Start-up SPS for training young people in sales


At a time when India is experiencing huge unemployment of almost 7.9%, Sales Pro Shiksha (SPS), a start-up, has unveiled plans to upskill graduates by providing sales training and deploying it in companies People who face a lack of unemployment are high-quality sales professionals.

“Our vision is to professionalize sales. We want to educate and train fresh, employable youth to become world-class sales professionals who will put them on par with other respected professions,” said Pradeep Panda, Founder and CEO of SPS.

The startup will initially launch with Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities before moving into subways and major cities.

“Unemployment rates are higher in Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities, according to a CMIE report. This suggests that India is not creating enough decent jobs for college graduates. Also, 90% of jobs require skills and 53% of graduates have no skills for jobs,” he added. “Therefore, Sales Pro offers them jobs in the sales sector, be it retail or B2B/B2C sales across the industry,” he said, adding that the retail/sales sector is one of the top employers of skilled labor in India .

SPS, he said, will offer two courses — a six-month Certified Sales Professional course, conducted offline across India. The course includes on-the-job training and upon passing, candidates will join various companies as sales interns. The second is Certified Sales Associate, a three-month course offered both online and offline. Such candidates may join distributors or retail salespeople after passing as a salesperson.

“Demand for quality sales jobs is high, but supply is very low, creating a very large gap. A well educated and highly motivated sales graduate can start as a sales intern but rise to CEO as these are the people who generate revenue for the company,” said Mr. Panda. “But unfortunately, many parents want their children to get a coveted job in government or in the corporate sector. The focus has never been on acquiring relevant skills and competencies,” he said.

Industry, he said, is also to blame and complaining, but doing nothing to work with academia to hire the talent they want.

“Today the situation is such that industry and academics live in different worlds. The job of salesman is never seen as a suitable career option by young people and their parents. Companies have no way of hiring qualified sales interns,” said Mr. Panda. “But the irony is that 67% of CEOs come from a sales background. What is missing today is a good basic sales curriculum. Therefore, good professional sellers are hard to find. Therefore, after realizing the problem, I left my corporate career to fill this gap,” added Mr. Panda.

He said SPS would bridge the gap between academics and business by offering a professional course to students who are uninterested, unselected or unable to afford mainstream courses such as engineering and medicine. “We will identify employable graduates who have been expelled from high-fee educational institutions and offer them a professional sales course for ₹50,000,” said Mr. Panda. “Corporate houses and NGOs can invest their CSR funds to sponsor poor students for this course that can change their lives,” he added.

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