Times & Trends Academy is formed with the vision to inspire and instruct others on how to improve their lives and achieve peace of mind, financial freedom and a career for life.
It is true that our young generation needs to be skilled in order to get employment. It is very important to get skills and only then we can think of a bright future of a country. Nowadays, employers usually face this problem where a candidate is knowledgeable but not skilled enough to do a particular job.
Skills based education is marred by multiple access barriers like limited infrastructure facilities, quality of training, rigid entry requirements, lack of financial support, and negative perceptions. The skills challenge doubles up for us with a swelling young working age group population. Often referred to as the ‘Demographic Dividend’, the skills vs jobs requirement mismatch often leads to economically inactive working age group people. While this impacts the economy and the particularly the growth of the domestic industry, it is a huge social and civil risk.
Providing solutions to the above problems, Times & Trends Academy is formed with the vision to inspire and instruct others on how to improve their lives and achieve peace of mind, financial freedom and a career for life. They provide courses in event management, fashion designing, animation, graphics, VFX, life coaching, interiors, jewellery, finance. In an interview with EducationBiz, Amit Agrawal, Chairman, Times & Trends Academy, explains how life-skills education is the very education in today’s time to land in a highly paying job or to become a successful entrepreneur. Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
About Times & Trends Academy
Times & Trends Academy is into education from the past 12 years. Abhinav Bindra, the renowned shooter, is our brand ambassador. We are into collaboration with the City of Oxford where we offer 1 year diploma and 2 years advance diploma. We have tied up with UGC recognised Indian University Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMO).
A research done by many universities including Oxford states that 10 per cent of job failures are due to technical reasons and 90 per cent of them are due to non-technical reasons like lack of understanding of oneself and the others, lack of motivation which are nothing but life-skills, people skill. So, we’ve developed a 360 degree holistic development program for each and every student’s career to help bring out their creativity and achieve name, fame and money.
Another research states that to make any new learning permanent in mind, 16 times repetitions are required. The solution here is e-learning wherein we have converted all our training modules into an online portal. We already have learning manuals and we’ve uploaded all these lectures online so that the students can go through them as many times as they want from the comfort of their homes.
Another USP is entrepreneurship development skills wherein we have incubation cell for entrepreneurs at two levels. One for people who are aspiring entrepreneurs and want to start and run their own business and another for people who are already into business but want to take it from one level to another.
Your views on online education industry in India
A research by NASA states that, at present, 10 per cent of people go online and 90 per cent of people still use the route of brick and mortar businesses. Over a period of 4 years, by 2020, there will be a reverse in situation wherein 90 per cent of people might go online, pay using their debit or credit card, download modules, videos, ppt etc and even get certified by a university. We are slowly moving online and this market is gradually increasing in size. So, we too are getting ready for online market by recording our classes and putting them online. 12 of our programs are already on Amazon. Thus, we are heading strongly in that position.
About your infrastructure
We have state-of-the-art infrastructure with projectors, LED TVs, Wifi, two-way conference with Reliance Jio etc. The model is that smaller cities do not have quality faculties that we want and they have the challenge to acquire good faculties on-board. So, we have this two-way conference where we get all the unit franchisees in a city connected for important sessions. Also, we have online video recorded and put online for reference by other students in other states too. We provide end-to-end support to all our franchisees.
How do you think getting associated with cultural events and other such events help build a brand?
We have event management as a program so we are associated with many such as IPL Pune, Kabaddi Pro, residential events, high profile destination weddings where our students go and help them. Event management, fashion designing etc are all lifestyle courses. With our Prime Minister Narendra Modi focusing on skill development, getting involved in events gives our students live the exposure of what they are learning in class, so there is a lot of practical learning taking place. Our courses are 75 per cent practical and 25 per cent theoretical. Ultimately, our students are our brand ambassadors. They either want highly paid jobs or want to become successful entrepreneurs and we help them with both.
Times & Trends Academy after 5 years
We would open 180 centres in India from which 12 would be master franchisee and rest unit franchisees. We’d have a big online presence with a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore.
Over the coming years, with workforce demanding more skilled labour, skill education in India is going to rise by leaps and bounds and this would pave way for many opportunities for aspiring edupreneurs.