Shivam Ahuja’s digital skill development firm started small. Skill Circle was launched with just Rs 10,000, but it now clocks a Rs. 20 crore turnover.
Shivam Ahuja recalls going to his father’s camera shop in Delhi’s Chandni Chowk when he was in Class 5, when he got his first taste of business.
By the time he was in seventh grade, he was already involved in tattoo swapping, which was a trend among children his age at the time.
Six years ago, he founded Skill Circle, a digital skill development company, with Rs 10,000 and an intern to assist him.
In the current fiscal year, the company’s turnover has surpassed Rs 20 crore, a five-fold rise over the previous year’s turnover of Rs 4 crore.
Skill Circle provides courses in Data Analytics, Data Science, and Digital Marketing, all of which have a market among young people, especially engineering graduates, who enrol in the courses to improve their abilities.
According to Shivam, there are many engineering graduates in India who are not job ready.
These classes provide them with the necessary skills to land jobs.
According to the company, its pupils have been hired by Microsoft and Google, and about 100 of them have launched their own businesses.
Shivam claims that thousands of students have participated in their one-week online workshops on topics such as Domain Flipping.
Shivam worked as an Area Sales Manager for Micromax for around three years before going out on his own. Around 30 percent of the business comes from referrals, with students suggesting their friends and family members to the institute.
Shivam was born in Patiala and raised in Delhi.
Shivam was hired as an Area Sales Officer at Micromax (a cell phone manufacturer) through campus placement in Gurugram.
He says, “I was more interested in sales and marketing than engineering. I enjoyed sales because I believed I had a gift of gab and worked for Micromax from December 2012 till December 2014. When I quit, I was earning Rs 32000 per month.”
In 2015, he co-founded Expert Vidya with two people to give digital marketing courses through both online and offline channels. During his time at Expert Vidya, Shivam Ahuja obtained valuable experience.
He explains, “I met Ravi Chopra and Sahil Arora over the internet, and we all decided to collaborate on a project. We built a website for Expert Vidya in 2015 and began working on it in 2016.”
According to Shivam,”It was a zero-investment firm. Our first year’s revenue surpassed Rs 2 crore. But we had to close the company since none of us could devote enough time to it, adds Shivam.”
However, the expertise he gathered in the short-lived firm enabled him to create Skill Circle as the sole creator in 2016 with a single intern.
He named the business HNI Idea Ventures Pvt Ltd. According to Shivam, “I didn’t have a marketing plan at first, and I went out through Facebook, LinkedIn, friends and family, and word of mouth.”
During the early days, he also provided marketing consulting to a few well-known companies, ensuring a constant income flow.
Shivam and his colleagues in their Delhi office
Today, the company has a training centre in Connaught Place, a 5,000-square-foot rented building in the heart of Delhi.
The company’s first-year revenue was less than Rs 1 crore, but it rose consistently and gradually.
The average course fee is between Rs 35,000 and Rs 2 lakh.
They provide courses ranging in length from three to eleven months, with both online and in-person classes accessible.
Shivam Ahuja says, “We offer regular as well as weekend classes for working professionals. Approximately 700 students are currently enrolled in the programme. Approximately 12000 pupils have benefited from the programmes thus far.”