crunch is always a challenge but with support of our friends, family and investors we have overcome those hurdles. Employability of the trained and skilled students was earlier a challenge. But due to constant interaction with the industry bodies, government and employers we have upgraded the modules as well as skilling techniques to bring them at par with industry requirements.
Q: What is the kind of revenue you have achieved since inception and what are your projections for the next two years?
A: We are yet to break even but we are hopeful that we will grow well and expand our reach to more states across the country over the next two years. Some of the states were we will expand skilling and training module are Kerala, Assam, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh.
Q: What are your future plans?
A: We plan to work in collaboration with various ministries, state governments and corporates so that we can reach out to the remotest village of the country. We want to help citizens of the country by providing the right training and skill set which will allow them to get respectable jobs in their own city and lead a dignified life.