We can all agree that a life without good, focussed education in today’s world limits opportunities more than ever before in history. As developing economies grow, education acts like a safety rope for large sections of the population; enabling people to gain skill-based, formal employment with all of its consequential benefits.
Our Mumbai Startup of the Week is Propelld – a startup focussed on helping students find and finance educational opportunities with a high return-on-investment. The venture is led by a team of three guys who are extremely passionate about their cause. All three of them, Bibhu, Brijesh and Victor, have graduated from IIT Madras and hold both MBA and engineering degrees. Through their journey, they have experienced first hand the life-changing impact that the right educational opportunities can have on a person. In fact, they are so passionate that they left behind a successful, cash flow positive startup to focus 100% on Propelld.
We spoke with two co-founders, Brijesh and Victor, to find out more about their journey so far.
1. What motivated you to start a venture within the educational finance space?
Brijesh: Education is really close to our heart. Coming from a state like Odisha where we have seen people being deprived of basic educational opportunities, we know how tough things can get for motivated students. It’s close to impossible for students from underprivileged backgrounds to apply for loans from traditional banking channels. In fact, almost 80% of the country finds it tough to get educational loans. I feel being able to bring education into someone’s life is of the greatest value, and that’s what motivates me.
Victor: I come from a very small town in Odisha, Bhadrak. However, I had the opportunity to move to Bhubaneshwar (capital city of Odisha) early on in my life. Juxtapositioned against my friends who never moved to Bhubaneshwar, I can see drastic differences in the kind of opportunities I got access to. Further down the road, spending time in Delhi and Mumbai has led to an even greater differential. I wholeheartedly believe that an individual should have access to the right kind of exposure when it comes to education…