Lead Training and Corporate Solutions is a company which was started in 2014 by Srividya M R. ‘Lead’ is a conglomerate of Educationists, Trainers, Human resource experts and Industry Professionals.
“With the help of my team who have Subject Matter Expertise in their respective Industries, my company can train individuals who are aspiring for better career and organizations for having more productivity from their employees”, says Srividya.
We got an opportunity to talk with Srividya, the founder of Lead Training and Corporate Solutions and I am sure; her story will inspire you. Let’s look at her journey as an entrepreneur and see how she and her team are working hard to achieve their dreams.
Give a brief info about your startup?
‘Lead Training and Corporate Solutions’ was started in the year 2014. ‘Lead’ is a conglomerate of Educationists, Trainers, Human resource experts and Industry Professionals.
My organization caters to the training and staffing requirements of Educational Institutes, Corporate sectors, Hospitals and Manufacturing Sectors.
Apart from this, I have also conducted 7 different types of skill development programs (Luxury Candle Making, Safe soft toys, Hand-crafted home decors, Home made chocolates, organic face packs and other beauty products, hand embroidery/creation of ethnic wear)
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
Since my student days, I’ve always faced this complaint that I’m a ‘Jack of all, and master of none’. I don’t blame people who judged me that way. They were right in a way as I was into too many things. But I’m happy that my parents didn’t stop me by learning/trying everything that I liked, loved and enjoyed. Later when I started my career, I realized that there are many things beyond just a ‘qualification’ which is important to prove yourself. I changed few jobs and worked in various companies, but I wasn’t really happy or contentful. I felt I could do more than what I’ve been asked for or I’m supposed to. I felt, my capabilities were restricted. That’s how I decided to start a company of my own, experiment everything I’ve learnt and try my luck.
It solves many problems. I have a team/network of probably most experienced professionals today in multiple industries. To name a few: Business Communication Skills, Behavioral Skills, Motivational Training programs, Aptitude development, Technical Skills (Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering related), HR Skills, Sales and Marketing, Hospitality, Content Development & Instructional Designing, Six-Sigma, NLP, Law of Attraction, Fashion Technology, Leather and footwear Industry.
With the help of my team who have Subject Matter Expertise in their respective Industries, my company can train individuals who are aspiring for better career and organizations for having more productivity from their employees.
I also do career counseling to guide students to recognize their real potential and chose courses and careers with which they can fly out with colours.
I also have a psychological counseling team and we help the students understand that there is a life beyond failures in 10th an PUC. Best example is me, as I completed my 2nd PUC in 2nd attempt :-)… But, many engineers with excellent credit scores and medals in their credit, wait for an opportunity to work for my projects.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I did my primary education in Kannada medium and luckily studied in a school which gave least importance to ‘numbers’ written in the marks card and believed in overall personality development of their pupil psychologically, spiritually and artistically. Probably that strong foundation has helped me be a ‘woman entrepreneur’ today and I’m able to support other women as well who are willing to have a startup of their own.
I have done my masters in Biotechnology and my masters in Mass Communication and Journalism. I started my career as a Lecturer in Biotechnology, at JSS College for Women, in Mysore, the college from which I graduated. My dad, a retired faculty of Department of English, is in teaching & training industry since almost 50 years now. Even today, at the age of 77, he happily trains for 6 hours a day, at least 3 days a week. I was always fascinated as a little girl to see my dad’s student fan followers and he always appeared to me like a hero. I always wanted to follow his footsteps. That’s what motivated me to get into training industry.
I got an opportunity to work closely with a research project of Berkely University California called MILLEE : Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies. I was involved in content development, creating learning activities adding voice-overs and interpreting between the MILLEE team and the target audience. This gave a first hand experience of training rural students and the experience was very thrilling. Later, I got an opportunity to get trained at Infosys Mysore Campus, on a 24 day intensive Train-the-Trainer program, where I learnt many techniques of effective mentoring. All that I had observed from my dad and everything I got to learn later, I tried incorporating in my career.
I moved to Bangalore in the year 2010 and worked with many organizations:
- T-John College of Engineering as a faculty in the Department of Biotechnology
- 24*7 – e- Learning solutions as an Instructional Designer
- Mind speed : as a Freelance Trainer (A training vendor who mostly had top IT clients where I trained like Mind Tree, Trianz, Adithi Technologies, IBM etc)
- Innovations Unlimited as a Freelance Trainer (Who majorly had clients of educational Institutes across the country)
- In the year 2011, I got an opportunity to work for a company called Black and White Business Solutions Pvt LTd, a company to whom I am almost a competitor today. :-)… I was heading the business unit of ‘training and development’ in this organization, where I was responsible for end-to-end Business development and operations of my team. I got to meet many people from various industries here, I started the BU from scratch and experimented and explored my real potential. Thanks to my managers who gave me freedom to experiment, explore and learn from mistakes:-)… On a lighter note, they invested for my learning 🙂
- I had to move out of Bangalore and shift to Chennai in 2014 as my husband got a better opportunity there. I followed him. I worked as a consultant for sometime for an organization called ‘Impactiva’, a trusted solution provider of choice for QA&QC services for major brands in the lifestyle industry (Apparel, Footwear, Leather goods etc). Somehow, my contract didn’t work with the organization and I chose to move out of Impactiva quite soon.
- After this, I did a come back to Bangalore with my association with a company called In-Health Medical Service Pvt LTd, a company started by Mr. Sanjay MAhtani and Mrs. Barkha Mahtani, founders of popular food chains like Hard Rock Cafe, Kobe Sizzlers, Big Kahoona, California Pizza Kitchen and many more. I headed training and operations for their hospitality venture for hospitals in Bangalore and Mumbai. But, my exit from here pushed me to take a firm step towards my start-up and I was ready to take risks by now.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
I started my organization in Mysore, my corporate office is still here. Biggest reason is because it’s my home town and I have an unexplainable love and Faith for Mysore. May be because I’m born and brought up here, I have my parents, teachers, relatives and well-wishers who can guide me, mentor me and support me whenever I need.
Even otherwise, Mysore is a good place for startups, as business running cost is quite low and easy to get at least one client to start for any business.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Many things. Difficult to list here. Especially for a Woman Entrepreneur, there is always a choice that you have to make between family and your professional dreams. We still live in a society where womanhood is most recognized and respected only with her sacrifices and how well she handles her household responsibilities. Thanks to my husband who allowed me and supported me in every step and still continuing to do so because of which I am able to take a new step everyday towards my ultimate vision.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
There are thousands of competitors. Be it training or staffing.
When it comes to training, I am not considering any single set of target audience or a single type of training. I have at least one program for everyone who want to learn something new.
Apart from this, I think I am the only organization providing multiple skill-development programs which has huge demand in the industry and which can provide earning for women who are willing to have a start-up. A new product of of one of my skill-development program is ‘Aura Candles’, where I have created more than 60 varieties of candles, with 100% natural Soya wax and Bee Wax, with natural colours and natural perfumes. these products will be available in amazon by end of February. For the designs, varieties and the quality that I am providing through this, I haven’t come across any other company so far who has done it. More over, this project has empowered women by giving them a confidence for earning money.
And to speak about staffing, I am one of those very few companies who can provide trained GREs (Guest Relationship Executives) to hospitals. These GREs are trained for providing services for patients who come to hospitals for treatment, who will have to undergo many hassles which cuts their confidence levels. My GREs help in end-to-end Co-ordination between to patient and other hospital staff, providing assistance in all possible non-medical duties like registration, appointment booking, co-ordination with respective departments involved in treatment process, translation services for Arabic, Bengali and other language patients, assisting with insurance formalities, easy admission and discharge processes etc. Right now, I have a team of 9 GREs working in one of the most reputed hospitals of India, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
Very difficult. As I mentioned earlier, for a ‘woman’, it’s even more difficult. Cleaning and Cooking sometimes take a back seat when I have important business presentations. Thanks to my partner, who supports me in achieving my dreams. I can be counted among those few lucky women, behind the success of whom, there is a man.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
No. I have never tried talking to anyone on investing in my venture. A few of my friends and colleagues have shown interest, I’m open to the idea though.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Many. Difficult to list as there are lots. :-).. But a few most important ones to pen down:
- ‘I do not give time for friends and family. I pose/show off being busy deliberately all the time to avoid spending time with them’ : My friends who know me closely from the Business Fraternity would disagree with this statement. People may think that it is difficult to get holidays/leaves when you are working under someone but you are free when you have a business of your own. This is a big myth. Responsibilities are more when you have a start-up of your own. It becomes extremely difficult to be organized many a times as in this era of start-ups, competition is cut-throat and a small mistake can eat up my hard work of years.
- ‘I try too many things together and don’t do justification to many experiments’ : Yes. I try too many things together and I love it. I believe it’s just one life I have and why waste it behind success. If I sincerely do everything that excites me and keeps me happy with a little bit of discipline, I think success will follow me. May be it’ll take more time than the others who try one-thing-at-a-time. If I’m good at multi-tasking, why not explore my limits?!
- ‘I sleep too much and wake up late in the mornings all the time like I used to do in my childhood days’ : I can just laugh. Times change, situations change and people change. I can’t think of my last undisturbed continuous 6-hour sleep. True that I am used to work late nights, but it’s not easy to get a sleep when you are a start-up owner. Sometimes it’s worries which keep you awake and some-times it’s an excitement of a success. There are times when ideas dont let you sleep untill you give them an acceptable shape and sometimes it’s the distance remaining for you to reach that ultimate goal.
What gets you excited about this company?
Everything. That I don’t have a limitation/restriction to compel myself to do something which I don’t like to and most importantly, my self-respect isn’t affected by someone else’s ego. This is the biggest compromise most of the employees of many bigger organizations will have to do in their career.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
As simple as everybody else’s. But, I dont have a fixed routine. I have super active day at work, lazy days at home, weekend full of recreational activities and yes, the time that I’ve allotted for my hobbies. I don’t spend a single day without dance/music/theater discussion/study.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
My team is quite big. All my trainers are my ex-colleagues or friends, who work on project basis with me now. I have 200 plus trainers from various backgrounds.
My GRE team at Manipal hospital are handpicked resources through majorly trusted references.
My ‘Aura Candles’ team has my friends Sushma and Sarika, who are my neighbors and initially my dance class students. But, they work hand in hand with me now and ‘Aura Candles’ has a great contribution of both of them in it’s success story.
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