Ravi Kaklasaria and Peeush Bajpai launched SpringPeople to offer high-quality training to enterprises.
A decade ago, IT companies struggled to find vendors to deliver reliable, objective-driven training. Most companies, thus, kept the training processes in-house, and the sector was dominated by unorganised players and trainer agents.
To offer enterprises high-quality training, Ravi Kaklasaria, 41, and Peeush Bajpai, 42, launched SpringPeople in 2009. The objective was to offer professionals an opportunity to learn from experts, and help build organisational capability by making the workforce efficient.
Today, the company claims to be the biggest enterprise IT training provider in India. SpringPeople is based in Bengaluru, and has offices in the NCR region and the UK.
Companies partner with SpringPeople for training process outsourcing, project-based training, and team training. It has a delivery, outcome, and results-based payment model.
The company seeks to first understand a company’s requirement before training them. It looks at the team size, course/skill, delivery mode - classroom/live-online/self-paced, timelines etc. Accordingly, an appropriate training programme and content is chosen from a portfolio of more than 500 courses.
Once a suitable trainer is chosen and the content chalked out, specifications, trainer skills, certifications, experience and delivery score, the training is delivered.
“Enterprises bank on us for training in Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing etc and building organisational capability,” says Ravi.
Hailing from Ghaziabad, Ravi started as a Software Engineer with Aztec, and has worked with Goldman Sachs, ITC, and GE. During his tenure, he found the training provided at these companies very unsatisfying.
“It was messy, with unorganised processes, incompetent trainers, poor quality content, and high TCL (total cost of learning). Post-training, participants, including me, still needed a lot of self-learning and were not production-ready. This contributed to the founding of SpringPeople,” says Ravi, the CEO of the company.
Peeush, on the other hand, had entirely different experiences. “I could try my new skills and come back to the class/training with my new experience and explore further. This “experiential learning” approach is what we have incorporated in our training delivery model at SpringPeople,” says Peeush, the Chief Business Officer.
Both Ravi and Peeush had a strong bend towards science from a young age. While Peeush was interested in applied sciences and programming, Ravi was inclined to scientific creations.
The technological breakthrough for the two came around in the initial days of SpringPeople.
“It was while building SpringPeople, I realised that business comes before technology. I was doing it all wrong. Instead of attempting to create a technological marvel that is not aligned to a business, I realised it was more important to work with businesses to create a product to solve their problems. This drove me to create an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, and SpringPeople still runs on it,” recollects Ravi.
Ravi and Peeush met at IIT-BHU, Varanasi. Ravi reminisces, “At IIT, often, while classes were in progress, I would be out flying remote-controlled planes. One of Peeush’s friends was quite fascinated by these planes. I became friends with him and he later introduced me to Peeush.” Over the years, their friendship grew stronger.
Peeush says one of the advantages of working together is having the opportunity to spend a lot of time with a close friend.
Today, SpringPeople has a team of more than 100 members.
It claims to be a zero debt company, and has been profitable since Day 1. “Early years saw 10x growth, which has now stabilised to 2x growth YoY,” Ravi says. He adds that his best memory is bagging a contract from Cisco after chasing them for seven to eight months. Even after eight years, Cisco continues to be their biggest client.
Ravi has mentored quite a few founders, educating them on sales, marketing and operations, and sustaining without running out of steam. “I can proudly say that to this day, I remain their bouncing board,” he adds.
In his previous jobs, Peeush was involved in hiring and has mentored and trained people including sales reps, consultants, developers, project managers etc. At SpringPeople, he grooms managers.
SpringPeople founders say their USP is end-to-end automated workflow, enterprise real-time reporting, Machine Learning-assisted assessment, and project feedback. The trainers are IT industry veterans with 10-20 years of experience, and many hold certifications from OEMs (MuleSoft, Elastic, EMC, etc) behind the technology.
The company offers SLAs (Service Level Agreement) to its clients in order to gain their confidence, and to disrupt the trainer agent model, which provides only the trainers, without any other parameters like content, ownership of training, MMS etc.
SpringPeople was, in fact, able to convince Flipkart by offering an SLA that covered emerging products and quality. “We started small with most of our customers, including the likes of Flipkart, and once they experienced our delivery quality, we have been able to retain and grow business with them,” says Peeush.
Ravi says that SLA, which was not offered by any enterprise before, ensured participant satisfaction at all stages of the training. SpringPeople's competitors include Simplilearn, Edureka, PluralSight and global companies like Global knowledge, and Skills Matter, among others.
SpringPeople’s customer base includes companies ssuch as EMC, IBM, GE, HP, Intuit, Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Cognizant, Mindtree, and Accenture. Ecommerce biggies Flipkart, Goibibo, MakeMyTrip, and RedBus, startups like Zoomcar, and some companies in the hospitality, BFSI, telecom, manufacturing, automation etc, are also on its client list.