College years are the most memorable years of one’s life. While it is not rare to see college friends come together and start a new business. Educational institutions many a times face the challenge of keeping a tab on its alumni spread far and wide. But not anymore! Startup, AlumClub helps education institution to manage its alumni network — through both subscription and paid services and now these institutions can completely outsource its alumni management. It’s very similar to the managed services outsourcing model followed by the technology companies.
Viveck P Kumar started AlumClub out of sheer passion to create a product that could affect people’s lives. Kumar is a ‘product guy’ with nearly a decade of experience, of which eight years has been in internet product management with eBay and SAS. He is assisted by Suresh Bandanadam, the techie with a similar experience at IBM and the pedigree of IIT M. Prateek Jain is the sales guy who’s worked with HCL and is an alumnus of VlerickBusinessSchool.
Some of the key services that AlumClub offers include creation of alumni database, subsequent management of volatile data, managing alumni interactions (during placements, curriculum design, admissions, etc) and monetizing the alumni database (through jobs and merchandising thereby creating additional revenue sources for the institutions). Product and service portfolio will also be created for managing alumni relation which can be further monetized.
The AlumClub platform has been built in an integrated manner and can function both online and offline so that creating, managing and leveraging alumni becomes easy for the institutions that generally lack adequate human resources and capabilities. Currently the startup have three clients — XIMR, NL Dalmia, and IIT B and hope to touch 8,000 users in a month’s time.
Kumar says developing a market in this segment is a long term game and needs extraordinary patience and emotional endurance. “Each tier of institution is fraught with its problems. For instance, while a Tier 1 institute can’t raise endowments on a constant and consistent basis, the Tier 2 one doesn’t have adequate or recent alumni data. Given the problems, the solution will evolve over a period of time,” says Kumar. Talking about the market opportunity of their business, Kumar says that AlumClub was alone when they started, but now knows of 12 companies who have jumped into the fray.
As far as scale is concerned, there are three dimensions that AlumClub would like to explore: scale into other customer segments such as corporate & professional organizations; scale in depth by innovating constantly and scale into geography, the immediate target being the Asia Pacific region. AlumClub also plans to introduce — AlumShop, to sell merchandise of the institution; AlumJobs, to allow companies to advertise to the alumni database; AlumEd, a continuous education initiative that will help alumni to do capsule courses; AlumPay, financial assistance for alumni and AlumEvents, which will be sponsored event for alumni.
Kumar feels it is very essential for any kind of business to make a social impact and AlumClub has already started making a difference. For one of its clients, AlumClub helped fill their management quota for an underprivileged kid by enrolling the maid’s daughter of the alumnus. “This is a transformation for the entire family & its generations ahead. Stories like these keep us going,” says Kumar.
Feel the need to get your alumni network aligned? Check out AlumClub!