Campus Karma is founded by Rohit Gupta. It is a platform where teachers and students share academic information.
Campus Karma takes a step ahead to connect the youth of India who are in search of campus news and activities that have taken place in the past, happening now or are scheduled to happen soon at different campuses of India.
We got an opportunity to talk with Rohit, the founder of Campus Karma and see what he has to say. I am sure his interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about your startup?
Campus Karma is a platform for colleges, teachers and students across India to share academic information, study material, campus-related updates, and exchange ideas. While most social networking sites stops at just connecting people and providing a platform for social exchanges, Campus Karma takes a step ahead to connect the youth of India who are in search of campus news and activities that have taken place in the past, happening now or are scheduled to happen soon at different campuses of India.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
It was in 2012 while I was doing my last year of graduation in computers that the idea to formulate this website stuck my mind. Though, it owes its existence to a not so desired incident. I was a ‘fest-addict’ and me and my groups of friends were always seen skipping classes and visiting various college fests and activities, participating and demonstrating technical ideas. As you may say I was always this ‘tech-geek’ sort of guy. Due to this we gave miss to a series of college classes and only came back to realize that in the meantime an important assignment was circulated and also its last day of submission was over. I was petrified and then it suddenly occurred to me that how good it would have been if there was a ‘common notice board’ where we may get all the information’s on assignments and other academic activities and the cherry being this may also serve as a platform to connect all students of different campuses for an exchange of cultural and technical ideas.
I was into web designing and development from my school life and have also developed few Facebook applications. I also came 3rd among the other 250+ team from India at FaceCode Hackathon for one of my Facebook app in 2012. Given my love for technology and passion about coding, I started working on the idea of a website where one can find answers to the basic campus problems and after nine months on October 2nd, 2012 stood the basic structure of ‘Campus Karma’ my website. The origin of the name is a rather humorous history and dates back to my college days where I was always referred as ‘Computer King’ for me being a tech-geek. I took the initials of that nickname and with the help of a hostel mate we came up with the name of the website.
The Idea which I envisioned in 2012 has today grown manifolds to give out branches dealing with various other college day problems.
Today Campus Karma contains an online aptitude program for students to test their preparedness before the much anticipated ‘campus recruitment’ and various other competitive exams. I have also embedded an online compiler supporting 60+ languages for those code-lovers out there. An online Linux lab has also been devised within campus karma recently to help the college students for whom it may get tough sometimes to afford a high requirement Linux environment. I am also thinking on a mean to provide a platform to budding app developers to upload their app’s for the end users to use and review.
Recently we also started conduction workshop and seminars on the leading technologies like IoT, Robotics, and Cloud Computing etc.
Campus Karma took initially nine months to take its basic shape as I worked on it solely and in that sense it can be coined as my baby. And as a parent I’m happy that it has come all this way though It still has miles to go and I have many more things in the pipeline which I believe would help my campus buddies.
Till now what you have read was a happy journey but the path to success was not so happy during the time I was setting up everything. Like I mentioned before, I come from a technical background and the biggest challenge for me was to market my product. But soon I realized that I don’t have to be an expert in marketing, all I needed was technology and I already had that. Without wasting any time I started creating bots for the marketing of my products which includes posting updates on various social media using there APIs. Now my 80% of the website is maintained by my bots.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I was born on 12 June 1990 in a middle-class family. I completed my graduation in Computer Science Engineering from B.P.Poddar Institute of Management and Technology in 2013. I have been involved in web designing and development for the past seven years for various clients. I started my corporate world from Ernst & Young and I was associated with the firm for 5 years. Campus Karma is my first startup venture.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Campus Karma is based out to Kolkata. The reason I started in Kolkata is mainly for two reason, first I was born and bought up in Kolkata. Second, I have always heard that Bangalore and Hyderabad are some of the startup hub in India. I wanted to bring Kolkata into the lime light and want to show that Kolkata is also a great place where some awesome startup idea emerge.
As a startup founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Like I said before, I love coding and the only time I am paranoid is when I find a bug in my website and I am not able to solve it. I can’t sleep till the time I resolved the issue.
Who are your competitions and how are you better than them?
There are a couple of websites but I would not name them. The reason why Campus Karma is better than those website is because Campus Karma is a platform where you can get all sort of information. There are sites where you can get information about upcoming fests, there are sites that gives you information about the internships, there are sites for online aptitude, file sharing, gallery (pictures and videos) sharing but the only challenge is they are not centralized. Campus Karma provide all the above mentioned services at one single platform.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
My website is maintained by my bots. If I have to name some, then daily activities like posting aptitude question, upcoming events, Internship info to various social media platforms; Validating the users; Detection of spam posts and spam users; Detecting email IDs and IPs with bad reputation and preventing them from registering on the website; Analyzing the platform data like user and group count, facebook likes count, page ranking, performing backups, etc. etc. etc. are all taken care by the bots that I have developed. So I get plenty of time to think about new ideas and implement them.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
I participated in NASCOM 10000 startup program and got selected for the funding round but unfortunately due to some family problem I wasn’t able to go to Delhi for the session. I have not received any funding till date and I am not looking forward for a mentor/funding. Currently, the maintenance cost of the website is from the money I earn from website designing and development.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about you? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
Well, to be honest, I don’t know the answer to this.
What gets you excited about this company?
The technology is what makes me excited about Campus Karma.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I would prefer not to answer this question. The only thing that I can tell is that in my life, I have a balanced time for my family/friends as well as my startup and in any circumstance, the family will come first.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I am the sole member maintaining the website. 80% of the processes for Campus Karma have been automated like removing unvalidated user after 7 days, cleaning and repairing of database on weekly basis, generating daily report of user count, groups count etc., backing up data to a cloud server using their APIs etc. This not only helps in maintaining the website but also saves my time.
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