Surabhi Dewra, Founder, Mera Career Guide (.Com)

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Students often find themselves in a dilemma while making their career decisions, especially when it comes to choosing the right institute for pursuing a course of their choice. Surabhi Dewra’s Mera Career Guide offers solution to perplexed minds. Established in 2008, this unique educational portal acts as a platform to students having queries and confusion about their career. It also enables educational institutes to reach out to their target students. Most students are clueless about why they are learning what they are; some do not even know about the diversity of work role that match their skill set. Lack of opportunities and guidance often leads to students making the wrong choices. Dewra endeavours to bring order to such chaotic situations; she intends to help students get access to good mentors right in their homes.

   

 

“We have student visitors of all age groups posing their queries and concerns regarding their career. Our portal attracted a whopping 50,000 users in the first two months of operation, which explicitly explains that our claim to be one of most dependable in the industry is not an overstatement,” said a confident Dewra.

Unlike the other career and educational websites, Mera Career Guide, which is based in Noida, offers a personalised approach to students’ queries. Students can have an access to information and counselling anytime and from anywhere. “Ours is a need-based approach. We not only help students easily understand how to make the best use of the information they acquire from us, but also ensure that the content we offer is comprehensive and easy to scan,” she added. The portal operates primarily on career decision algorithm and engages students in the process at an early stage to get the benefits of planning ahead. 

When asked why she chose to be an entrepreneur instead of opting for a comfortable 9-5 job, Dewra said it was her passion she pursued and not the idea. For her, doing business was more like a conglomerate of the dreams of the employees and their families. “I well remember the time when I handed out the pay cheque to my team of data operators, included fresh grads. They all had a twinkle in their eyes. Each had their plan to spend the amount in a special way,” she recalled. “When I got my first job offer it felt like an achievement. I want more people to experience this feeling. Besides, education has been my area of interest. Running an educational portal and contributing to shaping the career of hundreds of students gives me immeasurable pleasure,” she asserted.  

However, Dewra’s idea wasn’t to start an independent enterprise single-handedly. She needed a strong team of reliable and ambitious professionals, and that’s what turned out to be the biggest challenge for her — team building. For any start-up, the biggest assets are its founders and its team. To form a team that lives the same dream and has the same passion for the venture as the entrepreneur is a pre-requisite, and Dewra was just lucky. Initially, when the concept had just started taking shape, the priorities of some of the employees started differing. This is when she even started losing confidence. But giving up the venture altogether was never on her mind. Although difficult, Dewra started from scratch re-building a team having complimentary skill sets and matching frequency. Today, hers can be cited as a perfect example of a coordinated group of individuals working as a team. “They are my strength and give a tremendous boost to my morale,’ she says. 

As for the seed capital for the venture, it came from the savings she had set aside while working as a design engineer with a semiconductor company. It was this job that helped her fuel money for product development and other expenses.

The organisation has been recognised a number of times for its work. Dewra was invited as guest delegate for Digital Learning India 2008 Conference, conducted by MHRD to examine the myriad challenges that appear in ICT and education sectors. It also required the guest invitees to share, analyse, assess and create feasible plans for technology-based education with the policy makers of India.

Not that there weren’t times when Dewra didn’t get discouraged, but the thought of giving up the venture never entered her mind. “As an entrepreneur, there are many distractions that can, at times, even crush start-ups. The worst of all are the attractive packages that regular jobs offer to lure potential employees. I knew I had to be focused and undeterred if I wanted to achieve my goals, and here I am,” she said.   

Tips for budding entrepreneurs, “They’re a few motivating lines from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘IF’ : If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same; 

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And - which is more - you'll be a Man!!!

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