The Alma mater hub
When Paresh Masade, who hails from Adilabad, visited his alma mater after decades, he was taken aback by the state of infrastructure of his school.
Vaave.com is an online portal, founded and developed by Paresh Masade, for alumni to connect and help their institutions to grow
When Paresh Masade, who hails from Adilabad, visited his alma mater after decades, he was taken aback by the state of infrastructure of his school. An engineer from National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, Paresh decided to give back something to the place, which was his first step on the path to success.
Paresh designed a network-based website Vaave.com in 2014, which helps the alumni to reconnect with their institutions and schools. Till now, more than 800 institutes across India joined this service. Talking about his project, Paresh says, “I did my schooling in Adilabad. Many alumni of my school are successful and are in good positions now.
When I visited my school after 10 years I felt that we can develop our school and provide better infrastructure to the students, if alumni contributes a little towards the cause." “While pursuing my graduation at the NITIE, I learned more from my seniors than sitting in the classroom; they guided me in various aspects. After experiencing all these, I felt we can completely transform the education system if we can connect the alumni back to their institutions.
The idea of Vaave was born then,” he shares. Vaave is SaaS (Software as a Service) platform designed to help build exclusive alumni networks, organise successful reunions and alumni meets, involve alumni in student development, raise funds from alumni and engage alumni effectively and also helps institutions to build and manage an updated alumni database.
“The mission of Vaave is to grow into a global leader in providing alumni networking services and to be able to reconnect the remote institutions to their alumni. Their idea is to create a one-stop solution for all the needs of alumni networking," he says. Vaave was founded by Paresh and Sanjeev, sharing their success story, Paresh says, “Many people left us in the midway due to financial crunches.
Building a team and motivating them was a big challenge for us and I think we can do it decently well now as we have a strong and stable team for the last couple of years. When we started, the concept of alumni networking was almost non-existent in India and we believed that we can sell the concept and its advantages and bring about a paradigm shift. But, it was not easy.”
Paresh says that his partner Sanjeev personally visited hundreds of educational institutions and met thousands of academicians across the country to understand their needs and the challenges they face in keeping their alumni connected to the institution. “We had to educate them about how they can reach out to the alumni and keep them engaged and how this engagement will benefit all the stakeholders (alumni, institutions, and students),” he informs.
After creating networks in Vaave.com, institutions can raise funds from their alumni to solve the existing infrastructure problems; alumni can mentor students and help them make wiser career choices; alumni networks can generate job opportunities and referrals for students and alumni of the institutions; alumni can fund research projects and start-ups by their alma mater and alumni can also help future strategies and curriculum of the institutions.
“We took utmost care of every institution that signed with us and helped them through each step in building an active alumni network, which includes database, alumni events, fund raising, and keeping the network up to date. Our content customers include the University of Mysore; Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi; Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, Nagpur; International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad among others,” he shares.
Vaave also has launched its first international network for Global E-Schools and Communities Initiative (GESCI), run by United Nations ICT Task Force in Africa in 2016. Speaking about his future plans Paresh, shares, “We plan to strengthen our presence in the international and corporate market this year.
We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline to enhance the value that we provide to the educational institutions in India. We will also be piloting a couple of additional revenue channels. For now, we have one network in Africa, which is a leadership network for IT Ministers who are trying to promote Information Technology education in Africa.”
By V Sateesh Reddy