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    Date submitted
  • 22-Nov-2016

Rahnumai

Abstract

In every admission cycle, students in Pakistan lack awareness about the application procedures in place in universities for higher education programs. The problem further intensifies due to limited exposure about the different options available to them in terms of variety of university programs and paths. Each university sets its own set of deadlines which may or may not coincide with others deadlines, keeping all this information in mind is quiet a hectic task on its own let alone the entry test. Moreover, most of the universities and colleges in Pakistan till date lack a proper on-line portal for application processing. This creates a big hurdle for students especially for residents of remote areas as this necessitates traveling to other cities only to procure an application form. This presents nothing short of a herculean challenge for female students who already have limited access to education and face other numerous social and religious barriers within the Pakistani society. This procedure is quiet uneconomical for students from under privileged backgrounds resulting in confinement of educational and future economic opportunities instead of what should be open for all. A possibility of bright future is stolen from these students who also like others have to labor through household responsibilities and one day shoulder the economic burden. It is quite unfortunate, that despite being aware of all these issues, most of the educational institutions in Pakistan are unable to provide an alternative to the current setup.

Rahnumai believes that higher education is not a privilege but rather a basic civic right that must be available to all with regard to gender, race and sexual orientation. It is a venture that strives to address the discussed problems in the form of an online platform.

Rahnumai online platform constitutes the following three main parts:

1. Educational Search Engine

2. Universities Database

3. Online Universal Application Portal

Students are only required to sign up to access the portal by completing their initial profiles. Once signed in students select the universities that they are interested in applying. There is absolutely no limit to the number of universities that could be selected. After university selections the whole responsibility of the application process rests on our shoulders. The deadlines are taken care for through our dashboard as well as regular intervals. We will be forwarding all academic and nonacademic information to the universities on behalf of the student after receiving the university application fees and our service charges.

The Rahnumai portal benefits all students by saving the time, omitting the need to manage deadlines, minimizing unnecessary travel cost and the fatigue from waiting in long lines at a university to get access to the application form and then at the bank to submit the application fee. Most importantly, the portal will facilitate female applicants who face barriers of mobility and society by omitting the need to travel for the application process. This not only is cost effective but also saves the discomfort for the accompanying family member as in our society women rarely travel alone. Only travelling that might be necessary could be for entry test or final interview. Therefore, Rahnumai has the capability to increase the number of female applicants and who knows may be resulting in their higher enrollment in higher education institutes.

Video

Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

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Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Students, Universities, and Educational institutes are our customer. Initially we are following a B2C model, focusing only on signing up students on the portal. At a later stage we will build up a B2B model as well which includes getting universities to register on our portal and use it officially as part of their application process. Our revenue stream will be based on the fee we charge to: 1) students for applications and consultancy, 2) universities for applications, marketing (including social media, SEO, seminars and print media), and Web services. 3) Apart from this, we will generate our revenue from advertisements as well.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

In every admission cycle, students in Pakistan lack awareness about the application procedures in place in universities for higher education programs. The problem further intensifies due to limited exposure about the different options available to them in terms of variety of university programs and paths. Each university sets its own set of deadlines which may or may not coincide with others deadlines, keeping all this information in mind is quiet a hectic task on its own let alone the entry test. Moreover, most of the universities and colleges in Pakistan till date lack a proper on-line portal for application processing. This creates a big hurdle for students especially for residents of remote areas as this necessitates traveling to other cities only to procure an application form. This presents nothing short of a herculean challenge for female students who already have limited access to education and face other numerous social and religious barriers within the Pakistani society. This procedure is quiet uneconomical for students from under privileged backgrounds resulting in confinement of educational and future economic opportunities instead of what should be open for all. A possibility of bright future is stolen from these students who also like others have to labor through household responsibilities and one day shoulder the economic burden. It is quite unfortunate, that despite being aware of all these issues, most of the educational institutions in Pakistan are unable to provide an alternative to the current setup.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Consultancy Sessions Standard Application Portal Authentic and up to date database There is no such a portal exist. It will save time money and tiring Travel. Our audience increasing day by day. It can be implemented anywhere in the world, as its a global issue.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

We have the first mover advantage as we are launching our portal in a region at a time when no other such platform exists for connecting students to universities and taking care of their admission process. We believe that in this digital age, students should be able to opt for higher education in any university of their choosing without going through any hassle and saving time and money. Our competitive edge also comes from the fact that we have gone through these experiences ourselves and we can relate to the struggle of a student for applying to universities and colleges. It is our experience that motivated us to find a solution to this problem and test it. We have now successfully implemented part of the project and that has encouraged us to do more. Other than this, we have sufficient technical expertise and business acumen to carry out the project. We have team members that can cater to every function of our organization. We have experts on computer science, software engineers, business developers and marketers on board who believe in this cause and are committed and capable to take this venture forward. We provided pro bono consultancy services to more than 5000 students in last 4 years. After launching this system online this year, we continued the consultancy service with the objective of marketing our new product to that audience. So far, we have guided 400 students for international exchange programs. This how we were able to initially build trust in our target audience and then make them our customers.