Puneet Kumar, Siebel Training: Hands-on training on Siebel CRM to individuals and corporate
Puneet, please tell us about Siebel Training.
Siebel Training provides hands-on training on Siebel CRM to individuals and corporate across the globe via online and offline classroom sessions. These are live training modules with real time hands-on sessions guided by trainers and only professionals with 5+ years of core project experience conduct the training.
What, according to you, makes Siebel Training different from other training service providers? What are your flagship solutions?
Siebel Training offers hands-on learning - an individual can start working on projects immediately after taking a three day training from us(of course, they need to have good aptitude).That is the minimum time we need to make them employable, provided they complete the assignments given after the training. These assignments are then forwarded to the companies and form the basis of evaluation. We are not shooting in the air when we say it. We have trained a lot of corporate and individuals
Other training companies either do not provide experienced trainer or hands-on training or both. The only other established player is Oracle University but they are into certification while we are into hands-on project based learning. Secondly, our costing is bit more friendly on pockets though not cheap either, after all you have to pay some price for quality.
How did the business idea for SiebelTraining come about?
I had 7+ years of experience in Siebel when I started SiebelTraining.org. Before starting this venture, for 2 years I was running a niche CRM advisory, ACRMZ Technologies, which had presence in India, UK and Netherlands. Though we had a good team, we were getting pushed towards lower cost and that’s when I realized I need to do something different. We had good experience in winning small contracts against Wipro and Deloitte so we had something good to start with (no discredit intended, Wipro is now a big client for us).
In parallel I had been running a small incubator, Incubation India, to promote start-ups, good work practices, etc. I merged both of my professional interests: Siebel Advisory and mentoring start-ups and the result was SiebelTraining.org where we train professionals on Siebel CRM.How did you choose this name for SiebelTraining.org? How much capital did the initial idea require to take off?
How I chose the name? Well, I am a not much of a story teller so I wanted a name to tell the story and make it easy for me. The name SiebelTraining.org has an immediate click. It is a part of Incubation India.
We did not require huge capital; we spent some 40K and kept working capital of around a lack or so. That’s not the real investment. We had invested a lot of time, for 6 months, we focused purely on promotion, marketing, business building, etc. At times I was working 14 hours in a day. Tulika joined me in a year’s time and we have been working without any fixed pay.
Tell us about your background.
I am a graduate from IIT Kharagpur. Our job placements were hard hit by the 9/11 attack on USA. After 6 months of job hunt, I started my career with Deloitte and was with them for 2.5 years. Guess I was not ready to work for others, and I moved into freelancing which I did for almost 3 years and worked for clients like Yahoo, NIIT, Serene Corporation, etc. I started my venture with an ex-colleague (from Deloitte) after that and for 1 year we scouted for project. That’s when we got a contract for Cancer Research UK and Glaxo, which was won against Deloitte and Wipro.
From my college days, I have been interested in start-ups and founded Incubation India when I started working as a freelancer. I have invested in Carwale.com (where we made a fortune) and Eklavya Creations (a venture by IITians to strike social changes in India). I am also an Executive Director for Eklavya and we have recently created a documentary on the social improvements initiated by individuals in their own capacity or have fought against corruption (it was recently covered by Business Standard and Rediff news).
What are the challenges that you faced while developing your solutions? How did you overcome those challenges?
Well, we lacked consistent revenue; we had the task of building a new brand from scratch, of finding the correct channels for working with corporate. There was always pressure on us for reducing our rates, generating a constant sales pipeline, etc. How we overcame it? We worked, worked and worked.
How big is the team behind SiebelTraining.org? Are you looking at hiring?
We are a team of 2 promoters and a handful of employees. We work with about 20+ freelance consultants/trainers for delivering trainings, each with minimum five years of relevant implementation experience. Yes, we will hire, depending on our expansion plans.
So Puneet, how has the journey been so far?
The journey has been excellent, we have direct corporate link ups with Accenture, Wipro, Citrix, Bayer, Hyundai, etc. We also have onboard Oracle, ATOS Origin, COLT Telecom, Hexaware, etc. as our indirect corporate clients.
We have also trained around 30 Individual Trainees, and we are currently working with more than 40 vendors. Bangalore and Hyderabad are the cities from which we get maximum responses and the most popular courses being Siebel EAI, Siebel Configuration, and Siebel Core Consultant
We also noticed that after initial trainings, we have individuals coming back to us for more advanced trainings. Though classroom training were in demand earlier, our trainers as well as trainee are now constantly looking for online sessions which is another reason why we want to grow aggressively here. We have also been running Google Analytics on our website and more than a third of visits come from outside India.
What are your plans for expansion?
We are looking at expansion in two ways:
Firstly, For Siebel related trainings; we will be conducting frequent batch sessions across India, and marketing our online trainings more aggressively for individual sessions. We also plan to increase our presence outside India via freelancer trainers and vendors and we are targeting more corporate houses that are using Siebel in their projects. We also plan on taking training and placement packages to students and corporate
Secondly we will also be taking our hands-on training model to other technical, leadership and soft skill courses.
We at YourStory.in wish Puneet and Siebel Training much success. To know more about this venture, check out http://siebeltraining.org/.
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