MINDLER - A Technology Driven System That Helps Students to Choose the Career Path Best Suitable For Them

Further, to help students get advice in a more personalized way, MINDLER has also developed India’s first Mentor Connect App which connects students to mentors from premier colleges across the country.

MINDLER was founded in July, 2015 by Prateek Bhargava along with his mentor and career coach, Prikshit Dhanda. The organisation is based in Punjabi Bagh in New Delhi.

MINDLER is a technology-enabled eco-system for career planning, development and mentoring for school students (class VIII-XII). The startup blends artificial intelligence and machine learning with strategic human interventions to help students and parents choose the best-suited career path. MINDLER’s distinctive feature comes in the form of a 5 step assessment process - world’s most advanced multi dimensional career assessment battery, algorithm driven semi-automated career planner & tracker and course correction mechanism. This scientifically advanced process has been developed with expertise and knowledge of psychometricians, career experts, counselors and industry experts.

The startup has a team of specialists that include domain experts from premier institutes like IIT, ISB, Harvard and leading psychologists who provide students proper guidance and counseling at each step. The experts track the entire student’s journey through monthly and quarterly interventions to undertake necessary course corrections.

Further, to help students get advice in a more personalized way, MINDLER has also developed India’s first Mentor Connect App which connects students to mentors from premier colleges across the country.

Team BWDisrupt Interacts With Prateek Bhargava, Co-founder, MINDLER And Spoke To Him

What were the challenges MINDLER faced while setting up the business?

One of the biggest challenges while setting up MINDLER was to execute the mammoth research we had planned for. Such a research had never been organized before and we had to use every ounce of resource at our disposal to get the research work done. Collaborating with different stakeholders like schools, students, career experts, industry experts, academicians, psychologists, psychometricians and advisors was one of the key challenges for us.

Going forward one of the biggest challenge I see is to change the mindset of parents who persuade their children to choose a particular career path without knowing the true potential of the child. However, with increasing awareness among parents, this mindset is undergoing a dramatic change especially in metro cities and we want to further drive this awareness across the country.

Who are your competitors?

Our biggest competition exists in the form of family, friends and relatives who are the biggest influencers for students for making career decisions. Apart from this there are many renowned individual career counselors who are operating in specific cities. Our direct competition comes from counseling companies that have emerged in the last few years.

How are you different from the existing ones?

The key factors that differentiate us from the existing players are our product features, our team and the comprehensive eco-system for career guidance we have created. Some of our key USP’s include –

1. The most advanced 5 dimensional career assessment tool which has been standardized, normed and validated to be used in India

2. Our entire product offering is based on the world’s largest research on modern career avenues and has been standardized and validated on over 4.8 million data points

3. We leverage the power of data analytics, machine learning and algorithms to reduce human bias in career decision making process

4. Our student engagement model wherein we map and track the entire student journey after the initial screening phase through career interventions and course correction mechanisms

5. India’s first mentor connect app which allows students to connect to mentors in premier colleges

6. Predictive modelling solutions for schools through the massive data analytic potential of our business model

Who are your clients? How do you look at expanding?

Our clients are parents of school students. We are reaching out to them both directly and through schools/ institutions.

We will be expanding our reach by collaborating with schools, strategic partnerships with players in the education industry and reach out to our target users through the digital channel.

Best and Worst Memories While Setting Up the Organisation

It’s been a roller coaster journey with fair amount of highs and lows.

One of our best memories was the recognition we received when we won the Economic Times: Power of Ideas by CIIE – IIM Ahmedabad and Department of Science & Technology. To be recognized as a winner among a pool of almost 20,000 applications was very heartening.

Another big moment for us was when our massive research was recognized and invited for showcase in the Asia Pacific Career Development Association in Taipei at Taiwan.

One of the worst memories was when we witnessed the way in which students in some of the cities make their career decisions. It was sad to see students being bogged down by parental and social pressures. Students lack awareness of the opportunities ahead of them and are under stress that can be easily avoided.

What are your marketing plans?

Our positioning strategy will be to pitch MINDLER as an interactive activity based career-planning platform, which is powered by technology, research and career experts. We will be highlighting the robustness of our assessment tool and the fact that it is India’s first 5-dimensional tool that has been developed by the stalwarts in the field of psychometrics and psychology from across the world.

Distribution strategy for the B2B model is through networks, strategic alliances and leveraging an on-ground sales and marketing team. For the B2C model we will be leveraging digital marketing and upsell to leads from the B2B channel. We will be identifying partner counselors in different regions who will be offered our platform to drive their career guidance programs. We will also be looking at partnerships with players in the education space with whom we have strong synergies and can market our products through their platform to create a win-win situation. We will be upselling our premium offerings to the customers who adopt our automated offerings in the B2B or B2C space.

What are your plans for getting funding?

MINDLER has already completed its first round of funding. Having won the Economic Times – Power of Ideas organized by CIIE – IIM Ahmedabad and Department of Science & Technology – Govt. of India, we received a grant and investment offer from them. We are now moving towards raising our next round of funding. We plan to now raise a $1 million round and are in discussion with investors. We plan to utilize the funds towards creating awareness about our product, strengthening the entire technological set up and augmenting our manpower resources.

How do you monetize?

Our business model has three broad pillars that include B2B (Sales through schools and institutions), B2C (Sales through the online channel directly to parents and students) and Strategic Partnerships with players in the education sector. We work on a per student revenue model.

What is the next big thing in pipeline?

We are converting our assessments and product offerings into multiple languages so that every section of the society can get access to our career planning tools, products and services. This will enable us to also reach out to those sections of the society where the demand is still in a latent stage. We are also developing a product offering which will be designed for students at the graduate/ professional level. This will increase our addressable market base exponentially.

Market size and Opportunity

The addressable market size, taking into account factors like demographics, education level and income, is over 1.1 crore students each year. Pursuing the right career is the pain point for millions of students and parents across the country. With increasing disposable income and education taking the largest share of the disposable income of parents, the market potential is huge.
There is a high demand among students and parents for an unbiased and scientific process towards career planning and the supply is extremely limited. MINDLER aims to provide every household in the country with the power to choose and plan their career in the most well researched and scientific manner. With an interactive activity based framework that engages with the students and provides end-to-end career guidance and support, we endeavour to address the needs of the massive target audience.

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