We’ve all been students. How often has one wondered, “Maybe I made the wrong career choice? I would have been better off as a XYZ?" And all those times, we wish we could’ve had someone to guide us through our education process, someone who could’ve told us about all the options we had at each stage. Well, Careermitra might've helped us there!The Beginning
Careermitra.com is an online career and education portal with information on schools, colleges, courses and various career options. Their goal is to be a student driven educational resource with reviews, discussions, current education news and trends. They receive this vital information from press releases, research by their team of content developers, users and occasionally, education authorities.
With over 10,000 fans on Facebook, CareerMitra has gained a lot of popularity in just 15 months, since its inception in December 2010. The idea came about when graduates, for the most part, were faced with a shaky market in 2010. “I had thought that most people would be interested to go for higher studies, job oriented courses, PG courses or prepare for government jobs. My idea was to start a monthly career and education magazine, providing information on various career opportunities. After studying the feasibility of the project, we decided to work on an online model,” said Srikanth Krishna, Founder, Careermitra.com.
The Founding Team
The founding team of Careermitra comprises, apart from Srikanth, his younger brother Rajesh Kumar and his wife, Sirisha. Srikanth is an engineering graduate from JNTU, Hyderabad and an MBA graduate from Marshall University, USA. He was a part of naukri.com’s corporate sales team. Rajesh is a post graduate in Computer Science with a bachelor’s degree from NIT, Warangal, and a master’s degree from Texas University. He has worked for Strand Life Sciences, Bangalore. His knowledge on open source technologies (Ex: PHP) were a huge asset in building Careermitra’s online platform. Sirisha is an Engineering graduate in Computer Science from JNTU, Hyderabad. She has worked for several companies in the past and plays the role of an angel investor.
“At present the online portals are concentrated at providing information for higher education. Our aim is to serve users who are looking for courses or information from the +2 level onwards; we also have quality content for students below the +2 level (information on schools). Our strength will always be our friendly approach and a quick response to user queries. Our UI is neatly laid out and our content can be consumed very easily,” says Srikanth.
Market and Revenue Models
“We get 80% of our traffic through search engines. Having a strong Facebook community also drives us traffic. Our articles are indexed in Google News. We don't believe in paid traffic, one can't buy traffic forever. Our focus is to write content that has current relevance to users. There have been instances when we have prepared articles, kept them in our drafts and published them as soon as an announcement has been made,” said Srikanth.
Careermitra’s initial revenue model was to sell ad inventory and premium listings on the site, but that hasn’t worked for them so far. Currently, they rely on lead generation and advertisers pay them on a per lead basis. They also conduct events; Bangalore Business School Event, to be held on the 31st of March 2012, is one such upcoming event. Such events add to their revenue.
Takeaways from Careermitra
According to Srikanth, the younger generation will depend a lot on the Internet since a lot of things have moved online. For example, there are no physical forms available this year, for important examinations like AIEEE, AIPMT, etc. The online mode will be the only route to apply for examinations and jobs (even in PSUs). But students prefer offline exams over online exams as per their poll reports; possible reasons could be fear of technical failures in the examination system. Most of their traffic is for Medical and Engineering education. They receive lot of queries on School listings on a daily basis, asking for admission dates; their efforts, he said, will be placed in this vertical as well.
Access to funds or resources will always be a challenge for any start up. “We are boot strapped and sometimes we have to simply watch a new product launched by our competitor and feel sad that our resources don’t allow counteracting. Managing with limited resources or funding is a tough challenge and we are confident we will overcome this soon!” says Srikanth.
- Meghna Chhabria