When I was asked ‘Subra what is the ROI of training’ for the first time, I was a little unprepared, but since the CEO asking this question was a friend, we did some calculations.

I told him one thing though: any such calculation is just a guess, and any intervention involving people and hopeful behavioral change is difficult to quantify.

I had one more issue – the field staff that was getting CONFLICTING instructions (from me, taking instruction from the lofty CEO wearing a nice man hat) saying ‘what is good for the customer is good for the bank’ and ‘abe….@#$%^&* dhanda leke a..and I will judge you on the bottom line not on the top line’. What the kids would do was tough to say. Your guess is as good as mine.

So next time when I was asked, I said let us change the parameters. This bank / national level distributor wanted training in 22 centers spread over about 8 states. I told the head of the distribution business, let me do some kind of a training and story telling sessions. After all people remember stories better than theories. He agreed. I also decided that the ‘RoI calculation should be replaced by SIP calculation’ – I was to address about 700 kids aged between 22-29, and I SHOULD be considered a success if I can sell a SIP to about 200 of them (assuming about 25 of them already had a SIP). The head of sales agreed. The CEO liked the number of sips going up, and said ‘either the kid or a family member’ – made my life even easier.

The training got over, and we had opened about 449 sips!! About 54 already had an SIP…and the CEO was confident that a demo effect will see more over the next 4 months would take it to about 600 at least! The commissions that the company would receive more than covered my training fee, travel,…etc. and India suddenly had so many new sip account holders.

However i still could not put a ROI on my training. It is too damn cumbersome a calculation and there are too many assumptions..so here is a nice story…


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