[The Turning Point] Need to upskill led couple to launch online learning platform for students and professionals

The Turning Point is a series of short articles that focuses on the moment when an entrepreneur hit upon their winning idea. Today, we look at Bengaluru-based e-learning startup IntelliPaat, which focuses on upskilling for professionals.

1st Aug 2020
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Diwakar Chittora and his wife, Shilpi Jain, had a technology background. Having worked with many large corporations, they were keen to skill themselves further.


In 2011, the couple decided to sign up for courses in Big Data and Hadoop. However, they were unable to find institutes that could provide such training at an affordable cost. The duo soon realised that there were many other professionals keen to learn new technologies, but unable to skill up.


IntellliPaat

IntelliPaat Co-founder Diwakar Chittora




This personal pain point led the couple to launch IntelliPaat in 2013 with an investment of about Rs 50 lakh. The online learning platform offers instructor-led courses and self-paced videos on the latest technologies such as big data, data science, cloud computing, AI, and mobile development.


The startup, launched with two other employees, aims to bridge the gap that prevents professionals from learning new technologies and transitioning to new careers - at affordable costs.


“The idea to start IntelliPaat became stronger when leading companies like Ericsson, Sony, Cisco, and others started approaching us to train their employees. There has been no looking back,” Diwakar says.


The platform has since then tied up with top industrial professionals working at leading technology companies to deliver courses and videos, enabling students to connect with instructors at a different location.



Fulfilling a niche demand

The demand for courses slowly started increasing and led the team to expand its offerings. IntelliPaat began to offer training in courses like AWS and newer technologies. Today, the platform also provides courses in subjects like AI, machine learning, analytics, Cloud and DevOps, programming, and web development.


The portfolio has more than 15 categories, and offers more than 150 courses. 


Diwakar says: “Our forte is that we provide training in niche concepts. We help professionals who want to learn a new technology quickly. Students who enrol with us without exception enjoy professional growth and earn higher salaries. Every IntelliPaat student either gets a new job they wanted or is promoted internally in their company.”


According to the team, courses at IntelliPaat are designed after in-depth consultation with hiring managers. So, students who complete courses acquire skills that make them employable. The online learning startup claims to have trained over 6,00,000 students in 55 countries.



Overcoming the challenges

IntelliPaat’s journey was not smooth, and the founders faced a set of challenges: hiring the right resources, aligning employees with its vision, working more than 16 hours a day, time management, and delegating critical tasks to team members.


“With a strict reporting structure in place, we are able to identify issues that arise before they become a problem. Following an agile model helps us to stay on top of all important tasks and lets us delegate work,” Diwakar says.

The e-learning startup has now grown to a team of 250 employees. Bootstrapped till date, the company is now looking for external investment.


Going ahead, the team plans to expand its offerings across the globe.


“We will expand to Tier II and III towns in India and abroad, and benefit many professionals. In the future, we will focus on providing an outstanding customer experience and helping customers fulfil their objective. Those who join IntelliPaat because they are looking for a new job will find doing so easier than ever,” Diwakar says.


(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)

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