Creative edupreneur

EducationWorld November 2019 | People

Gurgaon-based Ayush Jaiswal (23) is the youthful co-founder of Pesto Tech (India) Pvt. Ltd (estb.2017), which owns pesto.tech, a career accelerator online platform. The company offers a 12-week intensive training programme to upskill and prepare Indian software professionals for international tech careers. Following completion of the online programme, diploma awardees work for American IT companies out of their homes in India. The company has found offshore jobs for 30 Pesto graduates thus far.

Newspeg. Pesto has placed its most recent cohort of students who graduated in 2019 at an average salary of Rs.29 lakh per annum with two students offered $85,000 (Rs.60 lakh p.a) and $92,000 (Rs.64 lakh) respectively. Typically, upon completion of the programme, students command seven multiples of their previous remuneration, says Jaiswal.

History. Born and schooled in Varanasi, Jaiswal was a child IT prodigy who began writing software code at age 15. In 2013, he enrolled in the Krishna Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ghaziabad, for a programme in computer science but soon concluded the course was “too much theory, too little practice”. Seven months later, he dropped out of college and took unpaid jobs with several start-ups stationed in Innov8, a work share office in Delhi.

“I lived days and nights at Innov8, taking showers in a gym nearby and began working without pay. The only thing I asked in return was that they give me a seat at the table whenever a high-level strategy meeting was scheduled. At one of the meetings, I met Dr. Ritesh Malik, the founder of Innov8, and learnt about his Project Guerrilla, a programme that helps budding entrepreneurs to promote their own ventures. Around the same time in 2017, I met Andrew Linfoot, an American software engineer working out of Innov8, and together we started Pesto Tech,” recalls Jaiswal.

Business model. Pesto Tech has a unique income-sharing business model. Students are not charged tuition fees upfront, with the company even paying for board and lodging. However, once students successfully complete their training programmes and are placed, the company is contracted to receive 17 percent of their monthly salary for the next three years. This income-sharing contract becomes operational only if trainees are placed at salaries double their previous pay with the minimum annual remuneration set at Rs.15 lakh per year. If not, Pesto Tech suffers the loss.

Future plans. Quite obviously, this unique win-win software professionals training and development model has worked. In the quarter ending December, Pesto Tech has signed up a cohort of 70 IT software engineers for its next training programme. “We plan to train 3,000 engineers over the next one year. I’m confident we’ll be able to equip many more software engineers with the skills required to land hi-tech offshore jobs. Our larger objective is to upskill India’s 5 million software engineers — many of them unemployed — and pair them with the world’s top technology companies,” says Jaiswal.

Way to go Bro!

Manoj Joshi (Delhi)

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