IndiaCollegeSearch.com is one of India’s most successful online educational portals providing aggregated information about colleges and applications, so that students can evaluate both quantitatively and qualitatively and choose the best option for themselves. Already a million-strong community, it is still expanding. Our correspondent recently interviewed the Founder and CEO of IndiaCollegeSearch.com, Mr. Anirudh Motwani.
Ayesha: How did the idea of IndiaCollegeSearch.com come to you?
Anirudh: When we were looking for colleges, we faced the same problem of inadequate levels of information. It is very common among Indian students that they don’t have many choices as to which colleges to go to. We started with a Classifieds model in 2008, but we did not find it fit for education sector, rather it worked for jobs better, because students need a lot more than just the contact details of the college, like teaching faculty, placements etc. Through our existing model, we are trying to do so.
Ayesha: How does IndiaCollegeSearch.com garner the high quality information for and from both colleges and students?
Anirudh: Initially, in 2010, we did a lot of research, looking up into college websites and field work, but now we have almost 5000 colleges that are updating their own profiles. Our job is mainly now to keep a tab as to which profiles are out-dated, and keep updating them.
Ayesha: Did you face any problems while incorporating in your website such a large plethora of career options and institutions, more so with the advent of new off-beat career choices?
Anirudh: IndiaCollegeSearch.com was started mainly for Engineering and Management courses, which are quite similar in their professional structure. In every course, there are a lot of factors that matter, like for Medical, it is not the college really, but the attached hospital that is important, and also for Vocational courses, the campus ceases to matter, but the infrastructure. So, we do try to provide a standard level of information, but it is difficult.
Ayesha: Just like IndiaCollegeSearch.com, do you feel that there lies any potential in the growing online education sector?
Anirudh: Of course. Our specific arena is mainly admissions, but we also have a backhand software which about 1000 colleges use to manage their applications in one place, including some DU colleges. Infact, we processed around 2 lakh applications from our website last year. So yes, all this is definitely going online, and it does have a bright future, with more and more procedures switching to online.
Ayesha: Any further development you are looking forward to in IndiaCollegeSearch.com?
Anirudh: Yes, what we are looking to do in the upcoming months is social selection of colleges, like where are people from your city have applied in the past, which colleges or courses, where your friends have applied, which possible colleges have received most number of applications, what are your chances of getting in, what is that college’s acceptance rate or average response rate. This will make the whole application procedure much simpler.
Ayesha: What is the significance of your website’s Review Section?
Anirudh: Whatever general data is available, cannot tell you how life is like in the college. What the canteen is like, how are the lecturers, how far it is; that is the softer aspects of a college that you can only get to know from an alumni or a current student.
Ayesha: What, in your opinion, makes IndiaCollegeSearch.com stand out?
Anirudh: We have always focused on the students, to give them basic information and not try to give publicity to any college or course. We prefer to keep the power of information in the user’s hands.
Ayesha: Especially for our readers, do you offer any placements or internships for students?
Anirudh: We have hired DU alumni, though not on-campus. And, we are also planning to start internships and appoint Campus Ambassadors for ICS, because after all its they who are in the system and our best information source.
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