Skillveri Raises INR 8 Crore Investment from MSDF and Ankur Capital

Startup that Pioneered India’s First Welding Simulator Receives INR 8 Crores investment from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Ankur Capital

NEW DELHI – January  11th , 2017 – Skillveri  has raised an investment of INR 8 crores from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, together with Ankur Capital. Pioneers behind the first welding simulator made in India, Skillveri will leverage this investment to enable training of 500,000 youth for well-paying aspirational manufacturing jobs over the next five years. It also expects to expand from its current manufacturing focus to four new industries and six geographies in the future.

Founded by Sabarinath Nair and L. Kannan in 2012 to address India’s skills gap, Skillveri was incubated at the Rural Technology Business Incubator (RTBI) in IIT Madras. Apart from the founders, Mr C Sivakumar and Ms Rema Subramanian are Directors of the company. Today, it has the most widely installed simulator in the welding domain that trains low-income youth with high-quality manufacturing skills. This is the only indigenous simulator and stands out as the most effective product in the market.

With the government’s “Make in India” program expected to create 90 million new manufacturing jobs in 10 years, a well-trained workforce is crucial for its success. Skillveri addresses this by using cutting-edge technology to meet the challenges of quality and scale. The company’s training solutions reduce the need for expensive equipment and raw-material needed to train aspirants in hands-on skills, while providing learners with industry-ready curriculum and inbuilt testing tools.

Sabarinath Nair, Founder & CEO, Skillveri said, “This investment will enable Skillveri to expand its presence into new geographies as well as foray into multiple new skill domains, such as painting, paramedical procedures, jewelry making, where manual dexterity is highly valued. Our unique ‘psycho-physics’ driven approach enables us to develop targeted products across domains through digital dexterity mapping.”

Rahil Rangwala, Director, Family Economic Stability at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “Manufacturing contributes 25% (and growing) to India’s GDP. For the skilled youth of today, jobs in manufacturing also represent higher earning potential than retail or service sector jobs. Skillveri simulators provide access to high quality training, giving youth a head start to well-paying jobs and meaningful careers. The shared values and mission is what attracted us to Skillveri and we are excited to join them on their journey of transforming manufacturing skill training in the country.”

Rema Subramanian, Partner, Ankur Capital, said, “Skill shortage is a global challenge and we strongly believe in the potential of Skillveri’s technology to address the same. With our seed investment in 2015, Skillveri has not only launched a range of cutting-edge simulators, but also received validation from various customer segments, across both industry and academia. Our participation in follow-on funding along with Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in their Series A fund raise is a reflection of our confidence in Skillveri’s global potential.”

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About Skillveri Training Solutions Pvt Ltd

Skillveri enables better quality delivery of practical vocational skill training at significantly lesser costs through its innovative, scalable platform of multi-skill simulators. After establishing market leadership with a range of welding-training products, a slew of new offerings is in the pipeline—spray painting, gold-jewelry soldering, medical skills, etc. The company recently graduated from IIT Madras’ Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI), and has won NSDC’s Innovation Award. For more information, please visit www.skillveri.com or watch a video here, or follow us on twitter at @SkillVeri

 About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Founded in 1999, the central mission of the US-based Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through better education, family economic stability and health. Since 2006, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has invested more than INR 983 crores in non-profits and social enterprises in India. For more information visit www.msdf.org. Follow us on Twitter @msdf_india

About Ankur

Ankur Capital is a SEBI registered early stage venture capital fund and supports companies that are solving important problems for India, supporting the growth and development of the country and improving the quality of lives across income segments. Ankur Capital has invested in 7 companies across education, agriculture, and healthcare, at the intersection of technology and business model innovation.

For further information, please contact:

Sabarinath Nair, Founder & CEO                                    Kannan Lakshminarayan, Founder Director

+919566228282                                                                  +919840329499
sabari@skillveri.com                                                          kannan@skillveri.com

Rebranding Skillveri

skillveri-logo-rebrandingToday, Skillveri is four years old. We take a moment to look back at the distance we have come, and more importantly, the path ahead.

We have certainly grown a lot from where have started – As a product, the Aura Welding Simulator has evolved way past its nascent stages. It is now successfully used in so many esteemed institutions and industries all over the country.  As a Team, we have expanded, having people with diverse skillsets, representing us across many locations.

Growth always brings along with it change. Skillveri is all set to see major changes in the coming months – both in our product, and in our company on the whole. As an important step in these changes, we are happy to announce that we are doing a major rebranding.

Skillveri’s company logo has undergone a complete revamp and comes with a fresh new look – yet retaining our core philosophy of a soaring spirit, and helping people develop the skills needed for their careers and lives to take wing.

We will be rolling out the new logo across our website, social media channels, and all official communication, starting today. We hope you like it, and continue to show your support as you always have – we have many more goals to score and miles to go in our journey ahead.

 

Skillveri CEO to speak at the Skill Conclave 2015, Pune

The Mahratta Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) is organising a Skills Conclave at Pune on the 3rd and 4th September 2015.

The conclave is organised to address the national agenda of Skill Development, and the main theme of this year is ‘Enhancing Skills, Employability and Entrepreneurship’.

Skillveri is happy to be a part of the event, and our CEO Sabarinath Nair will be speaking on Award Winning Initiatives in Welding Training. The session is on 4th Sep 2015, from 4-5 PM.

The event will be inaugurated by,

Mr. Subhash Desai, Honorable Minister for Industries, Government of Maharashtra,

Mr. Girish Bapat, Honorable Guardian Minister, Minister for Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Protection, Food & Drug Administration & Parliamentary Affairs,

Mr. Anil Shirole, Honorable Member of Parliament,

Mr. S.S Sandhu, Principal Secretary, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department and

Mr. Dilip Chenoy , Managing Director, National Skill Development Corporation.

 

conclave pune

Systemic Challenges in Skill Development

As a tech-entrepreneur working in the skill development space and being focused on making an impact on skills that require working with hands, I often get exposed to the limits technology has in making impact unless the blocks inherent to the system are removed. The government is certainly taking steps in the right direction, with the Prime Minister remarking during the launch of Skill India that he wants to see India being known for its ITIs like it is now known for its IITs.

Two back-to-back articles by journalist @yatishrajawat articulated these system challenges excellently. In an article for FirstPost, he nails the aspirational issues with working with hands:

…skills are not for those who cannot complete education. Skills are for everyone who is seeking a job and is not afraid of working with their hands.

The biggest challenge today is that those who work with their hands do not want their children to do the same. Somehow it has gone into our culture that working with hands is a poorer way to earn a living.

In another article for the BusinessWorld he further elaborates on aspects that the industry needs to urgently address, rather than wait for the government to solve:

One of the biggest issue with skilled workers who work with their hands as compared to the rest of the labour force that taps out their living on a keyboard is working conditions. Companies never think about giving these workers a workplace as the site is there work place. As a result they are expose to he elements, their canteens are in the open, the relieve themselves in makeshift or open toilets. They are not considered equal to an employee who works in the head office. And this shows in the variance in the salary too.

Personally I have seen this happen first hand at many industries.  At a site of one of India’s leading construction companies, the tower crane operators are paid Rs 16,000/month for daily 12 hours shift. One has to vertically climb 50 meters height on a ladder, and there are no loo-breaks. No air-conditioning in the 3′ by 3′ cabin. There is no formal training institute for tower crane operators, and one has to slog for 4 years as informal apprentices before one gets the opportunity to become an operator. This, for a skill that is so critical that if an operator makes a mistake, the accident can kill/injure a lot of people.

When it comes to more niche skills like operating earth preparation / tunneling equipment, the machines cost crores of rupees, and every hour of not operating it turns out to lakhs of rupees of revenue lost to the owner of the machine. Therefore the operators earn about Rs 60,000/- per month. The HR head of a company employing these operators was ruing this – “they earn as much as my project managers”. Well, there’s nothing stopping the project managers from learning to operate these machines and earn similar! Just that the white collared tend to trivialize many of these skills (“what’s there to learn?”).

And if you speak to the workmen, they (mostly rightly) say that the management does not care for them. The community of white collars and the community of blue collars see each other with distrust. Both sides fail to realize that the other side brings a complementary skill that is equally important. We need to bring about a culture of mutual respect, for the skill development scenario to change significantly.

As Yatish sums it up in his BusinessWorld article, “Till corporates treat workers as Karamveer, karmath, assets of the company no skill building initiative will work in the country”. Technology can help only if the mindsets change.

National Workshop of State Ministers and Other Stakeholders on Skill Development

On 9th May 2015, the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Govt of India organized a day long “Workshop of State Ministers & other stakeholders on Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Policy” at Vigyan Bhavan. (Read the official press note here).

Thanks to our selection to the Skill Innovation Initiative of NSDA, we were given a slot to present about our innovation to the august panel consisting of Hon’ble Minister of State for Skill Development (IC) Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the Secretary, MSDE Shri Sunil Arora, Joint Secretaries Shri Pawan Agarwal, Shri Rajesh Agarwal, and Kum Jyotsna Sitling, NSDA Chairman Shri S Ramadorai, and NSDC CEO Shri Dileep Chenoy. Among the audience were Hon’ble Ministers of Skills / Labour & Employment from across the states, and the secretaries of these ministries from the states.

The presentation I made at the workshop can be viewed from the following link: MSDE-VigyanBhavan-9May15v2

Skillveri CEO Sabarinath Nair speaking at the Workshop of State Ministers on Skill Development Policy at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on 9 May 2015

Skillveri CEO Sabarinath Nair speaking at the Workshop of State Ministers on Skill Development Policy at Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi, on 9 May 2015

AURA Welding Simulator goes Global !

The Aura welding simulator from Skillveri made its debut on foreign shores, at Muscat, Oman.

Skillveri’s  Aura simulator was on demo at the Oman Refining & Petrochemical Exhibition, held in Muscat from 16-18th March 2015. The demo, which was at the stall of Skillveri’s partners Global Source Trading LLC, drew a lot of footfalls and generated a lot of attention.

oman stall

The team was very happy to have the opportunity to give a demo of the Aura Welding Simulator to H E. Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al Aufi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Oil and Gas, Oman, who was impressed by it.

sv oman

H E. Salim bin Nasser bin Said Al Aufi watches a demo of the Aura Welding Simulator.

sv oman2

 

The Skillveri and GST Oman Teams at the stall –

sv-gst team

Demo of AURA Welding Simulator at the WorldSkills India Competition

Skillveri’s AURA Welding Simulator was on demo at New Delhi last week.

Our team got the oppurtunity to have a stall at the WorldSkills India final competitions from the 26th to 28th of February. The Aura welding simulator was on demo at our stall and visitors with technical expertise in various fields enthusiastically tried it out.

The event is an initiative by the National Skill Development Corporation of India, to foster skill development and encourage vocational education among the youth of India.

We, at Skillveri, are passionate about developing solutions for skill development, and it makes us happy to be a part of such events which aim to change the vocational education landscape in India.

 

skillveri's AURA welding simulator at worldskillsindia competitions

 

skillveri's  AURA welding simulator

 

AURA welding simulator on demo at worldskills india event

 

Demo of Aura weding simulator by Skillveri at worldskills india, delhi

Demo of AURA MIG Welding Simulator to Rajasthan CM Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

The year began on a good note for Team Skillveri !

We had the opportunity of demonstrating the Aura Welding Simulator to the Hon.Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Ms.Vasundhara Raje. We are honoured that Ms. Raje took the time amidst her busy schedule to try out the simulator herself.

As the demand for welding skills is growing exponentially in sectors like manufacturing and automobiles, we hope that the youth of Rajasthan soon get to benefit from using modern technology for skill development.

Demo of Aura Welding Simulator to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

Demo of Aura Welding Simulator to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

Demo by Skillveri to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

Demo by Skillveri to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje.

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Rajasthan Chief Minister Ms. Vasundhara Raje tries out the AURA MIG Welding Simulator.

 

 

The demo of the AURA Welding Simulator to the CM was also covered in the country’s leading Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar.

Coverage of Skillveri Demo to Rajasthan CM in Dhainik Bhaskar

Coverage of Skillveri Demo to Rajasthan CM in Dhainik Bhaskar