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Talent Hub   | 4 Min Read


Written By Nishant Muralidharan


Andre Paul Guillaume Gide, author and winner of the 1947 Nobel Prize in Literature, once said, “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he had the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

The Indian sub-continent by itself hosts innumerable and unheard of picturesque sights; all possessing a hauntingly mesmerizing air about them. Untouched by modern civilization, true to its pristine origins, these locations could effortlessly hit an adventurer’s heart with inspiration.

Leh, a high-desert city in the Himalayas, in northern India’s Jammu and Kashmir is one of many such hotspots. However, for a place far from internet’s reach, it is easy to wonder how or why in Leh the Mettl banners soared high on 19 May 2016. Surely, an IT SaaS company had no business planting its flag on the former capital of the Himalayan kingdom of Ladakh.

Better yet, would you believe it was for a mission assigned to Mettl by the Telecom Sector Skill Council? Probably should, because that was exactly what creaked the cogwheels into motion – cogwheels that urged to push for the unknown. With the TSSC’s need to conduct an assessment, Mettl knew it had to do what it did best – provide an efficient end-to-end service.

For those new to the term SSC, the Telecom Sector Skill council is a non-profit organization – an industry led apex body jointly set up by The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Indian Cellular Association (ICA) and Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE). They exist to ensure adequate availability of skilled work force to boost growth and productivity in the Telecom Sector.

Set up under the aegis of the National Skill Development Corporation, or the NSDC, Leh was another step for the TSSC toward the Skill India Initiative in the sector. Candidates underwent intensive training for a role as a level two Handset Repair Engineer – people responsible for handset hardware & software repair and testing.

To make an appearance for the assessment even, test takers needed to acquire a certain level of proficiency in Digital Electronics, General Handset Components, and Operating Systems. Of course, the job role had its own set of competencies under multiple National Occupational Standards as specified by the NSDC, which Mettl needed to map to its own competency framework. All of this to produce an assessment of the highest quality.

However, assessment creation comprised only a small part the work. Deployment, proctoring, result generation, and delivery – these concocted to a recipe for what Mettl boasted as their end-to-end service. Only this time, the task involved the spice of adventure.

On 16 May 2016, the journey had begun in Delhi with the test content uploaded into electronic tablets – an offline solution to zero internet access. As the premiere assessment body for 20+ SSCs, Mettl deployed a field operations agent to lead the charge by road. It rung true to Leh’s historical value as an important stopover on trade routes along the Indus Valley, and between India and China.

With only three days in hand, the adventure tasked the Mettl agent to travel from Delhi to Srinagar first, and only then to Leh. On route, Kargil was merely another legendary stop before the final destination, still a daunting 234KM away. By no means was it easy, far from it, and after days on roads layered with snow ten to twelve feet in depth, Leh was finally in sight.

While the travel had concluded at 3:00AM, 19 May 2016, the job was far from finished. Mettl had yet to hoist its flag at Leh. At 9:30AM, the field operations agent arrived to ensure everything was in place for a batch of twenty odd test takers. The moment meant more than success; in fact, it breathed life to an outreach that stuck true to the words Pan India.


Students appearing for the TSSC assessment for the Skill India Initiative 
Candidates Taking The Assessment at Leh Ladakh


However, as opposed to online assessments with instant result generation, its offline sister usually required a couple more steps before completion. Mettl’s agent needed to make it back to Delhi, and that spelled for a different adventure of its own. The snowstorm in Kargil had halted travel for fourteen hours, but at 2AM, on 24 May 2016, the journey had completed its full circle.

Dheeraj Sharma, the member of the Field Ops team assigned to Leh, later described the trip as a beautiful effort. Throughout the journey, Mettl had also faced radio silence when the absence of cell towers curbed real time communications. However, with the tests uploaded, photos captured, everything remained on schedule.

After all, most of the things worth doing in the world is declared impossible before they are achieved with finesse. Just another day for the Mettl crew in beating the odds.

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