Interview with 0

Dear Mr. Khandelwal, welcome to the interview. We will talk today about an idea that is meant to help you succeed in life or at least get better chances in India via education. http://collegify.comWhat exactly is it?

mr-adarsh-khandelwal-co-founder-collegifyMr.Khandelwal: Who is Collegify?

Collegify comprises young educationists who have studied abroad and want to help other students receive the same opportunities they did. We specialize in finding funding and scholarship opportunities. Our extensive experience, databanks, and training allow us to maximize our student’s success rates in both gaining admissions and finding financial aid. This year, our students have received a combined total of $10 million in financial aid toward their education. We work exclusively with top-100 colleges and universities, ensuring that all our students receive the highest quality education.

Most importantly, we not only get you into college but ensure that you are prepared and ready for college. Our thorough and involved research, writing, editing, and choosing processes make sure the student is making the best, most informed decision at all times.

$10 million in scholarships and financial aid!

We believe that a world-class education should not be out of reach for anyone, regardless of financial circumstances. Our mentors actively guide students towards colleges and programs that have demonstrated willingness to provide funding to talented international students.

Our approach ensures the student can benefit from the following:

  1. Historical data on funding awards
  2. Scholarship search
  3. External funding avenues
  4. Financial aid negotiation with colleges
  5. School-centric awards


How did you come up with the idea?
Mr.Khandelwal: The journey was an interesting and unpredictable one. I was born into a business family, so I had been exposed to the values of a businessman early. Thus, when I completed my schooling at La Martiniere for Boys, Kolkata, I enrolled for my B.Com in Commerce from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. I became greatly involved with a youth-run organization called AIESEC at this time. Wanting to explore multiple business strategies for my dream venture, I read books on marketing and successful start-ups, researched the internet for an introduction to global business trends, etc. It allowed me to focus on my vision, and opening ROADS gave me a perfect outlet to balance my passions for education and entrepreneurship.

I joined the education consultancy business during my second year in college. I had always been interested in study abroad and saw first-hand how students would immerse themselves in preparing for the process. Having helped many friends and family members with their essays, I continued assisting my seniors as they prepared for graduate school and the job market. A major turning point was when I helped a very close friend gain PG admission to LSE. The experience brought home how complicated and opaque the system seems to applicants, and I desired to help students fulfill their dream of achieving a top-notch education. As a result, I floated my first venture, ROADS, starting my long journey into the education sector. Over the years, we have helped more than 2000 students of all ages achieve their ambitions. It is gratifying to work with students who have lost track and help them achieve success. Helping students is our motto. We help undergraduates but also master’s, doctoral, and professional students applying for MBAs. We are young. We are passionate. We know the application process is a unique and invigorating process that can be conquered with the right attitude and guidance. We bring tremendous experience to the table and take great pains to ensure our company is entirely honest and open. We DO NOT support the partner model business because, in most cases, students attending partner universities end up making a big mess out of their careers. We work with each case and ensure that they make it to the right school. Certain plans have gone well, where certain others have back-fired. We have seen some tough as well as some pleasant times. All in all, we have learnt that one must go on. We learn something new each day and never stop exploring new paths.  It is fascinating now as we are well known, and everyone wants to work with Collegify. Our biggest strength is the personalized attention we provide each client. Today,  we have sent over 600 students to top universities. We have highly qualified mentors at Collegify who work with conviction to deliver their best. We have been marked as a top 100 start-up in Singapore and within the top 5 at

Over the years, our data has shown us some interesting facts. The most important one is that Indian students need to score higher on standardized tests than their American counterparts. Why is that, especially at MBA levels where all nationalities are judged roughly evenly? A fatal flaw common to Indian applications is not knowing how to present oneself and one’s application to the committee. This could be because of sub-par essays, not understanding international conventions, etc. Our goal is to help those consumers who have shown academic and extracurricular development, keen interest, and great ability but are falling short through no fault of their own. These consumers gain the most with our help to realize their potential fully.

The idea came up for all these factors keeping in mind. We had started with ROADS that describes RO Rohan and AD Adarsh. From Roads to Collegify, this is how it went off.

And how does it work? I guess every child is different and their wishes and desires as well.
Mr.Khandelwal: Our approach highlights a rigorous one-on-one mentorship “partnership” between student and mentor, marked by unlimited face-time and only solo sessions. Each student’s application is designed by a mentor and student from scratch, taking into account their profile, interests, academic desires, personal preferences, etc.

Does it require face-to-face meetings for counseling, or is it only online?
Mr.Khandelwal: We guide students through the entire process, beginning with researching schools and all the way until visa interviews. On occasion, we’ve even driven our students to the airport!

Are there any upfront costs, and what happens if you don’t make it to an abroad school?
Mr.Khandelwal: There were many challenges. We were both very young at the time, leading to some difficulties in credibility. There was trouble with organizing capital and planning investments. As we grew, we began seeing speedbumps when it came to publicity and advertising. But our focus throughout has been on a strong central product—we have hired the most qualified people with degrees from places like Yale, MIT, Oxford, etc., provided the most comprehensive mentoring programs, and helped students attend the world’s premier universities. That success has translated into our overall business and given solutions to many of our initial problems and challenges.

Do you remember your first customer? What feelings did you have when printing the first invoice?
Mr.Khandelwal: Yes – brilliant feeling, obviously. Please draft something! Our first student from Kolkata got accepted to UC-Berkeley!

What about wanna-be entrepreneurs, are there any recommendations for schools that are better for entrepreneurs?
Mr.Khandelwal: Babson, Penn, Yale, to name a few!

What would be your message for teenagers in India?
Mr.Khandelwal: Work hard!

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