The Unusual Business of Education

What do you think can bring together two entrepreneurs already running their successful ventures? Passion for the same cause! And in this case, it was their anxiousness to build a self-sustaining system that could propel the higher education in India to gain international repute. And 365 days later- 10,000 international students; 500 institutes; 5000 courses is what defines their successful getting together. One is a Babson College (USA) alumnus and the other has had the taste of the indigenous IIM in India, but what made Pratik Gandhi & Samar Singh united over a cup of coffee at a conference in Mumbai was their vision of making the ‘Study in India’ dream a reality.

Pratik, Co-founded his first company Edutrotters Pvt. Ltd in 2006, while he was still a student at Mumbai University, studying international Finance and setting up a base to mobilise over 12000 students. He completed his MBA in Entrepreneurship from Babson College (USA). There once he left the safe waters and made a more focused entry into the system by starting Edulab Educational Exchange Pvt. Ltd. in 2010-This time around his focus was on getting students to India. Samar on the other hand, had been a Co-founder of a voice recognition company (Incights) &, an aggregator of astrologer, Vastu experts. He was selected for an Entrepreneurship program by IIMA-Power of Ideas in 2010.

Samar joined hands with Pratik and became an integral part of Edulab. Together they actively worked towards mobilizing educational initiatives in India and overseas in the form of short-term learning camps, Government funded student exchange programs, and other thematic programs through the various international tie-ups and associations that they build over the years. In the short span of seven years Edulab achieved the unimaginable; build successfully collaborated with over 28 countries, partnering with more than 70 Universities, and engaging over 25,000+ students annually through its wide bouquet of services.

During their interactions with institutes via Edulab, they understood the fact that there was no system in place to promote and build awareness about internationalization of Indian institutes. Individual institutes did not have the capacity, nor the funding to build international presence. This is where the concept of Admissiondesk came into being. Together they launched in 2016, which stands as a pioneering step towards the ‘Study in India’ initiative. It is a first of its kind two-way interactive web-based platform that helps foreign students to apply/seek admission in Indian institutes. The selected applicants, with provision admission letters and directly pay the admission fees, and move on to process their visa applications as well. All this while keeping a very sharp focus on delivering “Value to the Student and the education system”.

Narrating one such incident they recall how their team relentlessly followed up and helped Waseem Alreqi, a student from war-torn Somalia who aspired to complete his higher education in India. They helped him process his Visa application despite the fact that war had not only torn apart his nation but also taken away from him a valid address and banking support. They helped him get over 40% scholarship from the institute as well. Waseem is fearlessly perusing his dream degree in India – and speaks highly of Admissiondesk. Moreover, the institute where he studying has also gained international prominence and drawing in more and more international applications/enquiries for admission. It is moments like these that make the entire journey and the struggles associated with it all worth it. All that needs to be done is make the infrastructure flawless and processes seamless- that’s where they see come into action.

— Team SoS

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