Skill-Lync, an edtech firm founded in 2018 by Suryanarayanan Paneerselvam and Sarangarajan V Iyengar, assists engineering students in upskilling in accordance with industry demands.
Engineering is the fourth most popular undergraduate major in India. There is, however, a mismatch between the curriculum taught at universities and the capabilities required in the workplace.
According to an Aspiring Minds poll, while the country generates roughly 15 lakh engineers each year, 80 percent of them lack the requisite skills and are unemployed.
Suryanarayanan Paneerselvam (Surya) and Sarangarajan V Iyengar experienced this firsthand when they traveled to study in the United States and had to refocus their learning.
In 2018, they founded Chennai-based engineering edtech firm Skill-Lync, which is registered as EpowerX Learning Technologies. It uses technology to provide students with the technical skills they need to thrive in their chosen vocations.
Surya realized that with only an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from St Joseph’s College of Engineering in Chennai, he would be unable to find work in his field. He chose to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States.
Surya met Sarangarajan, who had also earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Alagappa Chettiar College of Engineering and Technology and was pursuing his master’s degree, when he became a teaching assistant in 2012.
He and Surya formed a partnership to assist other engineering graduates in developing their skills, beginning with students in Tamil Nadu.
Surya approached his alma institution during one of his travels to India and recommended instructing a group of mechanical engineering students.
He brought movies that Sarangaranjan had created to assist pupils in the United States. Surya and Sarangaranjan trained 30 pupils on a trial basis for three months.
Surya, Co-Founder of Skill-Lync, says, “All of these students were put in their specialization. When they saw such overwhelming approval, they resigned their jobs and returned to India.”
They introduced the Skill-Lync platform in 2018. Currently, the firm educates around 30,000 students throughout India, the Middle East and North Africa, South East Asia, the United States, and Europe. What exactly does it do?
Skill-Lync, similar to Coursera and edX, provides students with courses that enhance their conventional education.
“We help engineering students upskill themselves beyond what is taught in institutions and guarantee they have the necessary skills to seek higher education or find work,” Surya explains.
The startup provides courses that may be completed in two to ten months and require students to complete at least 20 projects.
Each student receives a profile page that showcases the work they have completed and can be shared with their employer or masters.
It also assists students in finding employment when they complete the course. For placements, it has worked with 350 organizations, including Nissan, Renault, Mahindra, and Tata Elxsi.
According to the firm, the courses are produced by 1,700 industry professionals with at least 10 years of experience and a master’s degree, ideally from a western university. It also employs 200 technical engineers with two to three years of experience who mentor students and assist them with their questions.
A job success team also assists students with placements through interviews, resumes, and confidence-building training. Skill-Lync has 2,500 employees, 40 of whom work in technology.
The firm provides three subscription plans: Basic (Rs 25,000 per month for ten months), Pro (Rs 30,000 per month), and Premium (Rs 35,000). The startup does not provide employment aid under the basic package and has a nine-month access period. It has also collaborated with an NBFC (Non-Banking Financial Company) to assist students in obtaining loans. The firm claims to have had quick development, with an annual revenue run rate (ARR) of $30 million.
By tripling its partnerships and placements in 2021, the edtech business increased its overall income by 200 percent. Until 2019, the organization concentrated on improving the skills of mechanical engineers, but in 2020, it began providing courses in electrical, civil, and computer engineering.
In 2021, the edtech business expanded its course offerings and claims a threefold increase in enrollments and income in India and worldwide. Skill-Lync claims to have placed over 1,000 engineers by collaborating with renowned organizations such as Renault Nissan, Cyient, Altair, AMTZ, and Expleo, to mention a few.
It has also employed over 1,000 people since November 2021, assisting with expansion. Last year, the business secured a total of $20 million in seed and Series A fundraising rounds led by Iron Pillar and Y Combinator.