J. Suthahar, 27, a first generation Master in Computer Applications, gives quality software training to others from modest backgrounds at a nominal cost and sometimes free, with great success

While it is comparatively easier for intelligent youngsters from big cities to get admission into good colleges, find well paying jobs and settle down in the space of a few years, it is much harder for those coming from remote rural areas and modest financial backgrounds. Many who appear for job interviews are rejected due to their inability to communicate well even if their subject skills are as strong as their urban counterparts. So, they end up settling for modest paying jobs or go back to their villages.

Twenty-seven-year old J. Suthahar who hails from Pudukkottai faced the same situation when he applied for jobs after his graduation. He was rejected several times. But he managed to get past that and now works as a senior software engineer in a top multinational tech firm in Bangalore. But he worried about others like him from remote areas who may not be so lucky and this led him to start a software training centre in Coimbatore four years ago. Since then, the centre has helped 1,500 students get jobs in top firms all over the country.

“Though I have been in the field of Information Technology (IT) for the last five years, it was quite a struggle to find a job at the start. After completing my graduation from Bishop Heber College in Trichy, I attended a few job interviews in Chennai. Seniors told me that I wouldn’t stand a chance as I was from a village. I was rejected as I was unable to present myself well enough,” Suthahar recalls, a touch disappointed.

He then came down to Coimbatore and managed to land a job as a telemarketing executive for ICICI. It was at this time that he started thinking about improving the situation for others from similar backgrounds.

Suthahar set up J Square Training with a single computer in 2009. His training centre at 100 FeetRoad now has 10 desktop computers and a training lab with the latest technologies. A group of 20 software engineers arrived at his institute to upgrade their skills. This was the boost Suthahar needed.

Adopting a proactive approach, Suthahar started to provide exclusive practical training in the latest softwares at nominal rates for college students, and trained others for free.

Improving confidence

“The main objective for me was to provide training to get rid of the gap between knowledge and skill. I also wanted students to attend interviews with confidence and present their skills well. I charged a minimal amount for those who could afford to pay, and taught others for free,” he says.

His core team has now expanded to five, with some of his own students providing practical and soft skills training during the weekdays. Suthahar trains his students online during the week and returns to the institute on weekends.

Motivation

Top performers are duly rewarded, making things more competitive and exciting. The best programmers and developers are gifted gold coins by the institute. Winners of the weekly question and answer sessions and discussions are gifted tech gadgets such as headsets, USB drives or Bluetooth devices.

Students are also taken on annual field trips to Ooty, Kodaikkanal and other hill stations nearby, the expenses being borne by Suthahar himself.

He also makes annual trips to orphanages with his students all over the city, spends an entire day with the inmates and provides them with lunch. He volunteers to train some of the brighter children in software, free of cost.

J Square Training now attracts people of various age groups. “I recently trained a 60 year-old man who now has his own software start-up in Dindigul,” Suthahar says.

Suthahar has now published two e-books on software and has been invited to talk about skill development in prominent colleges in and around the city.

His focus on top quality training at a low cost has enabled people to make best use of their skills, irrespective of their backgrounds.

Social responsibility

Suthahar has successfully trained 1,500 students. Many of his students work in top multi-national technology firms all over the country. Some others have started their own firms

His centre has students of all age groups, from a Class VIII student who is the youngest to be admitted to a Master in Computer Applications (MCA) course to a 60 year-old man who started his own software firm in Dindigul

Suthahar has been invited by prominent private colleges in and around the city to talk about his initiative

Once a year, he spends an entire day with underprivileged children

He has published two free e-books on software — Microsoft Developer Guide and .Net Interview Questions — and shares his expertise on various online forums