An excellent education is a universal goal that every parent dreams of for their child; this is especially true in India, a country optimistic about improving its education system. The harsh realization is that parents can’t always provide opportunities for those dreams to come true. Nearly 25 percent of India’s population (the second most populous country in the world) is illiterate and many are depending on its young population to change that reality.
Approximately 50 percent of the population is under the age of 25 years old and those college-aged are expected to carry India with their socially aware and entrepreneurial spirits.
20th century poet and playwright William Butler Yeats once said that “education is not filling a pail but the lighting of a fire.” We saw Mark Zuckerberg light a fire and educate us all with his exclusive site for Americans with an .edu email address, but the flame was seen across the world. Particularly in India, social media usage took off and has become an activity of nearly 30 million online users.
So it should be no surprise that the third largest social networking site, behind Facebook and Orkut, in India is a platform for young Indians (current students, recent graduates and entrepreneurs). Bharatstudent.com was launched in 2007 and is goaled with joining young Indians at home and studying abroad seeking help with personal and professional matters.
The social network serves as a one-stop shop for those seeking advice on issues such as professional opportunities, and study abroad programs, to ratings on schools and work places.
Although the site’s premise seems to be primarily informational and started as just a means to help those wanting studying abroad, almost five years later – the possibilities led the site to become a completely interactive and multi-faceted portal. Subscribers can now blog, share photos and video, join groups and make friends. Sound familiar?
Smartly so, Bharatstudent.com differentiated itself by keeping its focus on students. The online utility offers a Study Zone that guides on selection and application processes for institutions. When Bharat students aren’t in the zone, they can hang out in Café Bharat, which brings more opportunity user-generated video content on campus life, current events and popular culture.
Why they still needed Facebook
Reinventing the wheel is an often avoided tactic in business relations. So in March Bharatstudent.com announced it would integrate with Facebook in hopes of doubling its user base. Rather than trying to compete with the global leader, something no social site has been able to do thus far, executives made a wise strategic decision to leverage the capabilities Facebook already mastered and incorporate them for the benefit of their users. Integration allows for Bharatstudent.com to keep its user base at home while providing them with the perks of an even vaster global connection.
Where do they go from here?
It’s evident that the minds behind Bharatstudent.com know the importance of niche markets and timeliness and with the next generation of innovators as their user base – the addition of a “Now Hiring” page should keep them in the game.