This Mumbai based workforce development organization is trying to empower Indian youth by providing high-quality skill training and career development services, as well as providing skilled manpower trained as per industry standards to companies seeking skilled youth.
India faces two massive challenges that puts the country in a strange juxtaposition. On the one hand are companies and organizations that are desperately looking for talent, while on the other are high numbers of educated but unemployed youth.
Last month, an article titled ‘Explain Speaking: The challenge of skilling India’, drives the point home that upskilling is quite significant for the Indian youth.
Regarding the same, EduBridge Learning Pvt. Ltd. has been empowering the youth by providing high-quality skill training and career development services to learners, along with offering continuous end-to-end career development support that they need across their journey, starting from counselling, training, certification, and placements.
The Tech Panda spoke to Girish Singhania, CEO of EduBridge India, a Mumbai-based workforce development organization started by a group of IIM alumni and professors in October 2009.
There is a massive gap between a job seeker and a job provider in India today. Facilitating employability has been and is still a pressing need, as much as job creation is
“There is a massive gap between a job seeker and a job provider in India today. Facilitating employability has been and is still a pressing need, as much as job creation is. A majority of urban as well as rural youth struggle to find the right career opportunities and employment despite having the required skills,” he says.
“We target to upskill the unemployed youth whose annual family income is less than INR 5 lakhs per annum, whose basic communication skills and digital skills need improvement, and who are actively looking for a job,” he adds.
Another pain point the startup addresses is the demand of the corporates for skilled manpower without them having to spend time, money, and efforts in a traditional sense.
“Through our intervention, we have also been able to bridge this gap and provide skilled manpower trained as per industry standards that are productive from day one, thus, lowering attrition rates in a lot of corporates,” he says.
What They Do
EduBridge is a workforce development organization that handholds youth through their entire career development lifecycle. Their work starts from identifying the skills required by the recruiters and then looking at building them among the youth to ensure that they have these skills when they are presented to recruiters to be employed within their organizations.
“Continuous end-to-end support that they need across their career development lifecycle, starting from counselling, training, certification, and placements, and even post placements, for at least six months, to help them build a sustainable career path. This has been the underline of what we did right from EduBridge’s inception,” says Singhania.
Everything we do is backed by the latest technology at every stage and hence, the impact can be scientifically calculated and a necessary action plan for each learner can be sketched
To begin with, they create awareness among the students about the gap that needs to be bridged using door-to-door, direct, and mass marketing channels. EduBridge has become the preferred partners for corporate giants who are willing to indulge in different programs for the benefit of uplifting the young and unemployed youth of India.
Further, their blended learning model provides a basic foundation course on spoken English and basic computers, while providing specialized courses that impart an overall understanding of the various sectors that they could find employment in, the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance), IT, retail, and hospitality sectors, among others. Jobs are guaranteed to all its students within two months of enrolment.
“Our online portal ensures that each student gets access to additional career guidance at various stages through tools like a Professional Resume Builder, My Jobs section, notifications of various activities, right on their mobile phones, etc. Everything we do is backed by the latest technology at every stage and hence, the impact can be scientifically calculated and a necessary action plan for each learner can be sketched,” explains the IIM Bangalore graduate.
“From the moment a learner is on-boarded, they are treated with the utmost care, and based on requirements and improvement required, courses, training and handholding are offered till they are comfortable to embark on a positive journey on their own,” he adds.
Origin & Inspiration
EduBridge as an idea incubated in Singhania’s mind back in 2008 while he was still working at Edelweiss in Mumbai. Before that, he had worked at Proctor & Gamble, where he worked on their Rural India Project, expanding P&G’s operations into rural parts of India.
Singhania recalls that this experience brought to light the dearth of employment in these regions, where the job seekers wanted employment, and on the other hand, an organization like P&G was struggling to find people who could be part of their various internal divisions.
“There was a lot of attrition and a lot of challenges in getting people to sell products in these areas.
So, in my vision, there was a clear market with a massive gap between a job seeker and a job provider,” he recalls.
In my vision, there was a clear market with a massive gap between a job seeker and a job provider
“I saw that both existed, but for some reason, would not be able to connect. That is where this idea developed in my mind, and I ended up doing a lot of research around it for almost a year,” he adds.
He then travelled to hundreds of villages over the weekends to do focus-group discussions and personal interviews with various stakeholders as he sought to understand what the right product would be to address this gap.
“I don’t think I dreamt of starting EduBridge per se. I think what I was always clear about was that I would be starting a venture of my own. Born in a conservative Marwari family in Kolkata, I think this probably is in my blood,” explains the CEO, who brings 15 years of experience across education, FMCG, and financial service sectors.
So even while he was working at corporates, the idea of starting an enterprise of his own was always running through his mind.
“I was always looking for that right opportunity, and I think the great part about EduBridge is that it allowed me to marry my commercial interests along with the social interests,” he says.
Thus, the idea of EduBridge started turning into reality slowly. Finally, in September 2009, Singhania quit his job and started EduBridge in October of 2009. They have been operational for 11+ years now and impact the lives of 150,000 youth while also placing almost 100,000 youth from these in various corporates, thus helping address the gap that was previously identified.
The EduBridge USP
EduBridge has so far reached out to and transformed the lives of more than 150,000 youth already. Having impacted so many lives and indirectly having increased so many household incomes is a tremendous achievement for them.
Several organizations are working in the K-12, test preparation, and also the higher education space in some capacities. However, Singhania strongly believes that for all of them, either the customer segment is different or the product/service is completely different.
“We are looking at working on this niche segment of learners who have recently graduated and are the first-time entrant into the workforce. What makes EduBridge different from others is that we have a critical process that is followed from end to end. This is the key to effective outcomes,” he says proudly.
One of the key differentiators of the startups is that all their learners are assigned a minimum of three-five opportunities when they start learning with them, thereby ensuring that almost all of them get immediately recruited on completing the program.
What makes EduBridge different from others is that we have a critical process that is followed from end to end. This is the key to effective outcomes
Also, 80% of their training is imparted live through an expert from the industry itself, so the level of engagement and learning for the learners is far superior.
“Our starting point is to work with leading recruiters to create relevant training programs with skillsets and mindsets as required by them. Thus, all our programs are specific to the recruiter requirements,” he says.
Moreover, they work for a niche segment of learners, i.e., entry-level graduate job seekers. In addition to their programs, each of their learners get access to tools like a professional resume builder and a personalized job portal to enhance their career choices and employability.
“We will be launching several other related services for our learners in the coming months which will only add further support to all who engage with us,” he adds.
EduBridge has grown from three workforce development academies in 2009 to 60+ academies in 2021. More than 3000 students enroll with them every month. They see a footfall of 33,000+ unique IDs on their website and have more than 2500 active users every single day on their website and growing.
They have trained 150,000 youth so far and successfully place 100,000+ youth in various corporates with salaries way above minimum wages.
“With an average minimum salary of 12,000/- per month, cumulatively the salary of 1300+ crores has been generated, which has a direct impact on our learners and indirectly on their families and community as a whole,” Singhania says proudly.
With an average minimum salary of 12,000/- per month, cumulatively the salary of 1300+ crores has been generated, which has a direct impact on our learners and indirectly on their families and community as a whole
They are associated with 680+ recruiters having more than 20,000 vacancies, which are mapped against each of their learners.
“Our learners are really happy with the journey they take with us, and our feedback score continues to always be above four out of five, which goes to say that we are headed in the right direction and our solution works great,” he says.
On the other end, they have continuous and ongoing relationships with many recruiters pan India, who have observed a 30-40% difference in attrition rates due to some custom Hire-Train-Deploy programs that they have worked with them on.
“For all other corporates, they engage with us on a regular need-basis to recruit as per their requirements pan-India thus, ensuring a good channel for skilled manpower supply that is highly reliable,” he says.
The online education market in India was valued at INR 39 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach INR 360.3 billion by 2024. Also, the government has proposed providing about INR 99,300 crore for the education sector in 2020-21 and INR 3,000 crore for skill development in this year’s annual budget announcement.
EduBridge expects to be able to expand a significant part into the online education and skilling space and impact the lives of over a million youth over the next two years through 250+ courses delivered by 5000+ trainers online or offline. Their vision is to be the first-choice provider of high-quality skill and career development in every corner of India, says Singhania.
“We want to be that workforce development platform to which every youth turns to, when they want any answers related to their careers or have any concerns or need any guidance,” he concludes.