Founded in 2008, Work Better Training is an executive education and training startup with a pan-India presence that specializes in soft skills and behavioral training. In a candid conversation with Swapnil Kamat, CEO, Work Better Training, we dig deeper into the executive training space, and find out more about the success story of this outfit.
What motivated you to kick-start Work Better Training?
Work Better Training was founded in 2008 to deal with our own frustrations with corporate trainings. Having worked with L’Oreal as a Brand Manager, and my wife (co-founder of Work Better), Ruchira Karnik having worked for Elle Décor, both of us had been part of many executive training programs, and we realized, most of them were purely theoretical and, more often than not, boring in nature. There was a huge disconnect between what was taught in the classroom and what was happening on the ground. Hence, Ruchira and I decided to start our own training firm because we saw the dismal state of corporate trainings, and we figured out a better way to do it.
Tell us about some of the marketing hacks you have employed to make Work Better a leading company in customized training program.
I wouldn’t say we’ve used any special marketing hacks to take Work Better to where it is now as a company. What we have done is to stick by our belief in what works and what doesn’t, and apply that to everything we do. Since the time we started Work Better we realized, what works for us and our clients is no faff. Whether it is our training programs, our content, or the way we market ourselves to our prospective clients, we believe in keeping it absolutely real and doing away with the faff.
To give you an example, last year we introduced the 4-plus rating guarantee for our clients, wherein if our workshops are rated less than 4 on a scale of 5 by the participants attending the session, we waive off our training fee from the client. I’m extremely happy and proud to say that we’ve always received a 4-plus rating for all the training programs we’ve undertaken so far.
What kind of challenges have you faced so far while approaching some of the biggest companies like HDFC, Deloitte, and Mahindra & Mahindra? Share an interesting anecdote with us, in case you have any.
While starting with big clients, especially in our initial years of business, the biggest problem we faced was the fact that we were entirely new to this business. For a big, well-known company to give us the opportunity to become their training partners required a lot of hard work and homework on our part. But given the fact that we treat each and every client as the be-all and end-all of our business, we ensure, we do our background research properly before approaching a client.
How are you planning to tackle your competitors in the executive training space?
We believe, as long as we are ethical in our dealings with our clients, and offer them solutions to their problems –solutions that works without fail, we can tackle competition well enough. Our plan is to keep innovating in this space and see how we can make trainings better, and how we can impart knowledge in soft skills and behavior to professionals in different, interesting ways.
According to your company’s profile, 85 percent of Work Better’s employees are females. Is there a special reason for that or is it purely incidental?
Well, when we started the company, it just so happened that of all the interviewees, the more competent ones were women, so we brought them on board. We weren’t specifically looking for women-powered team per se. I have always believed, women make excellent professionals for their knack for details, and being organized and solution-centric. Over the years, while working with so many women colleagues that belief has just strengthened and now I know for sure, Work Better wouldn’t have been half as successful if not for the wonderful, intelligent ladies working here.
What targets have you set for Work better in the near future?
Our target for the coming 2-3 years is to expand and diversify the business. We are looking at increasing our reach in terms of number of cities we train in currently, as well as adding to our numbers of empanelled trainers. In the coming year, our biggest move would be to not limit ourselves to classroom trainings, but to diversify and get into the e-learning and mobile-learning space.