[Startup Bharat] Novice, no more! Bhubaneswar-based Protrainy prepares engineers for industry
The construction industry is India’s second largest employer, employing approximately 51 million inhabitants and contributing nearly 9% to the country’s gross domestic product, according to industry estimates. This year, industry is expected to overtake the agricultural sector and become the largest employer.
Although the demand for construction workers and engineers is growing and growing, thousands of students graduating from engineering schools every year still struggle to find jobs – and all that boils down to a lack of practical skills.
Biswajit Shawcivil engineer from Bhubaneswar, was one of them. During his pre-senior year of college, he struggled to land an internship with a construction company, and he couldn’t figure out why. It wasn’t until he finally started working with a company, and after spending time in the industry, that he realized that companies didn’t prefer to hire newbies because they lacked practical and hands-on industry knowledge.
“College education gives you the knowledge, but the skills are still lacking. It’s like having all the spices, but you need someone to tell you how to convert those spices and raw materials into paneer-do-pyaaza“says Biswajit Your story.
He decides to set up a development platform for engineers and people who want to acquire practical skills for the construction industry, and founds .
Protrainy helps create industry ready construction engineers and workers through his online education platform, where he currently has more 60 lessons. The platform is intended to help companies, educational institutions and individuals (students or working professionals seeking to improve their skills).
Biswajit, who co-founded the business in 2019 as a side hustle and transitioned to full-time in 2021, was joined by his brother Bishal Shaw; Ayush Sharma, ex-Hinduja group; and Ayush Kumarwho spent a year and a half with the Bhubaneshwar-based startup as an intern.
The courses, taught by industry experts, are offered in English and most major vernacularsand last either 15 to 30 days or three to six months.
The 15 to 30 day courses cost Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per unit and account for 95% of Protrainy’s business, while the 3 to 6 month program costs Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per unit, which accounts for 5 % of his income. .
The latter also comes with placement services where Protrainy actively helps students and students find employment with AECOM, L&T, SACPL and AU Finance Bank, among others.
“One of our use cases also includes professionals who want to move horizontally within the construction industry, from buildings to subways, for example. We train them so they can explore more career opportunities within the industry,” jokes Biswajit.
Over the past 1.5 years of operation, Protrainy claims to have generated Rs 25 lakh gross revenue and is operationally cost effective. The startup has over 2,500 paying users in total.
It has more 9,000 students enrolled who signed up on the platform for the startup’s one-hour demo sessions. Many of them join the courses right after the demo, while others attend other demos in case they are looking for options.
The self-funded startup is looking to raise funds and is already in talks with investors. He received a grant from IIM Ahmedabad’s startup incubator, CIEE.CO.
Biswajit says the startup wants to offer courses related to mechanical, electrical and electronic following topics, as well as expanding its existing construction education product.
The startup is preparing to launch a new website soon, which will offer a smoother flow in terms of access to courses.
Its current objective is to reach one lakh paid users in the next three years. The platform has also seen beta users from 10 foreign countries, but plans to to expand internationally only in 2023.
With the new funding, the startup hopes to expand its marketing efforts and make its courses more impactful.
Protrainy competitors includeSkill Lync and CADD training centers, but it claims to offer significantly more courses than the others, at three times the price.