WonderSkool aims to ‘catch them young’ and help students make more informed career choicesHarshith Mallya
Young people are at an impressionable stage in their lives and need neutral adult guidance to make sound choices. At this age, they often view the world through their own kaleidoscope, and their career choices change daily! In the span of a week, their career goals could swing from astronaut to doctor to researcher. As they grow older their choices narrow down, but many are still confused. This is where WonderSkool steps in: to help students make career choices based on their aptitude and interests.
WonderSkool is an educational startup that assists students to develop insights into various courses and career options. Their pilot program started three years ago with two schools. Now they are working with over 20 schools across North India.
Their flagship program – CAPs (Career Awareness Program) -- has a registered user base of about 5000 students. Recently, at a TiE Charter member dinner in Gurgaon, WonderSkoolwas among the three shortlisted companies that pitched their ideas todifferent charter members for mentoring.
Lalit Kapur, CEO, Mag Studios, agreed to become a mentor for WonderSkool. Bharat Bakhshi, Partner, JacobBallas Capital India Pvt. Ltd.also expressed interest in them.
Team behind it
Prateek Kapoor and Saurabh Gupta were batch-mates while pursuing their MBA from Lal Bhadur Shastri Institute of Management, New Delhi during 2007-2009. During campus placement, both got selected for LibSys, which was in the field of Library Automation.
LibsSys was working on launchinga school management software in 2009. Both Prateek and Saurabh were handed the responsibility for the product launch. It was here that Prateek and Surabh met Abhishek Mittal, who was one of the main developers for the software.
In 2013, they saw a gap in the education market and found that many students did not have the necessary skills and resources to make informed career choices. Saurabh quit his full time job to build WonderSkool. A few years later, Prateek quit his job with Infosys to join the startup. Abhishek currently works with Google and extends his technical support to WonderSkool.
Saurabh, with his five years of experience in the education sector, heads sales and delivery at WonderSkool. Prateek heads marketing, product design, and development. He also looks after recruitment and training, and supervises content creation at WonderSkool. Abhishek functions as the CTO and heads the IT arm and digitization activities.
Career Awareness Programs (CAPs)
WonderSkool offers workshops on career awareness, and one-on-one sessions, and aptitude tests, targeting students from Class 9 to 12.The program has been designed by industry-wide experts.
Class 9 students are offered self-analysis workshops to help students figure out their strengths and weaknesses.Whereas Class 10 students are given workshops on optimum stream selection and aptitude testing.
Class 11 and 12 students are offered more in-depth workshops and are guided through fifty odd career choices.
Wonder Skool’s newsletter, ‘WonderCareers’ features insights and opinions from educators, career experts, corporate heads, and academicians. It is given complimentary to those who sign up for CAPs.
‘The purpose of the newsletter, being in line with our company`s aim, is to spread career awareness.It will also help the students in setting their mindset and outlook in such a way that they can take more rational and informed decisions for their future.’ says Prateek.
Business Model and Future Plans
WonderSkool has a B2C business model and they charge the end user, the students for their services. Initially schools were not open to their educational approach, but are now warming up. Word of mouth marketing from schools, referrals and direct marketing have helped WonderSkool spread the word about their services.
The education sector is growing in India and many startupsare trying to make a ‘dent’ in this sector, and make the lives of students easier and clutter free. Some of these include SlideRule, Gyan Lab, Embibe and SimpliLearn, Function Space, ThinkVidya, Mapmytalent, Mera Career Guide etc. WonderSkool already has a presence in the North and plans to explore the South, and other parts of the country.
They are also working on a career portal, which is currently in beta stage, They are also planning to on starting a digital version of their newsletter and offering aptitude tests online.