“I bet you’ve never thought that you’ll be paid for doing your homework,” said Gaurav Sharma, co-founder, The Social Comment as he explained how their venture helps students portray their skills and expertise. “Above all, it’s free, useful and easy to manage.”
In a chat session with the #volocals campaign, The Social Comment Founder talks about his idea of bringing up a unique platform to help students display their academic portfolio in the best possible way.
Founded by cousins Gaurav Sharma, Akshay Mishra and their friend, Nivesh Singh Chauhan, The Social Comment is a platform where students get to display the academic work they’ve done as part of college and school assignments and get to earn money. While allowing recruiters to get a better idea of the candidate, beyond an application or a resume, the website also allows students access to additional knowledge gathered and put together by their seniors in a large format.
“Their work would be specifically targeted to the students/user of similar niche so they can keep track of the education methods all over the country and also learn and collaborate. By doing so, they’ll be generating traffic, and we allow them to monetize their content,” explained Gaurav.
The idea of such a venture began with Gaurav’s struggle to find internships or jobs due to his lack of experience or an organized resume. He felt that perhaps he wasn’t able to portray his strengths in his favour.
“I faced a lot of rejection; companies avoid people like me because our resumes are not able to portray us for who we are or what we can do. It made me feel like maybe I am in the wrong profession, or perhaps I had a lack of what we call “Jugaad,” said Gaurav. “But, later I realized that it wasn’t any of these things, something was lacking in the way I was being represented,” he added.
He then observed his cousin Akshay who was posting his previous academic work- assignments, homework, and presentations in an online blog and creating revenue through Google Ads.
After discussing their respective struggles, they came up with the idea of what is now, The Social Comment. Later, Nivesh, whom Gaurav describes contributed “the technical vision that was missing from the company”, joined in and the venture officially began.
When asked about the initial struggles the trio faced while developing the start-up, Gaurav explains how it was difficult to create awareness and create a digital presence online.
“Like every other start-up, the big obstacle we faced in our initial days was to get the word out. It’s one thing to build a product and another to make people use it,” he said. “We had a specific age group in mind and have been targeting teen audiences, as they are ones who embrace new technologies and trends before anyone else. More than 80 per cent of our audience consists of teenagers.”
Being a digital venture, the start-up has seen an increase in traffic and user portfolios during the lockdown.
“The response during the pandemic was quite unexpected. People utilized the free time available during the quarantine and started building their virtual portfolios. Customer response during quarantine was unexpectedly better than normal days,” said Gaurav.
However, he also adds that once people understand the USP of the product, it’s growth will not be limited to the lockdown period.
“As people in lockdown are spending more hours than average in front of their screen, we are trying to create brand awareness as much as possible, once people start to get the USP, the growth of the product is independent of the lockdown conditions.”
An apt start-up for a lockdown that has cost several jobs and limited the scope of employment for the thousands of freshers emerging from the graduating class of 2020; The Social Comment is a great place to start showing your academic portfolio and also earning some money while you’re at it.
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