Kaarmic bridging the gap between education and employabilityAlessio Pieroni
Education and employability are correlated. If you don’t have a good education system it is very difficult to provide job opportunities to young people. Statistics show that 47% graduates in India are not employable for any jobs, for example, for accounting just 3% of the graduates have the required employability skills. Over 60% people who have employability skills come from top 30% colleges.In order to solve this problem, especially related to low-income schools and universities, four people — Prashanth Ramagiri, Karthik Dantu, Adithya Sanjay and Anishay Raj — came together to start a social enterprise called Kaarmic. “We are an education services company dedicated to support the generally ignored low-income community students by providing them with affordable, customized and personalized employability services starting from their schooling. We aim to build an employable talent pool coming out of the low-income communities of India,” says Prashanth.
The four founders have a diverse background and that’s an added value to Kaarmic. “The team comes with different experiences like working in SMEs, NGOs, Not-for-Profits, Fortune 500 companies and even startups. However, all four of us have always been involved with development work. Therefore eventually in the pursuit of meaningful work, all of us shifted to the social development space,” says Prashanth. Even though none of them studied in a low income school, their motivation is high and commendable. “Our motivation for working on this issue comes from different sources, ranging from personal experiences of seeing our classmates from college struggling for years after graduation to find a good job, to listening to personal stories of school and college students who we worked with during our work in our previous organizations. We realized that these problems could be solved; the activities could be made sustainable and also be financially viable. It just needed a different approach. Kaarmic Education Services is an attempt at solving these problems in a sustainable and financially feasible way,” adds Prashanth.
Their programs are quite big and able to satisfy different needs. The first one is for schools where they give career counseling, student development and teacher training. “Holistic development is usually ignored in this segment of schools due to non-availability of resources and trained support. We concentrate on key foundational skills like personality development, computer education, spoken English, arts and extracurricular activities which are crucial to a child’s long-term skill building and grooming,” says Prashanth. They have another programme for colleges where they work with assessment tools, industry connecting forums and experience building opportunities. “We also noticed that students did not acknowledge and understand concepts like employability. They assumed that everyone with a degree can get a job and therefore did not take self analysis and self improvement seriously. Thus, we decided to introduce self assessment tests to make them more self aware,” adds Prashanth.
Being a young startup, Kaarmic is still self funded. But they have developed interesting business models to make the company self sustainable. “The company is generating revenue right now from both the school and college program. The revenue model in each product varies from B2B to B2C depending on the end beneficiary. In the school program, the career counseling and student development program directly benefit the students, however the parents are uneducated and do not understand the value of these services. Therefore, we use a B2B format, where we sell this program to the school management, who in turn collect the amount from the parents as their word is highly respected in the community. Whereas, in case of the teacher training program, both the school owner and the teachers themselves are direct beneficiaries, so both parties share the cost of the training which is a combination of B2B and B2C format,” says Prashanth.The founding team has a big goal for Kaarmic and a strong vision to support it. “We want to build an educated, empowered and employed lower income community in India. We understand that to achieve this mission, the students need to get quality education, proper guidance, parent support, community support, self-assessment tools and self development opportunities. We have started doing this through our present service offerings and wish to build upon this with more services to a point where we become a one-stop solution for all educational problems related to low-income community schools, parents, community and students,” adds Prashanth.