By Samrat Sinha
01 Jul 2016
Not so long ago the training function in organizations was looked upon as a mere chore to be completed or rather sleepwalked through. The content was more often than not, hackneyed with little or no modifications between versions. With the advent of web based training and massive proliferation of the Internet, training has gradually acquired a glamorous sheen. There are organizations, dime a dozen that offer training and capability building solutions of all hues. Even in-house training functions have adopted new technologies and are trying to spruce up the hitherto, staid function. All of this is leading to a new and improved training experience.
The outsourcing of the training & capability function seems to be a norm these days. Almost all startups and agile organizations are embracing this route to quickly train or re-train their employee bases. Even mammoth manufacturing companies, which are slower on the pace of change have started experimenting with outside outfits for their non-routine training requirements. There is a paradigm shift underway from in-house training to outright outsourcing. This swing has spawned a host of startups entering this arena. Many are offering repackaged content through new delivery mediums but a few are getting into specialized zones with differentiated delivery channels. The long list in this space would include PurpleLeap, Genius Temple, Wagons Learning and scores of others.
There are organizations like Excellential.com who call themselves a complete TPO i.e. a Training Process Outsourcing company a la Business Process Outsourcing outfit. What is interesting is the completely unique approach that they have taken. They have created a web based training marketplace that links all the dots in the training jigsaw. Right from trainers looking for assignments to companies looking for specific training tasks, Excellential has it all. The engine works like an aggregation algorithm where linking is done to a client requirement with the matching of skill set of available Excellential trainers that too nearest to the training site. This saves the lead time to train and also removes the fitment issues of a trainer being suitable for the module of the client. Excellential provides the content, the trainer and the technology to run this seamlessly.
The founders of Excellential.com, Pooja Singh & Rajesh Mehendale, are a bunch of young first time entrepreneurs. They have extensive experience in the capability building domain and are adept hands-on practitioners of the craft of Mentoring- at all levels. They combine over 35 years of experience in industries ranging from FMCG to Manufacturing & Telecom to myriad other service verticals. The positioning of their company is pegged as ‘comprehensive training & capability building solutions through the power of technology.’ They aver that their first few clients were startups themselves as only a newbie can empathize with a new kid on the block! In the very first year of inception they have bagged prestigious brand names like pepperfry.com, Konica Minolta, India First, JBL, Baskin Robbins and a host of other prime organizations.
Strictly from a technological perspective it is amazing to note the degree of automation Excellential has deployed. Right from web based learning to App leverage, online KET (Knowledge Evaluation Testing), Feedback Surveys, Assessments, Inductions, Train the Trainers, their portfolio boasts of the whole nine yards of training and its measurement. They are known to measure all the interventions they undertake. Customers have the option of viewing customized dashboards, training improvement scorecards, Per head training cost, and current and future calendars. Similar functionality is available for trainers and business associates who are enrolled in the Excellential marketplace. Segment wise invoices and billed information is also available on tap.
In the social media space they have listening engines placed to spot customers and other entities of their supply chain. An agony aunt type service that is christened as ‘corporate agony buster’ is also being promoted via Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter. Any corporate interpersonal issue or stress point can be confidentially queried and get answered by a panel of experts. This service is free as of now but may be monetized in the future.
Pooja and Rajesh want to import the next big thing in training technology i.e. Gamification. They are gung-ho about the prospects of game based learning and want to extend it for CXO level hiring. Such is the potential of this game changing technology that in the next five year’s time, most of the top level head hunting would be basis this technology. To simplify this let’s understand how gamification works- the targeted hire is made to play a game on a customized console, there are no right or wrong decisions in the game. The evaluation would be a summation of decisions taken by the player during the course of the game. Each move would be marked and mapped to a trait. The final result would be the best score suited to the Job role and the leadership style most suitable for the environment of the hiring organization.
Excellential is giving the opportunity to corporates – Learning Anytime, Anywhere. This becomes omnipresent when it comes to building capabilities of human assets. Another tool that deserves mention is the ICMS — Integrated Capability Management System that offers learning anytime, anywhere. This is cradled on the cloud and offers complete flexibility to the users. All the applications, be it on the web or mobile devices are completely secure and can be integrated to the client Intranets if the need arises. This kind of inter-operability creates another competitive advantage for the Excellential portfolio.
Excellential’s success would inspire newer technologies to enter this domain and we shall surely see a proliferation of smarter applications getting created in this space.
Samrat Sinha is Head Capability Building & Channel Engagement, Tata Teleservices Limited. A seasoned Telecom Sales and Operations professional with 19 years of experience, Sinha has worked with top Mobile Telephony brands with specialty in greenfield rollouts and creating distribution infrastructure. Accomplished short-story author and a business writer, he has been featured in leading Indian publications like The Economic Times, The Indian Express, The Hindu Business Line, to name a few.
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