21CC Education - Bridging the skill gap in Logistics & Transportation

Jeenal Jain Jeenal Jain
Mar 31, 2021 10 min read
21CC Education - Bridging the skill gap in Logistics & Transportation

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by 21CC Education

The World Economic Forum states that half of India’s 350 million workforce requires to be reskilled! Here comes the role of 21CC Education, founded by industry veterans Sanjay Tiwari, Marloeke Werst, Ludo Tieman and Sumer Shankardass in 2019.

21CC Education offers industry-relevant skills in the logistics and transportation space to enhance the employability of India’s workforce as well as the productivity of India’s booming logistics sector. The 21CC app allows individuals to skill, upskill and re-skill. 21CC Education has already worked with market leaders in the logistics space like DB Schenker, DHL Global Forwarding, DP World, Sarjak Container Lines and the Port of Amsterdam to serve their training and recruitment needs.

StartupTalky interviewed Mr. Sanjay Tiwari, co-founder of 21CC Education to know the Success Story of 21CC Education. Along with it know about 21CC Education Business model, funding, founders, how it started & more.

21CC Education - Company Highlights

Startup Name 21CC Education
Founders Sanjay Tiwari, Marloeke Werst, Ludo Tieman, Sumer Shankardass
Headquarters Mumbai
Founding Year 2019
Sector Edtech, Logistics, Re/Upskilling

21CC Education - About
21CC Education - Market/Industry Details
21CC Education - Founders and Team
21CC Education - Ideation (How it started?)
21CC Education - Product/Services Offered
21CC Education - Name, Tagline and Logo
21CC Education - Business Model and Revenue Model
21CC Education - Startup Launch
21CC Education - Challenges faced
21CC Education - Funding and Investors
21CC Education - Competitors
21CC Education - Future Plans
21CC Education - FAQs

21CC Education - About

21CC Education aims to offer industry-relevant skills in the logistics and transportation space to enhance the employability of India’s workforce as well as the productivity of India’s booming logistics sector.

21CC Education, well-researched and intelligently designed app based skilling platform that delivers complex content in consumable, efficient modules with high retention outcomes. The app allows individuals to skill, upskill and re-skill. It is a powerful ally of the L&D and recruitment teams by bringing pre-skilled workforce in contact with hiring companies through its unique skills-match feature.

In short, our vision and mission would be to ‘skill the world’ says Sanjay, co-founder, 21CC Education

The smartphone disseminated technology is a scalable solution helping organizations with on-boarding , training and mass hiring to efficiently bridge the skill gaps.  

Sanjay as he states enjoys the stress of entrepreneurship, both within and outside of a large organization. There are many learnings as the work progresses and takes a lot of creative effort to get all the noses in the same direction, while trying to figure out the core value proposition. His major interest in logistics and supply chain education led to the setting up of 21CC Education with friends in the U.S., Netherlands and India.


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21CC Education - Market/Industry Details

According to a McKinsey report -  Because of AI and technology, 375 million globally need to be re-skilled, and this was pre-pandemic!

The World Economic Forum states that half of India’s 350 million workforce requires to be reskilled. India has 21 million employees in logistics and the industry is growing by more than 10% per annum. The Government is spending billions of dollars on new infrastructure, private equity and VC players are investing billions in new companies.

In the warehousing industry alone 48,000 new positions will get added between 2020 and 2022. A new McKinsey Global Survey on future workforce needs, nearly 9 in 10 executives and managers say their organizations either face skill gaps already or expect gaps to develop within the next five years.  All of these people need to be skilled remotely, on the fly and preferably before their first day of work.

21CC Education - Founders and Team

21CC Education was founded in 2019 by Sanjay Tiwari, Marloeke Werst, Ludo Tieman and Sumer Shankardass. The company is headquartered in Mumbai and has an office in The Hague, The Netherlands.

Sanjay Tiwari- Co-Founder, 21CC Education

Sanjay Tiwari

Sanjay has close to thirty years’ experience in trading, transportation and logistics having worked for a Dutch steel trading and warehousing company in Singapore and Malaysia, for KLM Cargo in The Netherlands and the U.S. and for Maersk in India.

Marloeke Werst

Marloeke has a product management background at L’Oréal and Air France KLM Cargo, followed by a consulting and training career. Marloeke was hired to work at KLM Cargo by Sanjay when they were building up a new air cargo security product in 2002. Her subsequent background in consulting, training and change management was a great help when they re-connected in 2013. Marloeke has deep connects with the Dutch government and industry bodies.

Sumer Shankardass

Sumer was part of the team that took WNS to the NYSE and has extensive BPO experience, as well as experience as a strategic advisor to startups. Sumer and Sanjay know each other from their days in Chicago in 2007 and coincidentally both moved back to India in 2010 with their families. As the co-promoter of 21CC Education, he helps the company to secure the large corporate contracts, leveraging his network and advising on fund raising.

Ludo Tieman

Ludo comes from a family of entrepreneurs in The Netherlands. He ran his own company in The Netherlands in the DIY space and then worked with two startups in Thailand. He heads technology development for 21CC. Ludo and Sanjay both went to the University of Groningen in The Netherlands many many many years ago and have backpacked through India together in the late 1980s. Ludo leads on the technology development and also helped conceptualize the UI / UX of the 21CC App.

The core team of 16 people is split over India and The Netherlands in addition to contracted writers, programmers, illustrators etc.


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21CC Education - Ideation (How it started?)

The inspiration came from the fact that Sanjay has extensively worked in the transportation and logistics industry across Northern Europe, South East Asia, South America, United States and India for more than 30 years now. Having experience on the front lines coupled with practical understanding of the pitfalls in the sector and a steady willingness to overcome the barriers led to creating 21CC Education

Logistics works with an approximate 15% margin of error that seems to have been become acceptable; but this would not be the norm in any other sector. Therefore, the idea behind 21CC education was a win-win for both business and people- reduce error, and most importantly skilling the workforce.

21CC Education was founded in January 2019 in response to the changing face of logistics and transportation. The accelerated growth track of the sector was facing disruptions owing to lack of skills. Issues like unorganized logistics and packaging operations as well as a lack of administrative capabilities continue to hold the sector back. As logistics gains increasing significance, entering an era of unprecedented change, they recognized the urgent need for scalable and sustainable skill development solutions that could significantly help re-engineer the Indian logistics sector.


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21CC Education - Product/Services Offered

21CC Education was founded to respond to this urgent call for individuals and organizations alike by simplifying learning through gamification and reskilling through its unique mobile and web application. This first of its kind application aims to significantly bridge the recruitment-skilling gap by creating enhanced learning and skilling experience for operationally intensive industries.

The company creates a steady and large funnel of aptly skilled resources for organisations and maps opportunities for reskilling and upskilling for individuals and blue-collared job seeker to increasing their earning potential and enable them to build lucrative careers.

21CC Education’s holistic mobile platform is backed by an experienced team across Netherlands and Mumbai. Its library offers industry-relevant, engaging and adaptive learning content with more than 110 e-learning modules, over 50 courses and 8 interactive games, all focused on logistics and transportation sectors.

The 21CC App is built on a technology stack of developed on a technology stack consisting of HTML CSS, Angular, Groovy Grails, JavaScript and jQuery, and supported by a strong LMS.

21CC education makes the complex clear by delivering learning and skill-building modules in both online and mobile formats, based on a vast and continuously growing library of industry-validated content in an accessible and fun manner using illustrations, practical examples, humor and gamification.

21CC Education already works with market leaders such as DBSchenker and DHL to serve their training and recruitment needs and as such is geared to help large enterprises connect with the vast resource requirements while ensuring the talent pool is rightly skilled and  aware of the space thereby, eliminating the time required in the training of the employees.

Its training content is also finding favor with organizations wanting to create social impact through their CSR initiatives. Aligning CSR projects with skill building drives, 21CC Education is partnering with several leading organizations to help build capability and employability through the immersive and vernacular content.

Additionally, through a recent partnership with the NSDC’s eskillindia.org portal—which is an online learning hub, with more than 800 courses in over 20 sectors— 21CC Education will be offering its App based content to help bridge India’s skill deficit in the logistics and transport sector. The new association with the NSDC, will help build a skilled talent pool in India, ensuring a robust workforce that has the opportunity to be gainfully employed and be contributively aligned with the nation’s growth agenda.


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The name came up many years ago quite charmingly on the streets of Chicago while Sanjay was walking his dog, Rustom. It was then that someone spoke to him about ‘21st Century Cargo’. Since then, ‘21CC’ stuck with Sanjay and he thanks Rustom or the kind stranger for the tag line!

21CC Education Logo
"As for the logo, although it was an evening’s worth of work for Dutch designer, Marlies Bloemendaal based in Mumbai, she did a great job in terms of design, colors and messaging" added Sanjay

21CC Education - Business Model and Revenue Model

21CC Education's business model is both B2B and B2C. 21CC Education's library offers industry-relevant, engaging and adaptive learning content with more than 110 e-learning modules, over 50 courses and 8 interactive games, all focused on logistics and transportation sectors.

As stated by Sanjay Tiwari, 21CC Education's revenue model is -

  • Employers pay for candidates that have come to them via the 21CC App
  • Employers pay a fixed monthly amount for ongoing employee training
  • Employees will pay in future for their ongoing education and job placement

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21CC Education - Startup Launch

21CC Education has been B2B from day one so getting those large corporate customers on board took its own effort. The first 100 B2C customers have come about via its listing on NSDC’s eskillindia.org platform as well as its partnership with portall.in

"The partnerships with the likes of NSDC and Portall.in in India and Dubai Trade in the UAE are very important from an outreach point of view" says Sanjay

21CC Education - Challenges faced

Creating awareness of its offering was one of the major challenge faced by the team at 21CC Education.

"It’s a challenge to create large-scale awareness of opportunities in logistics and make people aware of it. It feels a bit like promoting the BPO industry or IT industry in the 1980s and 1990s, as people aren’t yet fully aware of logistics. So getting college students to download our content is still a struggle, once they do they apparently love it" expressed Sanjay Tiwari, co-founder, 21CC Education

21CC Education - Funding and Investors

21CC Education has raised 1.1 Million Euros in a seed round led by a Dutch Angel Investor in March 2020.


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21CC Education - Competitors

Aapna is considered to be the top competitor of 21CC Education in this industry.

21CC Education - Future Plans

21CC Education aims to be the world’s premier skilling app for entry level employees in logistics

21CC Education - FAQs

Who are the founders of 21CC Education?

21CC Education was founded in 2019 by Sanjay Tiwari, Marloeke Werst, Ludo Tieman and Sumer Shankardass.

What is 21CC Education?

21CC Education offers industry-relevant skills in the logistics and transportation space to enhance the employability of India’s workforce as well as the productivity of India’s booming logistics sector.

How much funding has 21CC Education raised?

21CC Education has raised 1.1 Million Euros in a seed round led by a Dutch Angel Investor in March 2020.

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