This edtech startup is helping young, passionate individuals pursue their field of interest
Co-founded in 2013, MyCaptain enables students to dream by helping them with courses curated by industry experts.
When Mohammed Zeeshan, Sameer Ramesh, Ruhan Naqash, and Fatema Hussein, were sitting in their hostel room the night before their exam, an idea struck. Pondering over how lost students were about their career goals, this group of 20-something individuals decided to make a difference by encouraging students to follow their dreams and pursue offbeat careers drawn out of passion.
Co-founded in 2013,emerged as the online mentoring platform where young achievers from across the globe, specializing in their respective fields, apply to mentor school and college students in topics of their interest.
Find your inner calling
MyCaptain enables students to dream by helping them with courses curated by industry experts. The platform provides beginner to advanced live and online cohort-based courses in 35 different professions ranging from design to copywriting, content, entrepreneurship, finance, and the stock market, even foraying out to the creative fields like filmmaking, photography, creative writing, and more.
“Students in India are often confused about their career choices, where passion and interest take a backseat. While they are seeking career opportunities other than medical, law, and engineering, they don’t have the platform to learn skills or take the first step towards progression. MyCaptain strives to solve this problem with the courses it offers”, says Zeeshan, the co-founder and CEO at MyCaptain.
Visitors hitting the MyCaptain site usually opt for four to five courses at an average. Thestartup also offers internships and job opportunities, while integrating the users into a community of learners.
“MyCaptain enables its users to learn at their own pace or follow the structure. Thus, the amalgamation of both the learning methods makes it a prominent name in the industry,” adds Zeeshan.
However, every success story has its share of obstacles and MyCaptain was no exception. The startup struggled with taking live classes during 2014-15 due to poor bandwidth but gradually overcame the challenge with large penetration of the internet.
Besides, the courses formulated by MyCaptain were specifically thought to be meant for the privileged children emerging from Tier I and Tier II cities. However, with the maturing of the societal mindset and the evolution of various careers, today MyCaptain witnesses almost 70 percent of its students emerging from Tier III and Tier IV cities, and even beyond that.
‘Indianising’ a western concept
MyCaptain was trying to solve a problem that was quite westernised in its form. “Pursuing passion as a career option is perceived to be quite a westernised thought process and to make it relevant for the Indian audience base, the .in domain made more sense,” says Zeeshan.
The .in domain helped to build trust and relevance regarding the kind of concept the startup was trying to put up. So, it became more approachable, especially in the Tier II and Tier III cities. Besides, Zeeshan also feels that the .in domain gives an edge to budding entrepreneurs in competing with larger corporations. “The whole sentiment around the Make in India concept gets a massive advantage and is a good strategy for any budding brand to bank upon,” he says.
The National Internet Exchange for India (NIXI) is helping many businesses across the country to get a .in or .Bharat domain. Enterprises irrespective of their scale and size can avail a .in domain with the help of NIXI. It is affordable and can be availed in more than 22 languages for businesses coming from all regions of the country.
Growth and revenue
What started with training 70-80 students a month in 2015, has now increased to 12,000 students per month. In enabling students to work towards their alternate careers, MyCaptain has recorded almost 1.8 lakh of enrollments in the various courses offered. Starting from four courses, today the platform includes almost 45 courses, changing passion and hobbies into careers.
2019 saw revenue growth of Rs 4.8 crore, resonating to Rs 10.9 crore the last year, completely bootstrapped without the help of any external investments. That was a remarkable achievement that marked sales and growth even amid the pandemic. In the next two years, MyCaptain intends to launch 300 more courses that will facilitate both placements for jobs and freelance opportunities. “We are anticipating that in the next 10 years, almost 100 million people will emerge and opt for careers in the digital space, content area, and similar domains, and we want to play a vital role in crafting that,” concludes Zeeshan.
The ‘Shaping India Inc's Online Growth’ series chronicles the journeys of startups and SMEs in India and how creating an online presence on the .in or .Bharat domain powered their success stories.