Edtech startup Perspectico helps students gain perspective on career choicesNeha Jain
Backed by Delhi University, Perspectico offers career aspirants first-hand perspectives from industry experts through podcasts, mentoring sessions, and interview training.
At a glance
Founders: Nikhil Chainani
Year it was founded: 2017
Where it is based: Delhi-NCR
Problem it solves: Career planning and counselling
Funding raised: Strategic investments from Delhi University’s incubation centre
What if you’re not happy in your job? Is it possible that you’re in the wrong career entirely? The career choice is a common conundrum most students face.
Nikhil Chainani, 22, identified with the struggle and experience – he’d been there, done that while at college, during placements, and his entrepreneurial stint while at college. To help youngsters make better and more informed decisions, and to get them job ready, Nikhil decided to set up Perspectico.
“While in college, it was a struggle to evaluate my career choices. Should I continue with studies or take up a job? If I choose the latter, which sector to enter, what of the job profile, and then the company? The former isn't easy as it meant choosing between CAT or GMAT for a management graduate like me,” Nikhil recalls.
After talking to a lot of people, Nikhil realised that everyone gave him “biased” advice. At coaching centres, he was made to believe that higher studies was the only option; with “middle-aged” career counsellors, he felt a disconnect.
That’s when he decided to form an organisation that helped students interact with people from relevant fields to give them “unbiased perspective”.
“On a cold winter morning in December 2014, I brought together a group of people from the corporate industry and also some people from Harvard Business School, Indian School of Business – Hyderabad, and IIM-B to discuss about jobs and MBA. It turned out to be a big hit with 70 students turning up. It was with almost no marketing, but they were there to attend an interaction with relevant people,” Nikhil says.
Contangrow to Perspectico
That was his first session – held under the name of Contangrow. The community soon grew and garnered over 60,000 likes on Facebook. He soon began to conduct sessions in colleges and schools for free.
“I always believe that advice given by a peer is much better than from someone who has been in the industry for 20-30. The right guide should be someone fairly new and aware of the challenges that the seeker might face,” he says.
During the same time, he started working for an Investment Banking firm, Nomura in Mumbai. However, he quit that in 2017 and decided to start Perspectico, which provides placement preparation and career growth-focused training to students.
The Perspectico platform aims to resolve two problems for students: what a particular career path entails, and how to clear interviews at your preferred companies. It has modules in wide areas of subjects such as finance, consulting, marketing, and technology.
Nikhil explains, “Our workshops/podcasts of experts in relevant fields of business on their experience in interviews help. They answer important questions like ‘What did the interviewer ask? What was he expecting from me? How does a stress interview work?’ and more. Essentially these are all the questions a student would like to ask a peer who just came out of an interview panel, but in a much more organised and detailed fashion.”
The in-person sessions offers a spectrum of information on wide-ranging topics in interview training through carefully designed modules targeting a certain type of audience, their needs, strengths, and weaknesses. It also has blog posts and content for job aspirants.
Perspectico has tied up with various placement cells, college placement cells, coaching institutions, placement agencies, and companies in Delhi-NCR for offline workshops.
It currently has a team of 10 employees and over 50 ambassadors who help in mentoring.
Backed by experts
Nikhil holds a management degree from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies and also is an AFP (Associate financial Planner) certified by FPSB, US.
The core team of Perspectico includes three other Co-founders and Mentors - Dhruva Acharya, Ishita Verma, and Ojas Vipat. Dhruva is also the Founder of Rockstays, an online travel and experience booking platform. He has over 10 years of experience and is also an advisor to and an investor in various early stage start-ups. He holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and a B Tech degree from IIT-Delhi.
Ishita is also the founding partner at Nova Growth Partners and an investment banker with expertise across both public and private equity markets. Prior to founding Nova, she headed the financial services sector practice at Unitus Capital. She holds an MBA from the IIM-B and a BA (Honors) in economics from the Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University.
Ojas, meanwhile, is a strategy, analytics and product management professional with expertise in digital consumer products. He has worked extensively in product development, strategy, design, monetisation, and analytics. He holds a B Tech in aerospace engineering from IIT-Mumbai.
“I value their opinion and their perspective, and it was very easy to align them with my idea. They understood the gap and agreed to help me with it. They are fellow shareholders in the company,” Nikhil says.
Perspectico invites industry experts from companies such as Nomura, HSBC, Kotak, GenNext Ventures, Deloitte, Xander Private Equity, and Unitus Capital to conduct sessions with students.
Since starting in August 2017, Perspectico has conducted over 10 offline sessions with a footfall of over 50 students in each session. It charges a fee of Rs 1,500 per student for every session and increases the fee depending on the depth of information and analysis given.
Perspectico has been funded by the Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS) innovation and incubation cell (SIIF), an outcome of Incubation Policy from Government of NCT, Delhi.
The education sector in India is poised to witness major growth in the years to come as India will have world’s largest tertiary-age population and second largest graduate talent pipeline globally by the end of 2020. The education market in India is currently valued at $100 billion and is expected to nearly double to $180 billion by 2020.
A recent Bloomberg News analysis stated that India is likely to have the world’s largest workforce by 2027, with a billion people aged between 15 and 64 years.
There are a clutch of startups like Career360, Careerfunda, YoungBuzz, SarvGyaan, iDreamCareer, and others that are operating in the same career counselling space.
Talking about the differentiator, Nikhil says, “Being an unbiased source of information coupled with the most honest perspective from a relevant network of mentors and experts is what sets us apart.”
In the near future, he plans to conduct more sessions and webinars, and scale to other locations and cities.