When we were in college, back in those days, we hardly had any visibility of what events were going on in other colleges. All we could refer was the notice board of our own college. I thought that it must have changed, given today’s technology. But I was surprised to find very few people actually bringing the campuses together.
Campus Karma is one such platform that aims to bridge the gap between the campuses and brings all the college-going folks in one virtual platform.
Started by Rohit Gupta and his team, this platform is more than just about being social. There is a deep thought process behind it. Let’s find out more.
Q & A:
[DJ- Devender Jadi, RG –Rohit Gupta]
DJ: Hi Rohit. Tell us about how you got the idea of Campus Karma, and why did you start it ?
RG: It was in 2012 while I was doing my last year of graduation in computers that the idea to formulate this website stuck my mind. Though, it owes its existence to a not so desired incident. I was a ‘fest-addict’ and me and my groups of friends were always seen skipping classes and visiting various college fests and activities, participating and demonstrating technical ideas.
As you may say I was always this ‘tech-geek’ sort of guy. Due to this we gave miss to a series of college classes and only came back to realize that in the meantime an important assignment was circulated and its last day of submission was over. I was petrified and then it suddenly occurred to me that how good it would have been if there was a ‘common notice board’ where we may get all the information’s on assignments and other academic activities and the cherry being this may also serve as a platform to connect all students of different campuses for an exchange of cultural and technical ideas.
I was into web designing and development from my school life and have also developed a few Facebook applications. I also came 3rd among the other 250+ team from India at FaceCode Hackathon for one of my Facebook app in 2012. Given my love for technology and passion about coding, I started working on the idea of a website where one can find answers to the basic campus problems and after nine months on October 2nd, 2012 stood the basic structure of ‘Campus Karma’ my website.
DJ: You have been coding for quite some years now. You have also won many competitions. Tell us more about it!
RG: I love technology and I spent most of my time on my laptop. In my free time, I always do my research work on new technology and ways to improve my coding skills. This is what has enabled me to develop and innovate something new on the day-to-day basis. If I have to give you an example, one of my friend runs a small restaurant in Kolkata and one day she complained me about the price and feature of POS application that she was using at her restaurant.
What I did was, I developed a POS cum Inventory and Cash Management application for her and deployed the same on her tablet. Now she can print invoices, maintain her product inventory, cash, masters etc. all in that single application. I love coding and I always try to help people with my skills.
I have graduated from college 5 years ago but still, my college juniors keep calling me when they face any challenges in coding or debugging. In my earlier company (one of the Big 4), I have developed a few automation scripts in VB that enabled us to complete our job in a shorter span of time. So you see, we live in an era where we are surrounded by technology and coding is a vital part of that technology. I am happy to be part of this technology.
DJ: Students from how many colleges have availed your services till now?
RG: As of today, we have more than 20,000 colleges listed on our platform and we have more than 30,000 students (currently in colleges or graduates) registered on Campus Karma.
DJ: How is Campus Karma different from other social platforms that are available? (Mention about USPs of the platform and targeted demography)
RG: Campus Karma is a platform for colleges, teachers, and students across India to share academic information, study material, campus-related updates, and exchange ideas. While most social networking sites stop at just connecting people and providing a platform for social exchanges, Campus Karma takes a step ahead and provides free services to the college students that help them in their day-to-day college life.
If I have to speak about the services that Campus Karma offers to its members or the unique factor about Campus Karma which makes it different from other social platforms, then I will say that Campus Karma is one of its kinds with lots of facilities that students can get on one single platform. The whole idea of Campus Karma is to give an end to end service to students that will help them grow and enhance their skills during their college life. Let’s talk about the services that we offer or the uniqueness of the platform.
Firstly, when I started Campus Karma, it was just about connecting the students from various colleges on one social platform. A platform where one can know what’s happening on other campuses in India. So, I started with a basic structure where students can share the activities that are going on at their campus as a status update or by writing a blog on it. They can also upload pictures of their college fest and events so that others get to know how cool their campus is. The student can share study materials with each other using our file sharing feature. And lastly, students can post about their upcoming college events so that students from other colleges can also join them. This was the basic features back in 2012.
With time I felt like this was not enough, there can be more than I can give to the community and that’s the time when I started adding new features from 2013. The Idea which I envisioned in 2012 has today grown manifolds to give out branches dealing with various other college day problems like;“Internship Portal”(1000+ Internship are getting posted on the website on a daily basis that students can search and apply for), “Aptitude Section” (We have over 58,000aptitude questions for practice), “Online Compiler” (Students can code online in 60+ languages), “Coaching Information” (More than 40,000 coaching institute’s information is available on our site), “College Review” (Student can write reviews about their college that will help other students to decide if the college is fit for him/her before joining the campus), “Online Resume” (This one is my favourite, students often face challenges to prepare their resume for the interview.
We have a set of 5-6 online templates that can help the students with their resume. All they need to do is feed in the information, select a template and bingo they will get their resume. And we have a bonus too, we store the resume data of the students for when they want to edit/update the existing data and get the updated resume) and lastly we have “Company Reviews” (Students can get to know about a company better in terms of Cultural and Values, Leadership, Career Opportunities, Compensation and Benefits, and Work-Life Balance. We have information of more than 1.5 lacks companies on our website.)
Campus Karma is only and only for the students of India. Anyone from outside will not be allowed to register. Campus Karma has also developed a spam detection bot and that is why you won’t find any spam content either on the site.
Apart from the online services, we also provide training and workshops i.e. “TechCAMP” on various topics like Internet of Things (IoT), Ethical Hacking, Embedded Robotics, PCB Design, Arduino and Robotics, Gaming, Block Chain, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Chat Bots, Android Application Development, Industrial Web Design using HTML5 CSS3 & JQuery, Mobile Ready Responsive Web Design etc.
DJ: Do you charge the customers for your services? What is your revenue model?
RG: No, we don’t charge any fee from the students for using our online platform i.e., the campus social networking website. However, we do charge for the worships and training that we conduct at various campuses.
DJ: What influenced you to startup on your own? (Entrepreneurship specific)
RG: I wanted to do something on my own. I was working in one of the Big 4 Consulting firm and have gone through the corporate life; To my surprise I survived a couple of years in a corporate firm, but deep down somewhere, my heart always wanted to do something extra in life, something new, something innovative and here I am running Campus Karma for the past 5 years. It’s not about the influenced but the courage that you get out of your cozy couch and take that risk to do something different.
DJ: What plans do you have for Campus Karma in future?
RG: Well, there are lots of plan in the pipeline where I am trying to bring in new features to the platform like an online video tutorial, a semi-annual online fest for college students etc. I am also planning on a mean to provide a platform to budding app developers to upload their app’s for the end users to use and review. Well, I can’t say anything further and disclose everything now, but eventually, everyone will get to know.
DJ: Some people reading this interview may have been thinking of starting their own social platform. Any advice?
Everything is possible in life unless you want to put the toothpaste back into the tube, it won’t work. Everyone has the opportunity and the possibilities are limitless. You guys can do anything you set your mind to, and I am a true witness to that. Dream big and trust your instinct.
DJ: Rapid fire:
Move slow and carefully, or move quick-
RG: Neither. Life is not like the binary decisions (true or false), it is complex and running a company is complicated.
Jack of all trades or master of one –
RG: Master of one. Your success rate is high.
Customer first, or employee first –
RG: Employee first. That is how you can meet your goal of customer service and satisfaction.
‘Fake it till you make it’, or be honest –
RG: Sometimes you need to resort to the old adage, “fake it ‘til you make it” to get by and its ok if you’re “faking it” in the right way and not being dishonest.
DJ: What is your take on Startupsindia.in?
RG: Well the questioner is definitely fresh. I have given a couple of interviews before and most of them follow the same set of the questioner and there was never a new question for me. But here at Startupsindia, I can see that you guys have come up with all very different questions. Now at least people would get to read something new in my interview.
DJ: So all the college-going folks out there join Campus Karma now. Rohit, your parting lines to the people reading this…
Campus Karma is a campus social networking website for the students, by the students. Come to join us and if you think that we need to incorporate any new features on the site then do reach out to us. We will definitely try our best to bring in new and useful features for you guys. Till then enjoy our free services and let us help you to complete you college life without any hiccups.
That’s Rohit from Kolkata for you.
Thank You Mr.Rohit for sharing Journey of Campus Karma.
This is Devender Jadi from startupsindia.in signing off. Thank You.