Exclusive interview with the initiators of CollegeDoor, an Assam based start-up
The aftermath of result declaration is often followed by a hullabaloo among the student community running from college door-to-door for admissions. Often, it becomes difficult for the students to gain access to various colleges that are located out of the domains of their territory hence leaving them impaired and they miss out on various opportunities.
However, two Assam-based people, Sikhar J Saikia and Suresh Saikia came up with an initiative to make it easy from students of Northeast India to expand their reach beyond the periphery of the region. They launched a website known as CollegeDoor to help students with getting into Delhi University. On seeing the positive response they have now included various other colleges in their list for providing wider scope of opportunities for the students.
TNT-The Northeast Today catches up with the founders of CollegeDoor, Sikhar J Saikia and Suresh Saikia in an exclusive interview.
TNT: When did you come up with this initiative?
College Door: CollegeDoor was launched in 2012 to assist students looking for admission into Delhi University. Encouraged by the hugely positive response; CollegeDoor decided to redesign the website to accommodate more colleges. The completely redesigned. Website www.collegedoor.in was officially launched on 22nd May 2016
TNT: What was the man power when you actually initiated "CollegeDoor"?
CD: It is just the two co-founders. Prof Suresh Saikia and Sikhar J Saikia
NT: Please throw some light about the background of the founder and co-founder of CollegeDoor?
CD: Prof Suresh Saikia, Sc. Botany: Retired HOD, Botany, Gargaon college. A successful teacher who takes pride in the success of his students; a successful businessman and an accomplished author who has published two critically acclaimed novels in Assamese and many award winning drama scripts, articles and short stories. Has published research works in Indian Silk, the journal of Central Silk Board and also in Sericologia; published by International Commission of Sericulture, France. Founder member of many of the noted organization of the district. Ex-president of Sivasagar Lions Club.
Sikhar J Saikia: A tech geek with more than 12 years of experience. Extensive experience of building and developing best of the breed solution in top notch IT companies. An alumni of ISB Leadership program, Sikhar has a strong Entrepreneurial spirit and Innovative mind-set and is the brain behind the concept of CollegeDoor.
TNT: What made you come up with this idea?
CD: I am a pass out of Delhi University and am well aware of the complications that a young student faces while making a career choice. We wanted to provide a simple and clean interface which can help the students assess their eligibility for DU Courses. We also want to open up all the other possibilities that lies before the student beyond Delhi. That is when we came up with the idea of tying up with different Colleges and offer their courses through our platform so that the student can make an informed decision
CD: We want to make CollegeDoor the number one destination for Higher Education. Our vision is to partner with three thousand colleges in three years and have at least thirty thousand registered Users.
TNT: Are you planning to incorporate some changes or new initiatives to CollegeDoor?
CD: We are just starting out and there are lot of things that we are planning for future. Some of them are Live Chat for Career Counselling, Virtual Tour of Campus and Integrating the complete admission process right from Application (Which we are doing now) to Admission.
TNT: Did you face any hurdle while starting this website or in this functioning?
CD: We have been very lucky to get the support of lot of friends and well-wishers who went out of their way to help us. Any hurdle disappears when you have friends like that
TNT: On what basis or criteria do you choose your colleges?
CD: What makes us unique is that we list a college only after it passes through our rigorous verification process. This involves a campus visit to access the infrastructure, interviews with faculty and management and interviews with students. Only if we satisfy ourselves that the college scores well on all these areas; we proceed to establish an agreement with the college which authorizes us to list their courses in our website and also accept application on their behalf through www.collegedoor.in Our partner Colleges treat all applications generated through CollegeDoor at par with applications that they may receive from other sources. The students in turn benefit from the fact that they have to make just one application which covers as many courses from as many colleges they want. We also are providing very attractive discounts on Application Fee from many colleges which is much lower than what the Colleges are charging.
TNT: A message for the entire student community of the region.
CD: North East is a region full of immense untapped potential. When I talked to the colleges about CollegeDoor; one common theme emerged everywhere; Students from Northeast are smart and bright and presentable and every good college prefers an Northeastern Student over a student from any other part of the country" As a fellow North Eastern, my heart swells with pride each time I hear these words. I will request the entire student community from Northeast to work hard so that this image gets reinforced in everyone mind.
(By Shweta Raj Kanwar)