Big Idea

Expertrons promises to be the guide your alumni could never be

This AI video bot platform gives students and professionals genuine career guidance, which is hard to find

You idolise that one senior who managed to bag a big fat cheque from the tech company every graduate wants to work with. The alumnus is talked about in the corridors of your college and professors keep citing his example in every class. But, this senior among seniors, saviour of juniors, choice of recruiters and darling of teachers, is unattainable. Either you don’t have his contact or he hardly finds free time from his busy schedule to give you career guidance. And finally, when it is your time to shine and make an impression, you fall flat without the right tips and tricks.

Faced with a similar situation, IIT Bombay graduates Jatin Solanki and Vivek Gupta realised how important and difficult it was for them to find a good mentor. So, they decided to make a business out of it. This is how Expertrons came into being. Founded in November 2019, the Mumbai-based start-up offers AI video bots of experts to help with job interviews, industry hacks, resume preparation and much more.

“At some point or the other, young graduates and early career professionals look for people who have achieved a milestone and could give them some guidance on how to do the same,” says Solanki. Now, one could use websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to connect with industry biggies, or opt for in-person career counselling and training classes. But, Expertrons is able to solve a variety of issues – high cost of consultation, limited time commitment by experts and the uncertainty of a genuine interaction – in one platform.

Here is how it works. A user registers onto the platform free of charge and gains access to videos by experts from different companies and in different positions. “We have experts sharing their experiences from Harvard Business School, Pepsi Mexico, Rakuten in Japan, and so on,” says Solanki. The user simply needs to navigate to the expert's profile, tap on the microphone icon and ask a few questions related to that career field. “The answers to these questions are generally something which experts have already recorded,” adds Solanki. For instance, it can be advice on how to approach a job or spicing up the resume or tips on cracking interviews. Today, the platform has more than 2,000 experts, who have uploaded more than 45,000 minutes of recorded content.

If the users want detailed answers, they can request for a one-on-one interaction. This is where money comes in. The pricing depends on an expert's experience and the time slot chosen by an aspirant. The rates can be as low as Rs.100 for a 15-minute session and can go up to Rs.5,000 for an hour of conversation with a very senior expert. And, Expertrons earns approximately 44% of the consultation fee.

The experts signing up on the platform are either verified through college associations and alumni or through their LinkedIn profile and other professional sites. While the start-up does not pay them for recording the initial free content, the experts still sign up for the bigger benefits in store for them. “Some of them go on to become influencers on the platform with more than 25,000 views and numerous bookings. It is a win-win situation for the expert and the aspirant,” adds Solanki. Introduced four months back, the one-on-one consultation programme has seen over 1,000 bookings till date.

Expertrons is also expanding beyond just providing access to experts. Academy+, the start-up’s newest offering, is a training programme which students can enroll for by paying a one-time refundable deposit of Rs.25,000. If a candidate gets placed with a company after the training period, the deposit is refunded immediately. Then, the candidate gets into an income-sharing agreement with the start-up. Basically, he/she has to pay Expertrons a percentage of the first year CTC (cost-to-company) in the form of monthly EMIs, over a span of one year. “We started with a small batch of 20 students and 25% of them have already been placed,” shares Solanki.

The team has raised pre-seed and seed funding from investors such as Iceland Venture Studio, LetsVentures, Nikhil Vora and IvyCap Ventures. For Solanki, the segment has a lot to offer. “In India, there are over 30 million students in higher education and many are first generation graduates, who do not have anyone in their network who could guide them,” he says. With the aim to bridge this knowledge and access gap, Expertrons expects to record revenue of Rs.4.8 billion in 2024.