Malcolm X once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” The education sector in India has been growing at tremendous pace. Enrollment in higher education has doubled in 2016-2017 in comparison to 2006-2007. But the literacy rate of India is still below the world average. Student dropouts still prevail in various regions due to many problems such as poverty or awareness.
In this digital era, we can drastically change the way students get close to various opportunities. This was the main idea for the founders Lokesh Sabharwal and Ankita Sabharwal behind starting Mota Chashma. They wanted to build a platform where students can come and get information regarding various opportunities in the different streams all under one roof. Not just students, even parents, schools and colleges can use the platform to spread awareness among the students and aspirants. Mota Chashma provides education information related to scholarships competitions, entrance exams to various fields of career, all free of cost. The core objective of the website is to spread awareness about scholarships and career choices among students. The platform is non-funded, profitable and has been running successfully for last five years.
Lokesh was brought up in Roorkee where career environment for him was focussed mainly on engineering or medical. This is a regular story in most of the country. When he used to visit his cousins in Delhi, he sensed a disparity between the information available to cousins regarding opportunities and information available to him. Same was the case with Ankita, who was the state topper in 10th and 12th standard, but still being from a small town did not have information regarding scholarships and career choices. After completing his graduation, Lokesh along with his friends started a company named “BRIDGE” and hosted a flagship event “Paathshala 2 Profession” to provide counselling support to over 5000 students in Roorkee and nearby districts. When Lokesh and Ankita met in XIMB, Bhubaneshwar, they worked together on a project related to education under Govt. of Odisha. They got married immediately after MBA and started working in various jobs. But they always planned to start something of their own. Ankita has worked in Kantar TNS where she surveyed under MHRD to understand the reasons for dropout rates in elementary level in 21 States of India. Lokesh was also conducting primary market research along with his daytime job. They gathered insights and decided to go digital in October 2013. Since then they have grown exponentially and are working with some of the biggest brands in the education sector. Mota Chashma was ranked in 10 Best Start-ups in Education Sector in India in 2017 by Silicon India Magazine and was also covered in the Good News India Show by DD News.
The founders faced various challenges during the journey of Mota Chashma. Setting up the website without any funding, getting clients onboard while working from a 2 BHK apartment and continually expanding considering the needs of users and clients. Lokesh and Ankita emphasise the significant role of friends and family who gave them their unflinching support in the development phase. Founders have always worked hard to introduce best possible technology in their operations to be more and more efficient and gain a competitive advantage in the market. They use various SaaS-based services to streamline the workflow in the office which helps them to be responsive in providing updates to their users regarding any opportunity.
In future, the company is looking to expand globally. The business model they follow in sustainable and can easily be implemented in various developing nations. The firm is also working on revamping their platform to provide the users with a modern experience with increased services.