The need for upskilling has been gaining momentum in the country. People are realising that just an academic degree is not enough to land and do well with their jobs.
Entrepreneur Vishnu TU experienced the issue personally after he was rejected from 17 companies during his placement from his engineering college in 2017. Vishnu, who is a biomedical engineer, finally landed a job as a junior sales associate, but within few days he realised that his engineering was not being utilised in the job.
Image Credit: Machenn Innovations
Last year, Vishnu, along with his college junior Niveditha R, launched Machenn Innovations in Coimbatore to offer digital manufacturing training to engineering students.
“According to me, higher education has to be personalised, customised, and industry driven. We want to provide industry driven training to engineering students and connect the skilled workforce with businesses for internship or placement opportunities,” he says.
Upskilling engineering students
Vishnu explains the startup is mainly targeting third-year engineering students and is helping them build industry skills. It offers courses on medical device designing, implant designing, surgical modeling, advanced manufacturing in health, aerospace, and automotive sectors.
“The training is offered both via pre-recorded sessions and live one-to-one training. All the modules are designed after reaching out to the industry and understanding the current requirements. Our aim is to connect skilled students with industry players for internship opportunities. While we also connect for placement, our main focus is on internship,” he adds.
The co-founder adds that the startup mainly targets colleges in order to onboard the students. Students need to register themselves using the official website.
Incubated at FIED, IIM Kashipur, Machenn claims to be working with over 15 colleges across India including Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering (Bengaluru), Vidya Academy of Science and Technology (Thrissur), Kalpataru Institute Of Technology (Tiptur), Canara Engineering College (Mangalore), Sri Shakthi Institute of Engineering and Technology (Coimbatore) among others.
Apart from this, Machenn Innovations also has offline 3D printing labs across India where students can get on-site training for digital manufacturing.
Illustration: YS Design
Business and more
Vishnu explains that the startup operates on a pay-per-service model. He adds that Machenn has trained around 3,000 students to date and almost 50-60 percent of them have landed internship opportunities successfully.
The bootstrapped startup has invested about Rs 16 lakh to date for its operations, which has been raised from family and friends. Apart from this, the startup was also shortlisted for the Launch and Zoom 3.0 accelerator programme by IIM Udaipur under DST, and received a grant of Rs 1 lakh.
According to a McKinsey Global Survey on future workforce needs, nearly nine in 10 executives and managers revealed that their organisations either face skill gaps already or expect gaps to develop within the next five years.
The co-founder reveals that Machenn mainly competes with other notable players such as Coursera, Udemy, and Skill-Lync, among others.
Speaking about future plans, Vishnu says, “We are looking to raise our seed funding from investors, government grants. We are also targeting global expansion by 2022.”