26 Sep 2019 17:48 IST

Ed-tech start-up aims to develop skilled coders

Founded in 2016, Coding Ninjas hopes to see 14,000 students take the online course this year

Delhi based ed-tech start-up Coding Ninjas was launched to bridge the gap between the demand for and supply of coders in India, and to make students industry-ready.

Ankush Singla, co-founder and CEO, Coding Ninjas, said, “In most engineering institutes, coding is taught in a theoretical manner, and the students are rarely able to write basic code once they are out of college. This is worrying, especially given that many start-ups are being launched, and there is an increase in the demand for coders.”

There are a lot of jobs in this area; however, companies are struggling to find the right skill-set among the job seekers, he said.

Shift to online mode

The start-up teaches programming in C++, Java and Python. Singla said, “The companies which come for hiring are basically looking for programmers with the right kind of basic skill-set, as good programmers can pick up any language.”

Launched in 2016, the start-up gradually shifted from offline to online mode, with an aim to reach as many students as possible, with minimum number of teachers.

“There were around 1,200 students who took up the course in 2016-17 in the offline mode. This year, since April, we have taught 5,500 students online and the plan is to take this number to around 14,000 by the end of this financial year,” said Singla.

A batch comprising 50 to 200 students is formed every 15 days.

Teaching assistants (former students who have performed well) are available for 8-10 hours during a day to help students.

“Around 75 per cent of the course takers are engineering students, 15 per cent are working professionals and the rest are from the non-engineering background,” added Singla.

The fee ranges from ₹ 10,000 to ₹ 20,000.

“Amazon, Flipkart, Ola, Zomato are some of the companies who have hired our students and most of them have got placements with an average salary of ₹10 lakh per year,” he said.

Outcome first, pay later

The start-up has recently announced another programme, Career Camp, which will run on the income-sharing agreement model, where course takers will be charged only after they get a job offer.

“After getting a job, the candidates will pay 15 per cent of their salary for two years to Coding Ninjas. However, if the pay package is less than ₹5 lakh, professionals will not have to pay anything. We are planning to take around 250-300 students for this six-month programme,” said Singla.

Till now, the company is bootstrapped, with Singla and the two other co-founders — Dhawal Parate and Kannu Mittal — investing ₹50 lakh in the company.

With the launch of Career Camp, the aim is to raise around ₹30 crore by mid-October, he added.

With this investment of ₹ 30 crore, the start-up plans to build the necessary infrastructure and hire more tech professionals. The company plans to break even in the next two years.

“We are in talks with some venture capitalists (VCs). The amount is needed to build the needed infrastructure as the programme is designed such that we get money from the students only later,” he said.

The first batch of the six month programme starts on October 21, with a new batch starting every month.