Buddy4Study — a portal for school students

Education sector has been a favourite for start-ups and Buddy4Study is no different. An entrepreneurial venture by an IMT Ghaziabad graduate, Buddy4Study (B4S) aims to cater to the needs of students of Tier 2 cities. Ashutosh Burnwal, the founder of the venture aims to create awareness among school students regarding ample of scholarships offered by governments, NGO’s and corporate. Ashutosh shares the aim for starting B4S, “I have seen a lot of students coming from Tier 2 cities missing out on opportunities, Olympiads and Government scholarships. The culprit for this is the lack of proliferation of information.” B4S aims to bridge this gap between the provider and recipient.Ashutosh envisaged B4S when he was studying MBA at IMT Ghaziabad. He started B4S as a portal during initial days, which with further enhancements like forum and content sharing for school students, went on to become how it appears today. Before he enrolled for MBA, Ashutosh had worked for three years at British Petroleum. And it is with the savings from that job that he funded the idea of B4S. He says, “B4S is a bootstrapped venture. I have relied on my savings to start this. I launched the present version on October 26, 2012 and I aim to break even by end of 2013.” B4S is in a growing phase and have built partnerships with the schools in NCR region.B4S provides all the study materials for school students, scholarship information, admission counselling, career counselling etc. which is provided free on their website. They have a forum where they answer questions pouring from different parts of the country. Ashutosh explains his revenue model, “We earn through making websites for schools, SMS alerts for upcoming information on scholarships and competitions, and handling advertisements for schools, universities and academies. We plan to make B4S a one-stop portal for applying to scholarships. We will be charging nominal fee for handling the application. “The target audience for B4S are school and college students, parents looking for quality information and educational institutions. Ashutosh explains his marketing strategy: “Initially, we will target local schools and academies. Distributing pamphlets, visiting schools, academies and conducting workshops will be a part of our marketing. We have 7,000+ school students, 1,100 teachers, 900 parents and 1,100 college students connected to us.” Discussing funding, Ashutosh says they are looking for funding. “To build a quality team and provide quality information, money flow should never stop. We have a dedicated team of 5 and are looking to expand. But we will always carry the social mission of making each and every Indian student aware of the opportunities available and breaking the information barrier,” says Ashutosh.- Sanket Sheth

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