An epic fail becomes a successful website

Meet 31-year-old Alex Andrews George who hit upon the idea of creating a portal for IAS aspirants
after he failed the exam.

Published: 27th April 2017 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th April 2017 06:37 AM   |  A+A-

Screen grab from ClearIAS

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It was a close miss for Alex Andrews George from Edathua, Alappuzha native when he lost the UPSC Civil Services examination by just two marks. His elective was Malayalam literature. Aiming to help fellow aspirants, he founded ClearIAS in 2012.

“The rejections I faced always pushed me harder to do something bigger. When I started ClearIAS, my hope was not to build a company but to do something to help aspirants. The enthusiasm showed by the IAS aspirants gave me the motivation to come with new features and initiatives."

"The feeling of creating a social impact drives us today, and we have so much more to do,” shares Alex.

He started the website (www.clearias. com) after quitting his job in 2012. ClearIAS mobile app was launched in 2014 as a comprehensive self-study package for IAS exam. “Over the years, a lot of innovative features were added to ClearIAS web app as well as the mobile app. Today, the website receives around 15 lakh page views a month, while the app has crossed 4 lakh downloads,” says Alex.

The start-up has 10 members currently and is looking to scale up. The app provides free study materials, guidance, mock tests, topper interviews, tips, e-books and more. Their mock exam platform, having crossed a lakh registered users for UPSC CSE.

Companies like McGraw Hill Education and IIT Madras have collaborated with us. We have been guiding a huge number of aspirants online who can’t access the expensive classroom coaching. ClearIAS has not received any external funding so far, and though there are offers from many quarters, we are still bootstrapped, adds Alex. ClearIAS has separate programmes for the three stages of Civil Services Exam - Preliminary, Mains, and Interview.

Recalling his memories, Alex says, “During my recent IAS interview, I got a chance to explain about Clear- IAS to the UPSC interview board, and they appreciated it.

When I myself was an IAS aspirant, I had faced many difficulties. Lack of right guidance was the main issue. The fees charged by classroom coaching was high and the quality of coaching was poor. These experiences have helped me to build the company.” Thier future plans? Alex aims to provide online preparation portals for all competitive exams in India. His advice to wannabe entrepreneurs is to do sufficient research and understand the gaps in the existing market before starting up.

(For details visit: www.clearias.com)

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