From August 23 - September 1, 700 young leaders from over 107 countries and territories, along with senior management of over 100 companies are converging in Hyderabad for India’s largest international congregation of young people – the AIESEC International Congress 2010, India. The event will also attract over 45,000 virtual participants to join this one-of-a-kind celebration of youth leadership and diversity.
In the run up to the conference YourStory features entrepreneurs who are AIESEC alumni. Gaboli is a web technology company focused on providing web applications and web related services to the education sector. YourStory spoke to Vineet Jawa who co-founded Gaboli with Ashok Hariharan.
Tell us more about your company.
Gaboli is a web technology company focused on providing web applications and web related services to the education sector. Ashok Hariharan and I started the company in 2008 aiming to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education in India through technology. Gaboli’s pioneering platform – OneSchool brings a fresh collaborative approach for all stakeholders of an institute (students, faculty, alumni, staff, recruiters etc). Also, Gaboli's partner ecosystem provides goods and services specifically targeted for the audience.
Gaboli’s customers have included IIT Bombay, IIM Bangalore (Alumni), ISB Hyderabad, XLRI Jamshedpur, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, AIESEC Alumni Association and several others. Gaboli partners include premier brands such as Microsoft (Live@edu), Financial Times (ft.com), Lodha Developers etc.
What is the scope of your organization? How many people benefit from it, or use its services?
Gaboli is the market leader in alumni management software in India. There are about 10,000 active users of Gaboli OneSchool with about 5000 more in the immediate pipeline. The new products such as the admissions management platform project to have about 1 lakh users by 2011. Gaboli developed bespoke platforms for 2 professional associations which will have an active user base of about 3 Lakh users by early 2011. Gaboli has also offered online marketing services to several education institutes.Gaboli's strength lies in Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms over the web. Furthermore, our understanding of collaboration software, web 2.0 and online user behaviour makes us expert consultants in the sphere of social/ professional networks and social media.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur rather than stick to a regular 9-to-5 job?
After graduating from ISB, I was fortunate to have the experience of working for Tech Mahindra (then it was the pre-IPO company called MBT) and there I was priveleged to work directly for Mr. Sanjay Kalra (currently, CEO - Tech Mahindra), I experienced an entrepreneurial culture which helped grow the company from 4500 people to 25000 in four years. This provided the inspiration to leave my comfortable life in London to come back to India and start afresh. My experience from my AIESEC days gave me the confidence or should I say the ‘insanity’ to make the leap of faith.
What is your vision for your organization for the coming 2 years?
The company will continue to evolve the product suite looking into areas such as distance learning/ online learning. The company is starting to look at international markets as the real growth opportunity lies there. Gaboli is currently evaluating options for strategic investments.
How was your experience with AIESEC?
AIESEC was the largest defining influence in my personal and professional career. I invested 3 years as a volunteer at the local office (during college), 1 year on the management board for AIESEC India and then spent 1.5 years as an AIESEC customer doing a traineeship with Novell in the UK. It provided me an opportunity of leading a volunteer base of 800 people across 11 cities with high growth targets at the age of 21 years. AIESEC took me to over 10 countries and provided an opportunity to interact and work with people from 100 countries.
AIESEC’s culture is progressive and result driven while at the same very focused on sustainable, values – driven management. On average, the members are self starters, articulate and are good team workers.
As a member of the alumni association, this year I am managing the Global Alumni Congress which is on the sidelines of the International Congress in Hyderabad in August. The Congress will focus on entrepreneurship (focusing on social entrepreneurship), business creativity and creating beneficial networks.
With distinguished alumni such as Mrs. Meera Sanyal keenly involved, I’m sure it will turn out to be a great success.