Mr. Suraj Singh (20) is a young entrepreneur from Ahmedabad who is pursuing bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Adani Institute of Infrastructure Engineering. He, along with his friends, founded a startup, namely Academix in January 2020 intending to “make students more employable.”

Mr. Suraj Singh (Co-founder and CEO)

Tell me a little bit about your startup Academix.

The idea behind starting this startup is to make students across India more employable and provide them the skill set that fits into the standards that corporate have. Students are pursuing their respective courses but the problem is that whatever they are learning is not consistent with industrial requirements. I believe that there is an abundance of jobs available; however, we lack industry-relevant skills, thus creating a gap leading to superficial job scarcity.

What motivated you to establish this startup, what were your observations that lead to the formation of Academix?

When I came here at AII for my admission, I heard one of my seniors’ parents asking the director “chokra ne job madi jase?” (Will our son get a job after graduation?) Our institute is relatively a new one, so everyone had doubts regarding placement. I, personally, did not see it as a problem but a gap in students’ abilities, for they are not aware of the kind of opportunities available in the market, and therefore they fail to develop the required skills. Besides, I observed that this gap prevails in every educational institution across India. I was very keen on solving this problem of bridging the lacuna of skills.

We do not conventionally see many people of your age being an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur at such a young age of 20 years, how do you get such ideas?

For me, the entrepreneurial journey started when I was 15 years old. I use to read a lot of books and articles concerning entrepreneurship; I kept on learning through various sources about how the businesses run. A few years back, I engaged myself in marketing products such as shoes, watches, t-shirts, and suchlike for 10-12 dealers; I got an opportunity to connect with some 120 customers across India. This experience helped me understand the foundations of businesses and that is how the mentality develops in that area.

What industry-relevant skills does your startup teach to the interested students?

Initially, we started with MS Excel, Graphic Designing, and Data Science, but later on, we identified that these skills are being taught everywhere. So, now the idea is to provide them problem-solving, communication, and research skills additionally. The idea is that if you are going for any corporate job, you should be self-sufficient to work in that environment, and if there is something new to be learnt, you can easily contact our vendors. Actually, we do not want to compete with anyone but rather create a friendly eco-system for skill-development, and therefore, we are bringing the vendors, who are indulged in teaching these skills, on our platform; students can easily connect to them if they are willing to learn any technical skill. The objective is to make people aware, engage with them, connect them to vendors, and finally utilising everything that they have learnt.

Who are these vendors and what are their qualifications?

These vendors are industry experts with substantial experience in the field. For instance, our Excel workshop is being conducted by a Microsoft certified trainer. Any vendor willing to expand his business can apply for a listing on our portal by writing to us through our website ( Additionally, I am connected to about 2000 faculties from various technical colleges in India who can indulge in teaching technical skills when required.

What are your achievements as an organisation? What are your future goals?

Talking about our achievements, we have so far worked with 1200 students yet and earned revenue of some Rs.53000, and this is just in the beginning as we have not launched our full-fledged programme yet. Apart from that, we are recognised by Vadhvani Foundation as our commercial venture. Further, there was a global jury evaluation in which experts from various international platforms gather and evaluate tyro startups; we were recognised as a potential startup in that segment. We are also recognised by IIT-Kharagpur, School of Management. Even Yahoo! Life has covered our story in addition to YourStory. Also, we got our incubation at Atal Incubation Centre supported by Gujarat Technological University. Just recently, we were offered incubation and government grant from i-Hub Gujarat.

Talking about our future goals, we are longing to build a platform for free skill development for students across India. In my opinion, it is not a good idea to pay a hefty sum to learn a skill because when one is halfway through the course, one may feel that it is not interesting to them and it would lead to an impasse wherein one cannot recover the money back and also be less inclined to pursue the course further. Therefore, we will be allowing students to explore various fields through our free-of-cost platform and enabling them to select the optimum field suiting them. Once the students complete a course on our platform, we shall give them a certificate along with different job opportunities, career recommendations based on their skill analysis, and allow them to enrol in our paid courses for free or at a minuscule fee. All of these would be part of our awareness programme, and then, of course, our revenue model would come in our engagement programme wherein we are launching our ‘Academix Launchpad Programme’ which will offer paid courses by our vendors and partners; it would cost anywhere between Rs. 5000- Rs. 10000.

How are you planning to commence your internship programme as mentioned on your website?

The internship idea is that once a student joins our platform, he/she will be on our platform forever. Even after the students are employed, we are not going to drop them; we would keep on engaging with them with our new activities to keep them aware of in-demand skills. For the next 5 years, we have a goal of engaging with at least 50000 students and at least a tenth of them getting a good job through our platform. We will provide them with guidance, job support, courses, workshops, activities, etc on our website itself.

What would be the modus operandi governing the functioning of your startup?

The four principles of our functioning would be awareness, engagement, deployment, and connection. We would spread awareness through our skill-hubs and signing MoUs with various academic institutions for partnership. Later on, we would enable students to engage with our vendors to learn technical skills. After the completion of any course through our platform, we would utilise the skills by deploying them in the corporate environment. Finally, as mentioned before, we would be maintaining the connection with them even after they are employed.

As a final question, do you have any message for the youth who are intrigued by your work?

If you really want to excel in your career, be it a job or a business, try to learn more and more skills rather than just going for a certificate. It would definitely help you at some point in your life. Try to explore more and more skills and technologies that are emerging.

Interviewed by: Keval Vyas

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