THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when engineering graduates are finding it tough to land a job and those who are employed are grumbling over their pay pack, here is a set of students from an aided upper primary school in a rural area here, who are raking in the bucks and showing the way forward for beleaguered students stuck in the mindless rat race for grades and ranks - by starting their own IT company.
It was 18 months ago that the management of KVUPS, Pangode, decided to facilitate its students to start their own IT firm. The management arrived at the decision after a group of IT experts - three of them alumni of the school - impressed upon them the need to empower students on IT-related matters.
Thus started the endeavour which culminated in the creation of Grolius, a company that now provides various services like providing domain support, website development, website designing and much more. Grolius is the abbrevation of ‘Grow Like Us’.
Anas A M, operating officer of Talrop, an IT firm that powered the project, said the intention behind the project was to create technical awareness among students. About two dozen students who had an inkling for IT-related works were selected and the number was pruned down to 12.
Kids design websites for rates ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000
They were given training for 14 days on basic IT-related themes. But to the surprise of the school officials and IT experts, the kids imbibed the lessons swiftly and within no time they were able to evolve into the level of ‘IT professionals.’“Each day, about 45 minutes were set aside for training the students. Astonishingly, they learnt web designing in 14 days. And in a short period, they evolved into the level of IT professionals,” Anas said.
Anas felt the kids could perform well because they were not weighed down by expectations, family responsibilities and lack of fear about paying back educational loans.“Most IT graduates do not have practical knowledge and that’s where we gave special attention to,” he said.
The kids were taught to develop programmes and write codes. Currently, they earn their pocket money by taking orders from local commercial establishments. They design websites for rates ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000. Their work has been rated good. They also organise IT workshops in engineering colleges and schools.
A M Ansari, headmaster of the school, said students working on the project can go on to become IT experts, but that is not the ultimate aim of the project. “They can choose to become IT experts or not. Even if they opt for different streams, they will have the added advantage of having learnt a technical skill,” he said.
Haleela Fathima, who completed class VII last year, is still the CEO of Grolius. Though she had to move to a high school nearby, she makes use of her spare time to carry on with the work. She said the aim of the firm is to create a tech revolution in society. “We aim to help people get customised websites for their specific needs,” she said. Like this dainty girl, there are several spright boys and girls who handle human resources, marketing, public relations and other various wings of the company. Anas said that’s been done to harness the skills of the kids.
This year, some of the kids who are part of Grolius, will have to leave the upper primary school and join high school. Still, they will remain a part of the firm. “We have some serious things coming our way this year. Students will be introduced to blockchain technology and artificial intelligence. These concepts are yet to be introduced among engineering students. The kids are in high spirits and are dreaming big,” Anas said.
‘Grow like us’
* Grolius (Grow Like Us), the IT firm, provides services like domain support, website development and designing
* The students design websites for rates ranging from Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000
* The kids hold IT workshops in colleges and schools