[INTERVIEW] Rafi Ahmed of IIHT India, looking for Franchise Partners across Africa
This week Africa Business Communities meet with Rafi Ahmed, Chief General Manager – Business Development, Indian Institute of Hardware Technology, offering high quality industry specific cost effective professional computer training at individual and corporate levels. in India.
Kindly introduce your company to us in Africa.
"IIHT is amongst Asia's top IT training organizations. Pioneer in IT IMS Training and Cloud Computing. We started operations in the year 1993 and have continued to grow exponentially since then. IIHT's business has grown at 40% CAGR year after year. During this phase, IIHT had been successful in carving its goodwill in the industry. As a result, some of the renowned Fortune 1000 organizations rely on IIHT for catering to their manpower requirements.
The goodwill is not only because IIHT provides skilled manpower in the areas of hardware, networking, database management, security and storage management, but also because the students are taught the latest technology advancements in the industry. This is coupled with hands-on lab sessions where in the students are faced with simulations of live situations that may arise on a day to day level in organizations. This equips the students to proactively act to situations and implement the best possible solution befitting the situation.
IIHT has partnered with organizations like Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Symantec, EMC2 and others and provides knowledge the latest technological advancements of its partners. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the student base for IIHT. IIHT's students include those studying 10th or 12 standard or are pursuing/completed graduation, as well as corporates. IIHT has over 200 centers in India and presence in more than 17 countries worldwide
A part of IIHT’s brand repute is due to direct contribution from the Learning Solutions Group (LSG) and the trainers. The training material prepared by the LSG team is easy to understand, gives an in-depth understanding of the subject and are internationally approved. The LSG team, also, conducts tests for students. These tests are a great way to prepare the students for the actual tests or for taking up the certification exams.
EMC Corporation is the world's leading developer and provider of IT infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. It designs, builds and manages scalable and secure information infrastructures. IIHT is one of the largest Authorized Education partner for EMC in India and offers a range of EMC Education Services on storage technology for 'Open' curriculum programs and certifications.
IIHT as HP Education Partner is instrumental in promoting HP Education Services to corporates in India. IIHT also enjoys the status of being its preferred delivery partner for imparting training to HP customers through its HP certified trainers and on HP infrastructure. With dedicated infrastructure, a result-oriented sales team and highly skilled trainers, IIHT works as an extended arm of HP Education throughout India.
Over the years, IIHT has mastered the training delivery process and the trainers are internationally certified. They travel across the globe in the quest for learning about the latest advancements in technology or to get a hands-on experience on the upgrade in an existing technology."
What brings you to Africa?
"Information is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power. We believe in empowering individuals to realize their true potential. IT is good for developing countries — it empowers people and improves their lives. Our research shows that there is an upserge in the requirement of Trained IT Manpower. In a Globalised Wired World "Information Technology" has become synonymous with “Technology" and Nations which want to cash in have to develop their Population’s IT Skills. Moreover in Africa, Currently there is a huge requirement of Trained IT Manpower which is today fulfilled by the expats from Asia. It is possible to emulate India’s Outsourcing success. Africa can be transformed into a premier outsourcing destination.
What are your services?
"IT IMS Consulting and Services, Training and Education in IT"
Why did you choose to focus this programme “"Learning as a Service" in Cloud Computing” on the African continent?
"Cloud Computing reduces costs, offers rapid scalability, It is Highly Automated, provides Flexibility and better Mobility.LAAS supports learning of IMS and Cloud computing on a cloud in a real time sense from anywhere anytime. Recently in Partnership with Microsoft we launched Cloud Computing, Following is the link to the Press Release "http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/article2618152.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_economy_art
It’s a path breaking technology and we're in the process of filing for a patent.LAAS is different to anything you've ever experienced. We have developed a "TOPOLOGY" called the "I TOPOLOGY" which helps a customer/student to get into the NETWORK FABRIC in our (public) cloud. It is not just creating infrastructure, it is about creating your own SUBNET inside a public cloud. You can do System Administration, or Network Administration or DBA training by creating your own LAN environment inside a CLOUD. This is not possible in ANY public cloud existing in the world. Hence, learning to manage IT Infrastructure in a cloud is only possible in our cloud. All in all, We can provide VDCs(VIRTUAL DATA CENTERS) to the students. Hence, we can create any learning environment customized to match the requirement of the students from here. All that anyone would need is set of THIN PCs for the students and INTERNET of about 56 kbps per desk top. We have right now installed 400 servers which can presently support 10,000 students and shall scale up to 50,000 customers by Feb wherein we shall be adding 700 more servers. So this is the scope. The LAAS Cloud can support TRAINING, DEVELOPMENT, TESTING, System Integration and Simulation...."
What are your short term objectives?
"We wish to Partner Organizations who share our vision and are looking to find Strong Partners to represent us in different regions in Africa."
What role do the youth of the Continent play in this programme?
"This Programme is meant to uplift the youth of Africa, provide them with skills which will help them to be gainfully employed. Thus bringing about Sustainable Positive Change based on Human Resource Development."
What is the main goal?
"Our Main Objective is to Partner Africa in bringing about a positive difference through IT Skills enrichment and development of the youth.To creates a sustainable System which becomes a perennial source of Trained IT Manpower."
According to you, what could be the best strategy to reduce the unemployment rate among young workers in Africa?
"By empowering them with adequate hands on skills which can ensure employability."
Do you think that eLearning is a good solution for people who cannot attend school or pay for the university fees?
"We would suggest that Elearning is a good option though it better supports those who are already in the profession for upgradation and enhancement of their skills but cannot completely replace Instructor led training (ILT).And thus cannot adequately support those who are freshers."
What is the latest about your company?
"The Latest news about our Organization is that Recently in Partnership with Microsoft we launched Cloud Computing, Following is the link to the Press Release "http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/article2618152.ece?homepage=true&ref=wl_economy_art
Would you say this showcase a wealth of proposals that promise to stimulate thought and discussion?
"We are open to Partner all Organizations who share our vision and our willing to work towards bringing about a positive difference. I.T Education and training Business is not only a respectable business, it is also a profitable revenue stream, being the first step in a value chain of Training, recruitment, Computer & Network infrastructure maintenance(IMS), I.T Consulting and setting up Large I.T projects for Banks, Telecom, Government requirements across the world. IT education Business makes even difficult to open doors easier to enter, because, as an Entrepreneur of an I.T Education Business, You train and guide thousands of potential employees to the country as well as training a large number of employees in Large corporate, Government Departments. Apart from helping you to develop strong contacts with the decision makers in I.T companies, the I.T Education and Training Business is very profitable by itself. The demand for skilled, certified I.T workforce is increasing exponentially across the world. Large companies are moving I.T Networking jobs to 3rd world countries and developing nations to cut down costs. Cost effective technologies like Remote Infrastructure Management and Cloud Computing have created large number of Career Opportunities in Network set up, Management, administration, database, I.T security, and ensuring 24 x 7 support for Banking , Telecom and essential services. This creates a huge requirement in every country for equipping the students with Basic computer skills in school level to high end training on latest technologies in demand to make the school/college pass outs as employable I.T professionals!"