New Delhi: IndiaCollegeSearch.com now eases the pain of admission seekers by letting them find the most suitable professional college--engineering (B.Tech), management (MBA), medical (MBBS) and others--acrossIndia.
IndiaCollegeSearch offers continuously updated and detailed information on over 3000 professional colleges inIndia. A proprietary web based toolset helps locate a set of programs with a stream in a chosen state or even a city out of a long list to match a student needs. Additionally, IndiaCollegeSearch’s tools help customize the list even further as per a fee band chosen by the student.
IndiaCollegeSearch.com offers detailed info about a college--its infrastructure, faculty, placement track record including starting salaries and names of hiring companies. Students can also create a shortlist of colleges by their scores in entrance exams--a neat way to narrow down data to a short list that meets their needs.
IAN Incubated company upgrades Technology, Improves user experience
IndiaCollegeSearch is being incubated byIndia’s oldest and largest group of angel investors--Indian Angel Network (IAN) at their Department of Science and Technology supported incubator since early 2011.
In the second half of 2011, the IndiaCollegeSearch team spent energies on creation and launch of a prototype with a new and more powerful search engine that scores high on user interface, lets visitors post reviews, shortlist colleges and interact better.
The site also has detailed information on previous year cut-offs, placements record and infrastructure. Over 500 professional colleges are now actively using the platform to interact with students making admission requests.
IndiaCollegeSearch is completely free for students, does not serve ads or sell student information to colleges, says its founder Anirudh Motwani.
Anirudh, 24, is an engineer who majored in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS),Dubai. He worked with companies like Digital Satellite LLC, Tech Mahindra and had a stint as a software consultant at Cvent Inc., one of the largest SaaS companies in the world.
His co-founder, Parul Bansal, 25, majored in Mathematics fromUniversityofDelhiand completed her MBA (Finance) from IBS. She has worked with NTPC and an Aditya Birla group company.
IndiaCollegeSearch’s core team of 7 full-time associates from top Indian colleges like Shriram College of Commerce, Jesus andMaryCollege, contribute to product development.
Angel investor and an Indian Angel Network member Vikram Kant Upadhyaya is on the board of the company as a ChiefMentorand Observer. Prominent educationists on the advisory board include officials (both serving and retired) from bodies such as All India Council Technical Education and the Indian Institutes of Technology.
The number of students visiting IndiaCollegeSearch has seen an upward climb since it opened to public in December 2010. The portal is visited by over 50,000 students each month. Anirudh says that server running the application had to be upgraded every other month as visitors continued to double. IndiaCollegeSearch team attributes this to the power of positive word of mouth from the existing visitors. Founders Anirudh and Parul believe that IndiaCollegeSearch is serving an unmet need.
IndiaCollegeSearch also received an extremely positive response from professional colleges in the country, with hundreds of colleges registering on the platform within months. Currently, nearly 3000 colleges are on the platform with prominent colleges such as Birla Institute of Technology (BIT) Ranchi, College of Engineering Pune (CoEP), Goa Engineering College, Osmania University College of Engineering (OUCE), Institute of Aeronautical Engineering Hyderabad and Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology (IGIT) using the site regularly.
IndiaCollegeSearch is gearing up to cater to the surge in the number of users in the 2012 admissions season by updating information on all the engineering colleges across India.
IndiaCollegeSearch is extending its services beyond engineering by catering to students seeking admission to MBA, MBBS and other professional courses. With the addition of new courses and colleges, the number of students using the platform is expected to grow faster.
“We plan to grow our user base from engineering students to those seeking admission to professional programs such as BBA, MBA, MCA, M. Tech, Law and Medical. We want to better our product and content to encourage repeat visitors,” adds Anirudh.
The site is accessible to anyone, and for those inIndiait is cost and time-effective than even a phone helpline or education fair. It attracts students from across the length and breadth of the country. Students from metros, mini metros and small towns log on to IndiaCollegeSearch and it will help shape their choice of college and their future.
IndiaCollegeSearch, being incubated at the IAN’s technology incubator, has an eminent entrepreneur and an Indian Angel Network member Vikram Kant Upadhyaya mentoring them.
Like all IAN mentors Vikram provided valuable inputs to the team on how they could better their go to market strategy and build differentiators as well as a robust platform. He also advised the startup on potential tie-ups as well as relevant resources they could leverage. The incubator team helped IndiaCollegeSearch connect with mentors for of technology, media and marketing areas.
“By end 2012, we expect to see IndiaCollegeSearch emerge as the dominant online guide for students and partner for colleges, offering trends on students preferences. We expect to have a market-share that is bigger than most competitors,” says Anirudh.
Challenges as an entrepreneur
“The major challenge so far has been technology. Having pulled through pilots and various stages of growth, we have invested to build a full-fledged development team. Building a passionate team made us confront another challenge--spotting the right people, convincing them to trade off well paid job for the thrill of creating the first of its kind of a portal to help Indian students choose the right college. Overcoming opposition from family and friends, though long drawn, was relatively easy.
Indian Angel Network incubator and our mentor in particular, helped us with most issues, including the process of evaluating our angel investors. Even today, we look up to our mentor in goal setting and building processes.”
Although there are similar offerings in the market with most of them featuring colleges as classified ads or simple listings. Only a few adopt processes to authenticate college information. Almost no one rejects the colleges following subject education standards like we do.”