"Over the years, ICA has built an impressive recall value in the mind of youth aspiring to get skilled and get their first Job, says Narendra Shyamsukha."
Tell us about your Entrepreneurial journey and what was the idea behind ICA Edu Skills Pvt Ltd?
My journey has been wonderful where I have seen ups and downs, typical of an Entrepreneur. The idea began in year 1999, when I founded ICA Edu Skills. I came up with the idea while doing my CA practice. I noticed how my newly hired inexperienced employees within a few months would end up being hired by my clients at a higher salary. The EUREKA moment was when I realized that it was my training that made the difference. The fist training center was a small room at Kolkata commercial space with a capacity of 10 students getting trained in Accounting and Taxation. Today ICA has 250+ centers training PAN India. We are training and placing people across 16 sectors supported by a pool of 2000+ trainers.
Tell us something about your brand and its global presence?
ICA is an 18-year-old brand and is one of the Leading Education and Skill Development Company. In Accounts, Taxation and Tally training we are in the number one rank. ICA is also a category, A partner of Ministry of Rural Development in implementing placement link skill development projects for GOI. It is also an NSDC partner. Over the years, ICA has built an impressive recall value in the mind of youth aspiring to get skilled and get their first Job.
What is the Skill Development framework that has been adopted at ICA?
ICA has two models. Paid and Govt-Sponsored. The paid programs have courses ranging from 3-month duration to 3 years full time Graduate Programs. The paid model caters to urban and semi urban populations with reasonable income and academic background. A successful candidate can expect to get a Job anywhere between 12000-35000. Depending on the course he has opted, marks obtained and the location. The Government Sponsored model is where we are contributing actively in Skill India mission. The target group is mostly semi-urban, rural, and under resourced youth who can be skilled and trained in particular Job role and provide a sustainable livelihood through employment or entrepreneurship. The Process involved are mass mobilizing candidates, screening, assessment, counseling, training, OJT, Placement and monitoring placement.
According to you, how is Skill Training evolving in the Education space?
EduLift is a venture which I started to introduce skilling right from school. Through EduLift I intend to connect wonderful Tech enabled products in school so that students can have a more practical learning experience and be skilled. The Future is where the students are being skilled in using Robotics, 3D printing, Mind-map tools, and Tinkering labs to reinforce their theoretical learning.
When did you start franchising & what attracted you towards franchising?
I started franchising in year 2002. The nature of the training business is to keep a pulse on Local Industry and understand their requirement. The other requirement for a succesfull training centre is involvement of the Entrepreneur in day to day activity of the center. A captive model would mean, the creeping in of rigid rules and policy enforced by employees of the Company, ignoring local challenges and opportunities. This was the learning I got while running multiple own centres and hence preffered franchisee.
What kind of franchise partners are you looking for expansion?
A committed partner, who is actively involved in all aspect of the center, right from enquiry generation down to placement.
What is your business vision and how do you plan to achieve it in next five years?
ICA is expanding. We plan to take our HR strength to 3000 by March’18. The latest Tax reform will see more students showing interested in Accounts and Taxation courses. The other promising program is our Employable graduate program where we are offering 3 year degree program with 1 year paid internship in alliance with some of the leading Pvt universities in the country. Overall I am seeing a YoY growth of 15-20% I our Paid vertical. The Skill India vision is where we will be taining around 2.5 lakhs across India by 2018-19.