Decoding Simplilearn’s Culture Code : “Be An Innovator And Be Your Best Every Day” [#BigAugust]

Indian Startups

Decoding Simplilearn’s Culture Code : “Be An Innovator And Be Your Best Every Day” [#BigAugust]

Simplilearn, a Bangalore based e-learning company was founded in 2009 as a project management blog, by founder and CEO Krishna Kumar.

With 600+ employees, presently Simplilearn has 100+ courses across multiple categories like Project Management & Agile & Scrum Certification, IT service management, etc. As of now more than 100,000+ trained professionals have enrolled for the certification courses for adding credentials to their professional life. Simplilearn has a blended model of learning which covers both Classroom and Online training (instructor lead tutoring and self-learning are both available in the online mode of training).

Simplilearn conducts 300+ workshops every month & has a presence in 150+ countries. The Bangalore based company (located in HSR layout) raised $3mn Series A funding from Kalaari Capital & $10 mn in series B funding from Helion Venture Partners and Kalaari Capital in September 2013.

Simplilearn Team
Simplilearn Team

Here is what you would want to know about Simplilearn from Krishna Kumar himself:

How do you define ‘Company Culture’?

Krishna Kumar: The definition of company culture differs from company to company. In brief, I would say that it is a shared set of attitudes or actions towards situations. It is defined by small actions everyday – whether employees can ask hard questions, whether teams know how to resolve conflicts etc.

When did your company start & how did you grow big? Could you share milestones (In terms of year and no. of people)?
Krishna Kumar:
 Simplilearn started as a blog in the year 2009, and earned 3000 followers in a span of just 9 months. That is when we decided to go commercial and started Simplilearn Solutions in the year 2010. The company was started with two people and today we have a headcount of 500+ employees.

Does the company have a stated set of cultural values & what is the grounded purpose behind it?
Krishna Kumar: 
We work on 5 core values:
1. Customer First – We strive hard to ensure customer delight! For us, customer is always right.
2. Growth opportunity for all – Every employee gets opportunity to grow personally and professionally! Appeasement for none!
3. Fairness in everything – We shall always be fair when dealing with our stakeholders!
4. Innovation – We shall always foster innovation – be it the way we reach our customers or the way we serve them!
5. Social citizen – We will always be aware and sensitive of social surroundings around us.

Can you describe the environment in the company?
Krishna Kumar: 
We believe in total transparency and the company culture is such that anyone can walk in to meet their superiors or even the CEO without prior appointment. We believe that our employees matter and so do their opinions. We give real chances for people to grow and there are no speed breakers for performance.

Birthday Celebration at Simplilearn
Birthday Celebration at Simplilearn

How often does the staff meet?
Krishna Kumar: 
To keep in sync with time and with customers internal & external, most of the times we have scheduled meetings but are never too busy to keep people waiting. Moreover, we have a quarterly CEO meet where employees are encouraged to address their concerns openly apart from getting business updates and future plans.

What does it take for someone to be successful here?
Krishna Kumar: 
Be an innovator and be your best every day.

What are your expectations from your employees?
Krishna Kumar: 
Every employee should think about the customer first. He/She has to be open and take charge of their growth and career. We encourage employees to take risks & learn from their mistakes; to have courage to ask uneasy questions; to not be complacent and always strive for more.

How do you reward your employees?
Krishna Kumar: 
We recognize and reward performance and behavior.  We have competitive, differentiated and aligned R&R practices. Teams also have fun awards that are handed out during team meetings or contests.

What do you look for in a potential employee? How do you evaluate the soft-skills?
Krishna Kumar: 
We look for the ones who are smarter than us, those who speak from heart and those who find solution rather than pointing fingers and have a deep commitment to ethical leadership. We encourage people who can analyze situations and come up with solutions proactively.

How do you treat a new employee? How do you get them onboard fast?
Krishna Kumar: 
There is a complete dedicated leadership team for them on the first day.  Along with a strong dose of organizational culture and history, we assign buddies to new employees on the second day to help them with work & make them understand processes better.

What’s the best part about working in this environment that I won’t be able to see from just a walk around the office?
Krishna Kumar: 
All are owners of their tasks and masters in their roles.

Are there special activities you do to promote teamwork? Are they voluntary?
Krishna Kumar: 
We have an employee’s club and activities are coordinated by SPOCs of specific interest groups.

Simplilearn team celebrates Independence day
Simplilearn team celebrates Independence Day

What policies does the company have on day-to-day activities (e.g., dress code, work hours)?
Krishna Kumar: 
Wear what you want, finish up the work.

Do supervisors have an open door policy or the employees need prior appointment for a meeting with the seniors?
Krishna Kumar: 
Supervisors sit among the teams and so they do not need a specific schedule to catch up.

Simplilearn team pic
“A strong, reliable and happy team is key factor for any organization”

“Simplilearn is an exciting, friendly place to work. We have wonderful and knowledgeable team members. Working here is a continuous learning process.  Employee’s opinions and suggestions are valued here and I’m glad that I started to work here”
– Avyakta Rao.
“The company values its employees and looks into their individual growth prospects. There is clarity of vision and understanding of job requirement is simple. Few things that are notable are – Open Door Policy, Great work culture. Everyone’s performances are valued and celebrated”
– Shaiju Mathew.

How do you evaluate candidates on certain attitude skills?
Krishna Kumar: 
We assess people on their knowledge, hire them for attitude and train them for skills.

How do you hire senior management? What’s the process like? What do you look for?
Krishna Kumar: 
The leadership team completely engages in hiring members for the senior team.  We value potential over experience and clarify expectations upfront.

What has been the biggest learning that you’d want to share with fellow entrepreneurs?
Krishna Kumar: 
A strong, reliable and happy team is key factor for any organization to prosper and sustain in the industry.

How do you resolve team conflict? Could you share an example?
Krishna Kumar: 
We address conflicts on utmost priority.  We stick to facts and issues, not personalities.  If people have issues, we want them to express their concerns immediately and brainstorm solutions rather than allowing it to fester.

What tools do you use to enhance productivity?
Krishna Kumar: 
We have SMART goal setting for performance review, trackers, weekly reports and One-on-Ones.

What are some of the difficult decisions you have taken, as far as defining team culture is concerned?
Krishna Kumar: 
There are few decisions which were taken, some possibly conflicting. Mostly the decisions were taken because we wanted to keep promises with our people, be accountable as a responsible employer and be there to make a difference in the lives of those who are associated with us.

Simplilearn employees


Simplilearn is currently hiring for its Bangalore office. Here are the openings. You can apply using your LinkedIn profile.

Senior UI / Visual Designer
-Minimum two years of experience in designing outstanding digital interfaces (Web interfaces, Mobile, Backend applications)
-Excellent knowledge of Information Design, Typography, Layout and color theory
-Experience with the conceptualization and design of navigation, labeling, search, and organization systems for websites and applications

Senior-Instructional Design
-Experience in Technical Writing, Teaching/Training, performance measuring, multimedia, curriculum and course development
-Experience with WBTs, CBTs and ILTs

Program Manager (Online Marketing)
-Manage online marketing campaigns through multiple channels
-Work with the online marketing team in generating leads & sales through online marketing campaigns and lead nurturing process
-Conceptualize marketing ideas & manage programs end-to-end in terms of execution & ROI

Product Manager
-Bachelors in Computer engineering or any equivalent degree from a reputed institute; MBA/Master’s degree, a plus
-3+ years of work experience in top notch product companies with at least 1 year in a product management role ideally in internet, mobile or analytics domain
-Ability to understand data and base his/her decisions on sound analysis


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