From Humble Beginnings to Becoming a Global Leader in Enterprise IT Training
An exciting journey to greatness paved with an unwavering focus on quality and client success
Data is at the heart of all things we do – from a simple eCommerce transaction to the most complex and strategic business decisions. The challenge most organizations face is how to leverage the data that is literally available to them through multiple sources. Cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data Science & Engineering, Machine Learning (ML), Big Data, Agile, DevOps, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, and Blockchain are here to help businesses become data driven.
Competence in these technologies makes or breaks a successful business in a world revolving around data. A professional workforce can become an expert in these technologies to become a force of transformation and future growth for these businesses. One of the biggest roadblocks in reaching this goal is the lack of professional expert-level training to help teams upskills.
DataCouch is at the forefront of helping companies in making their technology teams, leadership, and business users become agile and leverage the data tools to their fullest. They are an established leader in delivering world-class Enterprise IT Training, Consultation, Transformation, Virtual Lab Solutions, and Managed Services solutions. Their expertise in talent development, business transformation, and virtual lab solutions is a result of unwavering attention to delivering value and quality in each training.
DataCouch started its operations in 2016 with a handful of experts with a passion for knowledge sharing. Soon with the wide array of technologies they offered in training, and customized course delivery, it became a preferred training partner for many global tech giants like Confluent, Starburst, Pluralsight, and Neo4j to name a few. With a laser-sharp focus on promoting healthy work-life balance, and continuous learning opportunities coupled with world-class benefits, their team of architects, data scientists, consultants, and domain experts has now grown to more than 150.
Over the years, this superb team of facilitators has helped transform more than 10,000 professionals during their in-person sessions. With virtual training gaining more traction in the last few years, they have transformed a larger number of tech professionals via their online courses.
“Quality and Commitment are in every strand of our DNA – we will go to any distance to deliver quality product, content, nd training. That is why we were chosen as the Education Partner of the Year 2022 by Confluent and are the first Global Education Delivery Partners for Starburst.”
Today, DataCouch is a proud partner of many prominent names changing the industry including PayPal, Confluent, Neo4j, Pluralsight, and Starburst, with whom they were the first company to sign a global training delivery partnership. Many instructors from DataCouch have been recognized for their excellent technical and facilitation skills and awarded for many years in a row.
DataCouch is one of the select few training partners to deliver official courses of Snowflake and has a long list of Google, AWS, and Microsoft-vetted instructors. The company’s footprints can be found in top Fortune 500 companies including Apple, Adobe, Starbucks, Barclays, Walmart, BCG, Visa, CVS Pharmacy, Janssen, Intel, IBM, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, TCS, and Accenture.
We recently got the chance to connect with Bhavuk Chawla who is the founder and CEO of DataCouch and was featured in the prestigious CIO Insider magazine as the leader of the Most Recommended Startups in India for the year 2021. Bhavuk was recognized globally as Cloudera Instructor of the Year in 2016, and Pluralsight Elite Instructor for two years in a row in 2020 and 2021. We also got the opportunity to connect with Deepshikha, Manager of HR and Operations, and Aman, Manager.
Q) Bhavuk, let me start by asking if you see any headwinds for DataCouch in the enterprise IT training and consultancy domains amid all the talks about recession, tech winter, and global scale layoffs in the sector.
Thank you for raising this question at the outset. I can say that during times of economic uncertainty, companies tend to cut back on their training and consultancy budgets. This can result in a slowdown in the enterprise IT training and consultancy domains. However, it’s important to note that the demand for skilled IT professionals remains high. Companies would still invest in training and consultancy to stay competitive. Additionally, the shift towards remote work and digital transformation will create new opportunities in the IT training and consultancy space.
Now, when it comes to specialized training, cultural transformation, and quality learning and development of the current and additional workforce, players like DataCouch have a greater role in this scenario. Because of our razor-sharp focus on learning, and a proven cost-effective global training delivery model, we are getting more requests for short-term and long-term training for tech teams, transformation consultancy projects involving all roles including leadership, as well as an uptick in the demand for our Virtual Lab solution.
Q) Virtual Lab Solution – is this a service that your company offers?
Bhavuk) Virtual Lab solution is a browser-based lab solution offered to companies as a stand-alone product by DataCouch. Using this solution companies can conduct their training literally with zero infrastructure requirements at their end. I’ll let Aman throw more light on that.
Aman) Thank you Bhavuk. The Virtual Lab solution (https://t.ly/HGf6q) is an in-house product developed for offering tailored lab solutions to meet any client’s needs. Initially, we developed it as an add-on service to assist in our training offerings for companies who did not have the bandwidth to set up their isolated labs for performing all kinds of experiments. Then as the solution became stable and loaded with features, we rolled it out as an independent and integrated lab solution.
Today, we have mid- and small-size clients who use it to set up their machines for use by their associates, startups using it ondemand for product demos, universities and L&D departments are leveraging it for their students, and even marketing teams use it to showcase the tech products/services to clients. The machines are configured as per your needs and are always kept up-to-date with necessary security measures.
The support teams are quick to handle client requests. The ease of use and the pay-as-you-go model makes our Virtual Labs a cost-effective solution for all.
Q) In our discussions with many companies and their tech teams, we find that today tech professionals are busier than ever. They are continuously engaged in creating, optimizing, or troubleshooting their products and projects and they do not get time to upskill themselves. So, my question is how do these tech -professionals who do not find much time can upskill themselves?
We empathize with the challenges that a modern tech professional has to face and to address this exact situation, we have rolledout multiple short courses to help such professionals. Our bite-sized (or, as I like to call them Byte sized) learning paths are a collection of short self-paced videos, blogs, cheat sheets, best practices and virtual instructor-led courses to help learners quickly get going toward their learning goals.
These short courses can help them improve their productivity without impacting their production objectives. In these courses we walk them through a role – say a typical day in the life of a data scientist – with realworld challenges and opportunities to optimize their tools and products.
Q) The ChatGPT is writing boilerplate code and some say it can even generate complex code. Were you totally surprised like everyone when it was released last year? Also, do techies need to worry about losing their jobs?
Once again a great and very relevant question. Like many others following the evolution of AI and more specifically its NLP domain, we were not taken by surprise by this development. Though, I must admit that the timing of its launch was a surprise – as is Google’s Bard or Microsoft’s Copilot – as these technologies still have a long way to go before they are included in our daily lives. But the amount of enthusiasm and discussion these have generated is a welcome sign for the industry.
The need of the hour is to continuously upskill oneself. If you are working with traditional tech – like website or mobile app development – then in the near future you may have to worry about losing your job. Today the cost of Generative AI tools like ChatGPT-4, Bard, and Bing is prohibitive and their use cases are still evolving. But going forward they will also rationalize and will be within reach of even smaller companies. But if you’ve put yourself on a learning trajectory, then you need not worry at all.
By continuously upskilling yourselves you can gain new insights and approach the problems with new perspectives. You can not only leverage these tools but also become a master of many more technologies of tomorrow including Web 3.0 which leverages AI, ML, Analytics, Blockchain, AR/VR/ Metaverse, IoT, Cloud, and 5G. Web 3.0 is the new frontier of a decentralized and open-source internet built on secure Blockchain allowing users, devices, and services to interact with each other in near real-time using 5G and IoT.
Cloud-hosted services like AI platforms, ML models, and Analytics engines would make use of services like AR and VR to deliver an immersive experience to users. Once you master such tools for the future and continue upskilling yourself, there is no need to worry.
Q) It seems that you are dealing with a lot of advanced technologies. What are the initiatives DataCouch is taking to help beginners and students start their journey in these advanced technologies?
Bhavuk) There are many things that we are doing to help beginners, and even professionals at intermediate levels, upskill themselves. For example, we regularly host Meetup sessions on our community All Things Data (https://t.ly/yh6V1) which are also streamed live on YouTube. The videos of these sessions are on our YouTube channel for anyone to benefit from.
Then we have our E-Learning portal(https://t.ly/-JDQH) for self-paced courses where students can enroll to get the same level of training that we deliver for our clients. We regularly hold public in-person meetups by announcing our public schedule. So, anyone in the Tri-city region can attend them at our offices. Deepshikha, why don’t you fill in more about our student-centric initiatives?
Deepshikha) Thanks a lot, Bhavuk for giving me this opportunity. We believe in forging long-term partnerships – be it with companies, clients, academic institutions, or individuals. We have many associations and partnerships with universities for many academic initiatives including helping them design curricula to strike a balance between core and emerging technological topics and helping their teachers become effective instructors for better delivery.
We are also helping teachers and students with their industry certification preparation. Specifically for students, we offer internship opportunities to deserving candidates who show a knack for learning. We regularly conduct hiring drives, and sponsor hackathons and other tech fests or events where we can spot the talent early. Recently there were a few interns in the company who were in their second year of a 4-year engineering program!
Q) How would you sensitize the leadership, business users, and tech teams of an organization who are approaching you for the first time about new technologies and their possibilities?
We often receive requests from leaders at different levels to address their teams to help them understand the value of adopting Agile methodologies, helping their teams to leverage best practices and generally upskilling their employees. We first invite their team members to attend our Meetup sessions and share with them the links to YouTube videos for the relevant technologies. We also invite companies to send participants to attend many conferences where our experts deliver talks.
The focused webinars we conduct on request of companies to help them get a quick look at the possibilities that modern technologies can unlock for them. We make use of case studies, client testimonials, and statistics to drive home the point. These interactions are real eye-openers for them as they get to know about the practical use cases that can take their projects to the next level. Even post-webinar, we stay connected with the participants for their life-long learning, growth, and transformation.
Q) Can you throw some light on how cultural transformation is helping companies with a large workforce?
We firmly believe in the power of teamwork and trust that people, not technology, are the drivers of change. Our trust in people – our associates, facilitators, consultants, clients, and learners – is what drove us to bring about cultural change within DataCouch. And once we realized the benefits of cultural transformation, we wanted to extend this to our clients too. Our consultants have led many teams to bring about a phenomenal change in their ways of working, bringing in more cohesion, better communication, and more collaboration. All this leads to less confusion and friction.
With our Cultural transformation training, we aim to promote a positive work environment by helping organizations by –
• Becoming more inclusive, diverse, and promoting a more welcoming environment for employees from different backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs.
• Improving employee morale and engagement with the aim of a more engaged and motivated workforce for increased productivity and better business outcomes.
• Promoting innovation by fostering creativity and developing new ideas and approaches. Improving overall customer satisfaction as valued and motivated employees are more likely to provide better customer service.
• Becoming agile by increasing adaptability and resilience to withstand changes and challenges, be they technological advancements or economic downturns.
Q) How does DataCouch stand out from other companies?
DataCouch is a company with firm beliefs and ethos. We all get together because we all individually and collectively have the same set of core values including Humility, Innovation, Knowledge Sharing, Customer Focus, Aim for Wow, Integrity, Responsiveness, and Quality without Compromise.
• Knowledge Sharing – Social Contribution is the core belief and we follow it by conducting free meetups and sharing many free e-learning courses with the participants.
• People Focus – Small changes can make a big difference in the workplace. One such change that we’ve implemented is naming our meeting rooms after the names of the children of full-time associates. This simple yet meaningful gesture
not only adds a personal touch to our office environment but also serves as a reminder of the values and qualities that we strive to embody in our work. It’s the little things that can help create a positive and productive workplace culture.
• Aim for Wow – Our State-of-the-art office is one of the most premium spaces in the Tri-city area.
• Innovation – We promote innovation and have a rewards and recognition policy for their out-of-the-box thinking approach to solve conventional/novel problems.
• We try to not leave anything to chance – Planning, practice, and preparation are the keys to our team’s continued success.
In this time of gloom and doom when even the biggest tech giants are considering layoffs, DataCouch is scaling its operations and recruiting more professionals in multiple domains to become stronger. We are proactively aiming for a flat organizational structure to help maintain team agility.
We are a true believer in the potential of the individuals and the team. We actively take steps to continuously improve the working conditions and the work culture in the team. There is an open environment where everyone can share their ideas with anyone. If someone disagrees on a certain point, they can share it with the team including the CEO.
Many decisions are taken collectively related to marketing, content development, talent development, team upskilling, and even for strategic goals. We wish to become the best place to work in the Tri-city region and an employer of choice for professionals who have a knack for learning and are passionate about what they do. Every team member is a part of the family and their families are our extended family. There are many associates who are working in hybrid mode – most of the time they work from home and visit the offices from time to time.
There is no micro-management of the associates as everything is task-oriented with everyone knowing their deliverables. The office has the best-in-class facilities for conferences, conducting training, and an ambient work area. The pantry has a state-of-the-art De’Longhi coffee machine with free snacks. The newly opened office is fully automated with ambient light and climate control features and secure access to all
Q) What are the CSR initiatives that you have and are planning?
As responsible corporate citizens, we are already doing many things when it comes to CSR including donations to charities and orphanages, tree plantation drives involving societies where we live, and organizing blood donation camps. One thing that is close to everyone’s heart at DataCouch is children as they are our future. So, going forward we are working on ways to develop a sustainable model to continue our knowledge-sharing initiatives with the less fortunate.
We are already in talks with some government schools in the area where our associates can visit and help students in learning about modern tech tools to make them ready for the workforce of tomorrow. This will be one of the biggest CSR initiatives that DataCouch would undertake once all pieces are in place. We are hopeful of rolling it out by the next quarter.
- Top 10 shoe brands in India for men & women 2023
- Top 10 Adorable Gifts for Your Special One
- Top 10 Countries with Maximum Indian Population as Citizens
- Top 10 Small Business Statistics You Need to Know For 2023
- Top 10 highest paid CEO in the World
- Top 10 richest person of India
- Top 10 Highest Paid CEOs of India
- Top 10 Most Selling Bikes and Scooters of 2022 in India
- The Success Story of Jeff Bezos
- Success Story Of Elon Musk
- Top 10 Business Newspaper In India
- Top 10 Tourist Places in India, places to visit after lockdown