Friday, December 14, 2012

New Manager and Contact Info

We have gotten a new manager for the Farmington Hills office, his name is Vamsi and he is an Oracle Apps expert.  He is a terrific individual and cares a lot about my kids just like I do and based on his passion for the work, we went ahead and hired him.

We have never been a very big into Oracle training, but my guess is that we will start getting into Oracle based on the experience of Vamsi.

He will be taking over right away and you will start seeming him around the Farmington Hills MI office.  Since he is new, please introduce yourself so that he gets to know all of you.

You can reach him at:

vamsi@vxltraining.com
248-797-4990

I will also be available by email and phone, so nobody should feel like I am suddenly leaving.  I am just going to be running our new Falls Church VA office.  I will be available almost 24 hours a day, like I usually am.

You can still reach me at:

Vijay Madala
vijay@vxltraining.com
540-449-5501

I will be coming back to our Farmington Hills office for 1 week out of every month, so you will still see me, just a little less than usual.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Server Infrastructure

I have always said that I am very proud of the infrastructure that we have.  Part of that infrastructure is our servers.

Here are some pictures of my server farm that I have running for our VXL Students.  For me to offer our servers at the speed and availability that I offer, it has taken $220,000 in investment and a monthly reoccurring cost of around $5000 to keep everything running smoothly.  My electricity bill alone comes to around $1500 a month.   None of these costs included the countless man hours for setup and maintenance.

I have to have the best for my students and I have made sure that even our servers are the best.  Most of our servers run 48GB Ram server with Twin Quad Core Chips and are running on a dedicated 50/5 MB line.  That is the fastest internet speeds in our area, unless I want to spend ridiculous money to get fiber, but those expenses are even beyond me.  By the way 50/5 MB dedicated line is very fast.

Here are a few pictures:

This is a picture of the server room that I got built.  


These are rack servers with 32 GB or 48GB ram and each server cost me about $5000.  This rack itself represents around $65,000 in investment.



The big servers on the bottom 2 rows are 48GB ram Twin Quad Core servers and they cost me around $8000 each.  The top row are cheaper servers around $2000 each or less.  This rack represents around $74,000 in investment, roughly.




The big servers on the bottom 2 rows are 48GB Ram Twin Quad Core servers and on average cost me around $8000 each.  This rack has around $64,000 in investment.


Besides these servers I also have a 68GB ram server that handles all our video conversions, that cost me around $10,000, and we use Amazon Web Services offering to boost what we offer.

Just that I would point out what it takes to run a training center.  It is not simply getting a space and hiring a teacher.  It takes hundred's of thousands of dollars in infrastructure.

I would bet you would have never guessed we have such a large investment in server infrastructure. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

VXL Core Principles.

I am hiring someone new to basically do what I used to do for the Detroit office and I though that I would take this time to outline our core philosophy in our business.  I want whoever we hire to understand how I would like him/her to make all decisions based on these core principles.

1) Our Students and Consultants are the most important resource we have.  Treat them with respect and love.

2) Do whatever you do with the idea that you are helping someone.  Do not do something, because you think you can make money. 

3) Success and Failure are part of life, do the very best you can and if you fail that is OK.

4) Treat the students and consultants like you would like to be treated.

5) Learn from every mistake and make sure you do not repeat it.

6) Most people are kind and generous, so judge everyone kindly until proven otherwise.

7) Do everything you do with a long term vision.

8) Do not allow mediocrity, VXL must be #1 or #2 in whatever training we provide.  If another company is very good at a technology that we do not provide, refer students to them.

9) Our goal is to help people, not to make money.  You will make money automatically if you realize that our goal is to help people.

10) Be passionate about learning and imparting knowledge, what VXL does, changes people lives and that is what should drive you to come to work.

11) Money is not important.  Spend money to have the best of everything, from infrastructure to teachers.  Do not settle for anything less than the absolute best.

12) Be available to the consultants and students at all times.  Good news or bad news, pick up the phone and talk to everybody. 

13) Do not lie to a consultant ever.  Do not hide bill rates.  Do not cheat a consultant.

14) Have fun.  Do your best. Be truthful, always. 

OK, these are our core principles.  I will keep adding to them.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Why Wash DC?

Somebody was asking me why we are opening our second office in Wash DC?

The answer is that I grew up in Wash DC metro area.  I went to Mantua Elementary in Fairfax VA, then I went to Bryant Middle School and finally to Groveton High School (Now it is called West Potomac High School).  All the schools are in Northern VA.  I even went to college at George Mason University in Fairfax VA.  My family was one of the first 100 families in Wash DC area.  I remember a time when I was very young if my mom saw another Indian family she would stop, talk to them, get to know them and invite them over to the house.  Initially in Wash DC it used to be the Indian Association and Indians from all over India used to come, then as more Indians came to the area, it became the South Indian Association and then Greater Washington Telugu Cultural Society.  I am not sure what the Telugu association is called now in the DC Metro area, but I guess I will find out soon.

Anyway, the real reason I am opening our second office in Wash DC, is that I am having a baby in April 2013 and I want to raise my kid in the Wash DC area where all my relatives live.  I believe a kid being raised in the Wash DC area has considerable advantages in opportunities and I really want my kid being raised near all his relatives so he/she has a support network.

So the Wash DC market gets the opportunity to experience the Best IT Training company in USA.  VXL Training will be opening its new office in Falls Church VA.

The Wash DC market will see a blitz of advertising over the coming 1 year, so that I can introduce you to VXL Training and what we do.

I have been looking around the Wash DC market and I do not see very many IT Training and Placement companies and my guess is that the high prices have driven the companies to other locations, so Wash DC Metro area, if you are unemployed or under employed, then you need to come and see me.  Most of my employees make close to $100,000 by second year, so if you do not see yourself making that type of money soon, then come and see me and I will help you get a career and not just a job.



New Office - Wash DC

We are opening a new office in Wash DC and it will be in full operation by Jan 1, 2013.  I will post our new address here as soon as I finalize the office.  But the office will be in Falls Church VA area.  It is a good central location with great Metro access.

I am moving to Wash DC from Dec 14th onwards.  I will start being based out of Wash DC from that date onwards.  I will still come every couple of weeks to look after the Detroit office, but my base of operation will be shifting to Wash DC.

The Detroit based employees and students never have to worry, I will always be available on my cell phone just like usual.  You may not see in person that much anymore, but I will always be just a phone call away to solve any issues.

We will be hiring a manager to handle the Detroit operation along with a new employee for recruiting students.  Once I make the new hire, I will update you with their profiles here.

We are growing tremendously fast and it seems like the market has picked up considerably, so it is time to grow fast.  I have paced out growth in a down market, but now that I see the market picking up, it is time to spend some money and hire a few new employees to get ready for the stampede in demand I see coming.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Americans and my New Class

I had a class that started on Nov 3rd and we had a total of 39 students in this class.  I have been doing my part and requiting Americans aggressively for training.  I wanted to train the unemployed Americans that I hear about all the time, so I aggressively went to colleges and recruited new graduates and their friends that were American Citizens.

It is now in the 2nd week and I have lost 19 students so far, all American Citizens.  I was offering $100,000 salaries by second year, and I still lost 19 students.  I could have changed their lives completely and I told everyone that software programming is always a struggle the first month but after 30 days it will become much easier.  I had people drop out saying that they cannot relocate, I had people drop out saying that they did not understand software, I had people drop out saying that the classes were too long, I had people drop out for so many different reasons.

What I see is the inability to work hard.  What is I see is the inability to sacrifice in the short term for the long term gain.  What I see if America getting soft and lazy.

I have get a lot of Chinese and Indian students that are overseas citizens and almost 99% of them are able to complete my course and get jobs within 4 months.  They work so hard and tirelessly.  They are usually here first in my office and are here long after I leave to go home.

So if you are unemployed in USA and are an American Citizen, why not learn computer programming, there is so much demand for people with those skills.  Why not work 18 hours a day for 90-120 days studying and learning so that the rest of your life will be set and you will have a high paying job.

My last class has been a real eye opener as far as Americans and why we have so many unemployed Americans.  I think the truly hard working are working and the current unemployed are those that are unwilling to work hard and make sacrifices, or simply unwilling to learn real marketable skills.

I am so disappointed that we had so many dropouts.  I wanted to really make an effort to help my fellow Americans.  I will be spending almost $50,000 of my own money on this class and I was doing that to make a difference in people lives and guide them to opportunities that would have never been open to them.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Average Salaries

Life and the strange turns it takes always amazes me.  There was a time just 4 years ago I was making $2000 a month, and it would have a been a dream to make $50,000-$75,000 a year.

But forget about what I make, and lets us talk about what I pay my employees.  By the second year of working for me, 90% of my employees are making $84,000/yr or more, with an average being close to $100,000 and a high of $180,000/yr.

Yes, life is amazing, 4 years ago I was making $2000 a month and now I pay my employees on average $100,000/yr.

I really love what I do! Life is amazing!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Students for my Classes

People always come to me and tell me that they can get me more students and want to be paid for that, or they will come to me with ideas of a partnership and want me to recruit students for them.

I turn down all these ideas. 

The reason I do not go out and recruit more heavily or keep only 20-30 students in training is that, I can keep an eye on all aspects of training and marketing.  If I become any bigger I have to trust a lot more people with my kids future and I am unwilling to do that.

The only reason to recruit more students is to make more money and the day my life becomes a quest to make as much money as possible, than I know something has gone wrong.  I am passionate about a lot of things but making more and more money is not one of them.

I am very happy with our intrinsic growth and I really do not want anymore students.

To all those of you that want to partner with me, no thank you.  I simply do not trust the rest of you to do justice to my kids.  Most you are all about money and will lie and cheat to make money and you will cut and run if a kid needs more help, and these are traits that I will not put up with in my partners.


 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Recent Masters Graduates

I have trained so many college graduates and have seen them get placed and I have seen them make the same mistake over and over during marketing and I am going to point these out.

Advice for Recent Masters Graduates or for people going through consulting companies for placement:

1) Remove LinkedIn Profile

2) Remove Facebook Profile or make it completely private - No information shows up.  Make all pictures private.

3) Create a new email ID, do not use the same email as your private email address and do not use your college email on your resume.

4) Google yourself and see what shows up - HR will Google you - Remove Negative material

5) Make sure to have 2 references with company email ID's from your last project

6) Make sure you know your last project on your resume - Remember that you have to be able to talk about this project for at least 15 minutes non-stop.

7) Know who the implementation partners are on your resume.

8) If a question is asked during interview - DO not answer Yes or NO.  Give complete answers, I am going to do a You Tube video and posted a link on this blog entry so that everyone can view it to get an idea on how to answer interview questions.

9) Be Confident - HR personnel are trained to hear for voice nuances.  The more prepared you are the more confident you will be.

10) Make sure you know which version of the software the companies are implementing.

11) Do not put your graduation date on your resume.  But be prepared with an answer that matches your resume in case you are asked during the interview.

12) Do not put your birthday on your resume

13) If you are asked what your status is, your answer should be EAD.  If they ask which type of EAD, answer GC EAD.

14) Be prepared to answer and defend the visa you entered the USA on what your current status is.

15) Write out a 2 page summary of all your projects and practice with a friend your answers.

In my experience most people need 2-3 interviews before they are selected for a project, so be persistent  and do not feel upset by a few failures. 

Work hard for 8-10 hours a day until you get placed, there is no substitute for hard work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Large Corporations and GC

I have a friend named Sunil.  When I used to work at CCSI, he come over on a H1B from Hyderabad.  The kid was brilliant and got a position at Foremost Insurance in MI.  He worked for CCSI for about 1 year and then he was offered a full-time position at Foremost and he took the job.  His salary was actually less than what he was making as a consultant, but he liked the idea of a full-time job and he took it.

Now what is the most important thing for a F1 or a H1B consultant.  For an F1 it is to get a job and then H1B, but eventually it is to get a Green Card.  I would say for 95% of the F1 and H1B candidates that is the most important thing for the future.

I say this, because it sounds exciting and the right thing to do, which is to get a full-time job at a large corporation, but the one problem you will face is that they will do the Green Card (GC) filing on their terms and in their own time.  If the manager promised you to file you a GC on EB2 and later the company decides to file on EB3, well too bad, there is nothing you can do.

Let us get back to Sunil.  He got the full-time offer at Foremost Insurance and then after sometime they filed for his GC.  After about 1 year, Foremost Insurance outsourced that entire division to Computer Science Corporation (CSC), and he had to start the entire GC process all over over again which he did, and now he has come upon the 6 year time limit and GC has not progressed to a point where he can stay until he get the approval or denial of the GC.

So here he is, after 6 years, no GC and having to go back to India.  See you Sunil, I will miss you, you were a terrific person.

So there are some benefits to joining a large corporation, but I think as far as the most important benefit of working with smaller companies the main benefits are:

1) Getting your GC filed on your terms.  You are very important to a smaller company and can dictate your terms as far as the GC processing.  You want to insist on EB2 filing, you can get that done at a smaller company.  For a larger company, they have their own policies and they will file as per their terms.

2) Market Slowdown - When the market is hot, it is great at a larger company, but most large companies will fire you right away in a market slow down.  They could careless about you and your H1B problems or even the GC processing.  I know so many people that have come back to smaller companies after getting fired from large companies and lamenting over having to start the GC process all over again.

In summery I would say that there are a few benefits by working for large corporation, but as far as the most important things which is to get a GC, it is much better to stay with a smaller employer where you are more important and can be assured of a GC under EB2 category without any hiccups.

Why is Embedded Systems so Hot?

Sometimes I simply do not understand why certain IT fields are so hot.  I have been stressing how the demand for Embedded Engineers has been red hot.  We had a class start last weekend and I had one student arrive 10 days back for the class and after just 2 weekends of classes, he has been placed and will be starting his new job on Monday.  How crazy is that.  There are still 3 weeks of classes left, and he already got placed, that shows you how crazy the demand is for Embedded Engineers? 

Companies are begging me for resumes so that they can setup interviews.  The demand is mind boggling. 

So for all you electrical and electronic engineers, this is the chance to get placed very quickly.

Since the demand is so hot I am starting another new batch from Oct 27th, so if you want a job as an embedded engineer, come to VXL, we will work hard and make sure that you are placed within 30-60 days of arriving at our campus.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Am Embarrassed

Sometimes it takes a brave little girl to expose a problem that we had recently at VXL.  So thank you young lady for pointing out a mistake I made.

I have a fantastic teacher for Embedded and shifted him away from compensation on a per batch basis to paying him 25% of net profit on each student that gets placed.  I did this because he is truly a great teacher and I wanted him to start making a lot more money.

Like Freakanomics has pointed out, there are unintended consequences that you just do not imagine.  So let me point out what happened as an immediate consequence of my actions.

The teacher immediately started working on getting resumes ready so that he could start the marketing of the current batch, and instead of teaching the students, wanted to start marketing right away so that we can place the students and he wanted the students to learn via the previous class recordings that we have available on our learning portal.

I actually did not know that this was happening.  I was assuming as usual the classes were continuing and the marketing was going on so that by the time the classes were over the student would be placed.  But because there was no direct payment for the classes, the teacher immediately started concentrating on marketing.

So this young lady had flown in from California for the classes and sat down and told me that the classes were not being taught and the teacher was concentrating on placement.  I wrote an email to the teacher with this students concerns and he replied back that since he was not being paid for classes anymore he did not find the motivation to teach anymore and wanted to students to self-study.  I was shocked by this answer.

I am not emotional and deal with issues dispassionately, but this literately stopped me in my tracks and was such a shock of an answer. 

I have a code I live by at VXL, and that is simple.  We are here to teach knowledge and placement of the student is secondary to the actual teaching.  If you can excel at teaching (Hence VXL = We Excel), than the placement is automatic anyway.

I love this teacher because he is so passionate about teaching and so good at what he does; I was surprised by what he had done.  The sudden change that had occurred in this class means that VXL for a short time were just like all those other monkey consulting companies out there who only care about pushing students into jobs, by any means necessary, and do not care about knowledge.  Suddenly here we were, I had become what I despise without even realizing this had happened, all because of my good intentions to pay a teacher more in the long run.

It has been quite a shock for me, the last 2 days after I realized what VXL had become for a short time, and this had happened on my watch and I am terribly disappointed in myself at what I allowed to happen.

So thank you young lady for your bravery and I will keep a more diligent watch on my company and make sure out first mission is to teach, and everything else is good outcome of our great teaching.

I am still in shock and I can barely look at this little girl in the office when I see her.

So we are now back to having full classes for our Embedded class and placement will happen as a byproduct of the great teaching and the teacher is back to getting paid for the classes and a much smaller percentage of the net profits as a bonus to help in marketing.

I always tell people that I have made plenty of mistakes and will likely make more, but I hope to learn from each mistake.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Embedded Systems

I told you all that I have recently started marketing.  I have placed a few Embedded Systems engineers and I need about 40 more right away.

If you guys know of any Electrical Engineers or Electronics Engineers please refer them to me right away, I can get them a job in just 30 days.

I am getting bombarded with requests for Embedded Engineers I have never seen the demand this strong.  This bodes well for the job market in general, that means that companies are spending money on development and that is always the first cut in slow down and always the last to return.

I know the saying is:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me.

I have decided to change this based on my current needs.

Give me you unemployed, your poor,
Your electrical engineers yearning to get a job.
The  wretched electronics engineers also,
Send these, the engineers, to me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

JAVA and .NET

My head of marketing resigned yesterday and I was marketing today and I have to say that it was a big eye opener.  Out of the 3000 new jobs that were  sent to me to see if I could fill the position about 40% were for JAVA openings and another 30% were for .NET openings, leaving 30% for all the other technologies.

With so much unemployment in USA, I wonder if anyone even knows that there are probably a hundred thousand open jobs in just JAVA and .NET alone in USA.

Everyone that comes to me wants to only learn functional subjects.  Nobody wants to do hard job of learning to do coding anymore.

JAVA jobs are  paying $60 per hour currently and with a few years of experience the pay scale goes up to $80 per hour.

I have said it in the past and I am going to say it again, ever single student or recent graduate needs to take JAVA and PL/SQL or .NET and PL/SQL.  If you are not working there is nobody to blame but yourself.

We train students in JAVA in 90 days and within another 30 days have them working.

We train students in .NET in 60 days and within another 45 days have them working.

We train students in PL/SQL in 14 days and you can even get jobs in PL/SQL but the bill rates are very low.

Besides just stating the facts and telling students through the blog about the demand for JAVA and .NET jobs, I am not sure how else I can spread the message.

I probably get 100 calls a month for training in BA, and maybe one call a month for training in JAVA or .NET.  The demand is so low, I have even stopped answering people emails for BA training.  There is no use in learning BA when it is so hard to get you a job.

I have a friend that owns a major online training company and he was telling me that he trains 10 batches at a time in BA.  I am sure that very few of his students get jobs after the training, but even if you tell people these statistics people will still want to take the BA training.  Everybody wants the easy job and nobody wants to do the hard work anymore even if it pays more.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Duty


I prefer a life of simplicity.  I hardly care where I live, what I drive, or what I wear.

I was thinking of how to make my life simpler and I think there is no way to do that.
 
My life is so involved in my employees and my students, there is no way I can simply leave and live a simpler life.  My dereliction of duty will affect so many other people, I could not do that.  I do not want my needs or wants to affect people negatively that rely on me.
 
So I will keep the businesses growing and keep working hard and the dream of simplicity will be just that, a dream.

I was reading an article about two friends that sold their company for hundreds of millions.  One friend retired immediately and started traveling the world.  The other friend started another company and kept working.  His friend asked him why, and he said, he felt a sense of duty to his employees that were let go when they sold the company and he started another company not to make more money, but because he knew he could help his employees make a living.

I loved that story.  It would be easy for me to sell all my interests in everything that I own and live comfortably for the rest of my life.  But I will not do that, because I do feel a great sense of duty to my employees, students and my business partners.  I know that as long as I am in charge we will be successful and that success is good for everybody involved with me.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Arrogance

I get hundreds of calls a day and about 500 emails a day and I make it a point to answer every single call and email.  I was talking to a student on the phone  and suddenly he said to me, "you are very arrogant."

I stopped and thought back to what I had said and I could see how he would feel that way.  I recently have been accepting very few students for training and placements.  I have chosen to be very picky.  All this came down, because I used to feel that I could place anybody into a job, it simply did not matter who they were.  I was wrong.

I had a student from Nepal that had very weak communication skills and on top of that he used to pause when he talked and during phone interviews everyone felt like he was looking up information before he answered, when in reality that is just how he spoke.

The problem is that once I accept you I take responsibility for you and I will do whatever it takes to get you placed.  I tried and tried and spent at a minimum of $10,000 on him, and finally when I wanted to spend even more and keep trying, my partners pulled the plug on me and said no more, and that they did not want me spending any more money on him.

So I finally gave him his 2 week notice and let him go.  It was hard for me to accept failure, but I bowed my head and said, yes I have failed.

From that moment on, I simply do not just take just anybody anymore.  Most student will call me on the phone and I have to judge them within seconds if I want to accept them or not.  I usually ask them with lots questions all at once and see how they answer under duress and if I am interested I will slow down and get to know them better, if I am not interested I will ask for a resume or some other documents and then let it go at that.  The most important skill I look for nowadays is communication.  If you pass that, then I look for more, like how well you answer my barrage of questions and in what order.

The problem is that if I accept you, it will likely cost me thousands of dollars to train you and place you, and it is very rare that I give up on anybody.  So if I have accepted you, I have pretty much committed to spend whatever it takes to place you, and I have placed almost everyone that I have accepted.  I am sure my partners in the company would wish that I spent less money, but I simply do not care about money, all I care about is the success of my students and nothing else really matters to me.

So anyway this student called me arrogant.  Once I lose interest in you, I simply do not have the time or inclination to hear their stories anymore, so I do become disinterested and possibly arrogant, because there is no way I am going to accept you.

I am sure I have rejected more students than most companies have accepted for training.

If you have great communication skills and are decently smart then I want you.

If you have self-confidence and are willing to work 12 hours a day during our training then I want you.

So I am sorry that I am arrogant, but I do not have time to coddle you, your mother is there for that.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Feedback From Corporate Training

The feedback we got from our corporate training we have been doing has been terrific.

The same students had attended SAP training at SAP and for the exact same course they have been attending our course.

OK, we did not give them some fancy book that you will never touch again, like SAP does, but what we gave them was some thing much better, we gave them actual knowledge reinforced with live SAP Programming from the very first day.

Every concept was followed by an sample program on that concept.

The positive feedback was:

Impressive
I learned so much
I loved it
You guys are the best

We also got negative feedback:

You should print out all the exercises in a book or on handouts

OK, so that was the extend of the negative feedback.  We obviously did a good job, we got extended for more training on September 10-14.

I have always said that I love feedback.  Good or Bad, I simply love feedback.  In fact some of the best feedback I got were from 5 students that had come to me from HP, and ripped me a new one when we first started VXL Training.  But that negative feedback was the impetus to improve and to reach where we are today.

There is a quote by Henry Ford that I love:

The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.

I really do not know who my competitors are in MI?  I work 7 days a week not because I have to, but I simply love to become better at what I do.  I learn every single day.

I can promise you that I will make VXL Training a company you will be proud to have in the community.

I can promise you that VXL Training will continue to live up to our tag line: Training For A Better Future.



Award - Best Computer Training - Novi MI

Here is our award for Best Computer Training 2012 - Novi MI


Press Release:

I am pleased to announce that VXL Training has been selected for the 2012 Best of Novi Awards in the Computer Training category.

Congratulations on joining such an elite group of small businesses.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Guest House

We bought another condo to use as a guest house.  The last one we bought was very good and the kids have enjoyed the condo, so I went out and bought another one.

Here are a few pictures after we got it fixed it up:

This is the one parking spot that is covered.  There are lost of uncovered spots also.


Front Door  - You can sort of see me taking this picture through the glass.  Sunil is standing next to me.



This is the Living Room.  It is much bigger than it looks.  I was standing to the side, I would not show up in the glass that is in the living room.



Dining Room



 Kitchen


 Backyard Porch - It is kind of small.


 Stairs to the Basement


Room in Basement



1/2 of the basement.  This side is for storage.  There is more storage to the right side of the basement also.


This is the other side of the basement.  This side has the new washer and dryer and AC and water heater.  I want add another full bath here, and I will have to do it in 2013.



 1/2 Bathroom on the main level


 Time to go Upstairs


 1 of 2 Bathroom upstairs


 One Bedroom with a walk0in closet.  Room is much bigger than it look.  The way I took the picture makes it look small.


 2 of 2 Bedrooms. This the master I guess since it has an attached bathroom.  This bedroom also has a walk-in.



 This is the other bathroom upstairs.  This one is attached to the bedroom.


I Like to Work With The Best - But Sometimes..

I like to work with the very best teachers in almost any subject that I teach.  Typically we are so much better than our competition that my consultants are some of very best in the market.  My consultants are sought after for their skills sets, soft and hard.

When you come for training with us, you almost invariably end up getting trained in multiple modules with us so that your overall skill sets are tremendous.  I encourage my consultants to constantly keep learning, and I make my classes available for free for all my consultants.

There is a teacher I had in the past that is tremendous, and he is in all likelihood the very best in his field.

I asked for him to start teaching for us again and here was the reply that I got from him:


For either BA/Architect Level courses,

1) An initial amount of 5000$ per person will be charged and this needs to paid out on the very first day the student joins the class. (This includes training fee and other infrastructure cost for the setup I have to do in India)
2) After the candidate is placed,another 5000$ will be charged as soon as the PO is received. (In case if the candidate looses the job, I will work with the student until another placement, free of cost).
3) In case of any paid candidates, total fee to be shared in the ratio of 60-40% (??-Vijay). 

Besides the weird $ after the number the answer was pretty clear, he wants to be paid $10,000 per student before you generate 1 dollar of revenue.  Even if could guarantee a 50% placement rate, there is not a single company that would take this deal.

Let us assume that 10 students join, which would mean you pay an immediate $50,000 and no matter how hard you vet the group you will likely lose 2 candidates before completion.  So we are down to 8.  Assuming a placement rate of 90% you would place 7 students.  Which would mean that you would pay another $35,000 when you get the PO.

For the new consultants you have to cover 3 months of payroll before you generate a penny in cash flow.  Each consultant will cost $20,000 just to cover 3 months of payroll.

So by month 4, I would have paid out $225,000 ($85,000 plus $140,000) just to train and place 7 consultants and this is before I have gotten 1 dollar in revenue. 

Like I said, I like to work with only the very best, but sometimes even I have to pass.

You know what the funny part is to this whole thing.  This same teacher when he taught his first class for me, we paid him $2500.  Next class we paid him $3500, since he was so good.  Then we became partners and he was paid $40,000 for one year of work, and then $180,000 for another 1.5 years of work.  I taught him the value of his work

He is also teaching others in India, and he told me that he charges Rs. 20,000 (About $400), to teach others.

He asked me if this would work for me as far as his rates.  I looked at his email and after being in shock at the rates, I replied within 10 seconds, that this proposal does not work for me and here we are.

Sometimes people only see what we make on an individual basis and do not see the total costs involved in running a company.  Our small little company has a running cost of $500,000 per year.  To do everything as perfect as possible, I spend about 50% of our revenue on just running the company.  I do not mind the high costs, since I believe it is necessary.

I maybe generous, but I am not stupid.

So, yes I do like to work with the best, but sometimes that is simply not possible.

Team Concept and Twilight Zone

I was talking to an employee of mine that we recently hired from India.  We hired him for $70,000 and I told him if his project bill rate was good we would give him $80,000.  I explained all the risks there were to bring him to USA and how much risk and effort was involved.  But we filed for his H1B and it was approved and he went for stamping and that was given also and he is now in USA.

This employee of mine is spectacular, he has 9 years of real time experience in SAP BI and to have someone like that on my payroll is a dream.  When you are bidding on projects, someone like him is essential to show pas part of your team.

He was telling me that some of the client he was talking to were offering him $110,000 to $130,000 to join them full time.  He told me that he would never leave us and that he just wanted to tell me so that I was aware.

100% of my employees could likely make more money with someone else, but they choose to stay with me, because of loyalty and I would like to believe they have a clear understanding of the greater good concept and will stay with us.

There was a show called Twilight Zone in the 80's and in that there was one episode that I thought of, when I was talking to my employee, here is the story:

Arthur and Norma Lewis are slowly descending into abject poverty. One day, they receive a mysterious locked box with a button on it and a note that says a Mr. Steward will come visit. Then, just as the note says, a smartly dressed stranger who introduces himself as Steward comes to their door when Arthur is out. He gives Norma the key to the box and explains that, if they press the button, two things will happen: they will receive $200,000, and someone "whom you don't know" will die.
After the stranger leaves, the Lewises wonder whether Steward's proposal is genuine, and they agonize over whether to press the button. Norma rationalizes that they could make good use of the money and that the one who dies might be some Chinese peasant or cancer sufferer who is living a miserable life. Arthur takes the side that, since they do not know who will die, pressing the button may cause the death of an innocent baby. They open the box and discover no mechanism inside it—it is simply an empty box with a button on it. Arthur angrily throws the box in the trash. However, in the middle of the night while Arthur is asleep, Norma goes to the apartment building's dumpster and retrieves the device. The next day, Arthur leaves for work and sees Norma sitting at the kitchen table, her gaze transfixed on the button. At the end of the day, he returns from work and it appears that nothing has changed; Norma is still sitting and concentrating only on the button. The days go by. Norma and Arthur keep talking about the box, when suddenly Norma decides that she will push the button.
However, the next day Mr. Steward returns, takes back the box, and gives them a briefcase with the $200,000. The Lewises are in shock and ask what will happen next. Steward ominously replies that the button will be "reprogrammed" and offered to someone else with the same terms and conditions, adding as he focuses on Norma: "I can assure you it will be offered to someone whom you don't know." A horrified, knowing expression crosses Norma's face.

This I think illustrates the concept of the greater good.  Sure my employee could leave and make more money, but this decision will affect others that he does not even know.  If he was to leave, I would simply stop bringing people over from India, since the cost and risk is prohibitive.  Since we were going to be bringing over 5 more people in 2013, his actions would simply force me to rethink and likely not bring them over.

So you can see that your personal decision for profit would affect 5 other people in a negative way, so would you do it?

It is easy to look upon life as a game in which you keep making moves to profit and you simply do not care about others, but as has been proven by my own employees, I have lost only 3 employees over the last one year, who have left to make more money with others.  My employees have a clear understanding of what I try to do, and they know that I am not simply about money.  I am here to support them, I am here to get them the best of everything so that they can keep growing (growth in lots of different ways), and I am here to keep the company growing so that we can all benefit in the process.

What have I done recently towards those goals:

I have gotten us a major new client, they generate multibillion dollars, in which we are already provide services and we hope to keep expanding what we provide to them.  I believe that this will develop into a major new relationship.

I have gotten a major new contract to provide contract services to Fortune 50 Bank

I have started a healthcare division for our training and placement division

I have gotten us a new guest house.  This place is amazing and I will post pictures soon.

I have plans to start a new employee fund in which we give loans to employees that have been with us for one year.  I hear about your problems and I want to help and I am trying to come up with plans for this.




Friday, July 27, 2012

Unavailable

I will be unavailable from July 23-27 and July 31-Aug 2.

We got a major training opportunity at a Mutlibillion dollar company and I am in Jackson MI overseeing the training.  The training room that the client has provided us is in the basement and my phone does not work when I am in the training room.

I am very proud of the value we were able to deliver this client.

We provided live training at their facility at 80% of the cost and they did not have to spend anything on travel, accommodations or food for their students.

We are recording this class for them and the students can watch this class over and over.  The funny thing is that this same group of students had been to SAP for training for the exact same class, but they forgot everything since it was long back. 

My guess is that with all the travel expenses and full cost of the class, they would have spent 200% of the cost that I quoted.  They will never have to pay for this class again for this same group, since this class is recorded and the students can review this class multiple times, until they are proficient in this technology.

About the biggest worry for the company is the quality of the training.  I will do an evaluation for the course from these students and post them online for everyone to see.




Training for Corporations

I love the training part of our business and you all know how passionate I am about delivering quality in any training course I run.

We have been getting more and more popular as far as corporate training.  I do not advertise and I do not have a sales team, marketing our services.  I have been able to get customers simply based on word of mouth and I could hope that when they meet me, my passion for training comes across to them.

What are the benefits for corporations to give us their training business?:

1) We can provide training at 80% of the cost of other corporate training companies.

2) We have been training for a long time and we simply have the best teachers.  Most of my teachers have been training on the same subject for me for over 5 years.

3) We can come to your location for training - Saving you a bundle on travel expenses.

4) We record all our classes - Your employees can watch these videos over and over so that they can practice at home and when the teacher is not there.  It is also a handy reference to review topics.

5) We give lots of practical work and homework so that the students can learn practically.  Every theory topics is reemphasized with work on the system for reinforcement.

With all the benefits that I provide, the most important benefits we provide are our teachers.  We truly believe that we have the very best teachers on any topic that we teach.

The second most important benefit is our LMS (Learning Management System) in which we load all our classes so that the students can watch these classes over and over.  In most software topics for advanced topics it is very important to watch the classes multiple times to really learn the concept well.

I know that I can save our MI companies lots of money while delivering higher quality training then what they currently receive, and I think I need to get a sales force to spread the word.



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mentor

Placements have been terrific for us recently but everywhere I go people are always talking about youth unemployment or underemployment.

I can tell you exactly what the issue is.

Colleges are great at preparing you for a career that requires licensing like nursing, physician or pharmacist.  But as soon as the topic is general, like Business Administration, then they suck at preparing you for working at a Fortune 500 company. 

My guess is that everyone's ideal is to work at a Fortune 500 company, and I can tell you the easiest way to achieve that goal is by working in Information Technology (IT).

One of the most important things you can do in life is to get a mentor.  Someone that is successful and then follow his advice or in his footsteps. 

OK, here I am entering mentoring mode, and here is some advice for all you young people to become successful.

1) Learn JAVA - This is such a base skill to have and it will help you to get to other higher paying verticals in IT.  This is my most important advice.

2) Save $100,000 - While you are young learn to live like you were still in college.  Save every penny you have until you have $100,000 saved in the bank.  This will give you lots of flexibility to grab opportunities when they come.

3) Join a consulting company - Join a consulting company that specializes in training and then placing you.  The reason you join is that they really know which technologies are doing well and are required in the market.  They can guide you on what to learn.

4) Work like an Indian - I have said this before.  But if you project requires you to work 60 works and bill for 40, you do that.  Until you become an expert in your technology, this is what you have to do.  I have told this to my American employees and they still do not listen.   Let me give you an example.  I have a consultant that is older and has been desperate for a good job and we trained and placed her in a good company.  The client told my consultants to bill for overtime hours, and the Indian consultants billed for 5-6 hours and my American consultant  billed for 38 extra hours.  It has only been 2 months since she has joined her dream job and she is really still in the learning phase, there is no way you bill a client for 38 extra hours even if you worked it.  In consulting that is simply not done.  So let me reiterate here: WORK LIKE AN INDIAN, this is very important.

5) Become successful young, marry young, have kids when you are young.  Nothing will be more important in your future and your happiness than your family and their happiness.  It is so important to not delay success, because a delay here, causes a delay in the rest of life's important events.

If you are young (22-35) and are unemployed or are underemployed, then call me and I can advice on what to do.  I like to help young people and if you do not have a mentor, I can help to mentor you.

Vijay Madala - 248-797-4990

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Food In The Fridge

I have mentioned that I used to stock my fridge in the office with food and drinks for my students, but what happened was that the kitchen was right next to my office and I was eating a snack bar hear and there and I was putting on a lot of weight.  So as a consequence I have stopped buying food for the office.

I know that my lack of will power is making everybody else suffer, but I am sorry.  I am trying to lose weight and this was one the things that I had to do so that I could lose weight.





Money for Training

I have students that pay me for training and it always amazes me that they want 100% guarantee that they will get a job for their $1000 to $2500 payment.  I wish they would ask the same question when they join college and are about to pay $100,000.

I get lots of people that ask me that question, and in fact I was asked that question yesterday and I always give the same answer:

Ques: "Can you guarantee me that I will get a job if I come to this training and pay the money?"

Answer: "NO! There is no way anybody can answer yes to that question.   There are so many factors that go into getting a job and knowledge is just one function of that equation."

The ones that ask that question, after I tell them NO, they usually go away and that makes me very happy.  I am sure that some training companies will give the YES answer, but I cannot see how you can truthfully give that answer.  I consider myself one of the best in some of the technologies that we teach, and even I only have a 70% placement rate and I consider that extremely good.

If there is some company that has a 100% placement rate and can answer YES, then my hats off to you.  You guys are must be something amazing and I would love to learn more from you.

I work my butt off to get to that 70% placement rate and I am happy with that rate.