The education system in India needs major updation in the way it works, mainly the academics, and the textual material needs some significant updates. The moment you reach your 10th standard, you’ve to make a big decision which decides about your future and where you’ll end up for your higher education. With the boards around the corner, it becomes difficult for a student to choose which stream they want after 10th and where they want to see themselves in the future.
A similar dilemma was witnessed by Nitesh Kumar when his cousins were facing difficulties in choosing for the right school after 10th standard. Traveling to different locations to give the entrance tests was not possible as it would take a lot of time, and it’ll be stressful for the kids too. Even after intense research, they couldn’t find a solution to the problem, and that’s when his inner entrepreneur decided to step out. This is how ISAT (Indian School Admission Test) started and is ready to make significant changes in the life of students.
The beginning of the journey
Nitesh Kumar grew up in Jamshedpur, and he did his schooling from Jamshedpur till 10th and then moved to Cambridge School, Ranchi, for 11th and 12th. Being an average student during his school and college days, he always made time for other things to do.
He pursued B.Tech in Chemical engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) and then joined Jindal Steel as a trainee in the coke department. Soon he found himself in operation and maintenance department of the plants. Even though he was working as the head in the company, his interests in the startup industry called him when he left his job and joined an app-based logistics startup Turannt.
Working for different roles like getting clients, vendor sign-ups, maintaining operational hygiene, etc., he learned a lot of things before the startup had to shut down. After this, he took a six months break and decided to travel around the country, and then he decided to start his company ISAT – Indian School Admission Test.
What is ISAT?
ISAT stands for the Indian School Admission Test, which is a computer-based test conducted for class 10th students to get an idea of their readiness for higher qualifications (for 11th and 12th). The platform aims to be a frequent stop for the students and all the schools so that the applicants can apply using the platform and compare other schools to help the children out.
A team of experts will construct the test in light of acceptable objectives or purpose, a procedure for administering and interpreting scores. The tests will be done in such a detailed manner that no matter who takes the test, results will be comparable by the team at the first stage and then by the schools later. The plan is also attractive for parents who live in rural areas, as this standard test will give equal opportunities to the students of India. Schools will also get the benefit through this channel as they’ll have greater visibility of the students, and it’ll allow administrators of the school to compare the incoming students.
The initial challenges faced
Like every startup, Nitesh also faced several challenges during development. He believes that even if you prepare yourself for the upcoming challenges, they will somehow surprise you because you’re unsure of how to respond, or you don’t have enough resources to address them adequately. Some of the challenges faced are:
- Finding the right path to tackle schools mind-set to push them to go and think something extra of their comfort zone.
- The education sector, apart from health industries these days become one of the earning sources for businesses.
Business collaboration and the first milestone
Since the startup is focused on the schooling sector of the country, they are collaborating with various schools and slowly adding these schools in their platform.
In conversation with TimesNext, Nitesh tells about how his first milestone in the industry was when he collected all his documents and reached out to the first school to make them a part of the startup. This worked as a motivation for him as he slowly started reaching out to more schools.
The current growth and vision for the company
The ISAT program is in its alpha phase, where they are collecting feedback during this phase to make the product work in such a way that customers will love it. A couple of schools from Jamshedpur have become a part of the program, and they are planning to add almost 90% of schools for this year with some more schools outside Jharkhand. Soon they are planning to add more schools from Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and so on.
Improving the admission process by simplifying it and aggregating the number of schools to the platform is vital to ensure the service’s popularity. The vision is to make a difference around us and be part of something bigger than themselves.