This entrepreneur is creating a forum for students seeking assistance with school-work

This entrepreneur is creating a forum for students seeking assistance with school-work

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

426 week ago — 7 min read

Invariably, most startups emerge out of predicaments faced by the founding team. While some individuals are merely concerned with solving the problem incumbent upon them, others with an entrepreneurial bent of mind, view it as a business challenge and an opportunity to set right, something that is gravely amiss. These are people with a transformational outlook towards day-to-day issues, the ones who serve as an inspiration to the many others who wish to tread the dangerous yet extremely rewarding and satisfying path of blazing one’s own trail.

Vivek Srivastava is one such enterprising individual. Very early, he realised that coping with the demands of his daughter’s homework was a cause of tremendous stress to his family. Out of this predicament, SchoolPeer, an online student query resolution system was born.

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), he (Vivek) shares the origins of his venture. This video further reinforces his amazing business journey.

 

GL: Tell us about your business & how you started?

Vivek: SchoolPeer is a youth-oriented portal and an off-shoot of the parent company, ‘Growth Vision Consulting’. The concept of the portal is to create an ecosystem where students, teachers, schools and parents can join hands to create a platform for class-work assistance as well as to bring out entrepreneurial and leadership skills among today’s youth.

I am the co-founder along with P.R. Venkitesh & Deepika Srivastava.  Venkitesh handles operations and is responsible for getting more schools on board.  He is also the go-to man for ensuring that the potential of the portal is maximized. Deepika, who has prior experience in the education sector, handles the sales and marketing functions. We were colleagues during our stint at Airtel and have since joined hands to launch this innovative portal.

The inception of SchoolPeer can be traced back to when my wife and I were struggling to keep pace with our daughter’s issues with her home-assignments, resulting in undue stress.  This led me to start thinking of a solution to alleviate this problem and the rest, as they say, is history!

Our initial efforts were restricted to Whatsapp & Facebook groups for the entire class wherein we encouraged students to come forward and address their queries jointly. However, this was met with a fair degree of resistance from the parent community, which was wary of the perils of extensive interaction via social media.  

This was when I decided to create a Facebook-like forum dedicated to the cause of education.  It was agreed upon that this forum only be restricted to verified students and the discussions be limited to educational and class-room related work.

That was how SchoolPeer was born.

GL: What is the concept of SchoolPeer?

Vivek: The idea is to have a chat forum for every school on board and every grade within the school to have its own dedicated forum, focusing on school related discussions and activities. Students should be able to post their pictures, notes, queries and everything else that pertains to their school work and class-room interactions. All students receive notifications, thus keeping everyone in the loop and encouraging joint resolution of doubts and queries.  

While our current plan is to focus on the NCR region, our projected plan will see us expand to ten metros over the next six months.

GL: What are some of the challenges you have faced in establishing your business?

Vivek: The major challenge has been convincing parents and students to go beyond the traditional offline and online tutoring model and sensitizing them to the benefits of such a support group for students.

In today’s fast paced environment where parents have precious little time to devote to their children’s school-related issues, the presence of a portal like SchoolPeer gains even more significance.  It has been our constant endeavour to convince and encourage parents, to seek assistance through our model of ‘On Demand Support’, which provides solutions to school-related issues even late at night, through joint interactions on the platform.

GL: You have been enhancing the product. What are some of the new features?

Vivek: The way I see it, every piece of feedback is an opportunity to improve. A while back, my daughter told me that sometimes her classmates expressed the desire to have a few teachers on the forum, to resolve unanswered queries.

This led to the introduction of the concept of the virtual teacher.  There are four teachers available for specifically designated periods after school hours, to help with home-assignments. We thus ensure that if there is a student query, even late at night, a one-to-one interaction with a subject matter expert can help resolve it by simply clicking the ‘Ask the Teacher’ button.  

We are also working on creating a dedicated marketplace for the student community. Here students can post second hand items like school books, uniforms, paintings, artwork, etc. and make some pocket money via the process.

There is also a freelancer-platform concept in the works, where a child can place a bid for any skill s/he excels in. Using this, a student well versed with a particular skill can apply for selection for short term assignments by other schools on the platform.

GL: What do you believe is the value of a platform like GlobalLinker for SMEs like yourself?

Vivek: GlobalLinker is very supportive of startups and SMEs. Having read numerous posts on the forum, I have become a huge supporter of its underlying philosophy of helping SMEs seek out synergies and forge a beneficial connect. Today, I am a huge advocate of the forum and hope many SMEs hop onto the system and discover the opportunities that such a system can provide.

GL: What is your big business dream?

Vivek: This problem of students struggling with school work is prevalent all over the globe.  In keeping with this, we aspire to be a global company that expands organically via a step by step approach. We have identified South East Asia and the Middle East as our targeted foreign markets.

GL: What is your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Vivek: My message is simple: You live only once. Make it count by chasing your dreams!

 

Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member.

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