At Centum Learning, mentoring and coaching are key
New Delhi: For global skills development and vocational training firm Centum Learning Ltd, it is the little things that matter.
Founded in 2006, it is committed to providing its employees across 15 countries an accessible and healthy environment, whether “it is about their medical insurance cover or just their afternoon meals”, says Samra Rahman, head, human resources, Centum Learning, a part of the Bharti group.
Centum Learning’s operations are run from a small office in Mehrauli, New Delhi, where employees have a veto on deciding everything—from the colours of the walls to the menu in the cafeteria.
Rahman believes that the well-being of each and every employee in the organization goes a long way towards maintaining a good workplace environment.
“We are a small firm. What we can do for our employees is make their lives a little easier by taking care of their needs, no matter how small,” Rahman says.
Centum Learning provides end-to-end training and skill development solutions to private companies, government departments and industry organizations, focusing on four key areas—livelihood skilling, skills for schools and colleges, enterprise training solutions and corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnerships.
The company, which has successfully trained more than 1.2 million youth globally, has partnerships with Union and state governments in India, various public sector enterprises and more than 350 private companies globally.
Based in Delhi and led by Sanjay Bahl, Centum has worked with companies like Tata Motors Ltd, Bharti Airtel Ltd, Genpact Ltd, National Bank of Kenya, Lafarge SA and Maruti Suzuki India Ltd among others.
The company has set up over 130 skilling centres across 169 towns and cities globally to provide employability skills aligned with industry needs. Centum also provides vocational education in about 1,136 schools in rural and urban areas.
In 2017-18, Centum aims to cross Rs 210 crore in revenue. With a strength of 308 people, the company goes through a rigorous recruitment process to “assess the candidate’s personality in an effort to ensure a cultural fit”.
“We firmly believe that the right employee for our organization is not someone who is entirely driven by money or power but someone who shares our organizational mission. Once our selection and hiring process is completed, the bulk of our employees are put through rigorous boot camps, which are then followed by well-defined mentoring and coaching structures,” says Bahl.
He adds that while hiring for key positions, he personally interviews candidates to ensure the right mix of attitude and skills apart from the ability to learn and adapt to situational requirements.
Going forward, the company wants to focus on technology-aided training in a bid to make “skilling aspirational”.
“We are working hard towards preparing the next generation with the right skills as soon as they leave school. ‘Catching them young’ is the mantra we have adopted and we see them till the last mile where they are placed in reputed corporates,” says Bahl.
Centum has also been empanelled as a skill knowledge provider for Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)-affiliated schools to impart vocational courses to students as well as leadership and strategic management training to heads of institutions, academic staff and teachers in 16 states. The corporate social responsibility (CSR) arm of Centum—Centum Foundation—provides CSR solutions to companies by providing livelihood skilling to underprivileged people, including people with disabilities.
This CSR arm, over the years, has worked with companies like ACC Ltd, Bajaj Electricals Ltd, Cairn India Ltd and Jubilant Foodworks Ltd. The foundation has a separate vertical called Centum GRO in India to empower the deaf. Over the years, Centum has received various accolades.
The company was also certified by the global firm Great Place To Work as a ‘great place to work’, for the year 2017-18.