ONLINE IS WHERE STUDENTS MEET

Fourth Ambit, co-founded by Ruby Peethambaran is India’s largest online community platform for students, faculties, alumni and the industry

Kochi: An online platform for the student community is bridging the gap between students, faculties, alumni and the industry, offering myriad opportunities that could work magic. Amidst the increasing complexities of the present-day educational system in India, networking has emerged as the need of the hour.

It was this realisation of the need for building a bridge between the realms of education and employment that brought together four collegemates to set up Fourth Ambit. The idea behind it was simple; to empower college communities. Today, Fourth Ambit is India’s largest online community platform for educational institutions.
Ruby Peethambaran, one of the founders of Fourth Ambit, shares the story behind the inception of the platform. “The company was co-founded by Jikku Jolly, Rahul Das, Shyam Menon and myself. We were classmates at Govt. Model Engineering College, Thrikkakara.”

After graduation in 2000, they went on to work with multinationals and pursue higher studies in technical and management fields. “After a decade in the corporate world, we returned to Kerala to start our entrepreneurial journey and thus was born Fourth Ambit in 2013 October,” she adds.

So how does Fourth Ambit work? “If you look at it from a macro level, there are three stakeholders who benefit from Fourth Ambit – educational institutions, the student community within these institutions and the companies working outside.” Elaborating on how the platform works for educational institutions, she says, “It is a SAS-based programme, which means that every college can just log in and create their private social network on our platform, adding students, alumni and faculties. Each admin is given a lot of freedom in managing their respective communities. The advantage is that the platform is already there, so you don’t have to build from scratch. As it is a private social network for each institution, it can bring together various entities in an ecosystem,” says Ruby.

The platform provides linkages for colleges to the larger education ecosystem across value themes such as Jobs, Internships, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education etc. She explains, “For example, if a college has a community on our platform, which has within it their current students and alumni who can facilitate job openings, they can put their details across through this platform.”

The company has on-board more than 1900 college communities from all over India, including marquee clients such as IIM Bangalore, NIT Trichy, Manipal University, SCMS Group, Federal Institute of Science and Technology and Govt. Engineering College Thrissur, to name a few.

“We plan to become a students’ ‘go-to’ platform when he or she joins a college. That is a venue to activate their college community, access the external education ecosystem and enhance employability.” Apart from college communities there are multiple communities and open communities hosted by Fourth Ambit around themes such as Entrepreneurship or Skill Development.

Through these communities students can get access to outside information. The platform can be used by those who would prefer to log on to any of their respective communities having access to job details or campaigns. When it comes to corporates who use Fourth Ambit, the team found that recruitment was a challenge. “When it comes to internships and recruitments, the more the help they get, the happier they are.”

Ruby says that Fourth Ambit has entered the second phase of its evolution. “Phase I was about building these communities and Phase II is where we build ecosystem partners. Our focus is on students and we plan to cultivate this as an ecosystem that they can fully utilise. ”

Fourth Ambit roped in an investor in April 2017. “We raised Rs. 4 crore through a crowdfunding platform called 1Crowd. This was used to expand operational capabilities.” FY17 was an interesting year for Fourth Ambit which saw the firm raking up a turnover of Rs. 71 lakh and entering into an MoU with AICTE to bring onboard all colleges under it. They had also conducted a successful online internship fair in Kerala which witnessed 16,000 student registrations and more than 2500 internship offers.

“What you have here is a property where everything is organised. Be it student or alumni data, it is all organised and equally dynamic. It is an incredibly valuable database which is regularly updated on a real-time basis,” Ruby sums up.