Empowering Youngsters with Global Education Opportunities

Jaideep Gupta, CEO & Founder – Univariety

Jaideep is extremely passionate about technology and analytics. His passion for technology and a strong belief that career guidance matters – is what gave birth to the idea of Univariety.

Univariety creates post-school college planning systems within schools in India that empower thousands of school students to plan their career. The company aims to solve the most fundamental problem of higher education counselling that is faced by Indian school students at the undergraduate level.

Univariety is a first-of-its-kind marketplace in India that ensures a successful transition from school to higher education institution. Univariety endeavours to empower students in making informed career decisions through a holistic approach and unbiased counselling for admissions in every college and university from across the globe. It enables students to get into their dream university by offering guidance from four sources. They are –
a) Counsellors,
b) Admission Officers and Professors of Universities,
c) Data & Analytical Tools,
d) Seniors and Alumni of Schools

Univariety is associated with 400+ schools and over 110,000 students.

Having done his schooling in the US, Jaideep received the much coveted Presidential Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement from President George Bush Sr. He holds a Bachelors in Business Studies from Delhi University and MBA in Finance and Strategy from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India.

Jaideep started his career with The General Electric Company (GE) and worked with its various companies across the US, Middle East, and India. He stepped into the consulting industry by joining Ernst & Young in India as the Associate Director of Corporate Finance. While at E&Y Business Advisory Services, he worked as the Senior Manager & Area Director and had the honour to become the youngest Vice President at E&Y Transactions Advisory Services. Having worked extensively in the field of education with large school chains, universities and other education players across multiple countries, he eventually moved over to E&Y in Singapore as Associate Director covering the South East Asia region.

Here are some more insights from his professional journey & the story behind Univariety, as shared with Team ABT.

What inspires you the most?
Technology! Using technology to solve problems which otherwise don’t have as easy a solution, is very inspiring. It opens up room for millions of opportunities that weren’t available earlier. Technology shortens and simplifies the process of providing solutions.

Do you find any difference in the education in your time and today? Tell us more.
Yes, there has been a paradigm shift in the education industry. Today there is a lot of focus on building non-academic skills. Schools and parents are realizing that 21st century skills like thinking, research & communication, are crucial to success and are helping students prepare for them. The focus has moved from rote learning to practical learning & skill building.

Another important and necessary change that I see is that of groupism vs individuality. Today, students are not bunched together to perform or complete an activity. Being single, going on a solo journey to experimenting and exploring is being encouraged which is great.

Then last but not the least is learning. Students today have the luxury to learn from a variety of sources and are not limited to teachers and books (libraries). If a student wishes to learn, sky is the limit! Students who have initiative can learn anything

Please share with us, some of the initiatives at Univariety.
As part of its entrepreneurial endeavour, Univariety introduced the first Global Career Counselling Certification Program in collaboration with UCLA Extn in the Indian Educational market. This program is a one-of-a-kind the only program that teaches and certifies its students on Career Counselling.

In 2016, we introduced the CV Building Program for students which helps them build their skills, gain experience and earn certificates in the field of their interest. With this, students are able to show university admission officers that they have done things beyond marks and have demonstrated interest in the field of their preference.

Univariety also conducts the University Guidance Conference, which is one of the biggest and the only annual conference on Career Planning and Guidance in the Indian education industry today. We launched it in the year 2014 and it is currently in its 4th edition now (scheduled for Aug 2017).

What are your views on the impact of social media in education & the students?
Internet is a tool that sets the world on your fingertips! I believe that when used properly social media and internet can really help student explore their career options and also help them in broadening their horizons. Social media is an amazing platform where you can talk to anyone, anywhere in the world! I think students should take advantage of that and start “networking” with the right people, albeit with mediation!

Tell us about any one milestone that you are proud of.
Well, that would be getting Top Indian Government Universities like IIM Indore, NALSAR etc on board with us and having them engage with the students on our platform. These interactions between universities and students contribute majorly towards students making informed college and career decisions.

If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
Focus more on building relationships! As the CEO, I get caught up with everything happening in the industry as well as the organization, but, it usually never gives me enough time to get to know people.

What would you like to achieve in the coming years?
In the coming years, we would like to work with schools outside India and broaden our reach to other Asian countries.