This entrepreneur left her family-run business to now clock Rs 30 Cr turnover with her training firm for the logistics sector
Divya Jain was working in her family-run business, Safexpress, one of India’s leading logistics companies, when she noticed a huge gap in the sector: lack of skilled workforce in logistics. Divya (35) then started Safeducate in 2013 to address this gap.
Brands of India winner Safeducate is providing training to truck drivers and other workers in the logistics and supply chain management sectors by working in skill development, and livelihood creation.
I always wondered about the growth of the people in the logistics sector. The lives of people in this sector are restricted to earning money and not about growth and that’s why they are stagnant. I want each truck driver, delivery guy,warehouse operator, and logistics accountant to envision what more they can do,” Divya tells SMB Story.
Delhi-based Safeducate works towards developing the right competencies to enable learners to achieve a sustainable livelihood by making them job-ready, or kindling in them a spirit to pursue entrepreneurship.
The road to the skilled workforce
Divya was already involved in her family business and was imparting skill development training to the workforce. But she wanted to touch many more lives and she also realised the dire need for skilled manpower in this unorganised industry. Divya understood the value she could create by training and certifying the workforce in the logistics sector, which will, in turn, attract more talent to the industry, apart from improving the self-esteem and job prospects of those already in it. She says,
I did not want these people to limit themselves. There are a lot of opportunities that are more than just earning for your daily bread,” Divya adds.
In a span of almost six years, Safeducate has trained around 50,000 people from 153 centres across India, including Allahabad, Chapra, Madnapur, Deogarh, and more. The company clocks Rs 30 crore turnover.
Training for a better future
Safeducate Learning has structured it's organisation into two business verticals – government and non-government. While the government vertical focuses on building a long-term relationship with various agencies and aligning itself to missions of both the Central and State governments, the non-government vertical focuses on engaging with multiple target audiences to fulfil their training and upskilling.
Safeducate provides training on skill development across India for a duration of three to six months. There are two types of courses: Entry level, and management trainee programme. Entry level course gets funding through CSR and Central government, while the company charges around Rs 30,000-Rs 50,000 for management trainee module based on the duration of the course.
“We have created around 60 ‘mobilisers’ to provide training in villages. We contact District Magistrates of those areas and they connect us to self-help groups. We convey to these SHGs about the future prospects in logistics,” Divya explains.
Safeducate has also been accredited with launching one of India’s first container schools. The Safeducate Container School, which was created using recycled shipping containers, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15, 2015.
With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) taking leaps in Indian society, bringing cutting-edge advancements to the field of employment in the logistics sector, Safeducate launched an AI-powered job portal.
Youth seeking jobs in the sector could upload their profiles and the AI engine would match them with the perfect employers. Once the CV is shortlisted by the HR, the portal arranges a video interview with the candidate, and selected students receive the offer letter, without having to go anywhere. This particular disruption provided major relief to students who would find it intimidating or cumbersome to travel to far-off locations soliciting jobs.
Safeducate also launched Car-O-Job, which transforms vans into virtual reality (VR)-led experiential centres for students. Through VR, the van gives students glimpses of different jobs in retail, manufacturing, warehousing, etc. In addition to removing any anxiety that the students face regarding unknown job profiles or work cultures, the Car-O-Job portal also facilitates video interviews with prospective employers, and the selected candidates' receive offer letters on-the-spot. The van, since its inception, has covered five different locations and reached nearly five lakh youths.
Divya notes that people trained by Safeducate have gone on to get jobs in several large firms like Flipkart, and are drawing a good salary.
Highlighting the need
Divya explains that one of the biggest challenges Safeducate faces is making people understand the benefits of training programmes for the logistics sector. Often, people do not realise what training could do to affect their growth. Also, since the industry was so unorganised, the value of certification and training itself is often ignored.
“People don’t consider logistics to provide lucrative job opportunities. Initially, it was very difficult to convince people to join our training programmes. People understood the idea of a college or a university or even a school, but vocational education and that too based out of schools made of containers and in the field of supply chain and logistics was too foreign a concept,” she adds.
She, however, admits that the scenario has been changing in the past few years, but there is still a need to constantly educate people about the importance of skilling in the logistics and supply chain sectors.
According to reports by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the logistics sector will need 20 million trained people by the year 2022. Divya, who says the growth potential for Safeducate is limitless, will now be readying her firm’s plan to handle scale.