About four months ago a new computer training centre called Qusol Integrated opened up at 26A Prince Anwar Shah Road. “So what’s the big deal,” you may ask. After all, computer education centres are a-dime-a-dozen these days. In fact, so ubiquitous are they, you are likely to find one in every street corner.
Vikram Sen, managing partner of Qusol Integrated himself doesn’t deny it, admitting that there are close to “80 large computer education centres (including chains and franchisees of such brand names as Brainware, CMC and NIIT) and hundreds of smaller ones in the city of Calcutta”. And, according to him, “this number is still growing”.
But then, having said that, he goes on to claim that “Qusol Integrated is very different!” Lets ask him, “How so?”
The unique selling point or the USP of Qusol Integrated, according to Sen, “is the totally new and modern method of computer education which we conceptualised and are now executing through our programmes”.
This new method, he explains, “is teaching students to become completely independent as far as dealing with computer technology is concerned”. He explains, “We noticed that in most computer training centres, basic computer training involves a set course, often backdated, which converts a layman into at most a Microsoft Office-savvy layman.”
At Qusol Integrated, he points out, the focus of the training is not just on teaching specific software programmes or providing training in understanding hardware, but “leading even the most technologically-challenged person to becoming computer savvy”. What this means, explains Sen, “is that over and above the software and hardware training courses, we also teach anyone enrolled with us to be able to apply modern computer technology to their day-to-day requirements.”
That is, on completion of a course at Qusol Integrated, you can not only expect to have gained knowledge as far as specific software programmes are concerned, but you can also expect to be able to understand the hardware of your PC. This includes, being able to take your PC apart and re-assemble it — if there is a problem — after having identified and solved the problem.
In fact, explains managing partner, Niloy Ghosh Dastidar, “This applicability of computer technology to modern daily life is something that our programmes at Qusol Integrated are designed to tackle.” So, starting from how to transfer photos from your camera to your personal computer and digitally re-mastering (doing touch-ups) them to loading the OS (the operating system — such as Microsoft Word or Linux — of your computer) to tackling a virus attack, you are going to be able to do it all! “In short, we combine hardware, multimedia, web and software training in our basic courses.”
But that’s not all. According to the managing partners, there is a great deal of emphasis on the individual and his or her unique learning requirement based on his or her speed of learning and area of interest.
Without going to the extent of calling the courses customised, Sen emphasises that there is a great deal of “personalised attention”. He says, “We tweak the courses according to the requirement of our students who vary from a retired octogenarian to a ten-year-old boy.” In fact, though there is no specific criterion for applying to Qusol Integrated, there is an interview at the time of enrolment to determine your specific needs, strengths and weaknesses, to help choose the kind of programme suitable for you.
At the moment there is one faculty member to every four students and according to Sen, “We intend to keep the classes short because the personalised attention is very important.”
This is something that made 28-year-old Partho Chatterjee, a student at Qusol Integrated, choose this institute over others. “I was shocked to see the crammed classes when I went to check out some other computer training centres.
That kind of homogenised teaching really put me off. I wanted to be able to go at my own pace, ask questions when confused instead of worrying about slowing the rest of the class down. For me the individual attention that I get here is important.”
Right now the faculty consists of two full- time and one part-time professionals with one of the three managing partners — Kaustav Ghosh Dastidar — also stepping in to teach if the need arises.
“But as our classes get bigger, more faculty members will have to be recruited and at the rate we are going, that will have to be soon,” laughs Sen, clearly happy with the institute’s success so far.
In fact when the IIM Joka graduate thought about opening up a computer education centre using the 950-square-foot space belonging to his parents, he simply could not envisage the rapidity with which the institute would grow. Apart from the two main computer rooms and the administrative office, the centre also has a counselling room and a pantry.
WHAT IS IT?
A computer academy.
WHO’S THE BOSS?
Vikram Sen, Niloy Ghosh Dastidar and Kaustav Ghosh Dastidar are the managing partners.
What is its USP?
Where is it?
26A Prince Anwar Shah Road, Calcutta-700033.