Pune based iKnowledge, Providing Right Talent at Right Time with Right Skills
Pune based entrepreneur Sandeep Shelke and his partners are bridging the gap between skills and careers in the technical field through iKnowledge. Swati Maheswari for YourStory.in finds out more about it.Describe iKnowledge.
iKnowledge was established in December 2008. We had realized that we needed to innovate in the training field as the market was flooded with institutes but did not have quality. iKnowledge was started by Rekha Borade when she was 21 and I joined in later as a partner. Initially, I juggled between my full time job and iKnowledge, before completely dedicating my time to it. By July 2009, we had Rishikesh Rane as our third partner. We slowly carved out the vision and mission for iKnowledge and today we stand for Right Talent at the Right Time with Right Skills, under the aegis of veterans.
What modules do you include in your curriculum?
We are an IT resource training center with expertise in freshers’ training. We mainly focus on two things in our curriculum:
Right Talent at the Right Time with Right Skills.
In this module, we propose to resolve two issues at one go. We offer project ready resource to the software/IT SMEs and also open these opportunities to the outstanding, but less exposed fresh graduates from tier-II and III cities.
First we gather requirements and then shortlist candidates accordingly. The short listed candidates undergo mentoring for 1-1.5 months under the guidance of Senior Engineers/Developers. This encapsulates 20-30 hrs of class room sessions and 90-120 hrs of hands-on sessions. We guarantee guidance till confirmation to fresh graduates.
We provide SMEs with 1 month post-selection training assistance and 3 months replacement guarantee, if a resource leaves or is unfit. Project Mentoring
In this module we mentor students of BE, B. Tech, MCA and MCS for their final/pre-final year projects and internships. We do consider exceptional students of BCA too.
How has the response been so far?
Initially response wasn’t as expected because at the academic stage, students don’t bother about the knowledge but concentrate on the grades they can secure. However, we focus on knowledge and hands-on learning on part of the students. Slowly, we created a space for our offering as students realized how critical it is for their careers. Presently, our enquiry to admission ratio stands at almost 85%.
How did you outreach iKnowledge?
We do not advertise, but we organize guest sessions and free seminars for students to attend. This is to make them understand the gap between their skills and their flourishing careers and how we can bridge it. Recently, we have also explored the online medium for marketing. We are now considering outsourcing our marketing function.
How did you raise capital to start iKnowledge?
Each one of us have put in money at different stages from our personal savings or borrowed money from family/friends. Last year, we also acquired the much needed business loan of Rs.5 lacs which has helped us run smoothly so far.
Do plan to raise funds to expand further?
We are currently raising funds so that we can employ quality, experienced, self-driven professionals. All the partners draw a very nominal salary each month to keep the expenses low.
What has been your biggest learning in this field?
Persistence is our biggest learning. We did not give up even when faced with failure. We have realized that ‘success is round the corner’ if one has a value proposition. Takers will flow in automatically.
Is there any competition that you face?
Not really. We have indirect competition in terms of traditional coaching institutes. But now we do expect serious competition in the coming few months.
Tell us a little bit about Team iKnowledge.
Our team comprises of the partners, trainers, mentors and counselors. Interestingly, all our trainers have a keen interest in mentoring the students. They all have 4+ years of software development experience in various technologies and domains. Technologies like Java, .Net, C, C++, PHP, Linux and domains like Storage, BFS, Systems, Web and PLM.
Do you have tie-ups with any institutes?
No, we don’t have any tie-ups as of now. We are in the process of confirming one with a Hyderabad based institute.
What are your future plans?
We plan to be the top resource pool for SMEs and a perfect finishing school for fresh technical graduates in Pune, in the coming 2 years. Very soon, we will be launching our third program which is a more featured version of ‘Right Talent at the Right Time’. This program would run for 3-3.5 months. It will be such that all technical aspects required for software development will be practiced under professional guidance. The objective is to make candidates comfortable with corporate work environment.
To know more about iKnowledge, log on to http://i-knowledge.in