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  • Writer's pictureGreat Companies

Nagendra Nyamgondalu, CoFounder at Skill Velocity

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

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: Having been in the industry for more than a couple of decades, I always had a leaning to share my learnings and experience with younger generations. I got a chance to moonlight as a trainer on a few weekends and it helped me make up my mind that this is something that I absolutely want to do. The co-founder (Suparna, who also happens to be my wife) didn't need any convincing since she had had an entrepreneurial streak from her college days.

Great Companies: What are the various services provided by Skill Velocity

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: We work with universities and corporates to conduct short but very meaningful and deeply hands-on workshops in skills that are changing the way we work - this includes Agile, Design Thinking, Analytical Thinking and fairly technical skills like building Cloud-native apps, DevOps, Blockchain and others. We firmly believe that these make a difference between a value-added career and drifting with the flow.

Great Companies: What makes Skill Velocity different from hundreds of other e-learning technology companies?

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: We are not looking to become a huge brand with hundreds of trainers across hundreds of topics. We are a small group of deeply skilled professionals with decades of experience in our respective focus areas. With most other tech ed companies, learners will likely get a trainer with a few years of training experience.

With Skill Velocity, we focus only on those areas where we have proven expertise and learners will learn only from very experienced professionals with a passion to share their knowledge.

Great Companies: What are the struggles and challenges you face?

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: When we started, the biggest challenge was getting students and new graduates to understand the value of what we bring to the table. I even met a couple of engineering graduates struggling to find a job and offered free training along with an honest effort to get them an internship. One of them never showed up - the other quit after going through all the training and after we placed him in an exciting start up. So for us the biggest challenge is dealing with a young generation who are not sure what they want.

Great Companies: How do you plan to grow in the future? What does 5 years down the line look like for Skill Velocity?

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: As I said earlier, for us growth is not about revenue or brand value. It is about the number of lives we influence and the number of careers we launch. If we can continue to do that in a meaningful way, that is the growth we are looking for. Don't get me wrong, we are a for-profit organization, but this journey is less about becoming a unicorn and more about adding meaningful value. I often get requests to take up topics that is not our core focus and though the monetary size of the opportunity is usually very significant, we turn it down because we don't feel we can deliver the same value. It is easy enough to bring in other trainers on a contract and get the job done - but I believe there are others who can do that well and it is not our focus.

Great Companies: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Nagendra Nyamgondalu: Ensure that you are deeply interested in what you are doing - starting an organization because the "idea has the potential to make money" is an investor's mind set, not an entrepreneur's. Also, be open to reinventing your business model and approach - it is hard to get it right the first time. Remember - starting something new is easy - sustaining it is the hard part. Good luck!



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