“Our product is innovative as per the dictionary definition of the word – original and advanced form of an idea.”– In talk with Manasvi Singh, Co-founder & Co-CEO, Buddy4Study
Sailing out an organization is not just one job. Your role encircles around a baker’s dozen; leader, storyteller, recruiter, fundraiser, manager, cheerleader, decision maker, analyzer, salesperson, a risk taker and the never-ending list goes on…Being an entrepreneur is hard; but being a young entrepreneur is even harder. Tremendous odds await a young entrepreneur working on ambitious plans. Yet, the significant ones will cover all the hurdles and set up their footprints over the entrepreneurs’ land. Counted among them is Manasvi Singh, for whom success is not just a pipe dream, rather he likes to pursue them and knock the doors of the opportunity all by him. An engineering graduate from J.S.S.A.T.E and a Management professional from IMT – Ghaziabad, Manasvi carries a rich and diverse experience in both corporate as well as entrepreneurial affairs. As a Co-founder of Buddy4Study, he has helped the company turn from a startup to India’s largest technology-based scholarship platform. Catching up with him was a joyful experience. During the interview, he opened up about his promising venture Buddy4study and shared few words over a host of issues in connection with the same.
Here are the edited excerpts…….
It is said that you don’t have to start out as an expert in order to run a successful business. You too proved the words right. Can you share with us the story behind the incorporation of Buddy4Study?
Buddy4Study is a classic ‘garage to success’ startup story. Our humble beginnings started from an apartment rather than a garage. It all started in the year 2011 as a college project. Real growth and traction started from May 2015 when all co-founders came together and realized that millions of students across India are unable to reach their full potential due to lack of affordable financing. On the contrary, there was a huge corpus of scholarship fund available each year which largely remained unutilized. This gave birth to the idea of bridging this unfathomable gap between demand, supply, and awareness of scholarships. 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. With the state of scholarship ecosystem in India which was largely unorganized, we came up with the idea of using technology to our rescue. We came out with a robust scholarship search engine 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.
Buddy4Study is a novel concept. Something like this was never imagined before. What makes this platform stand ahead of the curve?
Our indigenously developed technology based scholarship search engine, our scholarships product portfolio, Massive on-ground reach winged across 20 states across India, the in-house talent of 120+ buddies and media partnership with the largest subscriber base has interwoven together this solitary concept. We are also actively working with numerous state-level governments to meet the objective of ‘Education for all’.
How Buddy4Study is bridging the gap between scholarship seekers and scholarship providers?
Thousands of scholarships are available in India. A large volume of this fund goes unutilized every year. This is primarily due to two reasons:
- Lack of awareness about scholarships
- Lack of support to apply for scholarships
Buddy4Study offers end-to-end solutions to address both these challenges. We enable students across the country to register with us and create their profiles. Based on their profiles, students are presented with best-matched or best-fit scholarships 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. Buddy4Study plays the role of torchbearer to show these students light to the world of other scholarship opportunities available.
For corporations, our products offer the unique advantage of launching and managing a scholarship without any hassles.
As per you, what is the hardest thing about being a CEO.
Finding the right talent is the hardest thing. It is like distinguishing rubies from the reds. You will always find people, but it is difficult to find the right people.
and the best part?
Well, it’s the ability to cultivate leaders of the future and the ability to bring about a change that is not only on papers but is felt across the nation and the ability to impact the lives of millions of students with continuous improvement in our product offerings.
What are the future plans for Buddy4Study?
We stand among the privileged few who have successfully managed to align their life goals both personally and professionally. In the coming five years, we see Buddy4Study as the largest scholarship platform in the world and largest enabler of primary, secondary, and higher education in India.
A word that describes you the best…
An inspiring note
Believe in your idea first, only then others will believe it
Question everything. Do not go by the status-quo. Ask. Challenge. Debate. Discard. Renovate. Innovate. Start Again – but keep doing something until you reach the zenith of success and then do some more.
The organization has crossed many milestones in its successful sprint towards achieving the vision. The outlined moments and milestones include:
- The launch of Buddy4Study’s acclaimed product – Scholarship Management Service (SMS).
- Reaching the registered subscriber base of five lac students
- The launch of the Buddy4Study mobile application.
- 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
- 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.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Manasvi is at the helm of corporate affairs at Buddy4Study. He is responsible to lead the organization towards materializing its vision of making education accessible for all. His early success comes from challenging conventional wisdom and innovating on a level where challenges turn to opportunities and eventually success. A serial entrepreneur and enabler for start-ups, Manasvi has turned startups into profitable and financially sound ventures suing his entrepreneurial ability and management expertise.
Across his career, he has held leadership roles in My Own Space and Vedanta Resources Plc in Sales and Marketing domains.