Interviewed By: Sandeep Kshatriya, Facilitator, The CEO Insights
The CEO Insights: Please tell us about the founding of Work Better Training?
Swapnil Kamat: Work Better Training was founded in 2008 to deal with our own frustrations with corporate training. We had been a part of a lot of executive training programs and realized that most of them were theoretical and boring in nature. There was a huge disconnect between what was taught in the classroom and what was happening on the ground. Hence, Ruchira Karnik and myself Co founded Work Better Training with the Endeavour of making Corporate Training program more real, practical and implementable.
The CEO Insights: How did your education at SIBM help you in your business?
Swapnil Kamat: An MBA sure gives you a background in management. But I believe what really helped me was my love for business and entrepreneurship. That was the only thing that interested me – building something out of scratch.
The CEO Insights: How do you feel having trained over 18,000 executives pan India last year and over 50,000 till date?
Swapnil Kamat: It feels great to have grown so big so soon in the field of Executive training. However, I believe we have a long way to go. We want scale bigger, but not at the cost of the world class quality that we currently deliver. Managing these 2 is a big challenge.
The CEO Insights: How do you design programs customised to specific requirement?
Swapnil Kamat: We get a deep understanding from our clients on the specific needs of the company. We ensure that our understanding comes from 3 places – the companies Training & Development team, functional heads and the participants themselves.
The CEO Insights: How do you see executive learning to be seen differently than the traditional approaches?
Swapnil Kamat: The biggest difference between executive training [especially in soft skills and Behavior] as compared to traditional education is the fact that we are dealing with adults. Adults who already have a lot of latent knowledge on the subjects that we train in. It’s our job to help the participant raise their awareness to what they already know and then add the other bit. In Adult education, it’s important to facilitate well and help participants think first and then learn from each other as against a trainer downloading a subject on them.
The CEO Insights: Can you talk about your areas of specialization and programs offered?
Swapnil Kamat: Work Better Training operates in 6 verticals:
Communication & Presentation
Sales & Negotiation
Personal Effectiveness [ Including Time Mgmt, Interpersonal Skills, Corporate Grooming]
The CEO Insights: We see overwhelming feedback and recognition of your work on Social Media, what’s your take on rise of social media?
Swapnil Kamat: It’s great to get feedback for our program on our Facebook page. But Social Media can get addictive and stop you from devoting your time to things you can do to actually grow yourself personally and professionally. People have started devoting their free time exclusively to social media.
The CEO Insights: Your thoughts on how innovation reins in costs & increases operational efficiency?
Swapnil Kamat: Innovation needs to be a part of the culture of an organization. It needs to be something that is done by every single person in a company. Not just a select few. Sometimes it helps rein in costs & organizational efficiency; sometimes it adds a brand new revenue stream. Irrespective, don’t have a short term horizon for it and don’t limit it to a department.
The CEO Insights: How do your programs help setting and reaching their goals, every time!
Swapnil Kamat: You cannot help anyone up a ladder unless they want to climb. Our programs are designed in such a way that they help both a professional and the organization achieve their Goals. But for them to work, professionals must be ready to work on them.
The CEO Insights: Do you have post program completion feedback analysis or any measurement processes for effectiveness?
Swapnil Kamat: Yes, we have exhaustive post program feedback analysis.
The CEO Insights: Today, many companies are losing people to cut costs. Do you see any alternative?
Swapnil Kamat: Different situations demand different actions from companies. There are no easy answers to what should be done. My only suggestion to companies is to keep the long run in mind while firing people. On the other side, if as an employee you are doing a fabulous job and adding great value to your company, the chances of you losing a job are slim.
The CEO Insights: Tell us about your future plans and other tie-ups?
Swapnil Kamat: We have recently tied up with English Central – a Google Venture that helps people improve their language online. We are really looking forward to launching the product soon in India.
The CEO Insights: Your experiences with Trip2Goa.com, L’Oreal?
Swapnil Kamat: Both these experiences were great and different. From Loreal I knew I could do well amongst some of India’s best brains. It was reassuring to work with some talented people and perform well. Trip2goa was a roller coaster ride where I did everything from lifting bags for my clients to designing a website.
The CEO Insights: What are your favorite book, movie, and/or play?
Swapnil Kamat: My Favorite book is the Success Principles by Jack Canfield ; Favorite Movie is Rang De Basanti.
The CEO Insights: Apart from being a true Goan spirit, what are your hobbies and interests?
Swapnil Kamat: My Hobbies are limited. I love reading about business – both Books and magazines. Besides that I am a Graphic Design Enthusiast. I just love great anything that is beautifully designed.
The CEO Insights: Who is your role model?
Swapnil Kamat: In the context of business Richard Branson, Steve Jobs & Rajiv Bajaj have been my role models for as long as I can remember. My Grand father, the late Sadguru Waman Rao Pai has been the biggest inspiration too.
The CEO Insights: What gets you excited about waking up each morning & put your best?
Swapnil Kamat: Building something that can help change people’s lives is what keeps me excited. Work Better plays a huge role in the development of a professional. We help accelerate careers and help companies grow.
Swapnil is the founder of Work Better and a corporate trainer par excellence. Along with his business sense, he leverages his expertise in learning and development to assist professionals in seizing opportunities to improve and sustain targeted results. CNBC TV 18 Young Turks rated him as one of India’s Young Achievers and Times of India labelled him as a ‘Catalyst for Change’ for his breakthrough contribution in the field of Training & Development. Work Better is an Executive Education and Training company. We train over 18,000 executives a year across India on various aspects of Behaviour and Soft Skills that equip and empower them to become effective professionals. Visit Work Better Training website for more information: http://workbetterindia.com.