India is the second largest country when it comes to the number of engineering graduates who pass out every year, yet some of the reports says that less than 18% of engineering graduates are actually employable. Many experts believe that there exists a huge gape when it comes to the skills and exposure levels of fresh engineering students pass out of colleges. Sarvesh Agrawal from Internshala says, “Lack of awareness and exposure to students about industry is one of the main concerns.” Sarvesh shares some interesting insights about Internshala and his interesting journey so far.
Sarvesh comes from a business background, from a Marwari family from Rajasthan, and the thought of starting something was always on his mind even when he graduated from IIT-Madras. He noticed that there was no one single platform that connected all students to relevant industries for their internships.
He says, “We wanted to be a platform where all your career needs can be fulfilled, right from class 8 till the time you graduate.”
In spite of there being many competitors in this space, right from coaching students to preparing students for competitive exams, he felt that internships was one space where there was no major player.
He says, “Internship was one of the ways where it would help lots of students become employable and they would get some idea of what it is like to work in a company environment. It would also help them make a more informed career choice. Many a time, they graduate from college, based of unrealistic expectations of what job is offered."
What made you take a leap and start Internshala?
I started working on Internshala part-time for about 6 months and, at the same time, a friend of mine, who graduated from IIT-Madras and then went on do MBA from London Business School, was looking for internship in India for one month period; he wanted to intern with some private equity fund which is investing in a particular segment of startups. He could not find any opportunities in India. If somebody with that credential couldn’t find an internship in India, then definitely something was fundamental wrong. I’m sure lots of companies would be happy to take him if they knew about it. That’s when we started focusing completely on this.
Didn’t it feel like a big risk when you quit your high-paying job to start Internshala?
Nope, except the short-term financial risk. If you fail, you anyways have your experience and if at any point, I were to go back to company I was working with, say 3 years down the line, I’m sure they would be happy to take me back in. But if you’re doing a startup, you wouldn’t have the heavy income you would have in a job for the next 2 to 3 years. The far more valuable thing for an entrepreneur is a failed entrepreneur, rather than a successful entrepreneur. The risk is only in the mind and it is only limited.
How do you differentiate yourself from other internship portals?
Clarity of focus, being very clear that we do only internships. We believe that the problem of internships is large enough. We didn’t get into events or scholarships or jobs and this focus helped us get the niche. We are really passionate about the power of internships and it really connects with the audience.
Internshala is also the only portal where we only do paid internships. We said we wouldn’t post an internship on Internshala I wouldn’t feel excited about myself and get tempted to apply for it. If it’s a paid internship, we would publish it, else we wouldn’t publish it on Internshala website, except for the NGOs. So, we were having that clarity of thought, that it's not just focused on internships but focused on quality internships, right from day one.
With a strong focus and determination to deliver best of the internship opportunities for students across the country, we from YourStory wish Sarvesh & their team them all the best for all the success on their road ahead.
You can reach Sarvesh Agrawal on mail.