The economic slowdown of 2008-2009 taught many things to businesses as well as professionals worldwide; and one being the importance of having well-trained and certified workforce.
Today a skilled professional is valued by businesses who are ready to shell out more to get them on board. In one of the articles printed in PC World, CompTIA mentioned, “Businesses will typically pay a 10 percent premium for someone who has earned one of its entry-level certifications, and individuals with higher-level certifications can command a 40 percent mark-up.” (Source: PC World)
During and after the recession, the demand for skilled professionals increased and it became a tool not only to upgrade oneself but also to secure one’s job. This led to professionals hard-pressed for time looking out for smarter ways to learn against the traditional classroom trainings. That’s when Simplilearn, a new-age education company having its base in Houston, Texas and Bangalore, India entered the market with their approach to innovative learning called blended training – a mix of classroom and online training. They not only beat the competitors at their game but also became one of the biggest names in the professional certifications and trainings industry.
Krishna Kumar, CEO of Simplilearn looks back at the humble beginnings and meteoric rise of his company with fond memories, “Five years back I started a blog to help PMP aspirants to crack their examinations. In few months I had trained around 3000+ professionals and that’s when it struck my mind to turn it into a company to reach out to more potential professionals looking for PMP certification and thus Simplilearn was born on 8th April 2010. It is not wrong to say that Simplilearn was born at a time when more and more professionals were looking forward to get certified in professional courses in a smarter way.” Krishna further added, “It was a challenging but critical task to get the core team in place as I wanted an equally passionate team who believed in the business model and the future of education sector. Therefore the initial 20 members were selected carefully who were a mix of top B school graduates, freshers and professionals with experience in the training industry.”
The company initially trained only PMP aspirants through eLearning but the need to serve varying needs of a diverse and global audience gave birth to the blended model which was a mix of classroom and online training. The blended model was first introduced in Asia with the focus to become a leader in PMP training, however seeing a good response, couple of new courses were introduced. These new courses viz; ITIL, MS Project, Six Sigma and PRINCE2® were given away initially as complimentary courses to participants training with Simplilearn for their PMP certification.
In the far end of 2010 Simplilearn ventured out into the global scene with its first workshop in Singapore and later in Dubai. Soon the company spread worldwide over several geographies as well as introduced many more courses in their repertoire. Apart from increasing the number of courses, they also took care of the quality of the content which was of top most priority for them, no wonder 20+ global bodies have accredited their course-ware. “Utmost care is taken with the quality of our content and we try to incorporate every valuable feedback collected from our participants,” says Krishna Kumar proudly.
Simplilearn also has many firsts in their kitty as they were the first company to break free from the traditional classroom training and introduced the blended model where a mix of classroom and online trainings were imparted. Simplilearn believed in “Customer First” and introduced 100% money back guarantee to its customers apart from providing 24/7 support; which were a first for the education and training industry.
The company registered profitable numbers well within its first year of operation and achieved several milestones in the last four years. First major milestone being – training 100,000+ professionals worldwide in 2012. They also got their series A and series B funding of 3 million and 10 million each in quick succession which was again a major achievement.
Today Simplilearn has its major presence in US with a registered office in Houston, TX and is the number one choice for any professional, planning to take up certification courses. Being a company that believes in innovation and likes to keep pace with changing times, the Instructor-Led-Online training was introduced in mid-2013 for the benefit of professionals who are hard pressed for time to attend classroom trainings.
The Instructor-Led-Online trainings are not only a hit among individual professionals but also among the corporates, who could now save on costs and time by getting their geographically spread teams trained on one common online platform, ensuring a consistent training quality.
Prashant Parmar, Director in Simplilearn who was one amongst the twenty people who initially joined shares his experience, “Our continuous focus on understanding and addressing learners’ needs was critical for the introduction of a several industry-first features such as blended model of learning, 24*7 student support, online doubt clearing sessions and most recently the Instructor-Led-Online trainings. The common passion and a vision to become the one-stop destination for professional certifications in the world made us overcome every hurdle with a smile.”
Prashant also mentioned that apart from the above mentioned three differentiators, the strategies used by the company to stay ahead of competitors were; maximum use of technology, continuously innovating the business model and the solid team we put together. A closer look at the higher management team in Simplilearn will showcase most of the CxO’s to be top B-school graduates apart from them being ex-entrepreneurs coming together to take the company ahead on the global platform.
Today the company has trained more than 200,000 professionals worldwide and has around 300+ courses in three categories viz; Design, Technology and Business with a team of 2000+ well qualified trainers working towards the common goal of spreading knowledge in the professional certifications domain.
On being quizzed about the future plans for the company, Krishna Kumar said, “We are also looking at inorganic growth to increase our offerings and establish ourselves as World’s Largest Destination for Certification and Trainings.”
The success of Simplilearn in the last four years shows that if you are passionate about something then sky is the limit.
Shaiju Mathew is an Indian author, social media strategist, blogger, reviewer, screenplay writer, and short film director, known for his 2010 book Knocked Up and short film Planchette. For more information please visit his webpage www.chaiwithshai.com. You can also check him out on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaiju_Mathew)