Indian EdTech Startups Like Mindler have A Potential Market of Over 125M Students

Mindler is India’s first real time mapping platform for careers which is scalable and can collaborate with existing stakeholders in the education industry.

BWDisrupt bring to you, one more Ed-Tech startup, which has been working in a scientific manner, meet the men behind the idea called 'Mindler'.

It was founded in 2015 by Prateek Bhargava and his mentor Prikshit Dhanda. The duo go back almost 15 years and have shared a mentor-mentee relation.

Mindler is a technology driven platform that uses research, machine learning and algorithms to help students choose the career path best suitable for them. MINDLER has a team of specialists that include domain experts from premier institutes like IIT, ISB, Harvard and leading psychologists.

The journey at Mindler has 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.

However, 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.

BW: What are the key features of Mindler?
Mindler is powered by the World’s Largest Research on Modern Career Avenues, and has been acknowledged by global authorities, like the National Career Development Association (NCDA), USA, and the Asia Pacific Career Development Association (APCDA), Taiwan.

Another key aspect of Mindler is the extremely collaborative nature of our platform that can be utilized by schools, counsellors, educators, teachers, parents, and organizations working in the education space.

I personally believe that people are the biggest asset for any organization, and the people behind Mindler with their stellar experience across psychometrics, human behaviour & psychology, technology, and business have contributed tremendously to where we are today. Mindler is India’s first real time mapping platform for careers which is scalable and can collaborate with existing stakeholders in the education industry.

BW: How is Mindler different from its competitors?
Mindler, unlike many of its competitors, is not just a career assessment, but a holistic career guidance platform that constitutes of a 5-dimensional career assessment, semi-automated career counselling with career coaches, and domain experts, year-long handholding programs, India’s first mentor-connect platform, and carefully curated content. Designed by over 40 PHDs and MA Psychologists in collaboration with academic experts, career experts and industry experts; Mindler Career Guidance Platform is developed from scratch for the Indian audience keeping in mind their unique needs and distinct culture.

Our assessment makes use of 56 parameters (highest in the industry) while making career suggestions, and is also able to give alerts in case of mismatch between elements, such as in case of interest-aptitude mismatch. The entire platform has been validated and standardized on over 5 million data points across the country. At Mindler, we understand that making a career is not a matter of a few days or weeks, and hence we have year-long programs for real-time goal setting, and progress mapping.

One of the unique aspects of the Mindler Platform is that it is collaborative in nature and it allows any existing stakeholder in the education sector to actually partner with Mindler and make use of the scientifically advanced career guidance tools and solutions. This allows our partners to make their processes more robust and enhance their efficiency while making career recommendations and plans.

BW: Is the company backed by any funding?
Mindler had raised its first round of funding in early 2016. CIIE – IIM Ahmedabad also participated in this round of funding along with a grant from Ministry of Science & Technology Govt. of India. Mindler is now in the process of raising its second round of funding of approximately USD 1 Million of which USD 330,000 has already been committed by existing investors based on the strong traction seen.

BW: What are the recent achievements of Mindler?
The quantum of growth we have seen, in a span of 6 months, is definitely one of our biggest feats. We are working with some of the premier schools across the country, and are also expanding our imprints in Nepal, Middle East, and Africa, and are witnessing significant growth in the B2C space.

The quarter on quarter growth has been over 100%. Mindler has been recognized by global career guidance bodies such as the Asia Pacific Career Development Association and the National Career Development Association USA. We also won at ISB Envision, an acceleration program designed by ISB Hyderabad in collaboration with US Consulate and Department of Science and Technology.

We’re providing a counsellor interaction after the assessment which is being improvised over various parameters and feedback. Our tech-stack is built in such a way that every stakeholder(student, parent, counsellor, school, etc) has relevant access and monitor the career progress of the students effectively. We at Mindler love open source technologies, hence most of the algorithms, and features are self-developed. We’re currently working on introducing additional features to students like a public forum, a mentor-connect platform, and a chat-bot, amongst other surprise features we have in store for our users.

BW: Discuss the monetization models, traction details and future plans of the organisation.
Our revenue 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, institutions, governments, NGOs and ed-tech players. Mindler is already working with some of the leading schools across India with clients also coming from countries in South East Asia, Nepal, Africa and Middle East.

We are growing at over 100% QoQ growth rate in terms of users and revenue. Mindler recently made its platform in the Hindi language as well which has allowed us to tap a larger market in the rural part of the country as well. In the coming future we plan to focus on the three broad revenue pillars and drive sustainable growth on that front. We are actively entering into multiple collaborations to make Mindler platform accessible and affordable for multiple target segments.

BW: What are the challenges Mindler has been facing? Also, discuss the present market size.
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 resources at our disposal to execute the research work. Collaborating with different stakeholders like schools, students, career experts, industry experts, academicians, psychologists, psychometricians and advisors was also a key challenge for us. However with the kind of team we had built and the networks it brought with it, allowed us to ace this challenge. We surpassed our internal targets and collected over 4.8 million data points from over 10,000 students across the country.

Another challenge that we 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.

The space Mindler is in has a huge market potential. There are over 125 million students in our target market and it is increasing every year. Given our collaborative model we work with governments, institutions, NGOs, schools, colleges and existing ed-tech players to tap the target market.

BW: Is there any additional information that you would like to share?
Choosing and pursuing the right career is one of the biggest pain points for parents and millions of students in the country. Our research indicates that over 90% of the students feel that career decisions should be based on scientific assessments and over 80% seek expert help in planning their careers. Currently, in India career decisions are largely driven by parents and relative’s choice and thus a huge void exists.

Making the right career decision is of immense importance in today’s day and age. Given the increasing complexity towards decision making, competition and increasing rate of unemployment the root cause lies in students picking career paths which are not suited to their skill set and traits. The result is that we create a literate but unemployable workforce. Mindler intends to make the future generation more productive by making scientific career decision making accessible to millions of students across the country through direct outreach as well as collaborations with governments, NGOs and other key stakeholders.

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