As seniors in college, we have been approached by juniors and aspirants for guidance on which college to join and what course to pursue. But who knew this practice would one day become a flourishing business? Well, Sumeet Jain and five of his batchmates — Kashyap Matani, Jinesh Bagadia, Tumul Bugh, Shubham Dosi, Siddharth Bhandari from DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering, Mumbai — realised this a year ago and are offering aspirants guidance through their online portal, Stupidsid. “People do a lot of research before joining a college but they do not have access to all the required details. We give students and parents the inside view,” says Jain. The portal extends several services apart from college reviews. “Students can approach us for counselling and also join our learning programme, which is based on a peer-to-peer model,” shares Jain.
With an initial investment of Rs 500 per person, they registered their domain name. Since then, students have been thronging Stupidsid for all kinds of help. “We right now have information of colleges in four cities — Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Bangalore. We hope to expand once we develop a database on the rest of the cities to the level of the database on Mumbai,” says Jain. The team believes in visiting universities personally to ensure that none of the colleges they list are fraudulent in any manner. The streams that have been covered so far are engineering, management, medicine, pharma, commerce, arts, law and architecture. You also find information on how to go about your GRE, TOEFL, visa application and everything else you need to know for doing a postgrad abroad. “Some students in universities abroad have also uploaded their profiles on our portal. Students can view these profiles to get an idea on what kind of scores land you in what university,” says Jain.
While students can access all the information online for free, services like personalised counselling and tuitions through the learning programme come with a price tag. “The fee per course per semester is Rs 1,500 and the counselling costs Rs 2,500,” says Jain. “The learning programme is quite a hit as seniors are very much interested in teaching. It is at this age that we still have passion for teaching. We are now having to screen all the volunteers who wish to teach,” smiles Jain. While the team has raked in quite a bit from counselling and tuitions, the Stupidsid merchandise is also adding to the revenue besides serving as a great branding exercise. The journey so far has not been an easy one. “We are just 23-years-old and our parents were very skeptical in the beginning. Each of us had a great placement offer while a couple of us had the chance to study abroad. But we want to change the system of education in India. This is our little attempt at curbing the growing malpractice in this industry,” says Jain. The team opines, “We would rather take this bold risk now than regret later. There is no pressure and we are enjoying what we are doing.” For details, visit www.stupidsid.com