Despite rapid technological changes, university curriculum has remained largely unchanged. Experiential learning, an essential component of learning today, is inadequate and filled with gaps. This means, graduating freshers entering the corporate workforce need training, leading to additional costs.
The glaring skill gap between the academic world and the industry and the desire to develop an effective experiential product to bridge the gap prompted the brothers Karun Tadepalli and Sricharan Tadepalli to launchin 2020.
Preparing a new generation of coders
The Hyderabad-based startup is a learning and upskilling edtech platform that helps learners acquire essential skills in emerging technologies.
Through a hybrid learning platform and a guided campus recruitment model, byteXL prepares engineers who are ready for a career in IT. The byteXL platform is positioned as a one-stop shop for self-learning coursework and guided training that prepares a new generation of coders for the workforce.
In tier 1 cities, byteXL offers online courses, while in tier 2 cities, it provides both online and offline courses. In tier 3 cities, it offers offline courses.
“We are trying to increase the employability index, reduce the skill gap, reduce attrition rates, and save on industry training costs,” says Karun, Founder and CEO, byteXL.
He says the name of the startup sums it up. “In the IT sector, the size of data is measured in bytes. Our programmes are designed to help students excel in the IT industry; hence the name byteXL.”
byteXL operates on a B2B model wherein it partners with engineering colleges and runs two programmes—Expert and Career Accelerator.
The startup offers courses required for an IT career—in traditional coding languages as well as new-age technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cyber security, and full stack development.
The Expert programme provides 160 hours of instructor-led training every year, while Career Accelerator provides 120 hours of engagement. The company offers reading materials, recorded videos, coding challenges, assessments, and feedback at every stage.
Its experiential learning platform enables users to practise coding, deploy programs in cloud environments, and run full-blown enterprise applications. “Students can practise coding and run, compile, test, and deploy applications in cloud environments to simulate the real-time coding development of the IT industry,” says Karun.
The programme begins either in the first or the second year of the student’s engineering programme. “We empower the students until the fourth year,” says Karun.
byteXL has partnered with Microsoft, and Fortinet NSE for curriculum vetting and professional certification. It also upskills students with AWS certification and TensorFlow.Academy,
Currently, byteXL has 123 instructors working with institutes across many states in the country. The company says it follows a stringent process while onboarding instructors and looks for skills such as technical expertise, training style, and the ability to understand students.
Karun says byteXL’s skills training programme assists students to succeed in national qualifying tests of companies such as TCS, , Capgemini, and CTS. “We help students successfully go through Day 0 and Day 1 hiring through the college drive,” he says.
Over 10,000 students were placed with MNCs such as TCS, Wipro, Infosys, and Accenture in FY21, while more than 28,500 students were placed in FY22. Apart from placements in eminent organisations, nearly 4,000 students got paid internships in the FY22 session.
Karun says that partnerships and professional certifications help students bag internships and placements in companies such as, Justpay, , Adobe, and .
ByteXL claims that its students have been offered salary packages of Rs 8 lakh per year in tier 1 cities. Students with professional certification receive up to Rs 40 lakh per annum from reputed product companies, says the company’s founder. Students from tier 2 and tier 3 cities too have seen an increase in their pay package.
byteXL works on a subscription-based model. It charges colleges and institutes a yearly subscription. It currently works with over one lakh students from 85 institutes across Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The cost varies from Rs 5,500 to Rs 12,000 per year.
byteXL clocked a revenue of about $120K in FY21 and $2.2 million in FY22.
Current market and road ahead
According to Statista, the Indian edtech industry was worth $2.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $10.4 billion by 2025.
The edtech upskilling market is worth $260 million and will rise to $730 million by the year 2025. The market comprises upskilling startups such as, , , , and .
In September 2021, byteXL raised $250K from Joy Family Investment, headed by Joseph Joy, a US-based investor, to improve its product portfolio, enhance content, and grow its sales and marketing team. It plans to raise an angel round in the next two to three months.
The company aims to achieve a revenue of $11 million in FY23. byteXL is also planning to expand its footprint in North India by partnering with institutes and colleges in Gujarat, Delhi NCR, and Punjab.
Meet the team
The boostrapped company was founded with an investment of Rs 1 crore from personal and family savings. byteXL started with four members and has grown to a team of 163.
Karun has more than two decades of experience as a technology leader. He has built engineering teams that developed applications using AI, ML, IOT, and blockchain in Accenture and Ericsson.
Sricharan Tadepalli, CSO and Co-founder, has been an IT leader for 20 years. He was earlier the Director of Engineering at Kloud 9.