Published: 01st March 2020
Smile and Vaave: How this platform reconnects alumni with their Indian universities
Paresh Masade, Founder and Managing Director of Vaave, personally visited many educational institutions across the country and had to wait for six months to sign their first institution, VNR VJIET
In this day and age, there are a lot of avenues to stay connected and yet, we just have a Facebook page dedicated to the batch we belonged to in college and sometimes, not even that. But since the year 2015, Vaave has entered as a game-changer when it comes to educational institutes staying connected with their alumni and the alumni staying in touch with each other. It was when Founder and Managing Director of Vaave Paresh Masade was studying at the National Institute of Industrial Engineering in Mumbai that he realised how important alumni are.
After all, he received repeated guidance and advice from his seniors and alumni. "But the problem is that Indian educational institutions don't know how to engage students who have passed out," says the 34-year-old. While the alumni can guide students, deliver guest lectures, donate and even offer jobs and internships to the current students, educational institutions can help increase the alumni's network and offer an avenue through which they can hire for their companies. It's a win-win, basically.
Paresh Masade | (Pic: Vaave)
What Vaave, which is currently operating out of T-Hub, Hyderabad, does is it gives educational institutions an exclusive portal. They also have a mobile app and the portal integrates with it. Think of it as their own social media platform. Every alumni can sign up and create profiles of their own and it takes them about three to four years to get 70 per cent of the alumni on board. "It helps us build and manage an updated alumni database, organise successful reunions and alumni meets, involve alumni in student development and raise funds through them," explains Paresh.
But how does the portal help the alumni, you ask? They can reconnect with friends and search for 'Alumni near me' to connect immediately. Harvard Business Review provides three articles per week to the portal, UpGrad (the e-learning platform) offers upskilling courses at a discounted price and there are many other benefits to be leveraged. More than 1,000 educational institutions across India are currently making the most of their services, including IIMs like Lucknow and Indore, IITs like Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar, NITs, VNR VJIET, SRM, VIT and many more.
"As our vision is to help educational institutions create an impact, we offer it for free to government schools who wish to connect their alumni," says Paresh Masade
"All we need are a few alumni members who care," says Paresh. One of their most successful stories till date is of the alumni of NIT Nagpur initiated a `5 crore corpus fund in 2015. Though it has been difficult to convince institutes about the relevance of Vaave, the fact that bodies like National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) use alumni engagement and advancement as parameters to grade an institute has helped their case. Vaave has already started building alumni networks for corporates and in the future, they want to get on board 300 new customers.
The A-team | (Pic: Vaave)
Vaave in numbers:
- 5 years of experience in building alumni networks
- Total revenue of Rs 1.6 crore for the financial year 2019-20
- 25 member team
- Rs 1.8 crore worth of investment raised till date
- 10,00,000+ alumni connected so far
For more on them, check out vaave.com