StartUp Circle: How is SpringPeople changing how companies upskill their employees?

By : |July 3, 2020 0

The COVID-19 pandemic is tough for employees as well as companies. Thus, they look for people who are skilled; or skill their employees rather than hiring existing employees. Especially in the tech sector. As the demand for AI/ML has increased, this lockdown saw a rise of employees looking to take short term courses to upskill themselves. One such portal, SpringPeople helps companies to train their employees, or learners to hone their skills.

CIOL took an opportunity to interact with Mr Ravi Kaklasaria, CEO of SpringPeople to understand the nature of EdTech. Excerpts of the interview follow:

1. What is the main vision behind Spring People?

The main aim of SpringPeople is enterprise enablement through world-class training and certifications

2. How does your collaboration with enterprises work?

We work closely with enterprise at every step of their employee upskilling/reskilling programs. Once a training requirement comes from their side, we assign them one of our in-house experts who examines the requirement carefully, offers a pool of trainers to choose from, customizes content based on the nature of training and coordinates with them at every step of the training. We are well-known in the training industry for our quick solutioning of training requirements, and our ownership of the entire training process.

As we are very particular in delivering a hassle-free training experience, we periodically review our trainers, content and our services with feedback from our enterprise clients. This helps us to ensure that we are on the right path to enterprise enablement.

3. How do you instil the learning intent within professionals already doing good in their fields?

As the popular saying goes, ‘Learning is a journey, not a destination’. The IT industry is constantly innovating and bettering itself. Also, in the IT sector, the average half-life of professional skill is a mere 5 years. What this means is that, even if a professional is a stellar performer today, they might not be so after five years when their skills go obsolete.

With SpringPeople training programs, we aim to develop the workforce of tomorrow. So, to educate professionals on the need to update skill sets and instil a continuous penchant for learning in them, we curate articles, organize free webinars, and other knowledge sessions on latest innovations in technology, the need for upskilling and reskilling.

I can say with utmost confidence that attendees of our knowledge sessions, or those who read our expert articles, leave with a sense of purpose and renewed vigour to improve themselves.

4. Please tell us about the changing landscape of the L&D (Learning and Development) within the IT industry.

In today’s fast-paced world of IT where innovations are constant, L&D functions are evolving and redefining itself to be more relevant and valuable to organizations. I can say that the rapidly changing technological landscape keeps them on their toes. Rather than being on the sidelines like yesteryear, today L&D professionals have become a business-enabling function. They are more proactive as learning enablers and more attuned to technology trends than other stakeholders in organizations.

5. What are the courses that most companies demand and what will be the future?

Emerging technology courses are in-demand today. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), IoT (internet of things) are no longer buzzwords. The present pandemic has given us a preview of how digital technologies are going to shape the future.

6. How will SME companies sustain temporary job staffing?

I think temporary job staffing is going to stay long after the pandemic, be it in startups or SME’s. The economic slowdown brought on by the pandemic has crippled most of the business. And the only way they are operating now is through cost-cutting by letting go of employees. But for organizations to ensure business continuity while operating with limited staff, they need some help now and then with few extra workers. This is where gig workers come in.

This trend will continue for long because the economic recovery in the post-pandemic era for most SME companies is pretty long.

7. People are losing jobs, how are you providing upskilling benefits to them?

We are closely watching the industry trends, to periodically update our learning materials. Additionally, we are also partnering with global certification providers such as AWS, Red Hat, GCP and many others. We want to make sure that every training we deliver is practical, and updated with the industry standards.

So, people who have lost jobs can train with us to upgrade their skill set and make themselves more desirable to those who are hiring.

8. What are the challenges you faced while bringing SpringPeople to this level? How did you overcome them?

The key challenge when we started was convincing enterprises to entrust their training to us, a two-person startup in 2009. However, once we landed our first enterprise client, things started looking up for us. I think it is because we took complete ownership of every training we deliver. Right from the beginning to end, we ensure that our enterprise clients came back to us again and again.

9. With the pandemic situation in purview, what kind of transition will we see in SpingPeople when it comes to restructuring courses?

All of our major courses, especially emerging technology courses like AI, ML, RPA, IoT, adapt to virtual mode even before the pandemic. So, we didn’t face any issue in delivering virtual training after in-person training sessions were cancelled.

The pandemic has brought into focus the efficacy of virtual training, and the many advantages it has over offline training. I don’t think there is a complete going back to how training was conducted before. So, we are going to optimize all our other courses too for complete virtual classes, as online training in the post-pandemic era will no longer be supplementary to offline training.

10. Training is not one-size-fits-all. How do you personalize the experience?

We had been researching customized learning and their role in employee engagement research for a couple of years. This eventually led to the development of LnDCloud. It is an enterprise learning platform that helps enterprises to roll out all their learning programs effectively. LnDCloud’s is inbuilt with several innovative features, like microlearning, cloud labs, and enterprise reporting, etc. It gives a highly customized and engaging learning experience.

We have seen the demand for this learning platform rise since the rise in demand for virtual training as enterprises are now more open to experimenting with innovative technologies like LnDCloud that guarantees effective learning.

About Ravi Kaklasaria:

Ravi left a Director post in 2009 to start SpringPeople. 11 years later, under his leadership, SpringPeople has become India’s biggest Enterprise IT training provider with a customer base comprising of major IT companies pan-India and many Fortune 500 global organizations. An industry veteran with close to two decades of experience and extreme business growth orientation, he spearheaded the phenomenal expansion of SpringPeople fighting off economic headwinds and competitive turbulence. Having worked with various IT companies, he has been on the other side of the table and has a solid understanding of Enterprise Training and Learning & Development (L&D) – challenges, processes, what works what doesn’t, business impact etc.

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