Retrospectively, Nimish Gopal discovered that his entire career path was decided by external forces around fifteen years ago. A hidden law was evident: toppers choose science and, depending on which combination they selected, choose engineering or medicine.
This experience inspired Nimish to quit his Silicon Valley job in 2018 and start CareerNaksha. The company can now provide personalized, data-driven, psychometrics based career counseling to anyone who needs it. It focuses on Tier III cities and other areas.
The company has served more than 5 million students over the past four years. Nearly 95% of its users are located in non-metropolitan areas or government schools in Gujarat.
Nimish says, “If we want to scale up, capture the market, what we must do is partner with people who understand the market and are skilled in career counseling.”
This was perhaps the reason CareerNaksha decided to hire Maulin Shah as its co-founder in 2020. It has now 3500 career counselors, who have been certified and trained by Counsellors Council of India. The company had 2 counsellors employed in 2018. The edtech startup claims it now has a 10% monthly growth in its users.
Place your bets on smaller cities
CareerNaksha’s strategy includes trying out multiple business models. Nimish discovered that parents in metropolitan areas behave differently to those in other parts. He explains that parents in metro areas are more aware of counselling and are more picky.
The opportunity to learn is enormous when you go to government schools or tier III, IV cities. Nimish says that this is how we segment our business models.
CareerNaksha’s tests are available in local languages to keep with this theme. It developed the test based on an open-source database called Occupational InformationNet (O*NET), which has hundreds of job descriptions to assist students, employers, and workforce development professionals in understanding the types of jobs.
Students can approach counselors after they receive their results to discuss potential career opportunities that might be available for them based on their skills and interests.
CareerNaksha has also established partnerships with government schools and NGOs, and holds seminars in these spaces to increase awareness about the many career options available.
CareerNaksha: How it works
This test helps students identify their abilities, aptitudes, and interests. Nimish says, “We created the psychometrics test by taking into consideration the O*NET framework as well as the Indian context. Then we published our research and commercialized the psychometrics from school level to professionals.”
The startup offers profile and upskilling courses such as artificial intelligence, machine-learning, UI/UX designing, digital marketing skills, social emotional learning, and digital marketing.
Nimish says that once students have a clear vision of their career goals, they can start to plan and pursue these upskilling programs. It also offers internship programs to help students gain industry experience.
For those who are interested in being career counselors, the startup offers training in partnership with National Career Services and CCI.
Beating the odds
Career counseling is not a well-organized field. According to a report from iDreamcareer, India requires career guidance in order to face, manage, and combat the Great Indian Talent Conundrum, and build the most knowledge-based economy, society, and society in the world.
Many startups in India are searching for the perfect solution to this urgent need for organization. CareerNaksha is currently competing with companies such as Expertrons, Career Guide and ProBano.
This space is not the most difficult to break through. It is the main reason this area has seen an increase in startups recently, according to the same report.
CareerNaksha seems to be focused on ensuring things stay on track. In the short-term, we aim to reach Rs 1 crore revenue per month. We want to expand our network of counsellors, and we aim to reach 35,000, which is 10x growth. Nimish also stated that we want to grow our profitability by 20%.
CareerNaksha claims its revenue has increased by 50% month-on–month over the past year. Vadodara-based Startup also operates offline centers in cities such as Jamnagar and Surat, Jaipur. Jaipur, Surat, Jaipur. Bangalore. Delhi (Rohini & Dwarka), Faridabad. Panchkula. Chandigarh. Mumbai. Indore. These centres are managed by franchise partners.