Do you spend hours worrying about what your child does in college?
Here is a simple tool that will lower your stress levels.
Developed by three young engineering graduates, the Student Tracker System allows colleges to keep parents informed about their child's scores in exams and internals, participation in extracurricular activities and most importantly, their attendance.
Over a dozen colleges, including the BMS College of Engineering and Kempe Gowda Institute of Medical Sciences in Bangalore, are using the technology developed by Black Cat Creations, a start-up that is hardly a year old.
The entrepreneurs are Srikanth Anandateertha who completed his engineering from the Bellary Institute of Engineering and Management, and Sachin Patil and Naveen C.T. from the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College in Bidar.
The three met in Bangalore while looking for jobs.
“My father, who heads an academic institution in Bangalore, asked me if we could have a software programme to keep parents informed about their children,” says Srikanth. “He wanted a paperless method to send monthly reports and individual messages to parents. And I was chewing on this idea. Once the concept was clear, we decided to develop it further and commercialise it.
“The response has surprised us. We have released three versions of the software and we are working on the next,” he said.
Division of labour
The trio has set up the company to work on similar software tools. While Srikanth works on the backend technologies, Sachin works on the front end tools and Naveen takes care of marketing.
They have spent around Rs. 1 lakh on the programme till now, which includes office expenses.
How does it work?
They say: “The Student Tracker System is different from bulk SMS messaging services such as way2sms in that each user gets a different message here. Bulk messaging services send one message to all users. But our solution helps colleges send individualised messages to each user. Secondly, the college can insert a signature in the message. Parents can reply to the message and lodge complaints. They can get copies of the older messages and take printouts. Thirdly, student tracker is not a web-based application. What is more, the system can be implemented in all types of phones, without any modification.”
All one needs to utilise the system is a data card, a dedicated SIM card and a telephone line.
Once they developed a stable version, the next task was to market it.
It was a proud moment for Sachin and Naveen when GND College showed interest in their software and bought it. “It was just six months ago that we passed out of the college and we had become entrepreneurs. What is more, our alma mater was using our software,” says Sachin.
Now, the group is working on projects in three sectors — tourism, real estate and headhunting.
These web-based solutions are free. The Black Cat team plans to generate revenue by advertising.They said that in the first phase, they would launch three websites.
Bidarproperty.com is a real estate business site, ChaloBidar.com is a tourism website, and Bidarjobs helps youth look for jobs and industries look for young talent. Bidarproperty.com has details of all land and properties available in Bidar and surrounding areas. Those who are looking for sites or houses can register their names on the website. They get regular emails about available properties that match their demands.
Engineers can create their personal profiles on the website and developers can put up their properties on display here. Aspirant home owners can get information about housing loans from banks and other institutions from this website. Similarly, the website will facilitate information exchange between banks and customers.
A unique feature of Bidarproperty.com is the house maintenance section. Those who want to renovate their houses, beautify their gardens or take up small repairs can contact the right person for the job through the website.
“The response has been encouraging till now,” says Sachin.
Chalobidar.com is a tourism website that lists all the historical monuments in Bidar. It also includes information such as how to get there, where to stay and eat and what to see. Bidarjobs.com, which will be launched next week, promises to be more than an employment exchange website, says Sachin. It will have separate platforms for job-seekers and those offering jobs. It will also have personality development lessons, soft skill training and tips on how to frame CVs.
The team is confident that the websites will be a hit.
“In the second phase, we plan to launch similar websites for all towns and cities in the State. We will slowly move on to metros in other States too,” Sachin said.