The Careerbook: Abhishek Singh
The student entrepreneur on making his problem the solution
Tell us what your business does:
The Careerbook helps students and professionals make the right career decisions, by communicating an entire range of available career opportunities and encouraging individuals to identify the options which suit them best.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I was looking for someone to help me with my course and college selection and visited several educational consultants in India, but all I got was promotional advice from agents.
I thought I could help students by connecting them directly to university professors and alumni.
How did you know there was a market for it?
There has always been a market for education. Students always look for career planning advice, CV and cover letter-writing advice, articles on job hunting, and so on. We offer all these resources free of charge.
What were you doing before starting up?
I attained a degree in information technology from India. Then I joined Dell Computers for a year, before starting The Careerbook. I am currently studying for my masters in management at the University of Edinburgh.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I always wanted to run my own business. It is something I enjoy doing so I don’t mind doing it day after day.
How did you raise the money?
We are entirely self-funded, however we’ll probably look for investment at some point, to support working capital requirements, upgrade our software and run our sales and marketing campaigns.
What planning did you do before you started up?
I did a lot of research and put together a comprehensive business plan. I also spoke to a lot of people in the education sector to get their views on the concept.
Where is your business based?
The Careerbook is registered in New Delhi but I am operating the website with my team from Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
How have you promoted your business?
Even before launching the website, we were helping students solve their queries through our Facebook page. We got 1000+ fans within a few months.
Our focus now is to invest in social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter.
How much do you charge?
All our services are free of charge and for now there is no need to sign up for anything.
What has your growth been like?
The growth has been tremendous. We are still not profitable but will start generating revenues through advertisements.
What would you say the greatest difficulty has been in starting up?
The biggest difficulty was setting up the website and launching the initial marketing campaign.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
First, I’d say that you should build something that you are personally passionate about. You should build something that you would use everyday yourself – or tackle a problem that excites you.
It’s also very important to develop the concept quickly. The sooner you can develop the business and deliver it to users, the better.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
It’s hard to think that far, considering our start-up is just a few months old and has already changed so much since we started.
However, looking forwards, many aspects of the education industry remain broken, which provides opportunities for The Careerbook to continue to innovate.