Self-Motivated, Emotionally Strong, And Resilient Employees Can Drive The Organization Through Crisis-Hit Time: Shveta Raina, Founder, and CEO, Talerang

In the conversation with BW People, Shveta Raina, Founder, and CEO, Talerang talks about shifting towards digital platforms, upskilling to stay relevant in these times, and the importance of work readiness & career planning.


The importance of work readiness career planning and development have changed. what changes have you observed?

The students or graduates find that there are several gaps that prevent them from being ready for their careers. It is the need of the hour for the students and professionals to understand the importance of work readiness career planning and development.  This current crisis is likely to affect the market and job opportunities for a long time to come. It is essential for both students and professionals to upskill in order to retain their jobs and improve their attractiveness to employers. Since some industries will be better off than others, upskilling will also help employees’ ability to transfer between jobs. As a start, communication skills, comfort with technology, graphic design, and digital skills are in demand from our corporate partners.

Virtual training has become a critical part of companies. From virtual onboarding to leadership training and upskilling, companies have realized the importance of keeping their staff engaged and active through several e-learning modules. Training on team-work, motivation, and collaboration are in demand. There is also a push towards digital literacy, social media training, and effective online communication. While some are subscribing to self-paced modules such as Harvard Business School Online, others are going for live training and workshops that are facilitated by experts and have an interactive component. At Talerang we have done several sessions for students and professionals including topics such as project management, innovative thinking, execution skills, communication, and team-work.

Training in physical atmosphere is an impossible thing to execute in these times. How effectively are corporate companies accepting online training and upskilling?

Corporate companies have begun to accept online training and upskilling in the current scenario. Majority companies themselves are proposing a continuation of this work from home setting for many more months if possible, and hence it would help increase their efficiency if they hire employees who are accustomed to this mode of working. Another advantage of online upskilling is that it allows employees to familiarize themselves with learning new skills and becoming technologically savvy without external spoon-feeding. This kind of independence is appreciated in a corporate set up.

During this pandemic, these times have actually made us focus on going digital What would you say about the growth of online training programs?

E-learning platforms have made it possible for people to upskill themselves and stay intellectually engaged during an otherwise bleak time for the world. Widespread access to the internet and affordable (and often free) online content have led to large increases in usage of these platforms. Some training solutions are self-paced, while others offer live learning and actual interaction with facilitators and other participants. This allows for engagement with the outside world and a feeling of being connected. Additionally, the global reach of the internet allows for programs to be diverse with participants across geographies and demographics. A student sitting in Mumbai could be learning from a Harvard professor in Boston, without the hassle of leaving his home!

Initially, we felt that not interacting with our corporate partners and college partners was a major challenge. We didn’t know how we would reach out to people to create awareness about our programs. However, through the power of digital tools and technology, we have been able to create awareness and attract students and organizations to Talerang.

There are several online programs offered by Talerang 

1. Customized programs: Talerang designs programs for colleges and corporates to upskill their employees, preparing them for the future world of work. Skills such as communication, motivation, team-work, leadership, sales, professionalism, design thinking, and problem-solving are in high demand.

2. Post Graduate Certificate Program: This is for stellar graduates and young professionals to develop leadership potential through an industry-recognized work-study program. Professionals work during week-days with our 350+ corporate partners and learn on the weekends using Harvard Business School case studies and interactions with CxOs.

3. Selective Student programs: We have a program for college students (Talerang Future CEOs) where exceptional college students develop professional competencies, real-world skills, access internships, and job opportunities, and receive mentorship for life. Our high school program (Talerang Reality Bytes) has ambitious high school students (8th to 12th graders) learning 21st-century skills, working on a live project at an organization, present findings to its senior leadership, and enjoy lifelong career mentorship!

4. Self-paced program: Talerang’s Online Career Connect Program is a 6-week Work-readiness Certification Program targeted towards final year students and recent graduates entering the work world. It is a self-paced online program that enhances academic degrees with real-world, practical knowledge demanded by the top organizations of today. It has 30+ live sessions and 100+ hours of content along with support on resume creation, interviews, and connection to dream jobs.

People are different in their abilities to operate new technologically advanced systems. In different industries, has there been a paradigm shift in online learning acceptability?

The education system in India has been ready for upheaval for years. The pandemic has expedited some changes such as the introduction of technology and e-learning tools. Also, with the fear of a tough job market students and colleges have realized the importance of introducing industry-relevant content, building bridges with corporates, and ensuring their students are not just academically brilliant but also are competitive in the job market. For example, colleges are now more open to bring in industry speakers for practical education and upgrade their academic curriculum to include 21st-century skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, data analytics, communication, and coding. The faculty and college leaders that had traditional methods of working have been transformed in the last few months both in their approach and their mindset. At Talerang, we have conducted sessions that have been attended by faculty from colleges such as St. Xaviers, and schools such as Sriram who have world-class educators. We also recently did a session that was viewed by close to 500 educators and administrators in collaboration with Firki, a platform that is part of the Teach For India platform.

We have seen our applications and interest double over the last few months in our different online training courses and programs. The courses bridge the gap across different competencies and skill areas ranging from communication to leadership skills and marketing to finance. While there is active interest from corporates and colleges, we also see a surge in applications from young professionals looking for placement opportunities. As most of our programs lead to job opportunities, many queries for internships and jobs have come in. 

According to you; What is the new definition for work-readiness in the New  Normal?

The new definition of work - readiness is an individual who is able to keep up with the paradigm shift in the working environment. It would involve resilience, emotional intelligence, comfort with technology, skill mobility, and constant upskilling in both hard and soft skills. 

What skills and values do you think would be in high demand in employees to be effective and impactful?

Employees who are self-motivated, emotionally strong, and resilient are able to accept the current challenges and help drive productivity in the organization. Those that are comfortable with technology and have strong communication skills are able to thrive despite working from home. Flexibility in terms of their roles and ability to prioritize the companies needs is critical. They should be able and willing to pick up new skills and apply them to their day to day working. The importance of working in teams, and supporting each other through these tough times is also very much appreciated!

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