• Great Companies

Mayeling Bilpodiwala & Sudeep Fernandes, Co-Founders at The Catalystz

Great Companies: How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Mayeling Bilpodiwala & Sudeep Fernandes :

Both of us are thoroughbred professionals and were fortunate to work with some of the best brands in the country. In our respective roles, (while recruiting freshers for our teams) we noticed that seemingly “bright intelligent students” were just not able to deliver organisational objectives. It seemed that their brilliance was confined to academics and they could not demonstrate their theoretical knowledge to deliver real-world practical outcomes. This had nothing to do with their intelligence. These freshers were raw and had no idea of what was expected from them. It was as though they were trying to navigate the corporate world without a GPS.

They had to be trained for several months before they started contributing towards the team/organisational objectives. Today, organisations do not have that kind of patience. Freshers are expected to deliver results within the span of a couple of months at best; failing which, they are fired. The irony was that these were rock-stars in school and college, however, in the real world they felt like “failures”. This was not their fault at all. They developed low self-esteem, frustration, depression, social anxiety and a myriad of other complications at a very early age. Something had to be done to remedy this.

After digging deeper, we realised that there was a huge chasm that students needed to bridge when transitioning from academia and joining the corporate world. In order to bridge this gap, we began working with college students informally to understand their world and figured that the gaps existed on multiple fronts. We realised that our education system didn’t provide the necessary tools required by students to navigate the journey called “Life”. We put together a practical and experiential Life Skills & Employability Skills programme for college students, aimed towards their Personal Growth. In the process, we realised that the malaise was not restricted to the student fraternity alone - it extended to college professors and school teachers as well. So, our next pilot project involved building key skills in 21st century educators.

Our focus areas were breaking mindsets, enabling teachers to become aware of their own bias, enabling educators to reach out to learners of various learning styles, use various modes of teaching. Our metric to measure success was student outcomes – absorption, retention and application of key concepts in real world situations.

Through our work with Post Graduates, we realised even at that level, they seemed to lack direction. Career choices were made very casually with little or no thought. There didn’t seem to be any scientific basis to their choices. Since very little thought was put into deciding on a career, these students made poor subject choices which resulted in a whole host of new problems – disinterest in the subject, poor performance, backlogs, frustration, emotional issues as well as financial issues. To those who managed to get through, it seemed that the only important factor in choosing a career was “How much money can be made in this profession?”.

We realised in India, we usually approach the entire career decision making process backwards. We first decide which stream to take in class 10, thereafter which college and course to study at UG level, then try figuring out what career will match my academics and if there is a neutral option. Sadly, this process only leads to heartburn and a deep hole in the parent’s savings. In fact, students must first fix a career and then chart the path toward it building competencies, selecting relevant courses and the right college to pursue these courses. We took it upon ourselves to figure out how to help these students make accurate career choices.

We realised to be able to make an impact in all these areas, we had to Re-skill ourselves and so we took several courses to upgrade our Knowledge and Skills and as a by-product our Attitude as well. We are both trained and certified Career Counsellors, Psychological Counsellors, Trainers as well as NLP Practitioners. We were absolutely clear from the beginning that our Programmes would never be some off-the-shelf programme, delivered and ticked off. The programmes had to have an impact and address challenges. We have made it our mission to equip faculty and students with the tools to ever evolve and be ready to face the pressures of the dynamic and volatile world we live in today.

Till date we have impacted the lives of over 15,000 individuals through workshops, seminars, speaking assignments, webinars, online courses, in-person courses, career counselling as well as psychological counselling.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by The Catalystz?

Mayeling Bilpodiwala & Sudeep Fernandes:

For Students

  • Life Skills & Employability Skills Workshops and Courses

  • Career Counselling for Grade 10 onwards up to Working Professionals

  • Study Overseas

  • Mock Exam Portal – Preparatory practice exam series for over 1600 different competitive exams – 69,000+ tests

For Educational Institutions

  • Outcome-Oriented Faculty Development Programmes for School & College Staff

  • Setting up Career Cells in Institutions

  • Collaboration National & International Institutions

  • Student Orientation Programmes

  • Parent Orientation Programmes

  • Building a vibrant Alumni

For Corporates

  • Facilitation of various corporate initiatives

  • Training on organisation specific challenges

  • Leading Corporate Retreats

  • Mentoring Think Tanks

For Individuals

  • Basic Counselling Skills

  • Set up a Career Counselling Practice

  • Train the Trainer

  • Soft Skills Training

  • Employability Skills Training

  • Psychological Counselling

Great Companies: What makes The Catalystz different from hundreds of other similar service providers?

Mayeling Bilpodiwala & Sudeep Fernandes:

Today’s competitive climate requires a workforce that is trained, has a wider skill-set, and is able to learn new skills quicker than ever before. “Upgrading and Up-Skilling” is crucial for the survival of individuals, institutions and businesses today. Thus, individual success is a precursor to organisational success.

Our model for integrating Individual & Organisational Success

The Catalystz offers the following edge:</