Story of letsintern.com…from a thought to organization.

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It’s a known fact that in India gaining any sort of relevant Industry experience as a student is more or less nonexistent. Most enter their respective industries with varying expectations and the ground reality always floors them and mostly not in a positive manner. On the other hand the employers are always on a hunt for talent and never seem to find the kind they need. www.Letsintern.com, offers a double edged solution for both these problems, it reduces talent acquisition costs for organizations, while increasing employability for students through internships & career services.
LetsIntern.com is organizing the student-employer marketplace in India via an Internship Portal that offers the three Talent Stakeholders – Students, Colleges and Organizations – a single platform to engage in a meaningful manner for Internships. While providing internships to students and decreasing search costs and maximizing convenience is the prime focus, other peripheral services and offline training modules help LetsIntern.com offer the complete bouquet to be India’s first career services brand for graduates.

“We are passionate about benefiting the personal and professional development of a student, while ensuring ready talent and succession planning for companies” says Pranay Swarup, Co-founder, LetsIntern.com.

Letsintern.com – The story of young India going to work…
(in words of Mr. Rishabh Gupta, CEO and Co-founder, letsintern.com)

We were just desperate to be entrepreneurs, enthusiastic enough to quit our blue chip jobs and get back to exploring the entrepreneurial bug that had bitten us in college, just to figure out what exactly for. Barely 24 and with less than a lac in the bank, we were looking for “the Idea” – that moment of genius when that “Idea” would descend on us that will change the world, earn us our billions and make us the dream. Truth is there aren’t any such ideas and all we can do is believe in ourselves, dig into our past and skills and do something we passionately believe in. Revenue models and business plans are then built around it, not the other way round. You then just give yourself completely to that very idea, with maximum vision, and make it count!

When Mayank, Pranay and I quit our jobs at Alcatel Lucent, NASSCOM Foundation and Network 18, respectively, we didn’t have a clue of what business to do. Years of connecting young professionals across the globe through AIESEC (combined we had spent 12 years in the international internship organization) we had one common passion – Youth. We wanted to add significant value to the youth, do something so dramatic and impactful that it forever changes their DNA for the better.

“Students in higher education want careers and not degrees” is a simple thought that drove our business idea – Letsintern.com – a portal connecting students and colleges to organizations and professional opportunities. Unfortunately, the employability of our graduates is amongst the lowest in the world – only 15-25% is employable. We have no culture of working through college or during breaks. We simply wanted to change that, we wanted to put the young and spirited closer to their careers, of their choice. We envisioned a future where professional exposure supplements college degrees.

We started this out of our homes, begging designers and developers to do our work for free, token money or a few beers. We were not in an established market so we had to decide prices, set precedence and sell our stories, vision and soul to every individual who could be of value to us. It worked – we got a few paying clients, students started registering – Eureka! It was working. But hell, revenues were too little and growth was too slow. We decided what every entrepreneur does once he/she has the idea – raise monies! We knocked every door from Mumbai angels to HNI’s to IAN to many more and got a unanimous NO. That was some ego beating, reality check and nerve wrecking as revenues were not coming in. A couple of months of bad revenues (read nil), constant rejections, website malfunctioning (didn’t have a techie on board) and everything going wrong – we however suddenly started seeing the proverbial light even through the tunnel.

The continued traction of students and some loyal clients brought some zing back, and all the hard work and pushing started to make way for us. We suddenly getting some good clients and projects like FCUK, Zee Group, Mirabilis etc. and won ET-Power of Ideas 2010, met mentors and stalwarts like Narayan Murthy, and started getting investor queries. We got a grant from the Department of Science and Technology, Govt of India and were funded 4 months later by two angel investors.

From here on, we have stayed true to our goal, kept trying new things and kept adapting to newer realities. There is so much to learn in a start-up that every day seems like Day 1, with a bucket load of issues, spoonful of resources and a world which wants you to serve the perfect buffet. You just slice ’em one at a time and work for it all to end up yummy.

Today, 2 years since the birth of the idea, LetsIntern.com is leading the race to be India’s answer for student work opportunities and young talent resources. We have done maximum revenues in this space and have 3 offices, 23 employees, a few hundred interns and clients such as Channel V, HDFC, HCL, Times Group, Reliance, Force India, Viacom 18, Diageo, Flipkart etc. More than 50,000 students have access to Letsintern.com; we have aided more than 7000 students to intern and gain exposure across career functions and industries of their interest, of course in the process companies get fuelled with fresh talent and ideas of their own. The Idea, as always, still continues to find shape. It moulds, fails then flourishes, and assures to be even more.

Techaloo team got an opportunity to interview Mr. Rishabh, Co-founder and CEO at letsintern.com.
Here is the Success story of this great startup.

Techaloo:Share some info about your services here.
Rishabh: We have services for all three stakeholders:

Colleges : Work Opportunities, Career Workshop for the students
Students: Work Opportunities ( Internships, Virtual Internships, etc.)
Companies: Online service to hire interns, premium service and employer branding.

Techaloo:How are you different from other internship websites like hellointern, firstnaukri, skilled interns etc.?
Rishabh: Hellointern is a product which hasn’t evolved in two year and their servicing is non existent. Its good technology but which hasn’t progressed.

Firstnaukri : focus only on fresher placements, internship listings are just to fill space.

Other Internship websites: Focussed on recruiting students, while we focus on shaping a students career through multiple opportunities through his collee tenure. We make students corporate ready.

Techaloo:You have collaboration with Franklin Covey and Microsoft to train the students. What feedback are you getting from industry for interns trained by you?

Rishabh: The feedback is very encouraging as these students find it easier to find internships and hence build their profile. More than industry, we want students to benefit from such workshops, better talent benefits the industry as a byproduct.

Techaloo:You are a winner of Economic Times “Power of Ideas”.
a.) What is the importance of it for you?

Rishabh: It’s the first milestone for us, first stamp on our conviction. We really got a leverage a lot from the networks they give access to and mentoring they provide.
We also won Nasscom Emere 50 award which has rated as upcoming top 20 start-ups in India.

b.) What do they see in an idea?

Rishabh: There are 5 things for a pre-seed phase companies which should be there:
1. A genuine problem that your solving/ and a solution for the same
2. The team to execute the solution
3. A large market size
4. Competitive advantage
5. Revenue model and financials
Focus on the above and if you get this right, forget about competitions or investors – you are good to go.

Techaloo:Have you got any kind of funding?
Rishabh: Yes, we are seed-funded by two pune based investors.

Techaloo:What was the vision mission of the letsintern? What exactly you wanted to do when you started your business?
Rishabh: To provide work opportunity during college for every indian graduate and to provide easy campus recruitment solutions to organizations.

Techaloo:What kind of difficulties you had faced while starting/doing business?
Rishabh: Well, the correct answer to this is always “every difficulty one can fathom”. Lack of money, good people, good office spaces, bad hiring, doo too much at times and doing too little sometimes.
Biggest mistake or roadblock is people – to attract good people, to select them and then to motivate them to continue performing. That’s the key.

Techaloo:What is your user base?
Rishabh: 100,000 +

Techaloo:What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years?
Rishabh: To make every indian graduate pass out with a degree and having some professional experience. Future plan is to invest heavily in product and technology to scale

Techaloo:It is generally said that “India doesn’t have a good eco-system for entrepreneurs ”, Do you agree with this?
Rishabh: I don’t agree, especially in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore or any of the top 10 cities – there are enough mentors, advisors, incubation centres and places to work.

Its improving by the day.

Techaloo:What will be your advice/suggestion for new entrepreneurs for starting new business?
Rishabh: Just take the plunge and keep moving forward. Focus on long term goals – product, brand, people, culture. We tend to miss these while trying to fight for survival and then it’s a very uphill task to scale.

Techaloo:Few words about techaloo.com?
Rishabh: Its great that they are encouraging start-ups, providing them a home on the internet and encouraging new ideas. Best of luck to Techaloo team.

Contact Details:

Name: Rishabh Gupta
Company: Lets Intern Career Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
Website: www.letsintern.com
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/company/lets-intern-career-solutions-pvt-ltd-
Twitter: www.twitter.com/letsintern

Men Behind The Success:

Rishabh Gupta, Co-founder and CEO
Pranay Swarup,Co-founder
Mayank Batheja,Co-founder
Ankit Saxena,Tech Head

Ankit was hired in May 2012 with the focus to strengthen core team and lead product and technology.
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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

One Comment

  1. Mayank says:

    Wonderful story!
    People like these inspire the entire generation to become entrepreneurs.

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