September 14, 2021 12:53:40 pm
In her 14-year career as an art and cultural heritage professional, Pune-based Mugdha Yelkar Kekre has held several senior leadership roles and recruited many people. However, She found that often three out of five recruits could not add value to the projects despite training and onboarding exercises. They lacked a growth mindset, willingness to learn and a sense of professional responsibility, she says.
The founder of Timekeeper, a startup that aims to hone the skills of emerging professionals, Kekre says, “surprisingly, it was not the three resources that failed to contribute, but the other two who made meaningful contributions to projects that inspired me to set up a startup called Timekeepers.”
She started the company with an investment of Rs 4 lakh and looks set to break even by March 2022 and start profits in the second quarter of next year. The company was registered in November 2018 and began official operations in June 2021.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the business environment in India can be seen in changed attitudes to workforce management. A study by the IBM Institute of Business Value says, “in the next two years, we should expect another huge shift in prioritisation. Executives are telling us they plan to emphasise workforce safety and security, cost management, and enterprise agility.” Organisations such as Timekeepers are reaching out to a large segment of emerging professionals with offers for training and development programmes.
“With all workforce being forced to shift to work-from-home, there is a need for coaching to enable one to successfully transition from the student or fresher stage to being an effective and productive working professional,” says Kekre.
“The roadmap, now, for Timekeepers, is to build skills that help the professional understand their tasks clearly, prepare feasible and achievable task plans, learn to set healthy boundaries and be able to communicate effectively with their peers, seniors, and external stakeholders,” says Kekre who had worked on projects for IIT Delhi, state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, INTACH and Mahratta Chambers of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture.
Timekeepers is in the process of registering a Section 8 company Timekeepers Foundation. “Through this foundation, we aspire to create an impact on rural livelihoods by facilitating career preparedness for semi-urban and rural youth and business productivity training for rural entrepreneurs,” she says.
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