After helping students, here’s why career counselling startup Brainwonders is targeting corporates

Career counselling startup Brainwonders uses technology to help identify the inherent talent of children so they can know their options and also helps corporates in picking the right talent.
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Aptitude and attitude need to go hand in hand to create a successful career – and things can change completely If one can learn about these qualities earlier.

This is the mission that the Mumbai-headquartered career counselling company Brainwonders is working towards as it looks to guide individuals – students, professionals, or corporates - on their inherent aptitude.

Founded in 2011 by Manish Naidu, Brainwonders started off with educational institutes to help students to identify their real aptitude and attitude.

Manish also had a personal interest when his daughter was born in 2008 and he was quite keen to understand her natural aptitude, skills, and ability.

He says for parents it is quite difficult for them to figure out what are the inherent talent in their children so that they could provide the necessary support to nurture these skills.

“Parenting is one of the toughest jobs and there is no written manual for this anywhere,” he remarks.

Fingerprint mapping

Brainwonders employs the Dermatoglyphics Multiple Intelligence Test (DMIT), which was developed by Prof Lin Ruei Bin as the most effective to map a person’s brain. The company has also acquired the master franchisee of this platform for India.

Prof Bin is a pioneer in this field and developed this platform at Well Gene Science Lab in Malaysia along with Prof Chen Yi Mou from Harvard University. It has also got an US patent.

In DMIT, fingerprints of an individual are taken using a scanner. A report is then generated with complete details of the client's personality, strengths, weaknesses, and potential. 

According to the claim made by Brainwonders, research suggests 85 percent accuracy for this approach, which is considered more effective than any psychometric test.

Manish says, “Counselling done on the basis of fingerprint reports gives a clearer picture to students to choose career options based on their abilities and skill sets.”

Brainwonders started to approach schools, proposing that the DMIT approach would give a better understanding of students even in the age group of four to seven years.

Parents also undertake the test, given the genetic connection, which helps in better mapping of a child’s inherent talent. Interestingly, many parents were keen to take this test when students reach Class XI or XII.

The question is how consistently one can nurture inborn talent in children.

“When the divide comes between nature and nurture, the former should always take precedence,” says Manish, adding, “Every child is a genius or prodigy till you work on it.”

After the DMIT report is out, the team of psychologists at Brainwonders provides counselling (to students or teachers) on the best career options.

Today Brainwonders claims to be engaged with more than 1,200 educational institutions across the country across various boards. Some of the educational institutions, it has collaborated with are Jamnabai Narsee School, Don Bosco High School (Matunga), St . Xaviers English High School and junior college etc.

Manish says the startup has mapped 671 careers across 11,000 colleges and 13,000 courses. This is done to drive home the point that “there are rewarding careers outside of medicine or engineering”.

Corporate focus

The startup is now looking at scaling operations by tapping into the corporate space.

“A lot of corporates have approached us for their talent acquisition programmes and this has happened largely due to word of mouth,” Manish says.

This may not happen via the DMIT method as there are “other tools and methodologies available with Brainwonders to map one’s career”.

“We provide scientific inputs that help individuals take that decision or take away any random element that would lead to rash decision making,” Manish says.

The founder strongly believes that it is the corporate segment where one can make a lot of difference, and has been approached by specific industries like BFSI or retail to help them “devise a methodology to identify the right talent aligned with their sector”.

It claims to have engaged with more than 90 corporates and done over 350 employee engagement programmes. It has also mapped 23 educational streams to 91 industries, which can actually help in identifying skills early on. Among the corporates, it has partnered with include HDFC Bank, Aditya Birla Capital, NSDL etc.

Brainwonders was founded as a bootstrapped venture and it follows a franchisee model to extend the reach of its DMIT platform.

What’s in the future?

The career counselling industry in India faces numerous challenges. Most often than not, people take a negative view when someone approaches a career counsellor. Parents are also often more keen that their children follow a certain path.

The career counselling market in India is still nascent but growing as there is a shortage of trained counsellors as against market requirements. There are other players in the market such as Mindler, Brain Checker, Collegepond etc.

“There is a strong bias among parents wanting to live their dreams through their children,” Manish says.

Brainwonders has been growing at an average of 10-12 percent annually and Manish believes the potential is still large as it is an untapped market.

The startup has a team size of around 60 people, with the majority of them being psychologists.

More than a decade on, Brainwonders’ continues on its mission: to help corporates hire people who are best suited to them and assist children in identifying their talent early on.

“There are a lot of success stories that are built around emotional intelligence rather than IQ,” Manish says.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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