Skillveri is founded by Sabarinath C and L Kannan, to help in addressing India’s Skill Gap Sabarinath is a computer scientist with interest in simulation integrated training methodologies. He has wide experience in building intuitive and effective products and solutions for the developing world. Kannan is a “parallel” entrepreneur and award winning innovator. He is also the Founder & Director of Vortex and Managing Trustee of Fractal Foundation.
Founder : Sabarinath Nair – Sabarinath Nair –
Sabarinath is a computer scientist with interest in simulation integrated training methodologies. He has wide experience in building intuitive and effective products and solutions for the developing world. He has taken the entrepreneurial leap with a vision of using technology as an aid to bridge the vocational skill gap and deliver a significant social impact. Prior to founding Skillveri, he was handling marketing of Vortex ATMs.
Skillveri enables better quality delivery of practical vocational skill training at significantly lesser costs through its innovative, scalable platform of multi-skill simulators. After establishing market leadership with a range of welding simulators and Spray Painting Simulators , a slew of new offerings is in the pipeline–gold-jewelry soldering, medical skills, etc. Skillveri simulators are the most installed simulators in India.
Skillveri is backed by reputed Venture Capital firms, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Ankur Capital. The company has graduated from IIT Madras Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI), and has won NSDC’s Innovation Award.
Skillveri enables better quality delivery of psycho-motor dexterity training at significantly lesser costs through its innovative simulators, which implements the principles of psycho physics. The name Skillveri can be read in two classical languages, Tamil and Latin. In Tamil, the name stands for acquiring skills with utmost passion; in Latin the name stands for the right/authentic skill (veri being the root word for verify). The ultimate goal is to ‘Skillverify’ most vocational skills.
Its first simulator, Skillveri AURATM, is an award winning welding simulator helping bridge the shortage of 2.2 million welders in India over the next 6 years. It has proven its merit as the most successful and effective simulator across many industries and training institutes.
The second simulator, the Skillveri Chroma series of spray-painting training simulator has already seen initial success with customers including paint companies like Berger, Akzo Nobel, KNPL and OEMs like TVS, Maruti Suzuki and Tafe
Skillveri has won NSDC’s National Innovations for Skills Challenge 2014 and Unity award for best non game project at Unite – Melbourne 2017 The technology for multi-skill simulation platform was developed with the support of IIT-Madras’s RTBI and uses the superior Psychophysics approach for better skill transfer.
Sabarinath on his journey with mentors :
“Coming from a middle class family with both parents working as central govt employees, no one in my family has any prior experience in setting up or running an enterprise. And I certainly didn’t have the attributes one often reads about “successful” entrepreneurs in the Economic Times, fancy degrees from IIT/IIM, nor a business plan that potential investors are already salivating at, nor a back up plan if things were to go wrong, nor a large bank balance.
So when the opportunity came up to start what would go on to become Skillveri, even the idea of the product wasn’t mine, it was just a strong feeling that if at 29 I let this opportunity go by, I may never get to really start something ever. I have no qualms in admitting it was a blind leap of faith, in this friend/mentor of mine, Kannan, 16 years elder than me, despite him providing all kinds of disclaimers (a long list of things i shouldn’t expect him to do, but in really he did most of them when required) and pitfalls of taking the plunge.
From then on, it’s been like the cliched “universe conspiring to make it happen”. Through contacts I’m able to set up a small yet inspired team of 5 people who’d willingly work full time on prototype development without getting paid, merely believing in the mission, and find more mentors on the way, almost just in time on several occasions, who are willing to lend or invest money sufficient to keep the ship afloat till the promised land is sighted.
Out of the six years of Skillveri’s existence, 4 years were in bootstrapped mode, which combined with my lack of depth in matters relating to finance, meant we ran out of money a few times, yet reached revenue stage quickly enough to make it a cash flow balancing right rope walk.
Throughout the journey, apart from Kannan, a lot of senior mentors have contributed significantly to making Skillveri a success, be it Shivkumar sir who gave us time, materials, men and money, right from the time Skillveri was just a few slides of ppt to the time it created sophisticated simulations for multiple skills, or Prof Jhunjhunwala , Prof Bhaskar and the incubation team at IIT Madras, Paul Basil and P R Ganapathy at Villgro, Stuthi who not just put up with me throughout the pre-revenue stage till we raised funding from Ankur capital and MSDF, but also loaned me money when my ability to return it was questionable; M M Murugappa sir sharing his wisdom on one on one sessions at IIT Madras, to Keshab beginning to help me handle HR challenges and ending up being a leadership coach, to Biji Kurien sir who came in to help with spray painting simulator but ending up helping in multiple ways (ahem, yes, loaning money yet again when ability to return was questionable). It’s difficult to actually list out the entire set of people from whom I’ve shamelessly taken support in this journey!
And Kannan of course lives up to the meaning of his name, becoming Krishna to the under-confident Arjuna in me.”
Kochi: Skillveri redefines skill training for welders DECCAN CHRONICLE. May 1, 2018.
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal Takes a Shine to Chennai Startup Skillveri
During the CM’s visit to Chennai, he discussed with the Skillveri team the role & potential of tech in youth skill development. 22nd September 2017
India’s cheapest welding simulator, SkillVeri, raises Rs 8 Cr from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Ankur Capital 12th January 2017
Simulating processes to help industries skill-up July 11 , 2016
From Sunny Narang’s Facebook Posts :
28th February 2015
Today were the results of the World Skills India final selections for the global competition at Sao Paulo , Brazil. There were selections for 24 Skills , from Hair -Styling to Aircraft Maintenance , from Brick-Laying and Wall and Floor Tiling to Visual Merchandising , from Mobile Robotics to Jewellery Making , from Hospitality to Prototype Modelling . The World Skills is in 46 categories.
One of the top three in welding was a 20 year old girl Girija Mani from BHEL Trichy !
Talking of welding , one of Kannan’s (of Microspin Machine Works) team-mates Sabarinath C Nair  , co-founded Skillveri with Kannan, which reduces training time for learning welding from 2 months to 2 weeks by gamifying it with 20 difficulty levels . (I am with Sabarinath and their Auro-Welding Simulator ). This also is a spin-off from Rural Technology & Business Incubator (RTBI) at IIT Madras . IIT Madras’ Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) is a registered not-for-profit society established in Oct 2006. Its mission is to incubate start-ups whose focus is to impact rural/underserved societal segments, leveraging ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).
The National Skill Development Corporation has decided to provide training and funding up to Rs 3 crore to the companies shortlisted for the NSDC Skill Innovation Challenge (NSIC). 14 companies were shortlisted this year , of which Skillveri is one. The firms have been selected from sectors including value chain model innovations, job finding and career platforms, direct skilling and vocational training platforms such as SaaS, mobile based training and simulation skilling.
NSDC, a PPP, had launched its innovation challenge in August 2014 to identify and fund disruptive enterprises with sustainable models to impact the skill development ecosystem. In all, 172 companies had applied for the programme.
As per NSDC data, India will be home to 700 million people of working age by 2020, and NSDC is aiming to skill 500 million Indians by 2022. Skillveri, one of the finalists, builds simulators to train people in core manufacturing skills such as welding, spray painting, crane lifting, etc. Skillveri is an early-stage incubate of impact investment firm Villgro.
“Our simulators give highquality training experience to workers, before they are ready to handle actual equipment. We have now designed to add multiple simulation trainings on a single platform. The funding support and NSDC access to the investors and industry will prove valuable as we go in for additional funding,” said Skillveri Founder and CEO Sabarinath C.
The National Skill Development Corporation India, (NSDC) is a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership in India. It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocational institutions. NSDC provides funding to build scalable, for-profit vocational training initiatives. Its mandate is also to enable support systems such as quality assurance, information systems and train the trainer academies either directly or through partnerships. NSDC acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies and organisations that provide skill training. It will also develop appropriate models to enhance, support and coordinate private sector initiatives. The differentiated focus for the 21 sectors under NSDC’s purview and its understanding of their viability will make every sector attractive to private investment. It has trained about 3.6 million young people and found jobs for 1.4 million since its inception in 2009 .
14th January, 2015
The future is not ‘Make in India’ by corporations with HQ in Shanghai, HK , Seoul , Palo Alto , Zurich, London, Frankfurt and Taipei . It is by creating an Innovation, Design, IP and Solution ecology that uses the best of the Indian mind and creativity. Not just makes them followers but cutting-edge sustainability and the new manufacturing revolution entrepreneurs .
To create an insistence on skilling and training, on excellence and persistence. And very few such ecologies of education , incubation , mentoring, financial support and business development exist like that in India . We need not just Silicon Valleys , we need Design and Manufacturing ecologies . Kannan has created an ecology of co-innovators in Chennai. I met designers, architects , ex-forces people and engineers with him , working on new kinds of learning toys and tools ,even reasonable retirement homes and trying to create a positive solution providing energy and build a community that co-creates .
Kannan is co-founder of Skillveri , which is run by Sabarinath C Nair , an engineer himself. Sabari has taken the entrepreneurial leap with a vision of using gaming as an educational tool and seeking to apply his abilities towards building a scalable social enterprise that draws upon his background and experience to deliver a significant social impact. Prior to co-founding Skillveri, he was handling marketing of Vortex ATMs.
And what does Skillveri do ?
“We believe in simple solutions. Most of the improper welds happen due to one core issue – the welder has not understood the fundamentals correctly. We don’t offer hundreds of features which are not used by you – we offer one simple product that is : Easy to use, Simple & Intuitive Teaches basics- hand-eye-mind coordination of the welder – with a strong quality focus Convert a raw hand to a semi-skilled welder in under two weeks!”
And the path-breaking institution that supported all this is IIT Madras’ Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) which is a registered not-for-profit society established in Oct 2006. Its mission is to incubate start-ups whose focus is to impact rural/underserved societal segments, leveraging ICT (Information and Communication Technologies).
12th October, 2013
Kannan re-engineered the imported ATM which uses 1000 watts (1 kw) and uses ‘ATM-fit’ currency , need air-conditioning to work in rural areas and tier 2/3 towns , with even solar-energy . He says in this interview that when we count using fingers we use 2-3 watts equivalent of energy , they went on to create 8 patents and use just 50 watts for their Gramateller , which can use soiled currency and easy to mantain. It is also 30% cheaper in price . They now have a 1000 ATM’s rolled out , looking at 3000 this year and 10,000 next year for financial inclusion . India is the fastest growing ATM market in the world and will have 200,000 new ATM’s in next few years .
He talks of a ground-up approach for finding Indian solutions rather than just adapt or imitate western solutions . Japan picked up and organised production in a completely new way from America. Now he has created in similar vein Microspin Machine Works  to re-engineer the whole textile chain, by creating spinning technology without baling , at the grassroots in an age when new spinning mills cost the earth . His spinning mill is under a crore and can be based only for 100 acre of cotton farm . This way spinning can be hugely decentralised and his costs are coming down rapidly to match the costs per kg of the spinning mill.
He is also working in creating skill training using simulators to impart skill sets in areas like micro-welding, as more than 80% of the time spent on entry level vocational skills is spent on acquiring the basic hand-eye-mind coordination.
27th February, 2013
I was with the Skillveri team, which is being incubated by the IIT Chennai. They have designed a micro-welding trainer based on gaming. The best welders they realised can know by the sound of the crackling if the weld is happening well. They have multiple levels where you learn to spot-weld, line -weld with accuracy and speed , then at higher levels ,if you are maintaining right or variable distance during the weld as that affects the quality , and finally to guess with sound. The animated reality and sparkling of the real process, along with the way the weld looks on real surface is all worked out. The funny thing was that this was done at a dinner party, with drinks and food, and all people interacting, talking, playing. I also had a Kinect based boxing match with one of their kids where I was knocked out !