Speaking with the TechGraph on Thursday, Sumeet Jain, Co-founder of Yocket – India’s leading platform for students planning to study abroad said, “The newly proposed NEP syncs very well with the education systems of Canada and the United States.”
Here is the full expect:
TechGraph: Let us start with the first thing first. Can you tell our readers more about Yocket?
Sumeet Jain: Yocket is a Mumbai based Edu-tech startup founded in 2015 which provides a one-stop solution for students planning to study abroad. The online platform helps students place at the best-fit university for their profile and allows universities to reach out to the right kind of students.
Having registered over 4,00,000 students, tied-up with 100+ international universities (US, Canada, UK & NZ), the company aims to provide services to the students right from Test Prep to shortlist VISA applications for a soft landing. It also includes help with Loans, Forex, and Accommodation.
TechGraph: What was the story behind the launch of Yocket? How did it all get started?
Sumeet Jain: Studying abroad is an expensive process along with that, it is also an exhaustive process. Indian students are used to applications based on a single exam score (JEE, CAT, or 12th std score), but when applying to a university abroad, there are many factors into consideration.
This makes the process challenging. We couldn’t go abroad because of all these factors and we realized that demystifying the process would be very helpful for aspirants and that is precisely what happened.
We start with building tools to help students apply to the right kind of universities according to their profile and build a community of study abroad aspirants and universities. All our tools are data back and employing ML to offer unbiased options to the students.
Today, we have more than 4,00,000 registered users, which no single player has. With this kind of data, we can offer better data-backed solutions to our users. Our Machine Learning tool is far superior, considering the data points we have. We have students from various parts of the country and even outside the country who come on the platform breaking geography barriers.
More than 10,000 study abroad agents in the country are trying to organize this industry and bring out a superior product. Most of these agents have their vested interests and not of students. We have had a student-centric approach and that has been our strong point, which has got us a great word of mouth publicity. 70% of the students who go to the US to study have been on Yocket.
One of Yocket’s biggest strengths is strong R&D and the process which guides students in firming up their plans. Many startups are now coming into this sector, but none have this kind of data, nor does anyone have such a community.
TechGraph: What are the industry challenges you have observed that coerced you to jump into these spaces?
Sumeet Jain: The market is highly unorganized with the local agents. The process is quite overwhelming and students get misguided many times. We saw that there was no player online in this space.
There was a huge opportunity to connect students from different parts of the country and also the universities. There are a lot of inefficiencies in the current offline model, which are dominated by agents. We have been able to solve these issues by utilizing technology.
TechGraph: Many institutions across the world rely on foreign students for a big chunk of their total revenue. How will they try to encourage international students to get enrolled with them post-Corona?
Sumeet Jain: That’s true. Many universities rely on international students for revenue. The universities are trying many things to ensure that they maintain the flow of students. Many universities are offering waivers on GRE GMAT. They are also extending deadlines. Some of them have increased scholarships.
They have relaxed entry criteria and offer scholarships. Universities have also been participating in a lot of online events to reach out to students. Universities have been very active in helping students and taking essential steps to ensure the safety of students.
TechGraph: As STEM education pertains to academic concepts coupled with real-world applications. What type of overall amendments will the new STEM education system require to meet the new-normal as posed by COVID?
Sumeet Jain: STEM education has constantly been evolving. Or, for that matter, any subject has been constantly evolving. What we can see is that we will see more courses with a focus on healthcare, remote working, and learning taking center stage. We already see some interest from students in microbiology.
TechGraph: As proposed by the NEP college degrees are now to be 4 years minimum. What changes will it pose to the area of foundational courses mandated by foreign universities?
Sumeet Jain: The new NEP syncs very well with the education system of the US and Canada. This will help the students to move from India to other countries seamlessly. Many universities in the US don’t accept a 3-year degree and want a 4-year degree. This will make foreign education more accessible to a lot of students.
TechGraph: How is Joe Biden’s winning impact the US study abroad segment?
Sumeet Jain: The last 4 years have been filled continuously with Trump’s rhetoric, which brought in a lot of negative sentiments for the students. You can see that by the number of students in the past 4 years. So the students have been following the elections very closely.
The policies might not change so quickly, but the sentiments have been negative and impact them. With the current president-elect, students are much more comfortable. They believe he won’t adversely bring in any policy which will harm the students.