Education has always been an important tool for the humans to stand on their own feet, get better jobs, rise high in career and also to make them a better and responsible citizen.
Every year millions of students apply to universities & colleges for admissions and seeking higher education and the task has been really confusing, hectic and tiring. Especially when we talk about foreign universities, the task become more competitive as foreign universities long lengthy process of application, counseling & admissions makes it more difficult.
Every year more and more students apply to international universities in search of better colleges, courses and education environment. Not just Indians but many other country students also apply for foreign universities based out of Americas, Europe & Oceanic Countries which makes it more hectic and competitive.
Today we are bringing a venture which solves all these problems. AdmitKard is a startup founded & headed by Rachit & Piyush and is based out of Noida. Lets see what there venture has to offer in their own words.
1.What is the Name of Your Venture? Any specific reason for this name?
The name of our venture is AdmitKard. AdmitKard is made up of two words Admit and Kard. Since we help students in securing an admit from top universities abroad, hence the name AdmitKard is perfectly suited for us.
2.Who is your target Audience/clients?
Our target audience is every student aspiring to study abroad in any country
3.Where is your venture based (city, state, country) & What are your geographical target areas?
AdmitKard is based out of Noida, India. Currently, we are helping Indian students but as we have digital presence students from different countries like Indonesia, Nigeria, Nepal, Pakistan etc. are approaching us for help.
4.What problems does your venture resolve? What are your products or services?
We are solving 2 biggest problems of a student aspiring to study abroad – Where to apply and How to apply? Typically every student gets caught in the endless web of stressful online search, counselor visits, piles of paperwork and general commotion. The possibility of a great academic career lies in the hands of a person who is really less equipped to guide from the vast set. Admitkard ends this stressful process as it an end-to-end platform that provides detailed information about universities and the courses; suggests the best possible universities through data backed algorithms, and apply to these universities from the same platform in few clicks.
Currently, we have a strong web presence with AdmitKard website – (www.admitkard.com). Students can apply to 1000+ universities and colleges in 6 countries from the same website. A student can use the platform do it on his own free of cost or can pay and request for help for services like shortlisting, document verification, application submission, visa guidance etc. We have a network of counselors, mentors, and editors who help students on request.
5.Share the idea or story behind the venture. How did it came to an existence? What motivated you to start your own venture?
Rachit and Piyush were celebrating the success of their first company in London when they were invited by Indian Students Association to talk about career development. Sitting at a cafe in London, with around 20 Indian students, they realized how clueless were many of them were, and how they had been misguided into choosing the wrong course or a sub-par university. As they returned to India, they decided to assess the experience of many more students who had gone to study around the world and found the same lack of information and a feeling of missed opportunities. Determined to challenge status-quo, they started AdmitKard to disrupt the USD 10bn counseling industry in India.
Every student who aspires to study abroad gets caught in the endless web of stressful counselor visits, piles of paperwork and general commotion. The possibility of a great academic career lies in the hands of an agent. Rachit and Piyush decided that no student will ever have to tread on the difficult path again. That’s when they created a systematic approach to counseling which can be done completely over the phone with online assistance in the application process. With a completely online process and a strong knowledge base, they are disrupting this industry dominated by archaic brick-and-mortar players.
6.Who are your biggest competitors and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
Our competitors are people of have opened companies in different nook and corner and are trying to guide local students to study abroad. We feel that they are far less equipped to guide students and hence students end-up going to sub-par universities. We information and knowledge is so vast that no individual can remember hence it needs strong technology support. We are solving the same with technology at the center. Also, we don’t want to stop here but want to use the same technology to empower these so-called competitors to use it and help students
7.How did you identify your co-founder? Tell us some thing about your co-founder/s
Rachit and Piyush has known each other for more than 5 years now as they worked together at BCG and then started their 1st venture – LifePad. From ideation to building the team from raising funds to selling off the company, they have done it together and now knows each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well.
Rachit believes in the power of education and has studied from the top institutes of IIIT Allahabad, IIM Calcutta, and Francois Rabelias in France. From the days when he worked with Microsoft and Adobe, he believes that many students have huge potential and some good guidance can do wonders for them.
Piyush values education and has studied from the top institutes of IIT Roorkee, IIM Bangalore, KTH Sweden and Tsinghua University in China. He has worked around the globe (except Antarctica!) and interacted with students of various world-class universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and MIT. Having deep insights into various career streams and what it takes to become successful, he is passionate to help young students realize their full potential.
8.How did you hired your first team members? What skills Do you want in your employees/team?
Our 1st team member is our Tech Lead. We were working in the same co-working space (91 Springboard) where we met. While having a casual chat we discussed what we are planning to make and what he is working on. He was also working on something similar and was creating a common application form for multiple colleges in India. Sharing the same thought process and solving the similar pain, we got together. More than skills we believe it is the attitude. An attitude of being positive, hunger to learn and execute. We feel skill can be developed if you have the right attitude and many of our team members have done it.
9.What expansion plans are you looking for the next 2 years, next 5 years?
In 2 years we aim to build AdmitKard as number 1 study abroad portal in India; In 5 years we aim to become the number one portal for study abroad globally.
10.Where do you want to see yourself in next 10 years?
In 10 years AdmitKard would be synonymous to study abroad. Any student from any country who wants to study in any other country would be using AdmitKard whether it is full-time course, part-time course, long-term or short-term course
11.What are your goals over the next 1, 3, 6 and 12 months?
In the next 6 months, the plan is to work on the product and simplify it for the students. As we are getting more and more students coming to us for help, it also helps us in understanding where they are stuck. In the next 6 months, we aim to associate more and more people to our platform.
12.Have you raised any funding? Or have any plans for the funding?
No. AdmitKard is a bootstrapped company. The money that founder’s got from their last acquisition is being used to built AdmitKard. Yes, the company aims to raise funds in the growth phase.
13.What were the problems you faced during the starting days and how did you resolve them?
Serving a large number of geographical locations is in itself a challenge, but the digitalisation has made it possible. We have innovated a systematic approach to counseling which can be done completely over the phone with online assistance in the application process.
14.What was the most challenging part of your journey till now? How did you overcome those challenges?
The biggest problem at hand was to reach the 30 million students in high schools and undergraduate colleges. Awareness is the step that leads to knowledge to provide a solid foundation for decision making. With internet reaching every corner of India today, we decided to create a platform to connect millions of students to thousands of universities globally.
15.Are you married, single or in a relationship?
Both of the co-founders, Piyush and Rachit are married.
16.What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
In the non-work time both prefer to spend time with family and friends. Piyush likes watching movie and TV series. while Rachit spends time watching Cricket and exploring new eateries.
17.Whats your favorite food & holiday destination?
Both of them are Vegetarian. While Piyush prefers not to eat (a beer would do) on most occasions, Rachit is a big time foodie. From Pizzas to Gogappas, from Butter Nan to Samosas he relishes almost everything with high calories. But both find solace in hills. Away from city they prefer spending time on hills with greenery and fresh air in abundance
18.Whom do you consider your idol or biggest motivator?
We believe that learning is a continuous process and even an intern teaches you something. Few people who motivates us are PM Narendra Modi, AliBaba founder Jack Ma, PayTM founder Vijay Shekar Sharma, Indian Cricket Team Captain Virat Kohli
19.What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?
As an entrepreneur, specially in an early stage you need to take most of the decisions on your own, you can consult people but finally its your call. Irrespective of it being right or wrong you need to continue making decisions. You need to be aware of everything ranging from Tech, Marketing , Strategy etc. When you work for someone else you always know there is someone who will either take decision or review decision. Also you mostly focus on your individual area.
20.If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
We don’t think there are too many things to do differently. Lucky enough to have great education and superb experience in top MNCs. Yes there are always ifs and buts, few decisions here and there but you can analyze and criticize on almost anything later.
21.How has being an entrepreneur affected your family & Social life?
Becoming an entrepreneur is life changing in every aspect. When you have the ability to adapt to any situation, ride the highs and lows and influence people, it gives you incredible confidence that translates to all other aspects of your life.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is having the freedom to choose the direction of both personal and professional life. True, there are times when work responsibilities increase thereby affecting family and social life but since entrepreneurs are used to adapting to different situations, we are able to manage everything.
22.Anything, you would like to say to our readers or upcoming entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur has its own challenges. You should have a belief in yourself. As Henry Ford famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Believe that you can succeed, and you’ll find ways through different obstacles. If you don’t, you’ll just find excuses.
23.Tell us something about your education & family background.
Piyush has been born and brought up in Delhi. He mother is a retired government teacher while his father is a retired government officer. He has pursued his BTech from IIT Roorkee. After working for 4 years in Oil and Gas sector, he went on to pursue his MBA from IIM Bangalore and was placed in top 10% of the batch. He has also studied at Tsinghua University in China.
Rachit has been born and brought up in Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.He has completed his B.Tech (Hons.) Information Technology from Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad in June 2009. He has also studied at Universite Francois Rabelais Tours France. He completed his PGDM from Indian Institute of Management Calcutta in April 2013, after working at Adobe Systems. During his stay at IIM Calcutta, he served as the President of Student Council, IIM Calcutta.
24.What is your USP which makes it unique & different from other start-ups in similar domains.
AdmitKard was conceptualized to achieve the dream that every student should be able to get admission in the best university as per their potential. What sets our approach apart from the others are the elements of standardization and personalization on the same platform. The unbiased data backed algorithm which follows a standard method of providing information to students is automated and functions without any lapse. Also, since each student possesses her own unique qualities that make up her profile, courses and universities are matched accordingly providing the best matching option to the student.
When you are determined to improve the lives of people and work for the good, you bring out new ways to solve the particular problem. AdmitKard is using latest artificial intelligence technologies to create chat assistants for students which helps them interact with thousands of students every day.
25. What do you think is the biggest threat to the success of small businesses & Start-ups today?
Since running a business is like running a marathon, therefore passion and motivation are required to keep you moving forward each day regardless of the obstacles. Tough times can result in depletion of motivation and that is the greatest threat to small businesses and start-ups. It is important to not lose focus and remember the reasons why you started. This helps to overcome the challenges.
26. Do you consider yourself successful and by what means do you measure success?
We believe in living in the moment. We feel successful every day and also make sure the team feels successful. Every new offer a student in success, every scholarship received is a success. We fail as well and we fail a lot. Missed deadlines, targets, time wasted are failures. Happiness is the parameter through which we measure success.
27.Please share complete name, address, phone number, email id & website of Your Business & Contact Person.
A-14, 7th Floor, Eco Towers, Sector 125, Noida, Uttar Pradesh 201301
call/WhatsApp at 8512886655