Kovai’s Enterprising Entrepreneurs
Identifying the potential and finetuning students to industry needs is what Focus Academy for Career Enhancement (FACE) is upto. In a face-to-face with Surya Harish, the founder of FACE Rajesh Kumar narrates his journey in helping over 2 million students find suitable placements thru’ skill development.
Few words about FACE, why and when it began
I had been in the Placement Co-ordinator team at my college during my engineering days and when I moved to IIM, Kozhikode for higher studies, I started understanding the huge gap between graduating students and their career placement opportunities once they graduate. There was a lot of scope for skill development beyond of what they learn in college. My friend Venkat Raghulan and I decided to utilize the gap and thus was born FACE in 2008 with our first office in Coimbatore.
What is vision and mission through FACE
Through FACE we aim to provide inspiration, training and exposure to millions of students and bridge the gap between their skills levels and the industry requirements. We have signed up with more than1500 colleges to provide placement training to their students. Apart from this we also have online programs with assured placement for students. We have also developed platforms like faceprep an online platform for placement preparation for students to learn and enhance their skills to land themselves in a job they deserve.
In your experience what is the kind of opportunity that lies ahead for students?
In today’s world, there is never a dearth for opportunities. One only needs to look for the best ones and work towards it. Students need to equip themselves with skills required for their domain through extensive learning and preparation to shine in their domain. Keeping yourselves aware and informed is the most important aspect to be acquired in a world of possibilities and opportunities.
What do you think is the most challenging factor for students in their development?
With over a decade of experience in working with students, the most challenging factor that stands as a hurdle to a student’s development is their lack of awareness. Most engineering students who take up the course has only one aim and that is, land in a job in a software concern with a salary package that is so meagre that it is nowhere close to the range of salary given to a professional in the rest of the world. An American software engineer earns at least 10 times the salary more than an average engineering graduate in a software company in India. The major cause of this humongous gap is the lack of skills and lack of quality in the output by an Indian engineering graduate.
To overcome this and be able to earn a deserving package it is important to be equipped with skills and talent. The most challenging factor for our students today is that they have limited themselves to this salary bracket from the software company and are aiming only to achieve that. But no, there is more potential to be discovered within self and more success to be achieved. Apart from few major chunk of our students fail to dream big!
What is the contribution of their family?
In our socio-economic set-up, family is one of the important influential factors in a youth’s life. In my interaction with students, management and parents in colleges, parents now are overly commercializing education and are demanding the college to show results. Parents should understand that a college can only facilitate a student and not make them succeed, it is the duty of the student to work hard and achieve for himself.
This kind of attitude by the parents has to change as it is directly reflected on the attitude of the student as well. As a parent one needs to guide and encourage their children to do better and not to side with them and make them overly pampered.
What would be your piece of advice to today’s youth?
Social media has become a huge diversion for students. The advent of these social media platforms has reduced reading habits to almost nil. It is imperative for a student to read as much as they can and whenever they can. Reading does not limit to subjects, it can be of any topic in the world. But it is necessary to read. Only reading can broaden the mind and stimulate thoughts that can lead to success.
From our experience we have seen that 3 things cannot be taught to anybody – ambition, empathy and curiosity; and these 3 are very critical for one’s success. These qualities have to be or developed by oneself. These are few of the very important qualities that are needed for success.
As an entrepreneur how would you measure your success what are the parameters?
I measure my success in two ways. One, the practical number of colleges signed and number of students enrolled, the second in the number of lives we have transformed by enabling better career opportunities by helping them develop their skills and abilities.
Do you believe there is a sure shot formula for success
The only sure shot way to success is purely hard work and smart work combined. While we started FACE we worked 7 days a week with no breaks with an aim to succeed.
We did face a lot of failures along the way but only through pure hard work did we power through all the hiccups to emerge as a company that we are now. It may sound clichéd but this is what definitely worked every single time.
Awards and recognitions
As a company we have never really worked towards achieving awards and recognition. We only worked to fulfil our commitment as a brand.
Along the way we did receive Your Story’s Edustars award and Top 5 for The Economic Times StartUp Award in 2017 and 2018.