Srikanth Technologies has just turned 13 on
. In this blog, I want to write about major events in its 13 years of journey.
Since I left my job in
until October, 1998 I conducted classes in different places by renting the classroom. By October, 1998 I wanted to have a classroom exclusively for me. I strongly felt I should have an infrastructure of my own. So searched for a small room that could accommodate around 25 or more students and finally got one at Srinagar, Dwarakanagar. It is in the first floor of a typical house converted to commercial usage. My room was on rear side in the first floor.
I signed the agreement and started the classes in my exclusive classroom. My First class was on
24th October, 1998
My initial resources were a Whiteboard, a table to host my demonstration PC, and 25 chairs with writing pads. My first batch was Visual Basic 6.0. And all the 25 chairs were occupied. So I used the resources to the capacity in my very first batch itself. Indeed, it’s a good beginning.
I was very particular about my schedule. I never wanted to cancel class. Neither then nor now. But power has been an issue in this part of the world. So I ensured I would go on whether there was power or not by going for Inverter, which was good enough to run the show for a few hours in the absence of electricity.
There was no glow sign board outside and no large scale advertisements. I started giving advertisements in newspapers occasionally only to inform about the batches that I would commence. I had no phone at office. So I used my residence land line phone for that purpose. Padmaja, my wife, used to handle calls in my absence. My father used to assist me by sitting in the office in my absence in the morning.
In fact, at that time there was no name to my office. All advertisements contained my name alone.
In early days I conducted only theory. No lab was provided.
Some students requested me to provide Lab facility in the premises, so I had to expand my one-classroom setup to include Lab and front-office. Fortunately at that time as front side room of my classroom was available, I expanded my premises to two rooms (connected through a door) – one for classroom and one for Lab and front-office. So other than me I had some staff to look after the Lab and front office.
Many students found it difficult to locate the office, so I decide to put a glow sign board. Then I thought about giving a name to my operations and finalized
. It just sounded good. That’s all. To emphasize importance of quality I added
Where Quality Matters
as the caption. So my first Glow Sign Board came up – with size of 3x2 feet.
Batches were filled days and sometimes even weeks ahead of the scheduled commencement date. Fortunately, enrolments of students never seemed to be an issue.
I started offering
Java in 1999
. It was early days of Java. There was demand to accommodate more than 25 students. So I bought some fibre chairs and increased the strength to 40. At that time even that was not enough. So I had no option but to stop taking after we reached 40.
The need to have more space was strongly felt. The size of the classroom was a constraint. We couldn’t accommodate people in that small classroom. Java was having glory days. So I had to go for another expansion.
Wonderful and crazy 2000
So I have increased the size of my class room to accommodate up to 100 students by expanding it to another room in the rear side. For this I had to remove the partition wall between those two rooms. For demonstration I used two 17” monitors. I purchased public addressing system to reach to all students with less effort. The classroom was equipped with only fans (AC era did not begin). For the first time, I had a cabin for myself.
In spite of big classroom, we at times had to say sorry to some students due to lack of space to accommodate them. That’s why I call 2000 as wonderful but a little crazy. Everybody wanted to be an IT pro. US was calling everyone. Java was the hottest topic around. Learning Java was like getting VISA to US.
Then .NET just made its entry in the form of beta version in late 2000. I conducted a seminar about it in the early 2001.
I created my website -
. The aim was to make our presence felt in Internet world and provide more technical content through website than what is possible through regular classes.
Hit by IT slump in 2001
We experienced a downfall of IT industry in
. Dot Com (.com) bubble got burst. So it was a massive downfall for trainers like me. From 100 people in a Java class in year 2000, we came to 15 students in 2001. So my large classroom looked totally vacant. It was not about expansion, it was time to shrink the classroom size. We rebuilt the wall that we broke down before. Classroom is back to its old size. It was tough to digest the kind of downfall we have seen – especially after crazy 2000. I had to be very strong to withstand that downfall. At times I wondered what would happen? What next? Though business went down drastically, work ethic remained the same. That saved the day for us.
Then slowly things got improved. Batches were of good strength. Along with Java, .NET market picked up. Visual Basic 6.0 was gone and Visual Basic.Net came. ASP was gone and ASP.NET came. Change was all over.
I had decided to move to better premises. So found a place on the main road of Dwarakanagar. It is a typical shopping complex with only half of it filled at that time. I could get 1600 SFT in the second floor for a reasonable rent. We designed the new premises to have one big classroom that can accommodate 100 students, my cabin, Lab, front-office and waiting room for students.
Classroom was equipped with window AC units. We now have more spacious classroom with better ambience. Overall it is more accessible to students than the old one. Also with AC classroom the noise of fans was gone.
Srikanth Technologies was shifted to new premises in
Subsequently in 2007 I purchased an LCD projector for demonstration, abolishing multi-monitors demo practice. LCD projector made a lot of difference in the quality of the demonstration. It helped everyone to see the screen, no matter where they would sit in the class.
Some remained the same
Well, I never really felt the interiors must be great. I felt the content of the course must be relevant to industry. The biggest challenge is syllabus for the course. I have to spend good amount of time designing syllabus and it needs constant change to adapt to changes in industry.
We never depended on advertisement and sponsoring to reach to students. We reached students through students. For all these days,
word of mouth
is the only way for us to run our institute. Our advertisements are only to show the course schedule. Our intention behind advertisement is
to inform and not to attract
We never offered any discounts for any occasions. I always believed, if students think the course fee is worth paying then they pay otherwise they don’t. I never liked the idea of giving the same course for different prices to different students based on their bargaining ability or any other criteria. It is our principle to
treat all students alike
. Only those who have principles understand principles of others. And I cared and catered only to those.
Each batch is an opportunity for me to meet new people, share my knowledge and guide them towards right path. A topic may be old to me, but it is new to each student sitting in the class. So I want to see it from their perspective and not mine.
Ups and downs are part of the life. I don’t control recession in the world. I only control myself. I make sure I am at my best whether I have 20 students or 100 students. I make sure I am punctual and regular. These fundamentals have been the same right from the beginning. I focused on the quality of the training and course material more than anything else.
Though I carry the title Director, I am a
trainer at heart
. My job is not to focus on how to get more business, but focus on how to learn more and give more to students. In nutshell, I love to learn and teach.
With better infrastructure like LCD Projector, AC classroom, Cordless Mike, Wireless Mouse, Wireless Keyboard, sleek and more powerful system etc. teaching has become more fun in the recent past.
It is mobile world now. Every student owns a mobile. I make it very clear to students that classroom is a sacred place and people come here to learn. So I don’t allow people to use mobile phones in the class. Why should one come to class, if all that he/she wants is to read SMS and send SMS? Don’t we have better places for that? I prefer to keep such people at bay.
Well some students have impressed me a lot with their abilities and manners. Whenever I think of them I think of them with great affection and respect. I am very lucky to have a lot of them of that kind. For that matter, I am grateful to all students who walked into Srikanth Technologies as they trusted me. It has been my utmost effort to ensure they are not let down.
Though I take all classes, create courseware, prepare schedule etc., I could not have done all that without the help of my assistants. The people who look after LAB, front-office relieve me from a lot of work. I can pay for their work, but not to the affection and concern they show towards me.
I would like to acknowledge the support provided by Padmaja, Praneeth and Pranav, with whom I share every day of my life. I would also like to acknowledge the support provided by my parents, in-laws, siblings, friends and other well-wishers. A big
to all of them.
Looking forward to acquire and share my knowledge for
many more years to come