TVS Training’s mantra for success

Young students, many from the less-privileged society, are taught shopfloor and skills for life that can help not only the auto sector by industry at large. A report by Karthik H.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 18 Mar 2013 Views icon7756 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
TVS Training’s mantra for success
It is said that a calming ambience triggers the brain’s learning hormones. TVS Training & Services’ sprawling and verdant campus in the heart of Chennai’s old industrial hub is a testament to that theory. Autocar Professional was given a tour of this facility by its CEO, Captain TS Ramanujam. The ex-Naval officer’s regimen for discipline and inspiration from Malini Srinivasan, member of the board and the brains behind the company, ensures that students coming in from across the country receive a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

The institute specialises in training young men and women (though the latter are fewer) fresh out of school or higher secondary, in various skills that will provide them with jobs in sectors ranging from automotive to construction and even ship-building. A state-of-the-art welding institute, located a stone’s throw away from the main campus, designed and headed by a former Naval welding expert also provides courses that fit the industry’s needs.

Challenges are aplenty for Capt. Ramanujam, from uninterested students to companies that won’t pay for training newcomers due to paucity of time. However, Capt. Ramanujam draws from his years of service in the Indian Navy to design courses that simulate the German model of dual-learning while earning. This has led to the institute teaching students far lower than its capacity would allow it to, but it has also resulted in all of its students getting job offers, some getting multiple offers at that.

“We are also looking to act as a consultancy to companies that wish to train its employees in certain skills,” Capt Ramanujam told Autocar Professional. With the 15-year-old institute catering to South India as such, TVS Training Services will soon begin offering similar services at a facility in Rajasthan. “The aim of the Rajasthan facility will be to cater to the automobile companies in Gujarat and NCR,” Capt. Ramanujam says. However, with a gestation period of about two years to set up an institute of this magnitude, Capt. Ramanujam is hopeful that things will gather steam soon.

Enunciating on the welding institute, a unique property set up by TVS Training, Capt. Ramanujam says, “Candidates are not interested in welding.” With the Prime Minister’s office designating welding as a needed skill, it has impressed upon the Indian Institute of Welding the goal to create 25,000 welders per year. TVS Training & Services’ facility, located 6km from the main institute at Ambattur, is certified by the Indian Institute of Welding and provides courses that last anywhere from a week to two months for boys and girls from various geographies.

It has, in just of year of its existence, trained employees of companies like Wabco India, Renault-Nissan, Brakes India and Ashok Leyland. The current batch of students, on a two-month course, is learning the tradecraft by servicing a job order for L&T shipping, under the trained eyes of Prakash Rao, an ex-serviceman who spent his time in the Indian Navy welding submarines. The main institute also houses a polytechnic school (started much earlier) in its campus. While TVS Training & Services per se is a for-profit organisation, the polytechnic school is a not-for-profit organisation that provides in training people from nearby areas. To make it easier for its students, most of whom can’t afford the already subsidised fees, the institute has tied up with a Mumbai-based venture capitalist to extend loans to the tune of 25 percent of the course fees. “It still isn’t sufficient. We are considering making the student pay EMIs once they receive the job,” says Capt Ramanujam. Given the importance of training, Capt Ramanujam shares his opinion that going forward, companies will increasingly outsource their training requirements while retaining product-related training. He also says that companies in the auto space, or for that matter any other sector, should increasingly look at human resources and training budgets in tandem and finally, he avers that companies should recognise that induction-level training is something that companies should consider and not only when employees have spent some time on the job.

TVS Training & Services including the Polytechnic has 15 permanent faculty and 35 part-time. Each batch takes 120 students in each stream. Students take their classes in the immediate proximity of the machines/equipment that they are working with. They are also exposed to yoga and meditation in an attempt to develop more wholesome personalities.

What is edifying about the institute is the dedication of experienced staff who have long hung up their boots but were keen to give back. Autocar Professional was introduced to meet P Vijaybhaskar who has spent his post-retirement years to teach the young trainees.

With training and skill development being buzzwords at any discussion on the Indian automotive industry, (and the union finance minister P Chidambaram in his Budget speech spoke about training) and for good reason, institutes like TVS Training Services, for profit or otherwise, provide the vital last-mile connectivity in the chain.

Photograph (L-R): Capt. TS Ramanujam, CEO, TVS Training & Services; A S Ponnuswamy, correspondent & principal, TS Srinivasan Centre for Polytechnic College and Advanced Training; and K Jeyaraman, senior manager (training ), TVS Training & Services, are optimistic about teaching skills to young Indians.
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