This column is authored by Sandeep Dash, Business Development & Public Relations Executive, Yocket
In 2012, when we started as an experiment to make decision making for students easy, little did we know that the experiment will benefit such a large number of students- cohort after cohort, year after year. Now into our 5th year of operations, we try to answer the fundamental question of efficiency- what makes us favourable among lakhs of students aspiring an education in India and overseas.
Every year lakhs of students have to take career-defining decisions. From the age of 16 to at least 24, students face the dilemma of figuring out which career path to take, what college to aspire for and how to go about the complex procedures of getting in. With the advent of internet, a barrage of information ambushes students and parents alike, putting them in a fix- what to choose and what not to choose. This dilemma is emboldened by the likes of educational websites which give information that is not necessarily accurate and updated. The information is obsolete for the sole reason that a few people sitting in an office follow a mechanical process of collating information- they state the obvious and further confuse and mislead students.
Our team attempted solving the above problem by following a model of collaboration by facilitating seamless interaction between students, seniors, experts and peers. We essentially try to answer tough questions around decision making through the agency of peers who share similar aspirations, seniors who have already treaded these roads or are currently doing so; and finally by connecting the community with domain experts. The rationale being that students understand students best, more so, those students who have been part of the process recently. This arrangement sets the context in order, minimizing errors, increasing participative knowledge sharing and allowing one to consume relevant filtered content on a comfortable user interface- both on web and on mobile applications.
Almost all of the content used in both our flagship products — Yocket and Stupidsid is sourced from users themselves. Multiple iterations from multiple submissions evens out any small errors and the result is a pool of realistic content addressing pressing education related issues.
Our belief has been simple — to help students help themselves while experts ensure last mile support. In both our products, we have just facilitated and made simple the traditional peer learning that academia fancies. Both our products source content ranging from college reviews and admission procedures to academic content and provide an interactive digital platform to access this content. Multi platform applications of both Yocket and Stupidsid attract several students using services, accessing information and interacting with peers/experts. With Yocket, we have now forayed into essential services like FOREX, fee payments, loan assistance and sending transcripts— making the platform an integrated application management destination for studying abroad.
To put things into perspective, we currently have over 134 thousand students using Yocket to plan-organize-execute their study abroad dreams with over 38 thousand discussions and 162 thousand answers. Stupidsid, catering to the domestic market captures an audience of 50,000/day.
We have been expanding both in scale and scope in order to cover everything that can be pursued under the sun, even as we are keeping quality control at the forefront of our operations. Material is first sourced from highly motivated individuals from within the student community and subsequently passed through multiple quality checks to ensure that what the community eventually consumes is error free, comprehensive and simplifies the learning experience.
We see ourselves further strengthening this community of students, seniors, experts and peers to connect as many students with resources as possible. Our working principle will remain the same — to leverage the potential of the people and the internet in order to help lakhs of students take informed decisions.