Elements Akademia launch of a visionary startup

These days we hear only one word around us "shortages". Companies are crying out that there is a shortage of skilled employees. St...

These days we hear only one word around us "shortages". Companies are crying out that there is a shortage of skilled employees. Students are crying out there is a shortage of Jobs and this means that both sides are facing troubles lakhs of students are unemployed while companies are struggling to grow because of these shortages. This factor is most crucial in Tier 2 and 3 cities where lack of exposure makes life of a graduate tougher compared to a metro. To address this we need companies who are willing to train these people in skills that will help them fit in workspace and this is where Elements Akademia has jumped in.
Officially launched today in Lucknow Elements Akademia plans to provide BPO skills training to graduates to make them more profitable for an organization. It plans to open its centers in 14 more tier 2 cities after Lucknow. Now this field is not without competition there are organized players like NIIT and street side players who offer skills like English speaking courses, soft skills training etc but what Elements Akademia seems to be keen on is providing integrated training to these graduates and most of all it is backed by a corporate partner in Genpact which is arguably India's largest BPO thus providing its students a chance for a placement. What creates trust for the startup is that it is backed by a team of all IIM alumni including its CEO who is IIM Lucknow alumni and its Honorary Dean who was formerly Dean of IIT Kanpur's Business School. Elements Akademia's educational partners includes K.J Somaiya .Elements Akademia has setup an interesting vision of “10 x 10… 10,000+ Indians employed by 2010".
Elements Akademia is a different idea for a startup then the herd of similar ideas that i have seen and they have started it well with a good PR launch and a good team behind it however the key lies in the execution and though the brand IIM is behind them it will take some doing to deal with more established competition.Its website is http://www.elementsakademia.com/

Dislaimer: I have done a honorary project for this startup and my views might be affected by my experience


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Shankar Nath said...

Hi Abhishek,

I went through the website .. the word IIM was full-beat throughout the website. Does being an IIM alumni venture add any extra value to the product/service proposition as compared to a non-IIM cadre? (btw, NIIT was founded by 2 non-IIM graduates)

Anyways, I like the business model of the company. They work like a recruitment agency that also provides training. Munch this, they will charge 10k from a student for learning the course.

The BPO (say, GENPACT) also promises 10k to the company for recruiting the candidate. This ofcourse comes with a retention clause that the candidate should stick with them for 6 months. (i have used 6 months on purpose, instead of 12)

Now they tell the candidate that if he leaves the company in 12 months then he will forfeit the 10k amount. (12 months thus, is like a bond for the candidate)

There are 3 scenarios here -
1. If candidate leaves before 6 months - EA keeps 10k of candidate, no money from BPO
2. If candidate leaves after 12 months - EA refunds 10k to candidate, but gets 10k from BPO
3. If candidate leaves after 6 months, then it's POT GOLD - 10k from the BPO and 10k forfeited from candidate

In the meanwhile, the company enjoys the interest on the deposit kept by the student (or if the BPO is dumb, then from there too)

The only problem is the quality of the candidates. If the BPO feels that the candidate is not fit for the job, and terminates the candidate before 6 months - then EA is not applicable for the 10k from the company. Also, if he holds the student at fault then it will attract legal cases against it.

I like the model however. Strangely, a non-IIM could see thorough it.

Warm Rgds

Abhishek said...

It seems that Elements akademia had slightly gone overboard with use of IIM word but it is basically a tactic to reassure its customers that they are not any fly by night operators. I contacted the company after your comments and they clarified that they don't charge any money from their BPO/KPO partnerinterestingly they said "The Fees of the programme is Rs. 15,000 of which the corporate returns only Rs. 10,000. The rest is material and other incidental fees which the student still bears (apart from cost of capital that you rightly identified). Which is why we are saying it is a very reasonably priced course, but not really a free course. Our website actually underplays the fees returning part for this reason - even though it is a big differentiator vs. other similar offerings. " and they seemed to have ability to offer loans also and to me Elements Akademia who are even keen to offer 10k return to students and thus looks to be having a sound business model with some very genuine intentions but the key lies in executing the part