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Ten Years in Training

Published: May 4th, 2020 09:47 amBy Venkat Annapragada

May 2010. I got the opportunity to perform the role of project management trainer in my software company. Post the 2008 financial crisis, delivery roles were dwindling, and I thought training would be good stop gap arrangement. The first year went in learning the nuts and bolts of the training delivery function.

Training is not easy as it is widely perceived. After the first full day of classroom training, I had cramps in my legs. But soon I got used to this. For a daylong session only three breaks used to be planned. So, I had to be ready to talk continuously for long hours at a stretch. But the most important factor I felt was maintaining energy levels till the end of the day. When the energy levels among the participants goes down, I had to ensure that mine does not.

In the subsequent years I travelled abroad to deliver training for overseas employees of the company. I learnt a lot in those assignments and cherish my visits to Porto and La defense.

October 2014. I quit my job and started as a freelance trainer. I registered my company in the same month. The initial few months went in setting up a partnership with a training material provider and setting up my profile on trainer platforms. My first customer was a person based in Japan. I conducted a live online session for the first time using skype. It worked. The next year I got into a partnership with a US based company to provide regular online sessions. Since then I have been conducting regular live online sessions for participants in different parts of the world. I have also engaged with many small and medium enterprises for corporate assignments and done a bit of consulting work.

Below are three factors which I believe are necessary for a trainer to be successful:

Passion: A trainer is no lesser than an Entrepreneur and needs to be passionate in their domain. Passion will help in sales conversions and handling objections. Passion motivates in conducting online sessions at odd hours and while at home. Passion will overcome disinterested participants in a corporate classroom.

Plan: Every month I start by retrospection of what was done last month and a plan for the current month. I Look at different areas of my business and plan for action in areas which are holding me back. I do a data analysis of which of my courses are moving forward and which of my sales channels are working. I plan to follow up with prospects and plan to get feedback from completed training.

Fund: Training is a service business. External fund sources would not be available. I started with my savings and invested in equipment, tools, and material. Later the cash flow from sales kept me going. Scalability is difficult. I apportion my time between delivery, sales, and other administrative activities. Having a team for sales may become necessary. Live sessions are more effective than pre-recorded videos.


In a post pandemic world, online training would be the new normal. Trainers would have to strategize what part of their domain they can deliver live online, what part they can create recorded content without compromising effectiveness and what still needs to be delivered in a classroom.

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