Idea and Inspiration
An important and literally a ‘career-defining’ question that keeps even the most brilliant college students awake at night is whether their diligence will lead to good placements. Unfortunately for the students inclined towards the opposite end of that extreme, the current placement scenario in India results in the elimination of approximately 50% of the students after the general aptitude round itself. Students try to find their way through it by browsing through various eclectic but unreliable sources with low-grade content, which produces below par results in a company’s aptitude test. This, right here, was the problem that Sayantan Chatterjee, Founder, and CEO of Beatest, aspired to eradicate. Since his college days, Sayantan had a constant urge to innovate and build something from scratch. Giving in to his passion for creation, he quit his cushy job at Oracle and an MBA offer from IIM-Kozhikode degree to become an entrepreneur in 2017. His brainchild Beatest is an ed-tech startup that initially focused on placement aptitude preparation and has now taken a slightly different course, to accommodate the needs of students trying to land good jobs.
A problem that colleges in India have been facing is an archaic and unrevised curriculum. Industries today are rapidly evolving: newer technology is replacing the previous one continually. With the current curriculum in colleges not being up to date, students fail to acquire the important skills requisite for their jobs and hence encounter various hurdles in the initial phase of their jobs. With over 19 lakh engineers in the country, this skill gap makes a remarkable difference in the lives of students trying to make it big. Beatest intends to bridge this skill gap so as to ensure a seamless transition from college to their corporate lives. Most programs that offer online self-learning courses of this type, such as MOOCs, lack interactive education process and/or fail to offer a personalized approach. Though there are various platforms out there on the web, they offer very little opportunity to the students to put the theoretical knowledge acquired into practice. Students often take up these courses and earn certification, only to forget in a couple of months what they had learned in the first place.
Beatest aims at helping students to enhance their technical skills, aside from aptitude skills.
“I wanted to make sure that every student passing out of college knows how to approach a company’s aptitude exam, get into an interview and land a job. Therefore we offer application-based learning so that the student can easily sail through the entire recruitment process.”- Sayantan Chatterjee
As India’s first live-application based learning system, Beatest caters to the enhancement of students’ technical skills through a hands-on learning approach. Every student who takes up the courses on the platform needs to solve a very innovative capstone project, to build
something on his/her own from scratch, to get the certification. The entire course is designed in such a way that they can ultimately solve the capstone project at the end of the program. Aside from giving them exposure, it helps the students gain the required confidence to go out and get a job based on their skills.
Not surprisingly, in a matter of fewer than four months, Beatest was launched in 10 colleges including NITs, IITs, Jadavpur University and DU colleges.
Beatest offers live-sessions or webinars between students and mentors from around the globe. The mentors responsible for training the students are young people currently working in some of the best companies around the world or people researching in the same fields in some of the best universities across the world. Beatest handpicks these people who are active contributors to the corporate industry themselves so that they offer the best possible guidance to the students. Quality is given foremost importance.
Opportunities, Funding, Growth and Future Plans.
As observed by the founder of Beatest, students in India are keen on acquiring knowledge but unfortunately, there is very little scope to demonstrate their practical skills. Thus Beatest as a solution to this problem brings an application-oriented platform.
It is B2C startup working with a target audience of tech college students across the country. Currently bootstrap, Beatest has grown over 200% in the last 2 months and is presently working with over 10,000 students across India. Sayantan aims to take Beatest to a national scale and obtain over 100,000 users in the next 12 months. Although Beatest is currently a bootstrapped startup, it is looking down the line for a pre-series A funding. The courses offered on the platform are at affordable prices ranging from INR 2000 to 5000.
“The worst thing about being an entrepreneur, which ironically makes this journey exciting as well, is the fact that there is a huge risk involved in the project. We invest our heart and soul into it hoping that someday, it becomes successful. A lot is at stake!”
Words of wisdom to budding entrepreneurs:
“We are still walking our first baby steps as a startup. However, one thing I learnt from this short span of time is to be persistent. A big reason why startups do not succeed is the fact that entrepreneurs tend to give up very soon. It takes time to build a successful start-up and one should believe in their ideas and stay put!”
Beatest was shortlisted and incubated at Nasscom 10k Startups, Kolkata. Sayantan has also been invited as the guest speaker on edupreneurship in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held at IIT Kharagpur. The Thrive 30 Event which was held across 8 cities of Eastern India having over 300 startups selected Beatest as one of the top 30 startups across entire Eastern India. Recently, it was also showcased as one of the top 5 startups in Kolkata for the BigShift Event organized by Inc42 and AWS.