Sundeep Mahajan: NoteHall India, Students earn and learn by sharing study material

Team YS
8th Apr 2011
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It’s a proven fact that students learn better from each other, or at least NoteHall America has proven this. The theory and trend of giving students access to a wider range of educational material like lecture notes, class documents, class notes and study guides supplied by other students is the basic business idea behind NoteHall India. Students can buy and sell their study material to mutual benefit.

NoteHall India is owned by Sundeep Mahajan who bought the right to it from NoteHall America. He studied at Rutgers University and has a degree in Finance and Economics. NoteHall India has 83 colleges at the moment( including Delhi University, Amity, JIMs, and Symbiosis Pune) with numbers expected to reach 500 plus by the end of the year.

YourStory spoke to Sundeep about how this concept has been adapted in the Indian market and what entrepreneurship means to him.

How would you explain the Notehall India business idea in about three sentences? Notehallindia.com(http://www.notehallindia.com/) is an online document marketplace that enables college students to buy and sell class notes online. NoteHall India gives students access to a wider range of educational material via internet and social networking from fellow students. Serving as a motivational factor for our business, we have found that by letting college students supply additional study materials such as lecture notes, class documents, class notes and study guides to the marketplace, our website is able to enrich the academic success of students by helping them score better on tests, quizzes, exams and earn some money on the side.

How is Notehall India different from other online education forums?

NoteHall India Founder

Notehall India is different from other online education sites due to the fact that this concept is very new to the education Sector. Notehall India allows student-to-student interaction for exchange of class notes online. There are no other online sites that allow a student to be able to sell his or her organic notes/study guides. Notehall India is the future of e-learning for students across the country.How did the idea for Notehall India come about?

Notehall India came about by watching a television show where entrepreneurs presented their product for funding in America (Refer Notehall.com). It was a running business and I approached them for expanding their footprint to India, they agreed, and now Notehall India is here.

Tell us about your background before entrepreneurship?

I am born and brought up in New Jersey, USA, my parents are both of Indian decent. I have been coming to India since I was a kid, and the love for India grew as time passed. I always had aspirations to one day come back and pursue a business. I graduated in Finance and Economics from Rutgers University, I have been working since the age of 15 and now I am pursuing the entrepreneur in me. Some of the companies that I worked for include: Cisco, SAIC, AT&T, Wells Fargo, British Telecom.

Who do you have tie-ups with? Has the business model done well in its Indian avatar?

We have academic and business advisors from USA in prestigious colleges and companies including: Global Consulting Practicum, Wharton School of Business, Startl, LexisNexis, Digg.com, The Blackstone Group. We have also been recognized and featured in: Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur Magazine. The model has been widely accepted in 80+ colleges in America and is growing at an exponential rate.The acceptance in India is also increasing, as graduates, and senior students we approach ask us "Why didn’t you come a few years ago" We have in 2 months 500 + registrations, and 500% increase in our site traffic.

Where do you see online document marketplaces and Notehall India five years from now?

I see Notehall India in every major city in every major college. We will also be adding additional educational services to help students during their college years.

What is Notehall India's revenue model?

Good One, That's like asking me how Sachin hits a century every match. We make money by selling notes and site advertisements.

What joy does entrepreneurship bring to you? What are the challenges?

My joys are coming to India and pursuing my entrepreneur side in the country of my ancestors and fulfilling a childhood dream of starting a business in India. The joy of doing something new and constructive everyday is a great feeling. I am also educating and enabling students on new technologies not available in India as of now. The challenges I face are introducing a concept that doesn’t exist and gaining the trust of students.

How big is the Notehall India team? Who are its key members? Are you looking at hiring?

We are a team of 14 people in 2 months. Alex Chaney, our CTO, is also the President of Never 2 Funky, Project Manager of Biometrics project for NYC, AT&T Senior Unix Support for US East Backbone. Girish Agarwal, Notehall India Manager, worked at Coach, hold Oracle certifications, and has a passion for the education industry. Aditya Nayan, our Business Development Manager, currently pursuing IILM in BSc Honors Marketing. Yes we are looking to hire, all cv's can be mailed to jobs@notehallindia.com. In particular we are looking for Interns in Delhi, and Pune.

Are you expanding to other cities?.

Our expansion plans are to go to Pune later this and offer Notehall India services to the college students.

How many colleges use your services and what have students gained?

We are at 83 colleges now(including Delhi University, Amity, JIMs, and Symbiosis Pune). We hope to be at 500 + colleges by the end of this year. Students in the USA have made USD $500,000 by selling class notes in 2010. Students are expected to make over $1,000,000 selling class notes and study guides over the next two years.

YourStory wishes Sundeep success with NoteHall India and hopes to see more entrepreneurial efforts from him. To share, buy or sell study material go tohttp://notehallindia.com/. Give us your opinion on this story at feedback@yourstory.in

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