The business of corporate training has always been focussed either towards the top management or the frontline team. There was no dedicated training intervention specially designed for mid-level management. Mid management training is considered always as an add-on to the primary offering and there was not a single organization which specialized in mid management training. Eka Academy is a mid-management specialist and specializes in end-to-end competency based skill development interventions delivering precisely to the mid-management team across industries, domains and functional areas.
CEOs have to shift the paradigm of what power is. Leadership is one of the dynamic positions in the industry as it demands continuous evaluation of the demand and needs. Therefore, the type of leadership is changing from “Enlightenment” to “Empowerment” and then to “Emboldening” just like a bond between a coach and the team.
Capt. MuthuKrishnan Iyyappan believes a good coach does not inject greatness into players but get the players to believe in the greatness that already exists in them. The journey from “Enlightenment” to “Empowerment” and further on to “Emboldening” happens only if there is trust. And therefore, the future CEO’s leadership style will have to be based on “Trust” and, thus to create an ecosystem that will foster trust and encourage empowerment in the team.
In an interview with Business APAC, he explains how developed his training experience into a full-fledged academy. Here are some excerpts.
Providing Global Training
Please tell us about your company’s offering
We primarily offer instructor led corporate training. Our services are customized according to client’s need and demand, allowing them to work within its existing resource structure. The training intervenion is built upon a proven instructional design framework, including abundant experiential activities for skill building, providing opportunities for practice and feedback, and embedding the client’s products, services, policies, and other unique details. Ever since inception, Eka Academy is a specialist in mid-management training. Understanding the requirement of mid management, our offering and interventions are created around the specific needs and constraints of the participants. I can proudly say that Eka is the first-ever training organization to be a “specialist in mid management” giving it a niche to operate upon. We are creating path breaking programs, which specifically targets mid management.
A Journey of Decorated Indian Officer
Please walk us through your professional journey and what helped you to create such wide range of programs?
I was commissioned as an officer in the Indian Army, and held the appointment of a Company Commander. During my tenure, I played multiple roles and shared several responsibilities which include administration, training, employment and welfare of a hundred men in peace and war. On 20 April 2000, the first ever fidayeen (Suicide) attack happened in my post at Srinagar and incidentally, on 25th of December 2000, on my last date of my command in that post, there was another suicide attack. Keeping the morale of the soldiers high amidst these attacks and subsequent loss of life was my first “baptism by fire” into training and life coaching. My experience in the Indian Army has taught me the art and craft of training people, which helped in a smooth career transition. For me training came naturally that added to my skills set. My Masters in Business Administration with both Marketing and Finance as dual specialization helped me to understand business from a holistic perspective and then declutter them into a fabulous training module. The most important factor, however, is my formal exposure to a wide range of industries – which helped me to understand the painpoint of any industry and create programs and interventions to address those painpoints.
Offerings better than Competitors
What are the factors that make your offerings better than your competitors?
At Eka Academy, we focus on three factors; originality, contextuality and delivery. These three factors ensure that our offerings stand apart from that of other competitors. Originality and contextuality of the content is one of the most important factors in relation to the education industry. The content is created after a lot of research and therefore is original and contextual. Every program is custom created as we don’t believe in providing off the shelf content which may be good for knowledge aquision, but has a very low practical application Contextualization also ensure direct relevance between the content and the audience’s need.
Lastly, the most important part of the process is delivery. Eka’s empaneled trainers are highly qualified and competent to make sure that the delivery of the program is processed successfully. Before selection into academy, our trainers undergo lot of screening and every trainer is certified before being assigned to deliver training.
Global Presence in the Future
Which are your present and future focus areas for expansion?
The future of corporate learning is digitized and distributed. We are currently investing a lot on creating new and pioneering learning intervention that utilizes the power of cloud computing and internet technologies. We have built learning platforms which will provide “Just in Time” learning solutions through computers and mobiles. Also, actively consider offering solutions through MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) and Satellite Channels. As the technology is continuously evolving, we are planning to invest heavily in augmented learning and distributed leaning. By leveraging virtual classrooms, our company wants to eliminate the need for a physical classroom, thus saving huge expenses for the clients where participants would have to travel and stay for training programs.
Currently, we are actively serving in 6 countries in Europe (Hungary, Germany, Austria, Romania, Poland and Slovenia) and also present in Melbourne, Australia, besides the SAARC countries. In the next 2 years, we are looking at having physical presence in countries that represent 25% of the world population – including Africa and South America besides China and Japan in Asia.
Word Of Wisdom:
The strongest of teams are built on the 5 e’s – Enlighten, Enthuse, Encourage, Empower and Embolden – and done in that order. First you enlighten the team, then you infuse enthusiasm in them and provide encouragement. Empowering then will result in them becoming great managers and emboldening them will create leaders.