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The Silicon Review Asia

Enhancing Skill Development to Ensure Firms Stay In Accord with the Demands of the Ever-Evolving Business Climate: Eka Academy Private Limited

The Silicon Review
May, 2019

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In the fast changing and knowledge driven world of today, organisations have no other option but to run fast even if to maintain their current progress level. Core competencies that can bring strategic advantage are extremely important for an organisation and such levels of excellence are brought by individuals working in it. Therefore, investing in people shouldn’t be taken for granted. Moreover, the investment should go beyond just compensation and must entail the inputs done to enhance the skill sets of employees.

Globally, organisations have realised that such training interventions offer a tough challenge to overcome, but show promising results in greater profitability, trust, productivity and respect among the employees.

In the view of the above mentioned, we find immense pleasure in introducing Eka Academy Private Limited, a company that has pioneered learning and organisational development with its operations spread across India, Middle East, South Asia, Europe and Australia. Eka Academy Private completely understands the uniqueness of every internal and external challenge that a company faces, and thus, offers flexible solutions that could help them unlock the hidden potential of their employees in critical situations. The company specialises in end-to-end competency based skill development interventions delivered precisely to the mid-management across a board spectrum of industries, domains and functional areas.

Interview Excerpt: Capt. Muthu Krishnan Iyyappan, CEO of Eka Academy Private Limited

Q. The days of Indian companies struggling to compete globally are over. What is your approach towards reaching global or universal standards?

We started off by being a “Zero Billion Dollar” company. Now, what does that mean? A Zero Million Dollar company and a Zero Billion Dollar company has the same bank balance – but the difference is in the vision of the company. A zero billion dollar company aims to achieve a billion dollar right from its inception – and its products, process and business plans are aligned to it.

Therefore, in 2015, just 4 years after we started our business in India, we expanded to Europe with our headquarters in Budapest, Hungary – thus becoming the first Indian training company to be in Europe. We also have a liaison office in Melbourne, Australia.

Q. How successful was your first project?

Our first client was Tata Capital Financial Services. We are happy to share that they continue to be our client – which talks about the superior and consistent quality that we give.

The first project that we did was for Hindustan Lever’s Field services team. The project was called “Project Bushfire” and it was a daunting task for us to train over 20,000 field service personnel of that company in a span of 6 days. It took about 40 days of preparation, and at the end, the project was so successful that the then CEO of Hindustan Lever personally appreciated us.

Q. What were the challenges that you had to face in your initial years?

Persistence! Patience! Perseverance! These three P’s are the most important in any business. For the first 8 months, we had no business. While a lot of frustration and demotivation did set in, we persisted, persevered and waited patiently. On our 9th month, we had one of our biggest orders so far from a company called Godfrey Phillips. That changed the course of our company.

Q. Do you have any unique product?

Training industry is highly dependent on intellectual property, and many methodologies that we use in our training were created decades ago. However, we have created two unique products.

  • ASKOI Principle – ASKOI Principle is a very unique way of evaluating the fitment of a person in a role. ASKOI stands for 5 unique qualifications or traits – Attitude, Skills, Knowledge, Ownership and Initiative. Through our research, we have found that a person should have at least 3 of the 5 qualifications to be successful in any role. While having all the 5 will make the person a perfect fit, anything less than 3 would make the person a misfit for the role.
  • EKDA (Ek Karta Dus Avatar) – This program is based on the mythological avatars of Lord Vishnu. While the basic personality of all the avatars is same, the lord exhibits a different personality in each avatar. He was a guide, a supporter, a rescuer, a protector, merciful, revengeful, righteous, and deceitful in his avatars of Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parasurama, Rama and Krishna. In Balarama Avatar, He showed companionship, and in Kalki Avatar, He gives hope to everyone.

                In the Program EKDA, which is for the senior leadership team of an organisation, we will try to inculcate all the above 10 traits/qualities in the participant. This is a 2 day residential workshop.

Q. As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

Our growth for the next 3-5 years will be determined by 3 “D”s – Digitisation, Diversification and Distribution. We will focus on increasing our digital capability – including creation of e-learning content, gamification and usage of Virtual/Augmented reality for learning. We will invest on acquiring cutting edge digital tools to enhance our competencies and capabilities in the digital space/Learning Management Services/e-Learning etc.

As far as distribution is concerned, we will increase our physical reach into distant geographies. Now that we are in 3 continents, we will soon be physically present in all the 6 continents. From a pure play training company, we will also diversify into other allied activity like publishing, creation of learning channels, and training manpower provision.

Knowing the Promising Leader

Capt. Muthu Krishnan Iyyappan, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Capt. Muthu Krishnan is an army veteran with about 25 years of experience in both Army and Corporate life spreading across 4 continents and about 9 different industries. Muthu is an avid adventurer, traveler and a good cook. He has hitchhiked all over Europe and most of South East Asian countries. He has biked all over India - and has covered the entire stretch of the Himalayas. He is also an expert in exotic vegetarian cooking.

Muthu is a graduate in Physics with specialisation in digital electronics and has completed master’s course in Business Administration from the Bharathidasan University.

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A Billion lives… A billion smiles and A billion dollars.

Our dream is to touch a billion individual lives through training interventions, to create a billion individual smiles, and to make a billion dollars.”

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