People 27- year-old J. Suthahar, a first generation Master in Computer Applications (MCA), gives quality software training to others from modest backgrounds at a nominal cost and sometimes free, with great success. Vaibhav Shastry meets the young engineer

“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.

PHOTOS (COVER & CENTRESPREAD): K. ANANTHAN

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The main objective was to provide training to get rid of the gap between knowledge and skill

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