Founded in 2021 by Neeraj Agarwal, Mumbai-based education technology startup Insciple helps students pursue their passion and make the right career choices.
The past two years have been nothing short of revolutionary when it comes to the field of educational technology. There is an educational app/website/service for any purpose under the sun. Hence, in order to stand out, one has to offer something truly unique. That’s exactly what Mumbai-based education technology startup Insciple is doing. Founded in 2021 by Neeraj Agarwal, this platform helps students to pursue their passion and make the right career choices. In a conversation with the Sunday Guardian, Agarwal talks about his vision and all that Insciple has to offer. Excerpts from an edited interview:
s. Hello and congratulations on launching your own education technology platform! We would like to know about your trip so far.
a. Hello thank you! I have an MA from the London School of Economics (LSE) and worked for 12 years in two different industries – Banking and Media, before I started Insciple. In the field of education technology in India, there has been a huge focus on e-learning, either helping students prepare for a competitive exam or learning new courses. But there is a lot that needs to be done to help students find their true passion and make the right career choices. This is Inciple’s focus. We try to solve two main problems students face today while making career-related decisions:
Lack of access to career support – A lot of schools in India do not have career counselors.
Lack of access to industry perspectives Many students do not have access to professionals with experience in their chosen field for career counseling, and therefore lack an understanding of industry requirements. Many students also make career decisions on the advice of family and friends and thus miss out on many job opportunities.
By connecting teens with industry-experienced professionals for one-to-one career advice across fields, Insciple helps students gain experienced perspectives and make informed career decisions. The average work experience of a consultant on the Insciple platform is ten years and they are all graduates of reputable universities. Teens today are very sharp and have diverse interests. Hence, by knowing the pros and cons of each field, they can create a well-planned career roadmap for themselves.
Q: How do you help your students achieve their personal goals?
a. I believe that every student’s journey is unique. Each student has unique aspirations and unique skill sets. Therefore, Insciple offers only one-on-one counseling, which allows the relevant industry professional to assess and guide students’ aspirations and skill set accordingly.
Q: What diverse areas have you covered so far?
a. We have covered traditional topics like medicine, finance, etc., but also more offbeat ones like motorsports management, tech journalism, sustainability, public policy, social impact management etc.
We have advisors in different countries so that if students have global career aspirations, they can receive needed guidance as well as industry perspectives.
We have also covered a lot of creative fields like music, photography, graphic design, etc. Both mentors are highly regarded professionals in their respective fields. They have all made a name for themselves in their chosen field and many of them work in reputable companies like Netflix, Accor Group of Hotels, Tiktok Singapore, etc.
Q: How did you come up with the name?
a. The story of the name is interesting – I coined it myself! At Insciple, we focus on teens because I firmly believe that 13-19 year olds are formative years when they need the right career guidance. This led to the name Insciple, which refers to an emerging leader, someone who shows early signs of leadership.
s. What aspects of the platform are most appreciated by users?
a. I think what students at Insciple love most is the aspect of direct consultation with an industry expert; One-on-one consultations offering a personalized experience; As well as sharp industry prospects.
Students can better connect with an industry expert for career guidance because when they share their journey, it instantly resonates with the student. This is what builds trust and reliability. In addition to big cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata, students from smaller cities like Vadodara, Aligarh and Jaipur have also tried our platform.
s. What challenges have you faced in establishing yourself in the highly competitive field of educational technology?
a. We are an educational technology startup. It’s been less than five months since I started working full time on this idea. The challenges we face are typical of an early start. However, I believe that even if the field of education technology is overly competitive, there is enough room and more for everyone’s boat because there is a huge demand. India has a very large number of young people. One of the biggest learnings for us was awareness of what students and parents want. This understanding is very important, and will help us on our journey to build a platform that teens will find useful in their careers.
I will share with you the most recent events as an interesting example. There was a psychology student, he called us saying he wanted to be the next Heavy Metal or Metallica singer! But he was also keen to have a sustainable livelihood to support his family. We hooked him up with the music composer for the Netflix series for career consulting and advised him to get a master’s degree in audio engineering so he could find a job at a music studio later and work on his passion. The student was pleased with this advice. At Insciple, we believe all careers should be pursued. What is needed is the right guidance.
Q: What is your vision for this platform?
a. My vision is to grow Insciple into a trustworthy professional advisory platform for teens. Whether it is any professional advice, a student should be able to find it in Insciple. Our platform is built on the firm belief that if they are mentored by industry experts, students will be able to make better career decisions.
Q: How does one sign up for Insciple?
a. Students can register through our website insciple.com, browse through advisors’ profiles, and request an appointment. A 30-minute video consultation is priced in the range of Rs. 2000 to Rs. 4000, depending on the industry expert profile.
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