“I am a very passionate programmer,” says Pavan Gayakwad over the phone from Bangalore “and when I was in college I wrote a program to automate the question paper generation process. It was used by the university at that time in 2003 and 2004 and after that I got a job,” he continues. “[But] there was always a thought somewhere in my mind that one day I would have to start creating such utilities, so that we can address the challenges [faced in universities].”
SrushtiSoft offers technological products for higher education institutions which cover the intersection between admin and academia. The most notable of these is Examinater which delivers a thesis tracking and evaluation system for postgraduate courses. In other words it helps to streamline administrative issues such as room allocation and process co-ordination and it also covers academic elements such as thesis submission and corrections.
“There is online teaching and online examinations that are purely academic. Then there are Payroll [systems], accounts management [solutions which are purely administrative]. These are two different areas. [But] there are areas where these come together. [We offer] a combination effort [and] are looking at areas which overlap,” he explains.
The company launched officially in 2012 and its software is currently used in around 250 institutions by about 5,000 users. “We’re not looking for traditional business,” says Gayakwad. “We’re looking at a strategic problem that universities are facing which is greatly affecting the performance of their educational process. It is not clearly visible. We want to focus on those very important but hard to recognise but highly beneficial to institutions.”
“Even for startups this is hard to get into,” clarifies Gayakwad. “One of the reasons [we managed it] is I had a very close interaction with a lot of the professors in my college and I am interacting with many professors across Karnataka state.”
Gayakwad is adamant this is a global solution not just for India. “There are colleges outside India that have built their own system,” he says “but [there is] no [other] single solution that comes like a product and can be applied to any university in the world. Any institution that wants to take it can customise it.”
At present, the majority of business is in India but SrushtiSoft does have some customers outside the country. “[Over the] next two years we are looking at popularising our product inside India,” then we will really roll it out internationally.
“It may take a little time to make a product and take it into the market that can satisfy everyone,” he concludes.
Kathryn Cave is Editor at IDG Connect
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