“MBASkool.com aims to be the most comprehensive online portal for MBA graduates and business professionals” says Entrepreneur Manmeet Sabharwal, in a conversation with YourStory.in
So Manmeet, tell us about MBASkool?
MBASkool is an online knowledge portal for MBA students and business professionals. It’s a knowledge bank containing management documents, business articles, latest advertisements and also a discussion forum, to create a community to study, learn and share concepts of management and business.
How are you different from other such portals?
Almost all the MBA sites in India target the MBA aspirants and assist them in competitive exams like CAT, GMAT etc. However, we at MBASkool target the MBA Students who are already in B-Schools and also professionals who need information on management. There are a few sites that target MBA students, but they are not well maintained or the content is not freely available. We provide all the content free of cost to students and most of the content is generated by students themselves. The other differentiator is the quality of content. MBASkool team follows a process of approving every article or document uploaded by people to ensure that quality is maintained. Most websites don't keep a eye on the content because of auto-approval system.
Whats the story behind starting up MBASkool?
The idea came up when we as MBA Students didn’t come across a dedicated site which could help us in our studies or clarifying doubts. Also there was nothing which connected us with other B School students for studies, doubts or references. So we came up with the idea of a website which would address all the above issues. It took some time for us to sort out certain things like content, design, functionality etc. but once we had an idea of the future product, we were pretty focused on delivering a quality product to the audience.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I am an MBA with engineering background. I completed my MBA in 2010. I have experience in technology firms like Oracle, HP, and TCS. The MBASkool team loves technology. We want to use it in shaping the business education in India and other countries.
Can you share some stats with us to illustrate the acceptance of your idea?
There is a lot of acceptance to our idea and website. Our registered user base has already crossed the 2000 mark in just 4 months of launch and also we have seen around 13000 document downloads. All content on the site is maintained by various students. Our Facebook page is already reaching 5000 likes in such short time.Where do you see your start up five years from now?
We aim to be the most preferred destination for B school students, as well as business professionals for all their needs. In the coming years, we would like to collaborate with premier B schools helping the students across B schools to share their academic work with fellow students from other B schools. There is hardly any platform that supports this. Moreover, the students from not so popular B schools are always deprived of quality academic content and opportunities. Mbaskool aims to facilitate the sharing of academic content by providing a platform. The vision over the coming years is to become integral part of any B school student's life for all their academic needs.
Whats your revenue model?
MBASkool’s current revenue model is earning through general purpose ads that are currently being served. All the content and documents available on the website are free. Currently the idea is to make it a preferred online destination for MBA students and business professionals. Going forward we plan to start selling space on the website for advertising to corporates on a fixed Pricing Model. We have already initiated talks with a few corporate on this. The revenue earned would be used to make site better, more interactive and richer in content. The website is bootstrapped as of now. We co-founder’s were able to handle first round of funding which involved IT infrastructure and advertising expenses.
How big is your team? Are you looking at hiring?
We are a team of 4 Co-founders. We work equally towards the content and issues related to the site. All four of us are friends and we share roles equally ranging from finance to marketing and technical to logistics. We are looking to hire interns in coming months. We are also looking for Content managers/developers and web developers for the website.
Let us know about your expansion plans.
We are planning for B School events through corporate tie-ups in the near future. We are also planning to interview some leaders from the world of business whom the students look up to. In addition to this we are thinking of expanding the brand in the mobile space. Seeing the growth of iPhones and the androids, it’s the right time to enter the space and take our brand forward.
Anything else that you want to tell us?
We have been able to reach out to an audience of around 7000 people comprising of 2100+ registered users and over 4800 Facebook fans. The most popular sections on our website have been the documents and the articles sections. These sections have been highly appreciated with people contributing regularly. We have very good response from India which is our primary target audience and also from USA and Europe.