The number of Indian students studying abroad has been rising annually. While the number of students pursuing higher studies in colleges abroad stood at 4,40,000 in 2016, the number rose to 7,70,000 in 2019. However, not all students get the opportunity to lay their hands on what's best for them. At this stage, an organization named Yocket steps into handhold students and their parents in choosing the best university for better career prospects.
India's Largest Platform
The Tech-based startup was founded by three friends who first met in 2011 during their engineering. Sumeet Jain, Tumul Buch and Kashyap Matani shared the mutual passion of starting something of their own since their student days. Three of them began their entrepreneurial journey with Stupidsid, which transformed into today's Yocket in 2015, India's largest platform for study abroad aspirants. All three wanted to pursue their higher studies but could not do so because of a lack of funds and information. Since the entire process gets too overwhelming, they want to help young students with big dreams.
While speaking to The Logical Indian, Sumeet Jain, the co-founder of Yocket, said, "Indians have always regarded studying abroad as an expensive process. This fact is somewhat true to its sense alongside an exhaustive process too. The primary hurdles were factors including lack of right guidance, problems with education loans, visa applications, and accommodation. These issues had prevented Indian students from even thinking of going abroad for higher studies".
Offering Extensive Services To Students
Today, Yocket is India's largest platform for study abroad aspirants, offering extensive services to students. It includes helping students for their Graduate Record Examination (GRE), shortlisting colleges, VISA application process, soft landing to Loans, foreign exchange and accommodation. Embracing technology at its core, the platform helps students placed at the best-fit university for their profile and allows universities to reach out to the right kind of students. Students can interact with other peers, seniors and even universities to make the best decision for their careers.
While speaking about their venture, Jain told The Logical Indian over mail, "In 2015, we began with just a sum of less than Rs 10,000 for hosting the website. Today, we have a tie-up with 150 international universities from the US, Canada, UK & Hongkong. Besides, have registered over 1,000,000 students so far and plan to add around 1,000,000 more students to the platform this year. We have even helped over 3000 students and working professionals in financing 1200 Cr loans for studying abroad by tying up with ten educational loan providers across various categories".
How Has It Helped During COVID?
However, the COVID-19 pandemic had ravaged the aspirations of several students who wished to study abroad. While speaking about how Yocket was assisting students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sumeet told The Logical Indian, "During the first wave, we saw that there was a lot of uncertainty on how things will pan out. Students weren't sure if they would be able to travel on campus or not. We launched a helpline for students with whatever queries they had. We had 10,000 students reaching out to us during this period. We conducted sessions with various universities to bring direct info on the developments at the universities; we had 200+ sessions with universities. We were in constant touch with the embassy to get updates. Since we have been an online player, we could continue our services without being impacted by lockdowns and social distancing guidelines. Most of the physical players had to shut their offices and were not able to help their students; we, on the other hand, could help students from all the different parts of the country".
The organization also provides scholarships to students and plans to pool in for much more significant sums. The co-founder said that studying abroad was like all other investments and required careful watch. One needed to make an informed choice since they would spend the rest of their lives with their careers. People often put in their lives' savings for their children to study abroad. When asked how the company was catering to the needs of rural India, Sumeet replied to The Logical Indian, "We being an online first tech-first company, we have no geographical constraints. In places with decent interest connections, we can reach. We have students from tier 2,3 towns and smaller villages. Talent is not limited to just metros. Earlier, access was limited to just these cities, but with Yocket, we have brought in a level playing field".
Though the number at the start of the pandemic had significantly gone down, the number has shot up higher than the pre-pandemic levels. He said, "We have seen some of the industries booming. Jobs in STEM have grown, and students are taking this time to upskill themselves and grab the opportunity". On the other hand, several students travel abroad for the first time, and there is a section sitting on a flight for the first time. Therefore, Sumeet explained, "The culture shock can be overwhelming at times. In India, we are very dependent on our parents; this is the first time they are staying away from parents and find it very difficult to manage household chores and studies simultaneously. These are initial hiccups, but when you overcome them, it is all worth it".
Difference Between Indian And Foreign Education Scenario?
While speaking about the difference in the education scenario in India and abroad, Sumeet tells Mumbai-based, "One of the main differences is research orientation. There are more than 4000 higher education institutes in the USA alone, and in India, we still cannot match that. At the research level, we hardly have any university that can compete globally."
"It will certainly improve as we see more of our population getting educated, but that will not happen overnight or over a couple of years. Developed countries have good research infra, which makes them very conducive. Also, flexibility in choosing courses is another difference we see. I have already mentioned that our education system usually relies on one single entrance test score. In contrast, in the US, you will see a holistic profile that makes a lot of difference," Sumeet added.