Education isn’t just about learning from textbooks – it means guidance in all aspects of life. But are these tips readily available to everyone? Not really. Aware of this problem, the Delhi-based company Prateek Bhargava spearin 2016, a unique platform that offers career guidance through exclusive consulting and mentoring services. Since its inception, it has won a number of awards and accolades from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, Government of the United Arab Emirates, National Startup Awards 2020, Education World, Entrepreneur India and other prestigious platforms.
“When I was in high school, I met my career mentor who helped and advised me at every crucial moment of my academic and professional journey. I felt lucky to have access to a mentor, but I knew that millions of students around the world did not have one. It is to solve this problem that I, together with my mentor for over 18 years, Prikshit Dhanda, and other members of the founding team, including Eesha Bagga , Savinay Patlolla, Vansh Nathani and Prof. Dr. NK Chadha, set out to create an ecosystem for career development and mentoring to shape the career guidance landscape,” Prateek explains in a chat.
Career guidance has always been a niche topic and as a result it is a largely fragmented industry so far. Prateek points out that the emergence of new career paths, changes in education systems and the rapid adoption of technology have enabled his team to change the landscape of career guidance. Mindler uses automated career guidance tools and solutions in conjunction with extensive research for a science-based approach to career decision-making.
Founder Prateek Bhargava
He says, “Mindler is led by Harvard, ISB, IIM, IIT alumni and the world’s top psychometricians, so students get the best guidance to discover their unique potential and take informed career decisions. »
Although based in Delhi, the platform operates across India as well as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Singapore, Japan and even Africa. Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Bhopal, Udaipur, Ludhiana, Chennai, Kochi, Raipur, Dehradun, Kolkata and Mumbai are the cities where their services are most popular.
Their career counseling services are aimed at students ages 13-25, and their counselor-focused products are used to train educators and professionals who have experience ranging from 0-25.
“Over the next five years, we hope to train more than 100,000 educators to become Certified Career Coaches and give them a comprehensive career planning platform to provide guidance to students across the country. Through our mass student acquisition channels, we will be in the best position to understand the learning and development needs of K-12 students. During this period, we will also look to strengthen our automated career guidance solutions and enter into multiple collaborations on the product front,” says Prateek.
What is offered
Mindler focuses on both the demand side and the supply side of career guidance through its diverse product line, which includes:
• SaaS platform for educational institutions and career coaches
Through this platform, career coaches can build personalized career trajectories for their students and provide quality career guidance services to their clients.
• Career platform for students
The Mindler Career Platform can be used for career discovery, mapping and planning through guidance tools including career assessments, college planners, entrance exam trackers, virtual internships, profile building, resume building, one-on-one mentoring, alumni tracking, and scholarship discovery.
• International Certified Career Coach (ICCC) Program
India does not regulate the field of career counseling and coaching, so Mindler has created its own program. To this end, they have collaborated with the National Career Development Association (NCDA) and the Career Development Alliance of the United States. Upon completion of the three-tier program, participants earn the NCDA Certification in Career Coaching.
“Our most popular product among students is the Mindler Career Assessment Platform. I think this is popular due to students’ and parents’ lack of awareness of new career paths and their pressing need to find the best-fit career path where the likelihood of success will be high. Our most popular product among educators is the “Mindler International Certified Career Coach Program” (ICCC). This is popular due to the lack of trained and certified career coaches and the incredible career opportunities this field offers,” says Prateek.
Interested customers typically approach through their website, through their network of partner schools and institutions, as well as through edtech and SaaS partners that include guidance counselors and educators.
The growth story
According to a study published on idreamcareer.com, India still needs 1.4 million guidance counselors for 315 million students to maintain a globally acceptable student-to-counsellor ratio. While the United States has a nationwide average counselor-to-student ratio of 1:492 (1 counselor for every 492 students), in India there are only 500 counselors for about 1.5 million students. . Therefore, Mindler’s business is strong.
Initially motivated by personal investment, Mindler has since received funding from Taxmann Group and CIIE IIM Ahmedabad of Rs 10.2 crores. After that, they raised a pre-Series A round of Rs 10.75 Crores from Inflection Point Ventures, nVentures Singapore, Chennai Angels and Ecosystem Ventures in 2021.
“So far, we have reached more than 2.5 million students and trained and certified more than 23,000 educators from 1,250 institutions. Our users come from all over the country, including Tier II and Tier III cities. Our pan-Indian school ties and network of counselors ensure wide reach,” shares Prateek.
Mindler recently acquired Immrse, a platform that allows students to gain virtual career placements through an experiential, immersive, self-paced career discovery program. Virtual Career Internships are a cross between an educational course, role-playing, a masterclass, and hands-on work experience. These allow students to test several conventional and new careers, including engineering, medicine, filmmaking, graphic design, law, psychology, ethical hacking and more.
“We had to overcome the stereotypes that existed in Tier II and III cities about career opportunities. We educate people about emerging career opportunities and developments in this field. 99% of high schools in India lack a structured career guidance structure! This statistic is alarming as there are hundreds of millions of high school students in India. These young learners need career guidance for the nation to progress towards its goals. This, added to the fact that more than 93% of students know less than seven career options, is a serious concern. To address this challenge before us, we focused on building a unique and scalable model to address the unorganized career guidance sector through various innovative solutions,” shares Prateek.
With the new National Education Policy (NEP), Prateek believes that career guidance is set to become a focal point for schools and institutions. He also says that Mindler is strongly positioned to provide personalized career guidance solutions that facilitate overall development through integrated extracurricular solutions.
Their goal going forward is to expand their network of schools and educators and add new features to their product portfolio. They also hope to solve the language barrier by making the Mindler platform available in multiple languages such as Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Arabic and Spanish.