With Unique Approach Towards Education, This Startup is Helping Academia and Industry 'The unique way of approaching education is what makes us different,' says Aditya Gandhi, Co-Founder, Purple Squirrel.

By Samiksha Jain

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Founders, Purple Squirrel Eduventures

After gaining enough exposure from Europe, IIT Mumbai alumnus Aditya Gandhi came back to pursue his passion of helping students decide their future careers through industrial visits. Along with Sahiba Dhandania the idea of starting Purple Squirrel Eduventures was conceived and the same was launched in September 2013.

What made you launch Purple Squirrel Edu ventures?

The idea of starting Purple Squirrel Eduventures came, when we were looking for a solution to nip this evil (frustration due to wrong career choices) in the bud. In my view, potential workforce that makes more informed choices by experiential learning and work culture immersion will be the future of our nation. That's the thought that set us about trying to achieve this paradigm shift in bridging the gap between the industry and academia. So far we have 10,000+ experiences, 350+ partners and 10+ destinations.

How your startup is unique from others in the same sector?

The unique way of approaching education is what makes us different. PSQ wants to be a platform that bridges the gap between students and the industry. Through PSQ, I want to help create a platform where there are more holistic interactions between the students and the industry and also provide continuous engagement to build a more interactive environment as a whole. I want to ensure colleges enrich their students with experiential learning, work culture immersion and help students gain a better picture of a potential career path.

Kindly give a brief about your business model?

The business model of PSQ is seamless with companies, students and colleges as stakeholders, but the buck stops at the students. Currently, we operate on a B2B model. However, we are now slowly switching towards a B2C model. We are working on our edu-tech app, which promises to make as easy as it is possible to book an IV by any student from anywhere.

There are about 20 billion students and about 35,500 colleges in India, which makes institutes/colleges a good entry point for PSQ. Direct interfacing with interested users being able to intelligently profile themselves via a nifty app will make its way into the market very soon. Making the world of work culture immersion more accessible to even more volumes of students, cities and strata is what PSQ is working towards aggressively in 2015-2016.

What type of industrial visits does PSQ conduct?

We offer all kinds of industrial visits, coupled with local sight-seeing and exclusive workshops and recreational activities. Although we have been focusing on Engineering & Technology, Sciences, Arts & Media and Commerce & Management till now, we are now expanding to deliver customized and relevant industry exposure to students from all streams.

How these industrial visits or tours benefit students?

The prime purpose of attending an industrial visit for any student is to help them understand the difference between what is taught in their text books and what is expected out of their future employers. While on industrial visit with us, a student experiences the daily functions of each and every department of the company they are visiting. Industry experts come and have an in-depth session with them.

What are the different career options offered by PSQ?

We're all about giving the student exposure to every kind of options. From unconventional careers like wine sommeliers, to taking a look at the backend of how an NGO functions, heritage walks across the offices of up-and- coming start-ups, to learning how a bottle of Coke is produced by going through its bottling plant – we have it all. Media, engineering, IT, cloud computing and entertainment production are just some of the industries covered by Purple Squirrel Eduventures. We are growing rapidly and are looking for talented individuals to join our 100+ member strong team in Mumbai. We would request anyone who will be interested in joining us to visit our website for our current openings.

How has been your journey so far? And what is your future roadmap?

We started off in a small room, in the SINE, IIT-Bombay's famous incubation cell with 3 members. Since then, there has been no looking back. Within a year and a half of our inception, we have successfully delivered 8,000+ unique experiences across 7 destinations in India. We now have associations with 300+ companies, including MNCs, start-ups and NGOs. We are now 100+ members strong.

The future of Purple Squirrel Eduventures is B2C. We are now India's largest online marketplace for supplementary education. Slowly but steadily, we are in the process of building a skilled, informed and passionate workforce for India.

Samiksha Jain

Former Staff, Entrepreneur.com

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