Our fourth blog post in a series on our new investments features B Ganesh, founder of SkillTrain
What does your company do?
SkillTrain offers vocational training to rural school dropouts using an innovative mobile phone enabled learning delivery platform. SkillTrain offers training programmes such as mobile repairing, electrical repairing, computer hardware repairing, plumbing and masonry thereby enabling rural school dropouts to gain employment or become self-employed. SkillTrain also offers vocational training to learners across the globe through an online blended learning platform. Currently SkillTrain offers around eight vocational courses. All our courses are available completely free of cost at our learning site (www.skilltrain.in) as well as on our Youtube Channel (www.youtube.com/skilltrainindia). SkillTrain currently has more than 4000 registered users from across the globe pursuing various courses.
Why are you excited about this space?
We wanted to address the issue of school dropouts in India. Every year nearly 15 million students drop out of the Indian schooling system at various stages. These dropouts currently do not have an option of returning to mainstream education nor can they get into vocational or higher education. Eventually, this can metamorphose into a demographic crisis. So, we started SkillTrain to provide an easily accessible, affordable vocational training mechanism that can enable these dropouts to learn a skill and become employable. The sheer number of dropouts pushes us to reach out to a larger number of candidates every year and make them employable. This is exciting for us.
What is innovative about your product?
For the first time ever, we have tried using mobile phones on a blended learning format to deliver vocational training to rural youth. Traditional vocational training happens on a brick & mortar format which results is high cost and low scalability. Hence we chose to use the mobile phones to take our content to the remotest parts of our country. We have developed video content in Hindi for eight courses and we distribute this content free of cost on mobile phones in rural areas. This creates an excitement for the learner and encourages them to pursue a full-fledged vocational course. We support them through paid practical training at local repairing shops thus eliminating the need for them to travel. We have successfully created a per-hour payment model for the practical training thereby making vocational training affordable to the target audience. In summary, our model of delivering vocational training itself has been completely innovative.
What is the impact you want to have?
Over the next 5 years, we aim to offer 50 courses and have an impact on around 100,000 learners across the world.
How do you think Villgro will help?
Villgro will help us on three main areas:
* Mentorship: critical for any social startups such as ours
* Networks: Connecting us with complementary enterprises that can help us scale faster
To apply to Villgro for incubation support, visit www.http://220.127.116.11:8095/villgro2020/incubation