Since its foundation in 2017, the company has partnered with over 350 universities around the world and displays course options with details including work options and safety of destination countries. In July 2018, Zoom Abroad started operating in India.
“I don’t know why this industry hasn’t moved but it is high time”
It aims to “break the barriers of basic layers of agencies”, according to its founder and managing director Abhishek Nakhate, while bringing students information they can make sense of for free.
“We try to provide real relevant information to the student to make a best fit university,” he said.
This new app will add online transparency, where information has often been distorted by passing from various before arriving to students.
“My own example, when I came to UK in 2006, I was under the impression of London [from] a portrait painted to me by a counsellor, which was completely different to what I actually saw.
“That is a bad start for a student. Expectation management is not done by [some] agencies.”
The app has 35 filters, including work permit policies, safety and security, budgeting and scholarship options.
“These factors are very important for student decision making [and now] can be done in one place.”
“73% of students age 16 -25 [in India] use mobile phone to access internet rather than laptop or desktop. Accessibility to internet on mobile phone is very very good, even [for] the farmers now in India.”
Nakhate, citing successful use of tech in the finance industry, is convinced this is the future.
“I don’t think brokers go knocking doors [anymore]. You don’t buy insurance from a broker nowadays. You have information available which is transparent, reliable and you make a decision based on data.
“I do not know why this industry has not moved in that direction but it is high time.”
However, it is important to ensure Zoom Abroad provides a personal service and not “let students feel that they are talking to a robot,” Nakhate impressed.
The company also organises events in various cities, colleges and social clubs so that we can engage with them in a one to one basis.
“Parents want to see us, they want to ask us questions,” he explained.
While parents in cities are often happy to communicate by phone or video calls, parents from smaller towns still want to speak face to face, Nakhate added.
“They want to speak to a person, a human being,” Nakhate told The PIE News. “We are trying to reach out to them all on phone call or video call and help them out in making this decision.”
Zoom Abroad has raised more than £350,000 in funding from angel investors and has competed in Virgin Media’s Voom Pitch. It will work on an agent commission model, working through contractual agreements with HEIs.