Aviate – Making College Students Job Ready

Every student dreams of getting good grades, good college and a good life ahead. The young budding mind is curious, puzzled and still learning how the world works. The academic education and grades will only help too much, a person will need practical knowledge, certain skill set and so called “experience”. A freshly graduated individual struggles in finding a path, a direction to a journey he has to cross alone. The college, peers and adults in one’s life can only help through the way of giving advice, which at often times confuses the person. What these final year graduates need is the correct training about the work and skills they will need to instill in order to enter the recruitment market with the confidence and competence.

Almost all the companies coming to the placement cells for recruitment are looking for students who have good communication skills and are fast learners. Why? Because they will be trained after the competitive range of interviews, GDs and tests of all sorts. The training period is what creates a need for betterment – as a platform for employability-enhancement and placement services for fresh college graduates and final year college students sounds like a perfect solution. Aviate provides the very same stage – a program with a vision to change the hiring market by training job-seekers on a very role-specific and organization/industry-specific that is designed in collaboration with the employers and geared to inculcate the operational as well as the soft competencies that an employer seeks for a particular job profile.

Startup Name Aviate
Headquarter Gurgaon
Founder Rishi Raj Rahul & Kundan Kumar
Sector Edtech cum Recruitment
Founded 2019
Parent Organization Aviate Education Private Limited

About Aviate
Founders of Aviate and Team
How was Aviate Started
Aviate - Name and Logo
Aviate - Business Model and How it works
Aviate - User Acquisition
Aviate - Funding and Investors
Aviate - Startup Challenges
Aviate - Competitors
Aviate - Advisors and Mentors
Aviate - Future Plans

About Aviate

Aviate is a platform for employability-enhancement and placement services for fresh college graduates and final year college students. Their long-term vision is to disrupt the hiring market for entry-mid level roles. Their objective is to create a world where companies recruit via a train and hire model instead of the current norm of hiring people and then training them to be job-ready.

Aviate’s strategy is to train job-seekers on a very role-specific and organization/industry-specific courses that are designed in collaboration with the employers and geared to inculcate the operational as well as the soft competencies that an employer seeks for a particular job profile.

Post the training, job-seekers are thoroughly assessed (the assessments are also approved by the employers and designed to gauge a candidate-profile fit) and only the ones that make the cut are sent for interviews.

Aviate also has a retention cum mentorship programme wherein the alumni are paid a retention bonus after they complete a year with their organization. In exchange, the alumni conduct screening and mentorship sessions for incoming batch of job-seekers targeting the Alumni’s industry or profile. This also helps the alumni by granting them a sizeable supplementary income and provides the best possible mentorship to candidates aspiring for a particular role or an industry.

The advantages of this approach for employers are-

  1. Reduce their TAT for hiring because of our curation
  2. Reduce their training costs and unlock a lot of opportunity costs as the candidates are job-ready
  3. Reduce their attrition rates via our retention cum mentorship programme

The advantages for job-seekers are

  1. Guaranteed Jobs for successful candidates
  2. Successful candidates get a job offer within 24-96 hours
  3. Employability-Enhancement by inculcation of core operational and soft skills
  4. Supplementary income via our retention cum mentorship programme
  5. No upfront training fee
  6. Pan-India access to multiple job profiles and employers

Founders of Aviate and Team

Rishi Raj Rahul is the founder and CEO of Aviate. Rishi is an Engineer from MIT Manipal and he also attended MBA course at MDI Gurgaon for an year before dropping Out. Previously, He worked with LetsTransport as National Sales Manager, where he scaled revenue to $10Million ARR. He also spearheaded strategic partnerships with Porsche and JW Marriot during his stint at Bidsvilla.

Kundan Kumar, an alumnus of IIT BHU (CSE) has joined Aviate as a Co-founder and CTO. Kundan is experienced in full-stack development. Kundan had Co-founded a company called Medaboss in the healthtech space and has also worked as tech lead with many organisations in the past.

“I talked to Kundan on LinkedIn when he pinged me as he was itching to work in this space as he had a very similar idea a few years ago. So I remember having several very late-night conversations with him and when we realized that our vision for the product and the business were aligned, he flew down to meet us and before long, he had put in his papers and would be joining us full-time in August as a co-founder and CTO" Rishi informed.

In addition to the founders, Abhishek Singh is a core team member and heads the operations and online supply acquisition. Abhishek is an alumnus of IIT Dhanbad. Aviate has also made another addition in the form of Malika Bhutani to the core team as the head of community relations wherein she would lead the supply acquisition efforts.

How was Aviate Started

Rishi had faced the problem of hiring good frontline sales reps for a few organizations that he had been a part of and he used to wonder why that was the case and then one thing led to another and he started researching about the problem. He spoke to the Talent acquisition teams at several prominent BFSI, FMCG and retail companies that typically employ a large sales and operations workforce. He realized that a lot of their hiring for frontline roles is outsourced to recruitment agencies and they don’t really have a good curation mechanism.

What he realized were three problems on the side of employers, the time taken to hire was protracted owing to a lack of good curation, the candidates needed training post-employment and weren’t job-ready and the attrition rates for these profiles was pretty high.

He also spoke to a lot of placement officers across colleges in the country, students that had recently graduated or were about to in order to understand the problems at their end. He also discussed it with a few friends that are entrepreneurs and some that work with a VC fund to get a sense of what they thought of the idea.

By the end of last year, he put in his papers at LT and decided to take a plunge and try to solve these problems.

"We just brainstormed on a couple of ideas for the name  and when we zeroed in on Aviate" says Rishi. The founder himself created the company's logo.

Aviate Logo

Aviate - Business Model and How it works

Aviate is a pioneer in the 'train and hire' model. Aviate trains job-seekers on very role-specific and organization/industry-specific courses that are designed in collaboration with the employers. Post training the trainees are assessed and only those perform well are sent for interviews. To reduce attrition Aviate also provides incentives to those alumni who complete minimum an year with an organization.

The advantages of this 'train and hire' model are-

  • Effective curation of employees-  Employers can recruit from a candidate pool that is pre-trained.
  • Candidates are job ready even before getting hired. So the companies can skip the need for in-house training.
  • Reduced attrition- The alumni receive retention bonus on completion of minimum one year of job with a company, which reduces the attrition rate.
  • Role specific training and assessments designed in collaboration of the employers bridges skill gaps.

Aviate - User Acquisitions

Aviate’s client acquisition strategy has mostly been about identifying industries and sectors where they feel the model of hiring can create a dent and then reaching out to relevant stakeholders in the organizations to take the conversations ahead.

Aviate is currently focusing on community building through campus ambassador network, internship platform and promotional events. The company is also taking to to digital marketing to reach out to potential customers.

Aviate - Funding and Investors

Aviate raised a total funding of $40,000 in May, 2019.

Date Stage Amount Investor
May,2019 Angel $40000 Sanchit Saraf, Abhimanyu Dhamija, Ravish Naresh, Pushkar Singh along with some other angels

Aviate is seeking a $1 million seed investment to scale its operations by investing in tech, content and supply acquisition.

Aviate - Startup Challenges

A major challenge for Aviate has been to build a good mechanism for offline supply acquisition. They initially started by reaching out to colleges for supply acquisition but soon realized that most colleges could care less about the placements and outcomes for their students.

“It’s so sad it isn’t even funny. Some colleges are responsive but the overwhelming majority couldn’t care less about outcomes as long as their seats are getting filled and they’re making money”, says Rishi.

Now their focus in terms of offline supply acquisition is to build a network of campus ambassadors to evangelize the cause. They also plan to launch an internship platform in order to try and get a lock-in on the supply side right from the first year of college.

Aviate - Competitors

Aviate’s model is different from the other players in this space like Manipal pro-learn or times learning etc. but Rishi, is fairly sure that some great companies would emerge in this space. However, he thinks what Lambda has achieved is quite remarkable and investors and entrepreneurs alike have shown quite an interest in creating an Indian clone of Lambda. They will be watching this space with great interest specially to see if and how the Income sharing Agreement model works in India.

However, there are several companies and entrepreneurs that Rishi finds inspirational like Larry Ellison (oracle), Divyank Turakhia (directi, Media.net), Nitin Kamath (Zerodha), Ashish Kashyap (Goibibo, INDwealth) among several others.

Tech-enabled/tech-based recruitment has seen a few interesting companies but none have managed to solve the problem at scale except Naukri. It is a little odd that none of the startups founded post 2010 have made a dent in the market in terms of the scale that naukri enjoys. In terms of skill development, the market has tinkered with a train and hire model however we feel that no one has really created a model that hinges on incentive-alignment of all stakeholders. We do think a lot of interesting plays will emerge in the broader recruitment and skill-development space

Aviate - Advisors and Mentors

Aviate is being mentored by Pushkar Singh (Co-founder Let's Transport) and Ravish Naresh (Co-founder Khatabook and housing).

Aviate - Future Plans

Aviate has signed up its first few clients and has commenced training and hiring for them.

The immediate focus for the next two years is to create a wide array of content that enables them to create a broader base of profiles and roles as they feel this will trigger a positive feedback loop with tremendous network effects.

Depth and breadth of content and job-types would lead to a better supply and a better supply would lead to better demand from clients. Kick-starting and optimizing this feedback loop is their immediate focus for now.

Website: Aviate

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About Swati Singh