Buddy4Study: Redefining the tenets of Scholarship Distribution System in India
Several proactive initiatives from the government as well as the private sector have been quite successful in transforming the landscape of Indian education system over the past few years. The facts that make this change readily noticeable include reduced dropout rates from schools and colleges and increased inclination of the masses towards professional education. To further the cause of promoting education, a multitude of financial grants covering scholarships, fellowships and awards have been launched in the mainstream. However, this immense financial assistance is not being able to accomplish what it is aimed at for failure in reaching the targeted masses. A lack of awareness regarding such opportunities prevails; this is an outcome of the acute communication gap existing between the providers and the seekers. Besides, most of the students who actually need the financial aids and are aware about them; can’t avail scholarships due to dearth of structured mentoring that leads to disqualification in examinations. The scholarship dispersal system of India needs to implement dynamic and calculated measuresfor wiping out the obstacles that hinder our pursuit of excellence in education. There should be dedicated awareness, mentoring and supervision programmes focusing on educating students about various scholarship programs; guide them on the process and prepare them for examination; and further supervise them on decision making.
A brainchild of innovative minds from topnotch academic institutions in India, Buddy4Study is a collective effort to reshape scholarship distribution in India towards making quality education accessible for all.Buddy4Study has been in the limelight since its inception in 2011 for its fruitful endeavors towards bridging the huge gap between scholarship providers and scholarship seekers. As the largest platform for scholarship in the country, the company leverages advanced technology to curate information on scholarships from across the globe and offers a remarkable assistance to scholarship seekers as well as providers. Those who are searching for suitable scholarships can have convenient access to profile based national and international scholarships with end-to-end application support. Whereas for scholarship providers, the company’s portfolio offers a suite of specialized services for end to end management and monitoring of scholarship programs covering scholarship design, scholarship promotion, application management, short listing and selection process, interviews, documentation and verification of documents, and a robust scholar tracking system.
With its groundbreaking concept, Buddy4Study has built a reputation for credible CSR implementation partnership with several corporates/foundations in this domain. The company has launched a range of flagship product & services namely, Scholarship Management Services (SMS), Student to Scholar Program (S2S), Student Management Panel (SMP) and Scholar Tracking System (STS) to serve the cause. Leveraging its cutting edge solutions, the company has been successful in extending its reach to more than one million students and helping them pursue their dreams by fetching them those scholarship programs that suit them best.
Spark beneath the foundation
Buddy4Study’s is an exemplar story where a unique and transformative idea knits its way to success. A mere college project fueled the inception of the company in 2011. Traversing the journey through the initial phase, the founders realized that there are millions of students across India who are unable to reach their full potential due to lack of affordable financing despite the fact that a huge corpus of scholarship fund is released every year all over the globe to promote education. This motivated the whole team to work towards bridging this unfathomable gap between demand and supply in this space. During a chat with Startup City,Mr Manasvi Singh – Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Buddy4Study speaks about the speaks about, “We wanted to create a product that would help those who wanted to pursue their education but did not have the means and awareness to access the available resources. Keeping in view the current state of largely unorganized scholarship ecosystem in India, we came up with the idea of using technology to our rescue. A robust scholarship search engine was designed where students can not only search for scholarships but also create their profiles, find scholarships that match their profile, apply for all such scholarships and stand a chance to win. Simplification of scholarships was the mantra that we used to build our product. And that is how we got our name, Buddy4Study, a trusted pal that students would count upon for anything and everything related to scholarships in India.We wanted our product to address each and every from a student’s perspective.”
How it is done?
The avant garde concept’s integrated solutionsaim to resolvea myriad of challenges faced by students as well as corporates by establishing a clear connect between them. For students, it can’t get easier. They just need to follow a simple four-step procedure that involves registration, creating the profile, scroll through appropriate scholarships and then students can apply and win scholarships. “The quick and efficient process presents the best-matched or best-fit scholarships before students that they stand a chance to win. All this is done using advanced machine learning, AI and Data Science. Our smart algorithm makes finding that one scholarship out of the hundreds and thousands available online a simple four-step process”, adds Mr. Manjeet Singh – Co-Founder & Chief Executive officer at Buddy4Study. Scholarship providing corporates are aided with giltedge offerings that benefit them with the unique advantage of launching and managing a scholarship without any hassles. Here’s a glimpse:
Scholarship Management Service – A robust technology solution to launch and manage the scholarship program right from promotions, receiving applications, short listing students, informing, scheduling and conducting interviews and fund disbursed to tracking and monitoring growth of scholars.
Student2Scholar Program (S2S) –The program focuses at mobilizing student community to participate in the application of best matched scholarship opportunities is challenging, especially in rural, remotely located or backward segment.
Student Management Panel (SMP) – Despite every effort and initiative of corporate/foundation, there is a limitation to what amount can be funded to deserving needy students. There is a strong case for the students who could not make it or miss the scholarship by a narrow margin. Buddy4Study plays the role of torch bearer to show these students light to the world of other scholarship opportunities available.
Student to Scholar –Thegroundbreaking product aims to measure the impact of the scholarship program with complete visibility. Leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning & data science, it not only tracks the growth of the scholars but also enables companies to track & monitor its CSR initiatives. The academic growth is measured through grade cards and mark sheets uploaded on dashboard.
Providing us more insights on the company’s exclusive portfolio, Mr. Manasvi Singh –says, “While our online scholarship search portal caters to the requirements of the students looking for scholarships, the on-ground team works across the length and breadth of the country to reach out to remotest locations where there is no or limited internet access. Buddy4Study is actively engaged with noted names like L’Oréal India, DLF Foundation, Learning with Vodafone, and Marubeni as a preferred CSR implementation partner in the domain of education. We support these organizations with end-to-end scholarship management services delivering results that are not possible with the regular implementation techniques.”
Spearheading a unique service offering, Buddy4Study has successfully carved a niche for itself in a very short span of time. The company’s peerless strengths have enabled it to stand tall among the rest positioning it uniquely as a leader. Studded with a host of unheard-of benefits for both the consumer spaces, the portfolio further consolidates the company’s leadership in this space. The major differentiators that endow prominence to Buddy4Study’s offerings envelop technology based scholarship search engine, largest pool of verified and curated scholarships, step-by-step application support to students, Tele-support, Email support, SMS subscription for latest scholarships, Emailers for latest scholarships. Here’s a brief look into what enables the company to stand tall among the rest of the players
- Dynamic team of expert professionals hailing from India’s most reputed institutions carrying rich background in entrepreneurship and start-ups
- In-house team for content, media, digital marketing, sales, promotions, on-ground operations, recruitment, telesupportcentre, web design/development, software and programming, application development, testing
- In-house operations team working across 20 states in India
- Latest technology adoption – AGILE implementation in progress
Having travelled a small journey, Buddy4Study has hit several milestones that have been the stepping stones towards moving up the success ladder and achieving what the company envisions. The phenomenal achievements were the launch of Scholarship Management Service (SMS) – a globally acclaimed innovation; Buddy4Study reaching the registered subscriber base of five lakh students who have completed their profiles and were active members; and the launch of Buddy4Study mobile application. Speaking of the achievements, Mr. Singh adds, “In just a few years, we have moved from a small startup to an operationally positive enterprise. We recently rose our Series A funding and are prepared to expand on a global scale. Our growth naturally comes from our 120 strong workforce which is operating across India.”
- Top 2 Edu-Tech Innovative Company Award Globally by Capgemini in Paris June 2017
- Winner of The Best CSR Project Award by India CSR in National CSR Summit in March 2017
- The Best Education Start-up of the Year Award by Indian Education Congress in 2016
- Winner of South Asia & Asia Pacific Manthan Award 2014 (out of 69 teams from 36 countries)
- Top 100 Social Enterprise of 2015 as Action for India Forum in February 2015
- Top 50 Most Innovative IT Product Companies of 2015 as per NASSCOM in October 2015
Unfolding the future
Buddy4Study has obtained a firm footing in the Edu-tech space as one of the fastest growing start-ups space. The company has been following a strategically developed plan towards making education accessible to all students. The multidimensional growth plan focuses on expansion of service portfolio; extending its reach across the globe and building the largest scholarships repository in the world. The company is all set to venture into the financial loans for education segment; this would be another step towards furthering the cause of extending education accessibility to all students.
The leadership behind the success
Manasvi Singh – Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Manasvi is at the helm of corporate affairs at Buddy4Study. An engineering graduate from J.S.S.A.T.E and a Management professional from IMT – Ghaziabad, Manasvi carries rich and diverse experience in both corporate as well as entrepreneurial affairs. He is responsible to lead the organization towards materializing its vision of making education accessible for all. He leads strategic collaborations in B2C and B2B segments with government as well as non-government entities. As Co-founder of Buddy4Study, he has helped the company turn from a start-up to India’s largest technology based scholarship platform.
A marketing maverick, Manasvi is a serial entrepreneur, who has already taken successful exit from his first startup MyOwnSpace after making it a cash cow. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, Manasvi has held Sales & Marketing roles in Vedanta, Emami, PepsiCo and Reebok. An acclaimed start-up mover, he has turned start-ups into successful and established businesses using his skills in Sales & Marketing, People Management and cultivating success stories. Manasvi is well known for his thought leadership and can be consistently seen as speaker in lot of startup workshops.
Manjeet Singh – Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Manjeet is the driving force behind the robust scholarship search engine that Buddy4Study takes pride in. An Engineer from MERI, Kolkata his proven expertise in software technology is the backbone of the portal. Manjeet has been a part of the startup ecosystem and a serial entrepreneur. Manjeet has successfully started, scaled and sold his previous two startups, Elucit and Pinig Tech. Manjeet’s entrepreneurial experience and technology expertise has helped Buddy4Study to scale so fast and keep innovating new products.
Manjeet heads the technology innovation, digital marketing and finance team and diligently works toward the vision of building a platform on which every Indian student, out of 22 crore students, visits at least once in search of scholarships or financial aid.